Like the One X, the One X+ has a 4.7" HD screen with 1280 x 720 pixels that's based on Super LCD 2 technology rather than standard Super LCD. It uses the same Nvidia Tegra 3 too, but here the CPU is clocked to give its all, at 1.7 GHz compared with 1.5 GHz in the One X. RAM is at 1 GB. Another added extra in this "+" model is a boosted storage capacity, with 64 GB of memory compared with 32 GB for the One X. That's especially good news since there's still no sign of a microSD card slot. This phone's only connectors are a micro-USB port and a 3.5 mm audio jack.
There's an 8-Megapixel camera on the back of the phone with an LED flash, as well as a front-facing 1.6-Megapixel webcam. The One X+ has an NFC chip, as well as Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. There's no 4G or H+ support in this model, however—perhaps that's being saved for the One XL++. But the multiplication of One X models can in part be explained by the fact that current-gen Tegra processors don't support 4G—the One XL therefore runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4.
The One X+ ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (the most recent update available) topped off with HTC's Sense 4+ interface.
Some may see the HTC One X+ as what the original One X should have been. However, the boosted specs inevitably push up the price, as the One X+ sells SIM-free for £530.
Design & Handling
Take the HTC One X, change—well, not much really—and you get a brand new One X+! This new handset has the same design, the same look and the same physical features as the original One X. It's therefore a relatively slim, light and easy to handle phone in spite of its size.
Above and below: One X+ on the left, One X on the right.
The phones' casings are, however, made from different materials, as the lacquered finish has been ditched in favour of a matte, almost rubbery feeling polycarbonate that's very nice to touch. It also proved fairly resistant to long spells in hostile environments such as junk-filled handbags.
The One X+ is only available in black, with a red ring of highlighting around the rear-facing camera. Note, though, that the camera is still housed in the same kind of clumsy bulge on the back of the phone.
For more in-depth details about how the One X+ handles, head over to our full review of the HTC One X.
By taking the basic specs from the One X and switching to its latest generation of Super LCD technology (as seen in the 4.3" HTC 8X Windows Phone), HTC should have everything on its side in this part of the review. But that's not necessarily a guarantee of success—manufacturers can slip up from one product generation to the next. There's nothing to worry about here, though, as HTC even manages to up the ante compared with the One X, which already has a top-notch screen.
Here, the average contrast has been upped from 740:1 to 940:1, which is twinned with a maximum brightness of 449 cd/m². This ensures you can see what's onscreen when using this smartphone indoors and outdoors.
Colour reproduction has also been reworked—the already respectable average Delta E of 5 we measured in the One X has been pushed down to 4.2. Note that Delta E measures the difference between "perfect" colours and those displayed onscreen. It should be as low as possible, and colours can be considered "accurate" with an average Delta E of 3 or less.
The average colour temperature works out at 7450 kelvins and stays even over the whole spectrum, so there are no major colour tinges or overtones. On the whole, this screen trumps the One X screen all round. The display is also a little cooler and more "realistic".
We measured the screen ghosting time at 12 ms, which, apart from the near-zero performance of AMOLED screens, is actually very good for a smartphone.
The 1280 x 720 pixels on a screen like this make for excellent readability. In fact, the One X+ is among the best on the market, with a sharp, crisp, finely detailed onscreen image.
Interface & Navigation
For the full low-down on the One X+ interface, we recommend you read our review of the HTC One X.
The Sense interface has become a long-standing feature of HTC handsets. But while the first versions of the interface tried their hardest to wipe out all trace of the underlying Android OS, the boundaries are much softer with Sense 4.
As well as the usual host of exclusive and well-designed Sense widgets plus a few modified icons, the differences between raw Android and a HTC Android handset are much more subtle. The main changes in Sense 4+ concern power management and multimedia.
HTC Media Link HD is on hand for wireless connection to a TV for content sharing via an optional accessory. The power saving tool is now also more easily accessible, although using this does reduce the processor's performance. And the processor is very powerful indeed. While the CPU and GPU have both been boosted in the One X+, it's on pure processing power that the 1.7 GHz Tegra 3 chip really outclasses the 1.5 GHz Tegra 3 used in the original One X.
The most noticeable effect this has is perfectly smooth operation in the OS, as well as with tasks like using the digital camera, opening up the web browser or switching between applications. Android and Sense 4+ run like clockwork on the One X+.
Seeing as it's the same size and uses the same basic screen as the One X, the One X+ displays web pages just as well as its forerunner. Everything is nice and easy to read, and the surfing speed is good. Note that the default browser is a less interesting option here than Chrome, which uses the Tegra 3 and its high clock speed to their full potential.
We recommend you take a look at our full review of the HTC One X to find out more about the multimedia capabilities of the One X+, as these are effectively the same. HD (1080p) video playback runs smoothly with the Tegra 3 processor, but you may need to download a third-party media player (e.g. moboPlayer, Dice Player) to enjoy greater file format support on this handset.
Seeing as this handset uses an Nvidia Tegra chip, you'll find a whole load of specially optimised versions of major mobile games available in the TegraZone. While texturing isn't always amazingly impressive, the games are generally smooth and bursting with detail.
Audio quality is no different from the One X. It's generally OK but gets a whole lot better once you activate the onboard Beats Audio technology. The output gains precision and you may no longer feel the need to use the maximum volume setting.
The camera in this updated handset improves on the already very good snapper seen in the One X. Shots are even sharper, colours are reproduced well and low-light conditions are managed effectively. The speedy processor in the One X+ also makes the camera faster to use, from start-up and shooting to the boosted burst mode.
Battery life in the One X has improved greatly thanks to a series of firmware updates. The One X+ should therefore prove even more impressive, using the new-fangled firmware and a more powerful 2100 mAh battery compared with 1700 mAh for the One X.
In practice, the phone will easily last a day without you having to keep an eye on the battery level—so long as you stick to reasonable use of its various functions. With more intensive use, particularly with power-hungry games, you'll soon start shaving hours off that. For example, playing a game like Dead Space for two hours used up about 25% of the battery, but that's still a pretty good performance.
- General responsiveness
- High-quality screen (contrast, colours, general balance)
- Battery life
- Sense 4+ interface is easy to use and highly customisable
- Effective Beats Audio technology
- Camera bulges out from the rear casing
- No way of expanding memory
- No 4G support
While anyone who already owns a One X can certainly live without this excellent update, users looking for a fast, powerful smartphone with a very good camera could definitely opt for the One X+ ... so long as they're not bothered about 4G. This high-class, high-end Android mobile is bang up to date, and possibly even slightly ahead of the game.