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Why the Unlocked U.S. Version of the HTC One is My New Phone [Opinion]

News flash! Even tech bloggers don’t get to keep devices that are sent to them for review purposes. No sir, we have to pick and choose our personal devices with care just like each and every one of you. Sure, we get to put our grubby little paws all over the newest tech before the general public, but that doesn’t mean those devices hang around for more than a couple of weeks. Once our reviews are done, we tend to ship them back to PR departments before going back to whatever phone we have chosen to be our daily driver. After some time spent with both the new HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, I have made a decision on what that new daily driver should be. 

Since release, the Nexus 4 has been my phone of choice. I’ve even gone through a couple of them, dealing with the fragile glass backside, all for the sake of stock Android that has really come into its own over the last year. The combination of price, hackability, and access to the newest version of Android at all times, made it an easy choice. Sure, it lacks LTE support, but using it as an unlocked phone with T-Mobile’s HSPA+42 network has made me miss LTE very little. I also have thoroughly enjoyed the display of the Nexus 4 along with the general soft feel of the device while in hand. It’s easily my favorite phone in some time – and I handle a lot of them.

But since I do this whole phone thing for a living, spending 6 months with a single device seems like an eternity. So as the HTC One and Galaxy S4 hit stores within the last couple of weeks, I decided it was time to make a decision on something new. These are the only two phones a power user should consider, so thanks to an extended period of time with each to do reviews, I had the perfect opportunity to compare the benefits of each to ultimately make a decision. The unlocked U.S. version of the HTC One with 32GB of storage is it.

Why the One? Why the unlocked version? Why not the developer version? I’m assuming you are asking all of those questions, so let’s answer them.

htc one

First, I went with the One because it may be the only Android device in history to try and tackle what it means to be the ultimate smartphone. We’re talking premium build and design, the best set of specs, software enhancements that you’ll actually use, and a price point that should grab all of your attention. In my review, I was at times very critical of Sense 5.0 from a UX perspective and wasn’t always impressed by the 4MP (Ultrapixel) camera, but the rest of the package is impossible to deny. Plus, most of the software issues can be fixed with third party apps from Google Play.

You know what, though? It was my time with the Galaxy S4 that made me ultimately decide on the One. I was hoping for Samsung’s flagship to blow me away, but all I got in the end was a spec bump with a set of software enhancements that have limited uses (to me at least), all in a package that was too close to what Samsung tried to sell me on last year. Not to say that the Galaxy S4 isn’t a great phone (my review), but as someone who handles them all, a phone needs to do something unique in order to get me to pay good money for it. Since Samsung failed to do that this time around, and HTC came up with something that did on a number of levels, my choice was made.

So why the unlocked U.S. version? Simple. I’m not a fan of carriers or contracts. However, there are plenty of phones that are unlocked that work on networks here in the U.S. (like the Nexus 4), so there must have been something else to get me to go all-in on the One, right? Yes, indeed. For those not familiar, the unlocked U.S. version of the HTC One does something that no other unlocked phone currently does – connects to a U.S. 4G LTE network (AT&T’s specifically). I don’t know how HTC managed to pull it off, but damn, they did. As much as I claim to not miss LTE on my Nexus 4, connecting to AT&T’s uber-fresh LTE network is quite the experience. So with the unlocked U.S. version, you buy the phone outright, then walk into an AT&T store and tell them you want monthly service – so no contract signing here. You then experience their LTE network on a phone with no AT&T branding and without a contract (no ugly flamed-LTE AT&T logo either). There may be a chance that the phone will work on T-Mobile’s LTE network in the future as well, since the phone supports the AWS LTE band.


The unlocked version of the phone also drops in at an incredibly reasonable $575 price and has 32GB of storage. Most unlocked phones, should you import them or use an unlocked re-seller here in the U.S., will run $600+, sometimes even $700+. AT&T is selling their 32GB version for $599 at full retail.

And last, why didn’t I go with the developer edition? I considered it, since it comes with 64GB of storage and would have cost me just $75 more, but in the end, I still switch phones quite often and rarely care about the bootloader of my phone being unlocked. My phones need to run stock for the sake of news coverage on Droid Life, so having an unlocked bootloader wasn’t really a benefit or negative for me personally. And while I haven’t checked yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if HTCDev is capable of unlocking this phone anyway.

But like the developer edition, I’m expecting to see the unlocked version get updates faster than any other version of the One, simply for the fact that it’s not tied to carrier. You’ll notice that unlocked phones in the UK seem to be updated regularly, while all carrier versions are months behind. That shouldn’t be an issue with this phone nor the developer edition because HTC gets to release updates on their schedule without approval from anyone.

As you can see, there were several factors that went into my decision to make the HTC One my next phone. I get one of the most premium made smartphones on the planet, connected to AT&T’s brand new LTE network, at a reasonable unlocked phone price and with no contract. In the end, I think the fact that it’s unlocked and works on LTE was the deciding factor, though. Now, hopefully Google follows their lead and does the same thing with the next Nexus. I’m already missing Android 4.2 and will be itching for my Nexus 4 come Google I/O.

The unlocked and developer editions of the HTC One can be purchased here.

  • Vanshaj Bhaskar

    Can i get updates after unlocking AT&T htc one ???

  • Vanshaj Bhaskar

    Can i get update after unlocking AT&T HTC one ??

  • virg1505

    This article largely influenced my decision to get this phone. I’m on AT&T in the southwest; I got the phone, activated it and immediately noticed that it has very poor signal quality, not only LTE, but in general. Compared to the AT&T branded one – which get’s great signal in my area. Visits to AT&T, calls to AT&T and htc have not resolved the issue. Very bummed.

  • Veridor

    Looks like they’ve raised the price on the unlocked version to $599: http://www0-shopamerica.htc.com/cell-phones/productdetail.htm?prId=41589

  • n900mixalot

    How can you just omit the LG Optimus G Pro? I’d definitely consider one of those before ever touching an HTC phone again. And how does the HTC One STILL come with 4.1? Warning sign number one. And the firmware update being unevenly released? Warning sign number two.

