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Video: HTC One Software First Impressions


Now that I’ve had a chance to unbox the HTC One and fire it up, it’s time to take a quick software tour of Sense 5.0 and some of the other new features this phone has to offer. While this is far from being anything in-depth, it is mostly my initial impressions as I run through the way HTC thinks Android should work. To put it plainly, it’s interesting. There are some surprises (at least to me) along the way. If you have yet to follow any other HTC One coverage, I have a feeling you’ll have one eye-brow perked as well, when you see some of these things. 

HTC has always taken a unique approach with Sense features, many of which go directly against some of the most traditional Android ideas. For example in Sense 5.0, the app dock is now technically just a part of the app drawer. You’ll see in the video below as I struggle to try and remove the stock Messaging app from the dock. With this new Sense, the phone wouldn’t actually allow me to remove it in the traditional sense (sliding it to a red X at the top of the screen). In order to do so (which I figured out after this video), you need to physically drop the app into the app drawer or “hide” it through settings. Also, as you toss apps into the dock, it’s removed from the list of apps in the drawer. Did that just blow your mind? It did mine.

There are other things throughout the video, so feel free to check it out. And again, keep in mind that this is an initial impressions video, so as I start to figure out how HTC has changed things around, I’m sure I’ll have a different point of view on it all.

More coverage on the way!

  • It says “Other” is using 7.95gb. Maybe tap that entry and the phone will actually show you what is using that 8gb. Hint: It’s not “Sense” nor “preinstalled apps”. Most likely it’s sample picture, videos and music.

  • Uriah Romero

    It’s interesting that the software isn’t as smooth as the hardware on the HTC One. I would like to try out the phone to see how it stacks up against the Galaxy S4. Considering they both have a fast processor, a great camera and a 1080p display, it’ll be a tough choice. Usually when I’m on my way to my job at DISH, I like to stream my live and recorded shows to my phone since the trip takes some time. I can do so using the DISH Anywhere app, and I think that it’ll work wonders on a full HD display.

  • Granted

    For every new Android phone that used to come out, Droid Life always used to post a pack of all the default wallpapers for us to download. But, I guess when you are busy getting paid to plug everything under the sun, there just isn’t enough time left to do this anymore.

    Plus, what is with the frigging ads on the video player for all of your videos now? You control whether or not their is a stupid advertisement sitting in the way of the screen. Do you not believe that the 54thousand other ads that you have plastered all over this website, is enough? This site is starting to resemble the old MySpace site. Greed is an awful personality trait Kleenex.

  • Gasaraki

    Please learn how use the phone before making a video. Also we really don’t want to hear what annoys you so many times. Not really a review because you don’t even know how the phone works.

  • Josh

    It’d be nice if HTC would stop crapping on good hardware with crappy software quirks.

  • Andrew

    Fix your Google currents publication. Every time you have an embedded video it just goes to your website instead of taking you to the video.

  • dp

    Don’t know if anyone else has stated this, but you CAN remove the icons from the dock. You just have to remove it while in the app drawer. Also, apps on the dock dont show up in the app drawer which is why he can’t find the regular browser.

  • Ali Raza

    this is awesome device http://crackerpie.com

  • Trevor

    Manufacturer skins are evil.

  • John Burke

    So Apps don’t get doubled on the Dock & App Drawer?

  • Christopher Riner

    Kellex said you can’t remove blink feed no matter what.

    Do you not think the devs will be able to figure anything out in terms of finding a way to pull it? Surprisingly, I actually really like the general way that sense 5.0 looks (not how it behaves, after seeing this video). I’m hoping a launcher can help keep the stock look, but give some functionality to personalizing home screens a little better.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t mind blink feed if it was at least resizable.

    • Jon

      He’s talking about without hacking.

  • Phil

    This guy is an idiot

  • Tuna

    K: Which messaging app do you use?

  • flosserelli


    It may be too early to say, but do you think this phone has the chops to pull HTC out of the hole? It might not the the most appealing phone for android purists, but does it offer enough to draw consumers from other platforms?

