The Internals: Snapdragon 600 On-Board

At the core of the HTC One is a Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064Pro) SoC at 1.7 GHz. This is quad core Krait 300 (as opposed to 200 in MSM8960 or APQ8064) which brings a 15 percent increase in IPC as well as higher clocks (from 1.5 to 1.7 GHz), for about 20–30 percent higher overall CPU performance. This is still built on a 28nm LP process, and is analogous to the MSM8960Pro change from Krait 200 to 300, but for APQ8064. HTC One includes 2 GB of LPDDR2 RAM on a PoP in a 2x32 configuration. For storage, there’s no microSD card slot, but instead 32 or 64 GB of internal memory with no option for lesser 16 GB configurations. For connectivity the HTC One uses the same MDM9x15 baseband we’ve seen in Fusion 3 phones and in other places, and as expected the HTC One will come in LTE-enabled flavors for the appropriate operators. There’s still no magical single SKU that will do every region, but the most important band combinations are supported. On the WiFi side the HTC One is the first device I’m aware of to include 802.11ac support as well, alongside the usual a/b/g/n, this is provided by Broadcom’s latest combo, BCM4335.

The One continues to use the pyramidal internal stacking of display, then battery, then PCB which started with earlier designs. As a result the One includes an internal 2300 mAh 3.8V (8.74 Whr) battery which should be more than adequate in conjunction with Snapdragon 600 to provide good battery life.

HTC One Specifications
Device HTC One
SoC 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600
(APQ8064Pro - 4 x Krait 300 CPU, Adreno 320 GPU)
RAM/NAND/Expansion 2GB LPDDR2, 32/64 GB NAND
Display 4.7-inch SLCD3 1080p, 468 ppi
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x15 UE Category 3 LTE)
Dimensions 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3mm max / 4mm min, 143 grams
Camera 4.0 MP (2688 × 1520) Rear Facing with 2.0 µm pixels, 1/3" CMOS size, F/2.0, 28mm (35mm effective), 2.1 MP front facing
Battery 2300 mAh (8.74 Whr)
OS Android 4.1.2 with Sense 5
Connectivity 802.11ac/a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, MHL, DLNA, NFC
Misc Dual front facing speakers, HDR dual microphones, 2.55V headphone amplifier


Abandoning the Megapixel Race and Shooting for Quality

I’ve buried it a bit, but one of the biggest headlining features of the HTC One is inclusion of a camera system that definitely goes against the prevailing industry smartphone imaging trend, in a very positive way. The trend has been smaller and smaller pixels on a smartphone CMOS for some time now, and as generations have marched on we’ve seen pixel sizes shrink from around 2 microns, to 1.65, to 1.4, to 1.1 which seems poised as the flavor of the year. More of smaller pixels lets an OEM sell a phone with more megapixels, but it’s fairly obvious that beyond 8 MP there’s not much sense in going way higher. In fact, even with the best possible diffraction limited optics operating under the constraints of a smartphone package, it’s impossible to resolve pixels that small. For so long megapixels has been the only figure of merit presented to consumers, and continually increasing that number, at the expense of other things arguably might not make sense. In a world increasingly dominated by photo sharing services which downscale images aggressively instagram (600 x 600) or pic.twitter (1024 x 2048 for the first party image sharing target) or Facebook, does 13 MP make sense?

HTC made camera a big emphasis with the previous One X, S, V, and other One series cameras with the first F/2.0 optical system which was shared across all devices. With the new HTC One has taken a huge risk and gone against the trend by keeping CMOS sensor size the same (1/3"), and moving to bigger 2.0 micron pixels, with the same F/2.0, 28mm (35 mm effective) optical system. The result is a camera that trades resolution we arguably can’t realize to begin with for dramatically better sensitivity in low light and better dynamic range. In addition, the HTC One includes optical image stabilization (OIS) with +/- 1 degree of accommodation in pitch and yaw to enable even longer exposures without hand shake, as well as for stable video. On the video side, the HTC One also includes HDR video capture at 720p30, normal dynamic range video at 720p60 or 1080p30, and this time video is encoded using the full capabilities of the SoC (high profile, 20 Mbps).

There’s a new shooting mode as well which HTC has coined Zoe mode, short for zoetrope. This simultaneously captures a few seconds of 1080p30 video while bursting still image captures at full resolution. The combination is a short video and series of photos at full size which can be shared. This then can be used with a new gallery feature called the Highlights reel which combines this media into a short, computationally edited 30 second video with other photos and videos from the same day. There are a number of different video themes to choose from, and in practice the videos that result are impressively well put together.


Design and Construction Sense & Final Words
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  • weiln12 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Look, I understand companies want to "differentiate" using OS customization...but I hate it. I buy a phone based on specs and performance. I DO NOT want ANY customization. I want a Nexus phone essentially, but made by HTC.

    Seriously, just give me an option to run vanilla Android and I'd buy it. You're getting my money...but give me an option to run the Sensified version, make it default I don't care. But give me an option to run vanilla!

    The current situation is like buying a Sony Vaio and NOT being able to install and run just you MUST run a Sony version of Windows.

    It's stupid. One reason why the iPhone is so popular? Because you don't get a get what Apple gives you. And it's the same regardless of carrier or country or whatever. No crap loaded on it that you can't get rid of or anything else.
  • StealthX32 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    What makes you want the Nexus to be made by HTC?

    And you're naive to think that iPhones don't have crapware loaded all over it. ;)
  • kezeka - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Last I checked apple doesn't allow sprint or any other carrier to install a NASCAR app by default. Or sprint store. Or sprint music. Or some half-asses skin over the operating system that sucks down half the system memory and is significantly slower than stock android.
  • steven75 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Seems you're the one who's naive as there's no crapware on an iPhone, only first-party Apple software, just as you get only Google software on a "clean" Android phone.
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    No they don't. You don't know what you are talking about.
  • Kepe - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Well you can always root, S-OFF and flash a custom ROM without Sense. That's what I have on my HTC Sensation. Vanilla Android 4.2.2 with Nova Launcher. And I'm loving it. I've had the phone for almost two years now, and for 1½ years I've used custom ROMs on it. Some have had Sense, some haven't. I seem to swap between them from time to time, but I just love the fact that I have the choice and a very active community that still keeps developing their ROMs for a device HTC isn't updating anymore.
  • humbi83 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Removable Battery !!!!

    I never could figure what happens with phones that have no removable battery. I would jump on this phone in an instant (metal body, yes!!).

    But, again, what happens if I flash a rom that simply gets stuck? Normally I would remove the battery, but in this case I have to wait for the battery to discharge.

    I have a DHD (been having it for the past 2 and some change years) . I really like when metal is used as a body material and I cannot go back to "high grade" polycarbonate. Please guys, plastic is plastic. No matter what you do, in the end it's plastic.

    This phone is spot-on so many fronts. 4.7in, 2gb, metal body, yet it lacks the most basic thing, removable battery.

    Sorry HTC, another one that I'll skip. Well, it seems that I'll have to keep my phone for yet another year.

    The problem with the new phones is that they mostly do what old phones do (music, web, mail, navigation). Yes, I cannot watch HD movies. Yes, I cannot play Crysis on it. That\s what 100+ in TVs & CF/SLI setups are for.
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Removable batteries are also going away just like sd cards. Get used to it. Very few people actually use either.
  • g0d5hand - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - link

    Tons of people use them. Why the hate on for sd card slots?
  • Notmyusualid - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    I have a spare battery for my DHD.

    And I have just bought the Nokia 820 over the 920, given that it had removable battery, and a microSD slot.

    So yeah, let them remove features, and some of us will just not buy the flagship products.

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