    Watch out.

  • ArmandoSanchez8233

    Hold on a second, where did you purchase an HTC one for only $575?

  • Too bad both the unlocked and the dev edition are backordered until May 31.

    HTC will gladly take your web order and not bother to tell you this until you call.

  • James D

    I couldn’t agree with your opinions above more. I have the Developer Edition and finally own a smartphone that I deem as the best convergence of technology and style that is on the market at this time.

  • JT

    Just had to send the unlocked HTC one back to HTC. THe unlocked version will not connect to T-mobiles LTE 4g network

  • Kirk Winterrowd

    I agree. I have a Nexus 4 but ordered the unhlocked HTC One early this morning after staying up late and reading as many reviews as I could as well as watching videos. Mine is on backorder unfortunately, but I was told that they are getting more in stock today so I am hoping for an update with a change in status to shipping. I did check out the S4 today, and as you said, it is a great phone but it just didn’t “wow” me either. I think this HTC will do the trick for awhile.

  • Robert MacDonald

    Okay I called AT&T corp stores and im being told u cant have a month to month at&t account prepaid and use any phone thats a hspa+ or lte device. So were are you able to do this at?

  • Spoken Word™

    Kellex, dude…. You don’t know how HTC got an unlocked One on AT&T LTE? Simple, they make a version of the One for AT&T! LTE is almost as locked down as CDMA and thus you won’t be seeing unlocked LTE phones on any carrier unless that carrier also offers that phone. This was all covered at length when LTE started rolling out and there was hope that Verizon and AT&T would offer interoperability. There’s still hope when Verizon switches to VoLTE.

  • Kate

    So is there absolutely no way to get the one on Verizon? I’ve heard of a couple ways but don’t know enough to know of they are possible.

  • Martin Jofre

    Where can I get the phone for $575? Expansys and Amazon have much more expensive prices.
    ThanksAmazon: $814.99 Expansys USA: $739.99

  • zUFC

    What I would love to know (which no one is talking about) is the radio on the Samdung. I know it not out on VZ yet but they still should be able to tell. My old S3 was unusable. The reception was the worse of all my phones! I had to get the DNA just to eliminate the million dead spots I had with the S3. They always had and seem to always will have bad radios. I can’t even think of the S4 unless those days are over. But haven’t heard a word about it. anybody else?

  • Nice

  • Tim242

    Hahaha @all of the downvotes everybody is getting for not drooling over the one. That shows true butt hurt fanboys. Hahaha

    • n900mixalot

      Because HTC are total crap. Peter Chou is a complete and utter moron. It’s like the HTC One is a young child with so much potential but his parents are smoking crack all day instead of being productive and responsible parents.

  • dylan84

    I love my One X, but I think i will be buying a One very soon.

  • riclex

    What about the battery life? Last I heard, it was really bad and thats probably the only thing keeping me from buying this device

    • That’s why I’m so in love with my Galaxy Note II. Battery lasts me forever.

  • Not going to downgrade to a phone that is not up to date out of the box and has that trusty HTC track record of never updating their phones. I will never buy anything but a Nexus from here on out!

  • Bionic

    X phone

  • Azaraith

    I joined the One club w/ the 64GB dev. edition. Went with the dev. edition primarily for the 64GB + unlocked, but bootloader is good too – I know the regular phone can be unlocked too, but it’s actually exactly the same price and the dev. edition comes without any AT&T logos and gets updates straight from HTC. Plus it’s 64GB and I can use it with T-Mo as well, with a few caveats re: LTE.

  • Nitin Varughese

    At&t prepaid plans don’t have access to LTE right?

    • Jack

      they have if you get plan with 4g

  • Elliot S

    Lets say I wanted unlimited web, calling and messeging. How much would this cost? could I put a T-Mobile no contract sim card in there and use there 50 a month unlimited everything plan?

    • Jack

      you can use it on tmobile no contract plan and the unlimited everything plan $60 +10 tax so it would be about $70 a month

  • The main reason you give for getting an unlocked phone is that you don’t want a contract. However, you are choosing AT&T, which does not give a lower monthly fee for bringing your own phone. I would argue that by buying unlocked, one could choose to use TMobile, saving a lot of monthly fees. The only thing that I dont understand is why the HTC unlocked won’t run on TMO LTE. That is a deal killer for me. I’d rather get a AT&T phone and enjoy savings of $375 upfront (less their outrageous $36 activation fee) 🙁

    • I hadn’t heard that it won’t work on TMO’s LTE. That would be very important to me. Source?

  • Jack

    htc one is the best phone on the planet right now you made the right decision like i did. i went to the store and check both of them out and the Samsung s4 was laggy and not responsive as it should be and not as fast and touchwiz is getting old and all the new features useless the design of the s4 is worse than the s3 more cheap looking with the patterns. at the end of checking both out i choose the htc because htc one is 0% laggy its very smooth and very fast sense 5.0 is fresh air. htc one has all useful features, and it shows htc worked hard i see big change in htc this year they didn’t just make a phone or
    upgraded a phone they worked hard. they build it from the ground up this
    time. i can tell you they fixed every know issuse with htc phones in
    the past they fixed all the issuse thats what impressed me the most. htc is doing there own thing and working hard unlike lazy brands who only keep upgrading there phones with no changes.

    • btod

      Thanks for the pretty thorough observation. Helped seal the deal for me. I’m glad htc fixed the issues that plagued them in the past.

  • Dee

    Will this work on Boost Mobile?

  • Zach Armstrong

    Now if only it was a LTE Nexus I would be all over it

  • Justin Winker

    I’m interested in getting the Unlocked version, but does anyone know if you can connect to AT&T’s LTE through StraightTalk? I haven’t found any info on it yet.

    • Tech Pro

      No. Straight Talk ATT SIM only has HSPA+ 4G.