  • anezarati

    how do you get to the task manager?

    • David Dudovitz

      Double tap home button (Apple style)

  • duke69111

    I don’t know anything about blink feed, but I always loved that blackberry placed all of the social info in one spot together.

  • Captain_Doug

    Does using a different launcher(Nova, Apex, etc) get rid of blinkfeed?

    • David Dudovitz


      • Captain_Doug

        Then no worries for me.

  • so.. how do you launch google now? swipe up from the right? thats weird.

    • you just hold the home button… i dont know hoow i like only 2 buttons on the one…. im happy with sense 5 on my DNA

    • TylerChappell

      You hold down on the Home button, just like on the Droid DNA.

    • LionStone

      Or with Nova Prime, you can set G Now for swipe up

  • Chris

    If this phone comes to Verizon, I think I’m gonna go to the store and see what I think. if I love it, I’ll put a stock ROM on it once it’s out.

  • Bionic


    • flosserelli

      I will be glad when X Phone is released, so you will have something else to comment about.

      • Bionic

        Motorola Atom 🙂

  • CaptainHowdy13

    Can you have duplicates of apps out there? Like chrome on two different panels? Those are definitely oddities, but you can and would get used to them I’m sure. The button arrangement would take me a few weeks.

  • imtatipanza

    god damn theat phone is sexy

  • aprat

    To remove the icons in the dock, you have to remove them while into the app tray.

  • Jon Lambert

    “Flash LED light for notifications” translates to “Flash light-emitting diode light for notifications”

    Redundant, no?

  • People, technology changes by the day, why all the bitching about blinkfeed, removing stuff, etc? 10 years ago there was NOTHING on the planet like this. So what if you can’t remove something from the stock apps? You idiot. And next year this phone and all it’s technology will probably be ancient. This reviewer is soooo fricking negative and unhelpful.

    • kg215

      By that logic all reviews are pointless and we might as well use any phone regardless of it’s features because “10 years ago there was NOTHING on the planet like this.” When HTC does stupid things like Blinkfeed and removing a button and changing the way the OS works but not in a good way they deserved to be bitched at.

    • pretty realistic actually. He points out that it has the snapdragon 600, and that it’s a beast, and it has 2 gb of memory. But honestly, he could have spent another 10 minutes (or I would have) that the DEFAULT setting is a F*ng 3×3…… and that blinkfeed can’t be removed. Regardless on how you cover it up, it’s there (I actually happen to like blinkfeed, but it should be up to the user). Nobody, and I’m pretty confident in that statement, wants a 3×3 app drawer with empty space on the sides and between them. At some point, you also have to stop being so biased, and realize that HTC should be held accountable for SOME of there decisions.

  • duvato

    the droid charge also requires you to remove icons from the dock by placing them in the app drawer (yes, i am a miserable owner of that phone). very similar to what htc has done with the one

  • Rocketjrb

    What is your messaging app of choice?

  • Dylan Patel

    You said One-X in the beginning.

  • Steven Cornea

    I wanna try a HTC phone but wow, this looks awful, it does look real fast tho.

  • SallyRaster

    Why is everyone bitching about Sense and Blinkfeed? Just put Nova Prime on there and make it whatever you want. This is not a dealbreaker, folks.

    • This really is what you have to do. I’m just trying to review it as is, but once the review is over with, Nova here I come.

    • htc_rezound_luser

      It is not that simple, Sense is not just launcher. Putting Nova launcher takes care of launch key and desktops; but Sense is still around: all settings, top menu, etc.

      • New_Guy

        …and battery drain.

        • Ibrick

          Having played around with Sense 5 pretty extensively on the DNA port, it may not look like it, but Sense 5 is actually lighter than the previous few generations.

          Also I’m almost positive there is way to remove/replace dock icons, the options are in a weird spot if I recall. Either way I threw Nova on there and cleaned up the bloatware and it flies! I know Quadrant doesn’t hold much water, but throwing up 10.5k to 11.5k is pretty ridiculous, and that’s with the S4 Pro.

          • New_Guy

            Good to hear. I hop this experience remains consistent.

