HTC One X+ review: The complete package
A capable gallery
The HTC One X+ uses the in-house HTC gallery, which got a new version in the Jelly Bean. When you open the Gallery you can now choose which photos to view - on your phone, Facebook, Dropbox, SkyDrive, Picasa or Flickr. Wherever you choose you'll get to a familiar screen - stacks of photos grouped by folders. There is a dropdown menu where you can sort the photos by date (HTC calls this events). The app automatically locates images and videos, no matter where they are stored.
Ones you pick one of the "stacks" (each representing a folder), you're presented with a grid of the photos inside. Some photos have an icon indicating it's not a single photo but a burst shot instead. You can later go back and pick the one to be used as a thumbnail.
You can also mass delete images, but you can't copy/paste images across folders - you'd need a proper file manager for that. There are some basic editing tools - crop, rotate and effects (auto enhance, sepia, vintage, etc.).
The HTC One X+ supports multi-touch and you can take full advantage of it while browsing your images. You can zoom to 100% with a simple double tap on the screen. The implementation here is extra smooth too. Another thing we admire about the HTC gallery is that it displays photos in full resolution, which we believe is a must on a 720p display.
A capable video player
The video player on the HTC One X+ is built into the Gallery app - there's no dedicated shortcut inside the app drawer.
The video playing interface has a view mode toggle (full screen or best fit) and you can scrub through videos. There's a shortcut that lets you adjust screen brightness and another one to take screenshots of videos (you can disable that one if you wish). Overall the included options are more than enough and they are all implemented in a nice out-of-the-way manner.
Codec support on the video side is very good - all popular video codecs but Matroska (MKV) are supported and videos up to 1080p resolution run without a hitch. Sound is more problematic as AAC and DTS audio wouldn't play.
Speaking of audio, you can enable the Beats Audio enhancements for your videos, too.
Subtitle support is available and you can manually pick a subtitle file - the only requirement is the subtitle files must be in the video folder.
DLNA connectivity comes handy too - the One X+ can stream the videos wirelessly to your TV.
There's the MHL port too - if you have the proper adapter, you can hook up your HDTV using an HDMI cable.
Music player and Beats for all
The Music app starts off by offering you several shortcuts - music library on the phone, SoundHound track recognition, TuneIn Radio or 7digital. Below is a line that shows a recently played song and further down is the currently playing song.
Once you get into the music library available on the phone you get a dropdown menu to browse it by artist, album, playlist or genre. There's a search tool, too.
The now playing interface is a Cover-Flow-like visualization of the current playlist - you can swipe sideways to skip songs back or forward. You can opt to view the full playlist if you need to skip more than a few tracks.
You can tap the ellipsis to automatically fetch album art for a track or look it up on Google or YouTube. From the Menu you get a Select player option, which is how you can play the song on a DLNA-enabled sound system or over Bluetooth.
The One X+ has the Beats Audio moniker stamped on the back, which means your sound can be enhanced by the beats audio equalizer if you apply it.
There are no multiple modes to pick from this time - there's just Beats audio on and off settings. Equalizers are gone too.
The lockscreen shows the album art and name of the song and artist along with playback controls. You can drag this card into the ring to unlock the phone and go straight to the music player.
SoundHound is the track recognition of choice for HTC and they've even integrated it into the music player UI. It easily ID's a song from just a short sample. Or you can say the name of the artist and song and SoundHound will find it for you, including lyrics. The free app however only offers a limited number of uses (99).
FM radio works fine
The HTC One X+ is also equipped with an FM radio, which has a pretty simple interface. It automatically scans the area for the available stations and allows you to mark some of them as favorite. It also supports RDS and allows loudspeaker playback.
An FM radio playback controls are available on the lockscreen in case you need them.
Aside from the headphones or loudspeaker choice you also get Mono sound if the reception is poor. There's no Beats enhancement here though.
If you have a data connection, you can use 7digital or TuneIn radio instead of relying on your local FM radio stations.
Excellently clean audio output
One of our greatest disappointments when reviewing the HTC One X was its audio output. The One X+ predecessor had high distortion levels and a general performance that didn't suit a flagship device. Luckily, HTC has managed to solve whatever issues it had this time and the One X+ really managed to ace our test.
The new HTC top dog delivered some of the cleanest audio output we have seen both with an active external equalizer and with headphones. There are no weak points to its performance whatsoever and if its volume levels weren't only average we'd be recommending it to every audiophile out there.
Don't get us wrong - the One X+ is still a great choice for anyone who finds audio quality important - it's just that it's not alone at the top.
Check out the numbers and see for yourselves.
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|
|HTC One X+||+0.27, -0.61||-82.4||82.4||0.0064||0.022||-81.5|
|HTC One X+ (headphones attached)||+0.25, -0.61||-82.2||82.3||0.017||0.065||-68.4|
|HTC One X||+0.02, -0.08||-82.1||82.1||0.137||0.393||-80.7|
|HTC One X (headphones attached)||+0.10, -0.10||-80.6||80.6||0.174||0.459||-60.8|
|Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III||+0.03, -0.05||-90.3||90.3||0.012||0.018||-92.6|
|Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (headphones attached)||+0.11, -0.04||-90.2||90.2||0.0092||0.090||-53.1|
|LG Optimus G||+0.13, -0.11||-82.5||82.5||0.0092||0.022||-81.6|
|LG Optimus G (headphones attached)||+0.05, -0.30||-80.8||80.9||0.012||0.061||-59.4|
HTC One X+ frequency response
You can learn more about the whole testing process here.