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HTC One S review

7.9/10 AVG.
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Informr score
The HTC One S currently has an Informr score of 7.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 35 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

Among HTC's release of its innovative and powerful line of smartphones in April 2012 comes the latest addition to the pack, the HTC One S. It is specially built for higher quality entertainment, integrating Audio Beats by Dre that deliver rich and authentic sound for playing music or games, and watching movies or videos.

Since its anticipated launch, the HTC One S put mobile photography on a higher level, away from just snapping photos. It has a dedicated imaging chip and an advanced image sensor that allow users to capture stunningly vivid and clear images even in low-light situations.

While featuring Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as its operating system, the phone can take advantage of high-data transfer rates from 4G networks offered by Telus and Bell Canada. At first glance, HTC One S is as sleek as 7.8mm thick with a responsive 4.3-inch AMOLED display. It is equipped with an intuitive 8 megapixel camera and a 28mm wide-angle lens that allow users to capture every single scene with its continuous shooting mode and super-fast capture capability, without missing any important shot. The built-in video stabilization feature reduces camera shake that causes blurry videos, resulting in high-quality, full 1080p HD recordings. Internet speed can reach up to 21Mbps for 4G connection, while the phone boasts a triple b/g/nWi-Fi connectivity and can be used as a modem to tether signals to a laptop or any Wi-Fi enabled devices.

As part of the company's aim to build stronger and more durable phones, HTC built the One S in a casing that is five times stronger than stainless steel through a special process called micro arc oxidation, transforming the aluminum casing into an ultra-durable space-grade metal used inspacecrafts. Hidden inside this tough shell runs an ultra-fast 1.5 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor and a powerful GPU that enable the phone to launch multiple applications seamlessly and play the most graphic-intensive mobile 3D games without lags.

Despite all the good things about the HTC One S, it does not come to be perfect at all. One drawback of the phone is the lack of a memory expansion slot which only limits the phone to 16GB of internal storage space. Additionally, the phone's battery is not user-replaceable whichmeans that it needs to be hooked to an outlet or to a USB port more often when the battery runsdry after a whole day of usage. Overall, HTC One S is an intelligently designed phone featuring sophisticated mobility, high-class entertainment, and ultra-fast connectivity. Disregarding its imperfections, the phone is aperformer that could rival Apple's iPhone 4S or any Samsung Galaxy S series in many aspects.

Need to Know: HTC One S

1. Thin, sturdy, and elegant construction is truly top-notch with a sophisticated ceramic black and silver finish. (The Good)

2. Powerful 1.5 GHz dual core-processor with 1GB of RAM, sufficient enough to run any Android apps, including the most graphic-intensive games. (The Good)

3. Beats Audio feature delivers rich sound. (The Good)

4. Non-removable battery. (The Bad)

5. No expansion slot for additional memory. (The Bad)

Operating system
Operating system
1.5 GHz
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
8+ MP
8+ MP
1650 mAh

What the Critics Are Saying...


The HTC One S is a attractive phone with blazing speed 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad core processor and 1 GB RAM. The 8 megapixel camera, Beats Audio sound technology, High Dynamic Range camera mode, Android 4.0 Ice cream sandwich and HTC Sense 4 makes device simply superb in the segment. Though...

- TT Gadget Editor, TelecomTiger
Android Authority
Android Authority

HTC has done a lot of things right with the ultra-thin and lightweight HTC One S, with its optimal screen size, elegant design, amazing display, great camera, and software enhancements to complement the powerful hardware. The One S is available exclusively from T-Mobile, but I’m surprised that...

- Ankit Banerjee, Android Authority

Sporting a thin and attractive profile, a fairly decent processor and Android 4.0, HTC One S looks like an instant winner, but pricing is the main issue here. HTC One S is certainly over-priced. There is no HD display or quad-core processor here to justify such a high price.The absence of the S4 pro...

- Gaurav Shukla, NDTV
What Hi-Fi
What Hi-Fi

This is one of HTC’s flagship phones, and the specification proves far better in reality than it might look on paper. HTC’s take on the Android 4.0 OS is delivered at lightning speed, video playback is very good and music more than adequate. If you’re not smitten with the literal big boys in the And...

- What Hi-Fi team, What Hi-Fi

This smartphone is much more pleasant and practical to hold than the much larger One X. It offers the same software as the more expensive One X, with exceptional speed that even surpasses the One X. The price that those who choose the One S will pay includes a smaller screen and a lower screen reso...

- Dragan Petric, Brighthand

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the HTC One S user manual here.

HTC backs up the One S with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your One S has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact HTC support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find HTC's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Screen Size

The HTC One S's screen size is 4.3 inches with 540 x 960 pixels resolution.

1.5 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (Update Available: 4.1.1 Jelly Bean) operating system (OS).

8+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ MP camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.

16 GB

Internal memory is 16 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1650 mAh battery. HTC's performance ratings are 510 minutes, 243 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

One S Specs

Release Date April 25, 2012
Regions Available USA, Canada
Operating System Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (Update Available: 4.1.1 Jelly Bean)

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Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.39 W/kg
Body: 1.18 W/kg
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Mobile / Cellular Data
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
8+ Megapixels
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Panorama
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, MPEG-4, WMV, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
1+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 540 x 960 pixels
Pixel Density Unknown
Size 4.3 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Power & Battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1650 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to 568 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to 243 minutes
Internet Use (Cellular) Unknown
Talk Time Up to 510 minutes
Standby Time Up to 17.9 days
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Bar
Material Plastic
Colors Black, Gradient Blue
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.1 x 6.5 x 0.8 cm (5.2 x 2.6 x 0.3 in)
Weight 120 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Yes
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key Yes
Input / Keyboard Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Additional Information Messaging: SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA: Yes
Graphics: Yes
Themes: Yes
Backlit Illumination: Yes
Zoom / Magnification: Yes
Screen Orientation Lock: Yes
Predictive Text Entry: Yes
Voicemail Key: Yes
Voice Commands: Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock: Yes
Multiple Numbers Per Contact: Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups: Yes
Voice Activated Dialing: Yes
Photo Caller ID: Yes
Web Browser: Yes
Email Client: Yes
Email Protocols: POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
PC Synchronization: OTA
TV Out Info: HDMI
DLNA Support: Yes
Java Application: Yes
Audio Formats: AAC, AMR, MIDI, MP3, M4A, OGG, WMA, WAV
Video Playback Formats: 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, AVI, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video: Yes
Custom Ringtones: No
Vibration Alert: Yes
Downloadable Ringtones: Yes
Ringer ID: Yes
Speakerphone: Yes
Data Tethering: Yes
Mobile Hotspot: Yes
Radio: Yes (FM)
Viewable document types: XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF
Games: Downloadable
Apps: Downloadable
Included Software / Apps: -
To-Do / Task List, Calendar, World Clock, Alarm, Stop Watch, Timer, Calculator, Weather, Stocks, Maps, NotePad, Voice Memos / Recorder

Other Names (AKA): HTC Ville
Related Links Manual (PDF)
HTC One S Reviews
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