  • Nazzi_Muhammad

    Nexus 4 is the one for me. Ha! Is the One really $250 better than the Nexus 4? No.

  • If you dont have frodo fingers NOTE 2>> htc ONE

    • n900mixalot

      There is NO comparison. Someone above said they were trading their Note 2 for the HTC One. Lunacy. Unless the Note 2 is too much phone.

  • I have to know though if Kellex hadn’t had finger time on the S2 or S3 (my current phone is the GNex never got to play around with the S2 or S3) would the opinion be different? I know DL authors get to play with almost every phone that comes out but most people don’t get this opportunity so most readers go based on reviews and opinions from different blogs and forums.

  • Alix8821

    Never considered going the unlocked route before. What are the monthly fees for service without having a contract?? Obv this will vary for what services I want, but in general…

    Love my VZW 4GLTE, but after graduation I will start to need to plan things and pay for things on my own. So JW if that’ll be a better way to go…

  • Good stuff Kellen, sounds like you made the right choice! The One looks awesome, but I’m very happy with the Note2 and my unlimited VZW LTE!!

    • not to mention, incredibly long batter life; 18 hours of heavy use, easy.

      • SA_NYC

        That much, huh? That’s nice. I’m still hanging onto my G-Nex, still a workable phone and I like it, but damn that battery life sucks. (And I keep it on 3G to help.)

        • I came from the GNex to the Note2, and I wish I had upgraded sooner… I had no idea how slow and buggy the GNex was.. and the battery… most days, when I get home from a 9 hour work day I still have 60% battery!

          • SA_NYC

            That is very good…tempting I have to say. I tried out the Note2 but that physical home button kind of turned me off, now that I’ve gotten used to the GNex. But I guess it works for you. And for whatever reason, my GNex seems to be getting laggy in its old age; maybe I’ve just got too many apps on it or something (still lots of storage free so that’s not the issue). But that kind of battery life you’re talking about, that’s really tasty. I may have to see about picking up a used Note2. Thanks.

          • REAL 6

            Use lagfix.

      • Jack

        the htc one last a day and half with heavy use

  • I hate Sense! It’s been a year and a half since I left Sense and I still am dealing with it’s side effects. Namely, All of my google contacts have garbage code links in the memo fields from Sense. I lost a bunch of numbers because no matter how hard I tried, I could not get Sense to save newly entered contacts in my phone to google. I could go on AND ON about how bad of an experience I had with sense. I will stop. Good luck mate.

    • Jack

      sense 5.0 is a fresh air 0% laggy its super fast and smooth go to the store and test it for yourself

    • Tech Pro

      Sense can save contacts to Google Account. I never store contact on the phone. I never use HTC sync. I suppose you should be able to sync phone contact to PC with HTC sync.

  • David Cohen

    So does that mean you are not holding out for a Verizon version? Should I give in and just buy an S4?

  • So does this work on Verizon then?

    • SA_NYC

      In case you weren’t joking, then no, it does not.

      • Damn. I saw LTE and got excited

        • Chad Devoley

          it does work on Verizon Im using it right now

          • RugbyCubSF

            Full LTE service ? My unlocked ONE should arrive tomorrow.. Last Android phone was the EVO 3G>iPhone 4S. Leaving the Apple fray for Android again. I just want the ONE on Verizon.

          • Chad Devoley

            full LTE I was told by a verizon rep it would have a harder time connecting to LTE in less covered areas, but I havent had any issues so far.

  • paul_cus

    I’ll be getting the other phone that is unlocked and connects to LTE in the states, the Sony Xperia ZL. It’s a little more expensive than the One, but I like the design better. You remember that phone, right Kellen?

  • Rodeojones000

    “These are the only two phones a power user should consider…”

    I realize this is an opinion piece, and we’re all entitled to our own, but I completely disagree with this statement. Having read numerous reviews for both and having played around with an unlocked One my co-worker purchased, I’m not only content, but quite pleased with keeping my Galaxy Nexus until a phone truly worth upgrading to is finally released. Even if it means waiting until next fall or holiday season, so be it.

    But hey, to each his own I guess.

    • TylerChappell

      Except the Galaxy Nexus is now so vastly inferior, being a phone that come out in 2011, and not only that, the camera is absolutely terrible, there is really no reason at all any power user would get a Galaxy Nexus other than wanting an LTE Nexus on Verizon’s network, otherwise they’d choose the Nexus 4 for only $349 every time. The Galaxy Nexus’s days are over even though it will likely get bumped to 4.3 and perhaps one version after that.

      • Rodeojones000

        Vastly inferior is a matter of opinion. The fact that it doesn’t have a physical hole button automatically makes it better. And honestly, I don’t care about the camera. I’ve owned mine since launch day and I’m not sure I’ve taken 10 pictures with it. I don’t get all the hoopla over cell phone camera specs. If I want to take a good picture I’ll use a real camera.

        You are correct about the Nexus 4 however. I should have prefaced my original comment by saying I’m a VZW customer and due to horrible coverage from any other carrier where I live I have no choice but to remain with them for the foreseeable future.

        • A good smartphone camera is a convenience. At least that how I see it. I know that if I want a REAL GOOD photo I’ll use my DSLR. But I don’t always carry that 7lb camera. The best camera is the one you have on you at that specific time. And these days, that camera will be in a smartphone. There’s a reason we get worked up over cameras in phones. We use them a lot and there’s no reason for them the photos to look like crap.

          And no I’m not an Instagram user and no I don’t take pictures of my food to post up on FB.

          • Rodeojones000

            As I ended my original comment, to each his own. But I see your point regarding convenience. I just don’t care at all about the camera quality on my phone as I’ll almost never use it.

          • Patato Hsieh

            I can understand. Sometimes I miss my old feature phone actually, it just works with out much care, no need for a case, and is reliable no matter how I torture it. and It’s certainly inferior to all the phones we see nowadays!

