As an iPhone user and owning several Apple products, I’m completely tied into the Apple ecosystem. My wife and family members all own iPhones and so, I am somewhat bound by Apple services such as iMessage and Photo Stream. Those who know me also know that I was a huge fan of the HTC One X, so I was extremely happy when I received a HTC One X+ from my friends over at AT&T. Right out of the box, I fell in love all over again. So much so, that I decided to put my iPhone aside for the weekend to see if I could live with just using the Android powered smartphone.
First of all, I love the design. Unlike many large screened Android phones I’ve used, I could reasonably use most of the functionalities of the phone one handed. The phone felt solid, light, and high end. The 4.7 inch screen was big and clear. Many, if not all of the applications I have on my iPhone could be found in Google’s Play Store. I went ahead and downloaded my favorite news apps, banking apps, media apps, etc. and proceeded to use the phone.
First thing to do was to sync my music. Being tied to iTunes, syncing music to non iOS devices was always an issue. Thankfully, Google Play Music made it super easy. I installed the application on my Mac and it synced all my music, including my playlists to the Clouds. Once I opened Google Music on my phone, I could choose on the device to either stream music or download over the air right onto the device. Whenever I updated my iTunes music, it would automatically update to Google Play. Very convenient indeed.
One of the big positive for me compared to the iPhone, was the screen size. I love reading news, texts, twitter feeds, etc. on the larger screen. I love using Google services, such as maps and navigation. Although Google services are available on iOS, it just doesn’t feel the same because it’s not native. I also found a way around Photo Stream, by adding automatic upload directly to my Dropbox account, which sends pictures directly to iPhoto. Sweet!
Now some downsides. First, iMessage. Apple does make it convenient for families and friends whom use iOS devices to stay connected. Although I could send text messages via the One X+, my brother whom lives in Canada now would most likely not send me messages, because international text cost extra. Likewise, the same would happen for me. As well, the camera did not perform up to par as my iPhone. Pictures looked very digitized and unrealistic. Burst mode was cool, but the pictures did not come out. Lastly, the battery life was not as good as compared to the iPhone. I left both phones on overnight with wifi turned on. In the morning, my iPhone would show 92% full, while the HTC would already lose 25% of its power. Not a deal breaker for me, but an inconvenience nonetheless.
So overall to sum up my experience so far. Great screen, Google Services, and design. Poor Battery life, camera, and not having iMessages makes life a little more difficult. I will keep testing out the device and report back, but so far it’s still my favorite Android device. I prefer it over the highly touted Samsung Galaxy SIII. Being somewhat of a phone snob, the exclusivity one gets with owning it only on AT&T makes it that much sweeter.