          • Ibrick

            I probably should clarify, the only way you’ll get Quad scores that high is on Sense 5 and OC’d to 1.8-1.9 which IMO is pointless. My CPU is binned nominal so I keep it at 1.67 with a slight UV. Standard settings for d2d on Sense 4+ is in the 9k+ range.

  • mustbepbs

    Could they have ripped the iPhone design any more? For real, maybe this is why they were on board with the Apple cease fire.

    • Nick Klenchik

      Could you be any more of a troll?

      • mustbepbs

        What? What is with people around here lately? You’re new around here so I’ll fill you in: Just because I made a comment with the word “iPhone” in it, doesn’t make me a “troll”. And just because I have a different opinion than you, doesn’t make me a “troll”.

        • Austin Warren

          this too

        • TylerChappell

          This really looks nothing like the iPhone. Comparing the front of a phone to the back of another (when was the last time someone went out of their way to do that?) is asinine.

      • New_Guy

        I’m sorry, but as much as I love Android (and I make no bones about it), I’ve always thought the front of the One looks like the back of the 5. It’s what has turned me off about the phone to this day. I’m sure it’s a great phone, it just reminds me too much of that other phone.

        It’s like falling in love with someone that reminds you of your ex-wife. It’s just weird…

    • Because the front of this phone looks like the back of that phone it’s a complete rip off???

      • mustbepbs

        Just calls it as I sees it.

        • TylerChappell

          You must not see well. Think about when people see others using this phone in public. They will have it up to their ear, and thus people would mostly be seeing the back of the phone. Only a stupid or uninformed person is going to think that they are the same phone when one has a giant Apple logo on the back and one doesn’t.

          • kg215

            They won’t necessarily think it’s the same phone but there are is definitely a strong resemblance, if you don’t see one at all you are blind. I feel like they took the iphone design and improved it though, so it looks better but you can see where it started from.

          • TylerChappell

            I am pretty sure HTC is capable of designing a great-looking phone all on their own without having to take design cues from Apple. They have had some of the nicest-looking Android phones released. This phone really has a design language that’s closer to the Droid DNA than the iPhone 5.

    • You’reJokingRight?

      They look nothing alike actually, I suggest you see an optometrist.

  • RoadsterHD1

    Kellex can you disable apps?
    What does Nova look like on there? is there a phone icon in the drawer if you are using an aftermarket launcher?

    • LionStone

      Curious to see Nova on there too!

  • RoadsterHD1


  • What a biased, angry review. Really annoying.

    • mustbepbs

      Careful, someone’s gonna call you a troll for not having the right opinion.

      • Austin Warren


    • n900mixalot

      It isn’t a review. No worries Mon

    • Granted

      Objectivity has never had a home at Droid Life.

  • Liderc

    “Here’s a clock whether you want it or not”

  • Tony Byatt

    Not really a fan of the phone and I’m not really understanding the hype…Boomsound? Ok, it’s a phone, I don’t buy phones to replace my stereo.The looks? Average but then again everyone has their own opinions on a beautiful phone. The camera? Seems to be already outdone by the S4. The software? Yeah…

    • hal

      Where can I find low light and/or fast action photos and videos of the S4 and One?

  • BRIM

    Can you show if it has window animations/transitions when you’re switching app or going from an app to home? It has the beautiful transitions on my GS3 I would hate to see this phone stripped of these animations.

  • pblakk

    Nice! Swiping, tapping, and all of that looks really snappy and fast! That’s lame with the permanently docked icons I guess.

    • Phone is ridiculously fluid and fast.

  • Jase

    It comes with Adobe Flash? I saw the Flash icon.

    Also, run some standardized battery life test. The I unplugged in the morning, did some stuff and the battery was at 20% at night X hours later is too vague.

    • It does have Flash pre-installed which is super weird.

      • RoadsterHD1

        does it work?

        • New_Guy

          With a flash enabled browser (Firefox/Dolphin) it will definitely work.