  • Steven Strain

    Everyone is arguing about the camera, but the HTC cost less the Samsung which is gimped at only 16GB. That said I still prefer the Samsung, but if I have to wait a couple more months to get the 32GB, I may as well go with the HTC and wait for the Note 3.

    • Jack

      no the camera is great and the best camera at night on a phone at the moment go the store and try it.

  • shooter50

    I have to agree. I was all set to jump on the S4 as I’m a fan of Samsung phones. However, once you try the HTC One there is no looking back. Bought it, love it, end of story.

  • The Dude

    If you are switching phones every 6mo or less, does your job pay for them (device or contract fees)? Sounds pretty expensive.

    • flosserelli

      It’s really not that expensive if you sell your old phone while you can still get good money for it. I essentially pay $300-350 for a new phone every 8-10 months. Which amounts to $30-40 per month, or $7-10 per week, if you want to look at it that way. Some people spend money on cigarettes, some people spend money on Starbucks. I spend money on phones 🙂

      • Bryce Mrozinski

        I switch phones about every 9 months. (ATT 18 month upgrade cycle) So Im paying full price for a phone, sell in 9 months and get a phone on contract. Works really well and never have to pay for a phone. Pays for itself.

  • roberthenderson

    Finally got a chance to do hands on with both phones and I’m seriously torn, but only because of the HTC speakers. The build is only important to ‘tards who don’t put their phones in cases. I love the new software of the S4(I would definitely use some of it but not all of it). The big reason I couldn’t get the One is the screen. Looking at the two phones side by side, the screen on the HTC looks more like 2/3″ smaller than the 1/3″difference it is supposed to be. The bezel also looks much larger. The phones are almost identically sized, but the GS4 screen is much bigger. That said, if HTC came up with a 5″screen in the same body size, an sd card and a removable battery (or at least a much bigger one) I would be sold. It looks like I will be waiting on the Galaxy Note 3.

    • gregmr

      As a “tard” who doesn’t use a case, I still wouldn’t mind having a phone with good design, vastly superior speakers, impressive (versus no) low-light camera performance, and a higher pixel density with more accurate color reproduction.

    • PhoenixPath

      “‘tards who don’t put their phones in cases.”

      That little bit alone gets you a big F U.

      3 years, 4 devices. Naked fo’ life. It’s the only way to go. Fugly up your device all you want. It ain’t our fault you can’t maintain a decent grip on your device.

    • Jack

      4.7 is a prefect size for one hand and the htc one screen has better viewing angles and colors are more natural and you see it the htc one screen very well in the sun

    • Tech Pro

      As a mature adult, I never has need to have case since my second smart phone. I enjoy seeing people putting beautiful phone into a ugly case.

  • seryozha

    Will the lte work on an att straight talk sim?

  • Futbolrunner

    Thanks for the write-up Kellen. I’m waiting to see what Google/Moto has coming before I upgrade from my Note 2. So far I’m liking the One.

  • Are you using the $65/mo prepaid plan?

  • JMonkeYJ

    i’m in a very similar situation to Kellen. i love my Nexus 4 (best phone i’ve owned yet), but the HTC One is pretty incredible, and the number of off-contract options they are offering is very appealing. i’m going to wait for Google I/O to see if there is a Moto announcement. by then hopefully there will be CM for HTC One, so i can completely ditch Sense. if that’s the case, i will probably get one.

    • htowngtr

      Prepare to wait a while.

      • JMonkeYJ

        I/O is in a few short weeks! either way i’ll have made a decision after that 🙂

    • Bryce Mrozinski

      There’s already an early alpha CM build put together. It’s nearly a DD. I’d say another few days.

      • scott62185

        Oh really? cool! But don’t you have to have the developer edition to flash it (S-off)?

        • Bryce Mrozinski

          No, the one is special where unlocking via htcdev gives full access to to pretty much everything needed to flash a ROM.

  • flosserelli

    Even though I can’t imagine trading my Note 2 for the One, I wish Verizon offered it. I’d like to have the option of buying it, but I am not dropping carriers to chase a phone. I have no personal love for Verizon, but I have 5 unlimited lines plus a nice discount, for a price that I wouldn’t get on any other carrier. Except perhaps Sprint, but their lousy network prevents that from being a real option.

  • KleenDroid

    I’ll buy your nexus 4!

  • htowngtr

    I love my developer One… It’s fantastic. The RUU availability for completely refreshing the phone is a nice touch too. I can’t wait till they get S-OFF and the “tampered” logo goes away.

  • troy studnicka

    No thanks, I’ll keep my unlimited data and 4G LTE on the best network, VERIZON, and removable battery and removable storage and superior screen. It’s the price you pay to have the best phone on the best network. HTC, you are tards for lot including a removable battery and storage on your phones. Because of it, you won’t sell nowhere near as many phones as the S4.

    • flosserelli

      Spoken like a true Samsung fanboy.

      • Colin Wolfson

        If they don’t provide an option for VZW users then this guy will be correct. You won’t out sell the GS3&4 by eliminating VZW customers.

    • htowngtr

      Apple was a bunch of tards too, right? Removable battery is overrated. I had the S3 for a while and never swapped any batteries.

    • Jack

      htc one battery last a day and half with heavy use so no thanks i don’t need to change battery

  • John Burke

    My carrier sends me:
    -1 to keep for a year
    -1 every 4 months to keep for that period
    They also sent me a few to keep permanently but those are rare.

    • PhoenixPath

      What the hell, dude? How’d you score that deal??

      Any time you want to start adopting, just let me know!

      • John Burke

        By being a pretty frequent contributor on the carrier’s official Forums to help out their customers with common questions avoiding the need to call Customer Support.

        But yeah it’s definitely a pretty sweet deal.

  • Will

    This is just an amazing phone…I don’t know other phone that much… my this phone it’s just incredible, plus, camera, video, instant news… The BIGGEST thing is AUDIO…it’s like the speakers are just next to ur ears when gaming but won’t kill battery life at all…

  • jnt

    The T-Mobile version is unlockable via htcdev.com – makes it a very attractive device from a development standpoint!

