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HTC One Unboxing and Initial Review: Stunning All-Metal Smartphone

Go minions! Unbox the HTC One! Lol.
Go minions! Unbox the HTC One! Lol.

Time to Finally Unbox the HTC One!!!

We first got up close and personal with the HTC One at the exhibition floor of the Mobile World Congress last February in Barcelona, Spain. Fast forward several months later we finally have a unit here at the Unbox HQ. It’s every bit as stunning and awesome as everyone says and as we remember it!

Before we jump into the unboxing let’s do a quick refresher on the specifications and internals.

HTC One Spec Sheet

  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600, quad-core, 1.7GHz
  • 2GB DDR2 RAM
  • 32GB Internal Storage, no microSD Expansion
  • 4.7-inch Full HD Display, 1080p, 468 PPI
  • HTC UltraPixel Camera – BSI, dedicated HTC ImageChip, F2.0 and 28mm lens with OIS
  • 2.1-megapixel front facing-camera with 880 wide angle lens and HDR
  • 1080 Full HD Video recording for both front and back cameras
  • HDR Video, Continuous shooting and VideoPic, Slow motion video recording
  • HTC Zoe™ with HTC Zoe™ Highlights and HTC Zoe™ Share
  • HTC BoomSound
  • Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi a/ac/b/g/n, NFC, DLNA, infrared, GPS, LTE, 3G
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5
  • 2300mAh Battery

For this special unboxing we asked helped from our friends the Minions. 😛 Anyway, read on! Enjoy the pics!

>>>SEE ALSO: HTC One at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain

Packaging and Unboxing

Go Minions... go!
Go Minions… go!

The box of the HTC One is very different from the usual smartphone boxes. Instead of a rectangular hard carton box we get a more flatter but bigger squarish packaging. The product shot is up front with all the specifications and other information at the back. One thing missing from the spec list though are the LTE bands/frequencies. We’ll say it up front — the HTC One is NOT compatible with the LTE network of Smart… which sucks big time. We’re huge fans of Smart’s LTE service so it’s really unfortunate that the HTC One won’t be able to connect to it.

Anyway, we got the box tightly wrapped in plastic. We tore it off, removed the circular tapes on the sides, and pulled the top lid open. What did the Minions find? The HTC One comfortably nestled in the box in plastic. We love this particular execution because the focus is all about the phone. Two thumbs up HTC!

HTC One is officially unboxed!
HTC One is officially unboxed!

We picked the phone up, felt how cold, smooth, and awesome it was, and then set it aside. We pulled the carton up to reveal the second container which had the peripherals and accessories. We got the usual stuff here: micro SIM tray PIN, manuals, certificates, earphones, USB to micro USB cable, and the wall charger.

What else is in there?
What else is in there?

Unlike previous HTC flagships, the HTC One does NOT come with Beats Audio earphones (iBeats). It comes with regular earphones but the colors will make you think that it is from Beats Audio (Red and Black). We’ve never been a fan of Beats Audio though so that’s not a big loss, hehe.

They initially looked like iBeats but they're actually not.
They initially looked like iBeats but they’re actually not.

Over-all unboxing experience was very pleasant. Loved the unique packaging and how the product was front and center with no distractions after opening the lid. However they should really indicate the LTE bands because when you say a phone is “LTE” people will automatically assume it will work for both telcos.

Hardware Check: 110% Gorgeous

Simply beautiful
Simply beautiful

As we said earlier, the HTC One is every bit as beautiful as we remembered it when we first saw it in Barcelona, Spain during the Mobile World Congress last February. Machined from a solid block of aluminum, the HTC One commands respect. If you’re used to smartphones using plastic then you’ll definitely get floored when you see this device up close and personal.

At the front we have the 4.7-inch Super LCD 3 screen (using Gorilla Glass 2). Resolution and display quality is best-in-class as it sports 1920×1080 pixels which comes out to around 468 pixels per inch. Colors are vibrant, images are detailed, and text are crisp. Definitely one of the best displays out there. The front-facing camera is on top just opposite the LED notification. At the bottom we have two capacitive buttons – back and home in between the HTC logo.

By far the best designed Android smartphone we've ever had the pleasure of reviewing
By far the best designed Android smartphone we’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing

It’s every bit as gorgeous at the back. Here we have a curved form factor with slightly angled edges. This is actually very ergonomic as the phone just sinks effortlessly into your palm.

Here we have the Ultrapixel camera side-by-side the LED flash. The HTC logo is proudly emblazoned at the center and the Beats Audio logo can be found at the bottom.

All the usual ports and buttons are on the sides of the device: audio jack, power lock, volume rocker, and the micro USB port for data transfer and charging.

Even the Minions want to have their pictures taken with the HTC One! Lol.
Even the Minions want to have their pictures taken with the HTC One! Lol.

No matter what angle you look at it, the HTC One is ridiculously good-looking. The high quality materials combined with the triumphant design is a clear testament to progress in consumer electronics engineering. Whoever designed the HTC One can definitely give Johhny Ive a run for his money.

To get a better feel of the construction of the HTC One, check out this short 30-second video from HTC.

Software Check: Blinkfeed is actually kinda cool

The “whoa” moments continued when we first fired up the HTC One. Other than the gorgeous display, we were also fascinating with the BlinkFeed. This is a custom interface that HTC uses with the HTC One. Instead of the usual Android homescreen we get a series of cards/tiles featuring our social streams/feeds and even the latest content from selected blogs/sites. To get a better idea of how this works, here’s a short 32-second video from HTC.

Cool eh? When we first heard about this we thought it was just a gimmick but after customizing it we found this to be a pretty nice feature that we ended up using frequently.

Initial Verdict: We’re Puzzled Why It’s Not Outselling Competition

Two thumbs up!
Two thumbs up!

As far as initial impressions go we’re completely blown away. We’re honestly at a loss as to why it’s not selling as well as competition globally (probably due to lousy marketing). Here in the Philippines though the biggest drawback is really just the incompatibility to Smart’s LTE network. It kinda sucks to invest over Php25,000 on a smartphone these days that won’t let you enjoy good LTE speed and coverage.

We’ll do our full review of the HTC One next week. We’ll just need a couple of days to drive this phone. 🙂

The HTC One retails for Php32,990 in stores but you can actually get it from Kimstore for just Php28,800. Click here to visit Kimstore’s new website (their Multiply page closed down when Multiply closed down).

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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