          • michael arazan

            Flash still works fin on 4.2.2 on the gnex, I was afraid it wouldn’t or be buggy. Let’s hope KL 5.0 will still use Flash well to watch videos on the web. It works on my Dolphin and stock but my Dolphin browser force closes a lot.

            Wish Chrome would just build flash into the browser like they do on the desktop versions. Sucks that one of the Key Features of Android was that it could run flash.

      • Luis Borja

        Well, Adobe did say OEMs are welcome to have it pre-loaded post ICS. They can also make improvements in the code if they want too. That’s what Blackberry did or at least that’s what they said they’ll do when they were still called RIM.

      • New_Guy

        Flash still works with flash compatible browsers. i.e. Firefox/Dolphin.

        I use Firefox to run flash on my Note 2. Been watching Amazon instant videos on it for a couple of weeks now.

      • abdul rahman

        Flash works on the stock HTC browser

    • Hugo

      Yes, please run some detailed battery run down tests (ie. looping the browser through a list of sites, looping a specific video, in call drain, etc.). Also say any relevant settings and conditions (ie. brightness, dB signal strength, etc.). It’d be nice to create tests that can be run on all devices to gauge battery life between devices.

    • Luis Borja

      I second this. We all know what Android offers so I’d like reviews to focus on what can differentiate these phones that can’t be determined from spec sheets like:
      -detailed battery life tests
      -fast moving video and photo subjects
      -low light video and photo capabilities (you seem to keep making fun of the 4 mega pixels but that’s just a spec that can’t really reveal real world quality)
      -random/sequential storage speed (this could affect app loading in the future when 2 GB of RAM isn’t enough anymore, downloading, transferring files over USB)

      • n900mixalot

        THEY’RE Ultrapixels GOSHHH

        • Pamela Franck

          my coworkers sister-inlaw makes $61/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for ten months but last month her check was $13845 just working on the internet for a few hours. Heres the site to read more, Big31.com

      • Mason


        Maybe you can have a little blurb about the new Sense but I’d like the review to focus more on
        -detailed battery life
        -camera/video quality in bad conditions
        -display nits at different brightness levels
        -display color reproduction (should be better than OLED but I’d like to see tests)
        -outdoor visibility
        -boot time
        -internal and external temperature under load
        -at what internal temperature will the device disable charging (useful for people who mount their phones on the windshield/dash for navigating)

        • Andre Fitzgerald

          Yes, please don’t spend too much time on the software and Sense. A small paragraph is enough and maybe a list of bloatware apps. I’d really like to see some standardized testing on reviews going forward. Also, while performance benchmarks are standardized tests, they don’t provide much information so you don’t have spend much time on them either. Thanks.

        • shelbypanayotou

          my roomate’s sister makes $75 hourly on the internet. She has been out of work for eight months but last month her pay check was $18665 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on  Fab99.c­om

        • LionStone

          From completely off, it takes 25 seconds for my DNA to get the 4G signal back up.

          • Willie

            That’s fast. The last HTC I had was the Tbolt and it took loooonnnggg. I think it’s been long enough for HTC to fix their hardware and software problems so they’re back on my list of possible OEMs I’d buy from. Right now, I’m going to pass on the One though.

            I’m going to wait and see what OEMs come out with extended batteries (I always want more battery life) and SD slots (gotta make use of my 64 GB card). The S4 isn’t really ideal for me either but it’s currently my first choice. We’ll see, I plan on getting a phone in the Summer.

          • LionStone

            Yea, that’s with fast boot on… I’d love to get a Black 64GB…I’ll keep the DNA on my contractless, VZ Unlimited, but if I can get a Black HTC One on T-Mobile perhaps, I may try that out…Happy hunting!

        • TK

          Yes, I’d like some sort of tangible tests that can be done on all phones. I’m not really looking for “build quality” solely based on feel in hand or how someone may or may not like how Sense does things.

          Anyone know of sites that does the kinds of tests mentioned above? Thanks.

        • Guy

          I agree. You don’t have spend too much time writing about perceived build quality and things Sense does that you find annoying. A short paragraph is fine.

          I do want to see all those tests people are mentioning though. Please make those the focus of the review.