    • jamie stevens

      you cant unlock unless you are paid in full and then tmo will unlock for you or buy out right and they will sell unlocked you dont need to seek elsewhere

      • jnt

        I apologize, I meant the bootloader is unlockable via htcdev.com… making it attractive for developers.

      • LionStone


  • T4rd

    What good is LTE when you’re limited to just a few GBs that you can potentially kill in a matter of minutes? Unless you were having coverage issues with T-Mobile, I would have stuck with them.

    • n900mixalot

      Why does nobody ever bring that up?

  • Will

    I got my new HTC one… it was so worthy to replace my previous iphone 4S. Better design, so fast response, good battery life….I LOVE it so much (better than I expected) ^^

    • cb2000a

      Any problems with connectivity?

  • jamie stevens

    still waiting for HTC to sell the unlocked black version! where is it HTC????

    • LionStone

      Now you’re talking!

  • Bigwavedave25

    $575? Where exactly are you finding this gem for that price?? I haven’t seen anything for less than $800

  • andrew galvin

    Bravo! I couldn’t agree with you more. A few comments. Although AT&T has a full price option listed, In my experience none of the ATT stores would sell the phone to me unless you sign a contract. Maybe after stock catches up with demand they will start to sell it. I had to go to best buy to get mine. Also, I have the ATT variant and was able to unlock my bootloader using HTCDev and flash the the international version’s updates and ROMs with out issue. The international unlocked and ATT version are actually identical phones from a hardware perspective, the only difference is the branding on the back and bloatware. I have been a long time Nova user and the Sense 5.0 UI of messaging, settings, notification shade etc are all well designed and tolerable for a skin. The only feature I wish they would add is the ability to change the quick launch icons on the lock screen (i want chrome and not the stock browser). I think once 4.2.2 comes out this will be non issue.

  • Nope

    “My phones need to run stock for the sake of news coverage on Droid Life”

    Sorry, can you clarify? I’d assume you’d tweak your phone a lot, at least your daily phone, especially since you have a phone drawer and get new devices for a few weeks to test.

  • Davros

    Hey Kellex, while I find the One not having an external sd card a minor inconvenience the lack of a removable battery will keep me from getting this phone. I use my phone for just about everything but the phone capabilities. With the GS3 I picked up 3 extra batteries for $12 so I can go for about 4 days with out needing to actually plug in. As (I assume) you are a power user, how do you plan to tackle the battery issue?

    • Dylan Patel

      I am also a poweruser, but the thing is I am near a plug/USB 99% of the time. Offiice, home, car I am near a plug. I have a 6000mAH and 1000mAH external battery in my car if I ever need to use it when I am not near these places.

  • Mark Mann

    The unlocked version does not support the 1700 band so HSPA+ and LTE will not work on the T-Mobile network

    • Guest

      it wont work on T-Mobile’s AWS HSPA however it WILL work on T-Mobile’s LTE network, it’s already been proven by other journalists. It contains the bands so if it doesn’t work on it, then htc has locked them out on purpose.

      • Mark Mann

        i was just quoting from htc’s website

  • jeff laird

    How much a month is your non plan ?

  • The unlocked version does not support the 1700 band so HSPA+ and LTE will not work on the T-Mobile network, per the order page

    • cb2000a

      Huge mistake for HTC. T-mobile has great pre-paid plans. But I did read that T-Mo is going to have some areas that support 1900 as well.

  • ramifications

    Totally agree with you Kellen. I just wish I had that option on Verizon. And since I’m on a family plan, it’s still much cheaper for me on Verizon than going to AT&T, so I’m stuck with them unfortunately.

  • Do you use BT streaming audio? How’s the sound quality if so? Historically, HTC phones sound like complete and utter garbage and require CyanogenMod to get some decent quality back.

    • irtechneo

      But it has the Dre Beats……/s

    • Derek Duncan

      sounds phenomenal. Much better than the N4 actually.

  • Fabyloso

    I have great interest in this idea, and phone. I’m still on contract with VZW with about 4 months to go; what do you think the charge would be to cancel the contract?

    • Tim242

      It’s $150. Your ETF is $350-$10/mo that you have completed on your contract.

      • Fabyloso

        Thanks. I should look into AT&T paying this fee. What are my chances they do? ha!

        • Tim242

          Zero chance : (

    • Dan

      a $350 ETF with $10 deducted a month, 20 months in $200 off, so by my calcs you would have to pay $150 to cancel VZW may calculate different.

      Unfortunately I’m in the same boat, stuck on Verizon for service so can’t get unlocked phones.

  • Ethan Besbris

    I can’t for the life of me find where AT&T’s prepaid plans are. Are they reasonable compared to TMO? Right now I’m paying $70/unlim a month.

    • I’m actually not on a prepaid plan. I walked into an AT&T store a year or two ago with an unlocked phone and said I want month-to-month service. They gave me the 450 minute Nation plan with 3GB of data. I typically pay about $70 per month. Since these are rollover minutes too, I have like 3000 minutes since I never make calls.

      I can’t tell if carriers typically allow you to do this or not, but I never did sign a contract. Well, technically I signed a month-to-month contract that I can cancel at the end of a month if I want. From day one, they kept asking me to upgrade to lock into a contract.

      • dannyWHITE

        Any carrier will allow you to go on a “month-to-month contract” as long as you provide your own device.Same goes if you added a line to a family plan. When you want a phone at a subsidized price is when they put you on a 2yr contract.

      • Ethan Besbris

        Holy crap, Kellen replied to one of my comments.

        • Trevor

          Haha awesome post.

  • dannyWHITE

    I’m also very interested in the One and I too currently use a Nexus 4 on AT&T. However I just can’t look over HTC’s Sense 5.0 and those misplaced Home and Back buttons.Everything else about the phone seems GREAT! Also, I think waiting to see what KLP has to offer is what’s holding me back from getting away from my N4.