          • me

            The only software related thing I want to see is stability like force closes, not transitioning between 2G/3G/4G well especially during active data transfers, issues with PC to USB connections, etc. Well some of that may be hardware but you get the idea. Icons in the app drawer being removed when they’re in the launcher dock (that’s actually a good thing) and other things like that aren’t really interesting.

            I hope the final review doesn’t go on a rant about Sense and focuses on more subjective testing. Maybe Anandtech will provide these kinds of info.

        • Jason

          Check out AnandTech’s review: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6747/htc-one-review

          It has most of the tests people are asking for. Very objective and detailed. Not much vague details and subjective opinions.

          • Martin H.

            Thanks for this! Now I know where to go for phone reviews! Every review I’ve seen before AnandTech are crap compared to theirs.

          • Jason great call. I was just about to offer this site but you beat me to it!

          • auraseale

            my neighbor’s step-aunt makes $85/hr on the computer. She has been out of a job for 5 months but last month her payment was $18560 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on  Fab99.c­om

          • JR

            Excellent. Has all the details I wanted without the rants. Thanks.

            I hope AnandTech reviews the S4. I’m sure they’ll run they same tests on it for easy comparison.

          • M. Johnson

            Thanks. I’m going to go there from now on for smartphone reviews. It seems most other reviews are just vague, mostly filled with fluff and nitpicks about things no one really cares about.

            I also hope AnandTech reviews the S4 with such great detail.

          • Hazim

            Now that’s a real review. No need to read any other HTC One review other than AnandTech’s.

            Too bad other phone reviewers don’t really give much of a review. No detailed tests. Just some vague generalities.

      • Willie

        In addition to USB transfers, I’d like local WiFi transfers too. Maybe 802.11n speeds at x feet from the router. Please name the router and transfer protocol used as well.


  • dave

    K… What message app do you use on your phones

    • I use Google Voice.

      • dave

        So what do you do for mms and group txt??? You gotta be dying to get your handson babel

        • I don’t do either heh. I email photos to people. Definitely dying for some Babel. 🙂

          • dave

            Props to you sir… It’s consumed my life ugh

  • Jigga_Z

    Not being able to move the messaging app from the dock is like something out of the Twilight Zone. You think it’ll go away and it just keeps coming back!

    • Most frustrating thing ever. Added some notations to the video since I figured it out, but it makes no sense. You have to drop the app back into the app drawer in order to make it go away.

      • Jigga_Z

        I think HTC might be confusing the term “simple” with “complicated”

        • Like changing a wallpaper has always been the most difficult thing in the world to do on HTC phones, a trend that continues here.

          • Jigga_Z

            The things you’re forced to endure for your readers…hats off to you buddy! 🙂

          • Chris

            Well wait a sec on that one! On any of the HTC phones running at least ICS and above (can’t remember with Gingerbread cause it has been a while), all you do is press the menu button on your homescreen and the first thing you see is “Wallpaper”!

          • LionStone

            That is correct… You can hit Menu for Wallpaper, Personalize, etc. Or, on the TB anyway, you have Apps, Phone, and….’Personalize’ for your dock. So it doesn’t really get easier than that. I was never too fond of that, I like it better just inside Settings. It’s not something I do often enough to have it on the dock.

      • RoadsterHD1

        what if you disable it?

    • You CAN remove apps from the dock while in the APP drawer

  • Spoken Word™

    My Mind Is Blown! Or Not! RTFM comes to mind….

    • When was the last time you had to read the manual for a phone? If you have to read the manual to use it, its already a failure. I don’t think iPhones even come with manuals.

      Either way Sense is a horrible horrible horrible piece of software and even someone with an open mind like Kellex can see that its just poor.

      • Diablo81588

        No phones come with manuals..

      • JakeS41

        iPhone manual is sorta built in. It’s bookmarked in the browser. Also – some people just read manuals because they do. Sense does some things right, others not so much. But at least its not fugly and cartoony like TW

      • ERIC REED

        It comes with manuals and stickers!!

  • TBolt