    • Jack

      sense 5.0 is a fresh air 0% laggy its super fast and smooth go to the store and test it for yourself. you can make the htc logo a botton with karnel

  • Nexus_FrEak

    Wow… Wasn’t expecting that… I guess I just cant do Sense. I know it’s a tired excuse but I guess you cant knock it till you tried it!

    • Greg Morgan

      I wasn’t a fan either. I tried Sense 5 on my DNA, it’s actually a lot better then what Sense used to be.

      • Jack

        htc one sense 5.0 is a fresh air 0% laggy its super fast and smooth

      • cb2000a

        Could you just root it and put Nova launcher on it?

    • erikiksaz

      Sense is much more slimmed down than devices past. It’s a lightweight skin that’s actually a sidestep from stock holo, unlike the ugly pastel downgrade that is Touchwiz.

    • Turb0wned

      Sense 5 is the best Android Skin period.

    • Jack

      sense 5.0 is a fresh air 0% laggy its super fast and smooth go to the store and test it for yourself

  • AndrewScottRox

    So I’m curious…what do you do with your old phones? Do you have a drawer full of them like the rest of us?

    • Yep, I most certainly have the phone drawer. I’d love to sell them or give them away, but I keep them around in case they get updates. Problem is, by the time they have received final major updates, they are too old to sell or even give away to friends and family.

      • AndrewScottRox

        That has to be one of the most high tech boneyards ever.

      • Josh Flowers

        AirDroid–set ’em up around the house for surveillance via remote camera control!
        or, ya know, donate them to Battered Womens Shelters and the lot.

        • That’s a neat idea actually heh.

        • irtechneo

          Wow that really is a good idea! Now to see how many phones I have laying around here.

    • JoshGroff

      I sell mine whenever I buy a new toy and keep 1-2 around for backup. (Usually a G-Nex and my Xperia play that isn’t really worth selling.)

  • SterlingPhoenix

    Where does one get the unlocked version of this guy? The ones I saw on Amazon were way higher than $575. Then again I haven’t looked in a few weeks…

    I need to replace my Galaxy Nexus, and I really, REALLY like the HTC One. I just really, REALLY like, well, not having SenseUI. So I’m hoping for CyanogenMod (or heck, some other custom ROM) soon.

    • Added link to bottom of post, but here it is directly – http://www0-shopamerica.htc.com/brands/HTC-mobile/homebrands/index.htm

      • SterlingPhoenix

        Ah, directly from HTC… where it’s out of stock (:

        Luckily I’m not in a hurry. I’m going on vacation next month and should proooobalby not take a shiny new cellphone. I also want to wait and see what happens at Google I/O…

        • New shipment expected today, so they should ship right away I would guess.

      • SterlingPhoenix

        Oh wait, looks like the unlocked version won’t do HPSA+ on T-Mobile… that’s sad.

        • Its the same price at T mobile. $580

          • SterlingPhoenix

            Yeah, but then I assume it’s locked to t-mobie?

          • Not if you buy it out right.

          • SterlingPhoenix

            I’d assume you can get them to unlock it for you… I’ll have to investigate this. Like I said in another comment, luckily I’m not in a HUGE rush (:

  • Shane Redman

    So, the tweaks to standard Android functions don’t bother you? or are you just going to throw a launcher over Sense?

    • I’ll throw on a launcher and some other apps to help out Sense’s deficiencies.

      • Aaron

        So Nova Launcher for stock fee and icon packs?

      • pd240

        Gonna be tough to go without dashclock until HTC can get an update out.

  • Christopher Chin

    HTC One won’t run on TMo’s LTE band? I was hoping to grab this then jump to big magenta from big red. 🙁

    • If you buy the T Mo version it does.

      • Christopher Chin

        I would buy the TMo version, if they can hack it to “nexus-like” upgradability and lose the whole HTC sense UI. I love me some vanilla android on my Galaxy nexus CM10.1

        • Bigwavedave25

          I’d bite on that…

        • Bryce Mrozinski

          Early Alpha CM build already together. Almost a DD. Works on all GSM HTC1’s.

    • SterlingPhoenix

      From the specs, not only will it not do LTE on T-Mobile, it won’t even do HPSA+.

    • It works on T-Mobile LTE and HSPA+ 1900MHz.

    • htowngtr

      Who said that? It has the freq band.

  • If only it had a .3 in bigger screen.

    • Bunklung

      The screen is not my issue. The issue for me is the bezel on this phone.

  • sangro azul

    Where did u buy the phone outright for the price in the article? How much r u paying per month? Is that with unlimited data???

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    “You’ll notice that unlocked phones in the UK seem to be updated regularly, while all carrier versions are months behind.”

    Exactly the problem. This issue of “late updates” on Android has been worsened by these US carriers, while the rest of the world gets them quicker as usually no carriers are involved in many countries.

  • imns

    Now if only it worked with VZW…

  • sc4fpse

    *I wouldn’t be surprised if HTCDev IS capable of unlocking this phone anyway.

  • adam

    Wish I had the option to choose the One on VZW

    • PhillipCun

      This…. I am so disappointed :[ I’m sticking to my Gnex until Verizon carries the One (doubtful), X-Phone, or a LTE Nexus. If nothing comes out I guess I can live with the Note 2 or 3

      • Dylan Patel

        The X-Phone isn’t even real and a LTE Nexus is impossible because google wants the updates and Verizon will only let companies that are big enough handle the updates (Read Apple)

        • j

          Not quite right. Google cannot push updates to the Verizon Galaxy Nexus because they are not licensed to freely distribute the CDMA radio IP. So, they couldn’t even if Verizon would “allow it.”

          X-phone = first high end Moto device after the old pipeline (pre Google acquisition) was cleared. Unless Motorola never releases a new high end device, the x-phone is real by default.

          • chad

            the unlocked version does work with verizon, im using One 😉 myself

          • How … all the threads on XDA says it doesnt.

          • gregmr

            Troll. The radios aren’t even compatible network technologies

          • Spoken Word™

            Verizon uses CDMA for everything except data. So there’s no way you’re using a One on Verizon because you wouldn’t be able to connect and authenticate on their network. Provide proof or forever be labeled a dirty stinking troll liar!

        • ReturnOfTheMack

          An unlocked LTE nexus can run on Verizon once they no longer require devices to have CDMA built in and go LTE-only with.

        • RaviShah

          verizon approves apple updates too. apple just submits them a long time before they actually announce them so that it seems like they were released immediately.

    • rals

      Even if it did, all build quality and boom sound, ultra pixels won’t save you from proper updates. Look at the Thunderbolt and Rezound.

    • Chad Devoley

      the unlocked version works on VZW

      • WickedToby741

        How so? I thought CDMA was still needed for network authentication. And don’t you still need CDMA for voice or do they have VoLTE enabled already? Please verify, you have my interest peaked.

        • trixnkix637


        • michael arazan

          Verizon’s cdma code is the proprietary code of verizon, they do not let anyone see it or know it. No Manufacturer is allowed access to it. That is why VZW has full controls over the update process to every phone on their network that has cdma technology.

          I think it’s BS though. Verizon leases the spectrum from the FCC on our behalf, because the People of the United States own the airwaves, not corporations. If they are going to use these airwaves and charge us to use their network then there needs to be more regulations. Companies should not have this much self appointed control.Not to mention what I do with My phone or whether or not I choose to unlock it or not, or what apps I want to put on my phone from anywhere I want.

      • Chad, explain yourself. My interest is peaked as well.

    • WickedToby741

      I’m patiently waiting for the day Verizon starts offering LTE only phones. Theoretically, after that point you should be able to use unlocked LTE phones on Verizon. Right now you can’t do it because I think the CDMA network is still used for authentication purposes and even if you could VoLTE isn’t enabled to my knowledge. Until they change those two things (fingers crossed it’s in time for the next Nexus but not holding my breath), there simply isn’t an option available.

      • cb2000a

        I am so glad I left Verizon two years ago. They seem to lag on phones and CDMA is a killer for international or unlocked phones. Very happy with ATT LTE,

    • Jack

      its from Verizon they wnat to sale the DNA first and then get the htc one so i guess you all have to wait a month or two

  • Tim242

    I hope you have another device with you to take pictures. 4MP will not cut it.

    • malcmilli

      not for instagram and facebook?

      • Tim242

        I don’t use either. I would think a blogger would need more than that

        • PhillipCun

          A blogger would use a real camera to blog… say a DSLR?

        • htowngtr

          Blogger’s use real cameras, I hope. Hell, even a micro 4/3 camera.

    • Tyler Casilio

      but but but the Ultrapixel

      • Tim242

        Haha and people say the S4 is gimmicky.

        • Mark Mann

          the s4 isn’t gimmicky at all, with the smart scrolling and smartpause(or whatever they call it) /s

          • Tim242

            Those are gimmicky. However, hover, split screen, the great camera, and plethora of camera features are not gimmicky at all. Not to mention they fit a 13 MP camera, 2600 mAh battery, and a 5″ display in a smaller, thinner, and lighter device than the ONE.

          • gimmicky? lets talk “life companion” then…

          • Mark Mann

            hover isn’t a gimmick?

          • Tim242

            Not if you use your phone to browse the web. A lot of sites have menus that you access by hovering your mouse on the computer. On a phone, it doesn’t work correctly. Hover fixes that. See the attached pic for an example.

          • Mark Mann

            ah…ok, i misunderstood what “hover” was

        • andrew galvin

          ultra pixel is merely a name they gave to the camera technology with larger pixels. It isn’t so much a gimmick as it is a drastically different approach to what a cell phone’s camera should be like. Compare that to the hover features and camera modes of the s4. Those are like face unlock, you show your friends when you first get the phone then stop using them entirely. Low light performance is a tangible benefit of the One’s camera.

          • gregmr

            Thank you Andrew! Finally someone gets it!

          • Tim242

            Ultra pixel is a marketing term the same as retina display. Having bigger pixels only let’s in more light. It doesn’t help when you already have enough light. Only having 4 of them means much less detail. I have a Note 2. The hover feature isn’t just making pictures pop out, it expands menus on a webpage, just the same as a mouse on a computer. That comes in very handy. Not having to pull out an SPen would be even better. That is one thing that makes me want switch from the Note 2. The camera modes aren’t like filters for instagram, they are settings that help the quality depending on the situation. Every reviewer has praised both. Are some of the features gimmicky? Of course. But, you get that on any phone.

          • andrew galvin

            alright, we get it. you like samsung products, A LOT. Retina is just a name, but the iphone 5 screen is one of the best in the business. Call it the “epic” or “amazing” screen for all i care, the end result matters not the marketing. The one’s camera produces smaller pictures, sure but they are better in low light than the s4. Some times the s4 yeilds better pics, some times the One does. Get over it. Notice how all of your posts are downvoted? You may want to relax and stop being a samsung evangelist when all you have to say is biased fan boy nonsense.

          • Tim242

            Notice how anybody that says anything positive about the S4, or negative about the One, the HTC fanboys down vote. I get tons of up votes on a daily basis. But, I couldn’t care less about votes. I sell both phones. I know the strengths and weaknesses of both. I also know that HTC phones get brought in daily for warranty repairs. We’ve already had 3 people come in with the bottom speaker detached…the glue came loose. Also, people have returned them for poor picture quality. This hurts not my butt, but does hurt my return rate.

        • htowngtr

          Multiple posts and all of them scream asshurt. Might want to logoff and take a nap.

          • Tim242

            You think I’m butt hurt? The HTC fanboys are the ones down voting any positive thing said about the S4, and any negative fact about the One. Not that I care about votes, but it shows who the butt hurt bunch is. You know the One will barely sell and HTC will go under. You know that the S4 will outsell it 1000 to One, no pun intended. HTC has released several fragile metal phones, and they all were crap. I have owned several HTC phones, and sell phones in a warranty repair store. I know all about their crap phones. Don’t even get me started on their updates.

          • htowngtr

            Thanks for proving the point. You are most certainly hurt by this.

    • This is the ONE thing that might keep me from going with this phone…

    • I have had the One in my possession for a few days now and the camera (in my opinion) is actually just fine. This phone is teh titz.

      • Tim242

        I am glad it works for you. I need to be able to edit and crop. 4MP does not provide enough detail for that. Each to his own, so the bible says…or did I read that in the Enquirer? Oh well.

        • 4MP shots have their downsides, that’s for sure. It still bothers me, actually. For using it to snap photos of my sneakers, whiskey, and food, though, it seems to be good enough. I’ll just have to bring a regular camera or 2nd phone with me if I need something better. But I kind of do that anyway.

          • Tim242

            Are you going to use a case?

          • WAldenIV

            How much does your monthly service with AT&T cost?

            EDIT: NM, you posted below.

          • Dylan Patel

            Anyone who complains about phone cameras outside of low light (time spent with freinds inside/night) would carry a DSLR so no point in complaining.

          • Yup. I don’t even shoot with my Nikon D90 in low light because I don’t like the results. I’d much rather shoot with a speedlight when I don’t have enough ambient light.

          • Kellex, I’d like to buy your Nexus 4 off of you in the meantime. I was planning on keeping my GSM GNex until the next Nexus phone releases but am having issues with the phone heating up to the point it’s slowing down my data. Of course I could just buy one brand new outright from the Play store but to say, …”hey this one was owned by Kellex.” Would be pretty awesome =)

          • Jason Brown

            interesting to see that the review unit that had the bug didn’t turn you away from this phone. i’m guessing it was just an isolated incident/lemon and the phone you bought has had no problems. looking forward to the update to your htc one review for the camera section where you wanted to take a lot of different pictures (not talking about the pillow picture comparing the s4 and the one).

        • Edit and crop what? 4mp or 8mp in a smartphone camera sensor still results in a mushy mess from the tiny sensors. MPs won’t change that. Don’t be such a tool. The only thing you get with 8mp over 4mp is double the mush.

        • htowngtr

          You seriously use your phone for production quality pictures?

        • shooter50

          you may be the only one who crops a cell phone pic. for the rest of us, a 4MP super low light shooter is perfect

      • andrew galvin

        agreed. 4mp is an easy target if you are trying to find faults with the phone but the camera has been great for me so far. it looks worse on paper than it is in practical use.

      • Thomas

        Fo shizzzzzel ?

      • PopeFrancis

        Don’t say TITZ!!!!!!

      • XphoneTroll

        I’ve heard lots of complaints about the mic being very low and not clear when recording a video… Now that’s a No No for me.. S4 waiting patiently for you..

        • I haven’t had those problems either. Like I said, this phone is awesome lol

      • WickedToby741

        Can someone pop a Verizon LTE SIM in this bad boy and confirm or deny if you can use it on Verizon? Most places I’ve searched say no because Verizon still uses the CDMA chip for authentication and voice, but I don’t know of anyone who’s actually tried. Now someone on here is claiming it works. I just want verified proof that it will or will not work on Verizon sans CDMA.

    • That’s kind of like saying “I hope you have 18MP point and shoot because this 12MP DSLR just wont cut it.” Not saying that sometimes 4MP won’t look bad. It all depends on setting and how you use it. You still have to know how to use it.

      • Tim242

        I understand this. But 4MP will not have enough detail. Reviewers have said the same.

        • htowngtr

          Enough detail for what? You realize these aren’t DSLR’s as he mentioned, right? High MP count should help low-light, and if you’re using a phone’s camera for DSLR replacement then lol @ you.

          • Actually it’s the opposite. High megapixel count could hinder low light performance when you stuff a lot of pixels onto a tiny sensor. It degrades the image and results in more noise (grain).

        • shooter50

          the reviewers who say this dont know dick about cameras. they are regurgitating what they hear

        • Dylan Patel

          i guess 1680p is not enough. It has to be downscaled still.

      • I just love hearing the megapixel argument from the naive and ignorant. My old Nikon D40 with 6 megapixels will blow away any smartphone or P&S with 8-18 megapixels.

      • gregmr

        Time for me to throw out my dSLR because it has less megapixels than the GS4 🙁 /s

    • cortesjues

      4MP is just a number, the real tech is on the pixels not the pixel amount.

      • No matter what you do, 4MP doesn’t have enough. Even 5mp is terrible. Cough Gnex cough

        • The Gnex camera was terrible because of the stock Android camera software. Samsung cameras with Touchjizz perform much better. It’s the camera software, not the hardware. Google doesn’t know shiat about picture processing.

      • Tim242

        I hope you aren’t serious…

        • htowngtr

          He’s not talking about a Nikon D3200, you know.

        • Jack

          you are a Samsung student it shows go get your check from the Samsung agency for trolling

      • Tim242

        I’ve seen all of the reviews and comparisons. I sell them both in my store. I’ve compared for myself.

      • andrew galvin

        thank you for this. I wonder if the HTC One they tested had the latest firmware with the camera enhancements. Still fared well regardless.

        • Dylan Patel

          This was before the firmware.

    • shooter50

      if your a pixel counter then you know nothing about photography. IF you want to crop your cell phone pics, then yes, higher MP is of value. However, I don’t know anyone who does this. If you want better low light shooting, a lower pixel count in the same size sensor will almost always win out.

    • gregmr

      ENOUGH! ENOUGH with the focus on megapixels!

      Megapixels =/= Image Quality

      I would put good money my 4 year old dSLR takes better pictures than the GS4 despite having less megapixels. It’s sensor quality and glass people!!!

    • Jack

      no the camera is great and the best camera at night on a phone at the moment go the store and try it.

      • Tim242

        I don’t take pictures at night, I take them outside, during the day. I work in a store that sells them.