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HTC’s One XL: a seriously impressive 4G phone

By Leigh D. Stark | 11:56 am 18/06/2012

HTC’s top-tier One X handset has received an upgrade of sorts, with the company keeping the design, changing a few specs, and making it possible for the handset to jump onto Telstra’s 4G network in the faster HTC One XL.

Features

The latest of HTC’s “One” handset range, the XL is the second in this mob to reach Australia’s shores, bringing with it much of the technology seen in the One X, but changing the colour, CPU, graphics, and mobile connection speed.

Aesthetically, much of what HTC threw into the One X has stayed the same, with a unibody polycarbonate case, built-in 1800mAh battery, micro SIM slot at the top, and a 4.7 inch 720p HD Super IPS screen protected by Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass. The only discernable difference between the two handsets we could see was the colouring: the HTC One XL released in Australia is a dark grey, while the HTC One X released earlier this year comes in white.

Inside the handset, the phone takes a slight change, with the 1.5GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 from the One X being replaced with a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor here in the One XL. A dedicated graphics chip is also found here, with a new Adreno processor to take care of the 2D and 3D graphics you might be gaming with.

Like in the One X, you’ll find a slightly protruded 8 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash on the rear of the camera, with a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera good for 720p video chat.

Google’s latest version of Android is present in this handset, with HTC’s own flavour of Ice Cream Sandwich. This means you’ll find the latest version of HTC Sense, complete with menu divisions, the very fast camera software we saw in the previous One model, and more of those snazzy weather and clock widgets.

Connectivity is pretty solid on the One XL, with 802.22 a/b/g/n WiFi, DLNA, support for WiFi hotspot technology, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, and that new fandangled wireless technology Near-Field Communication (NFC) which could end being used as a way of paying for things in the near future.

One more wireless technology makes itself known on the HTC One XL, with the fourth-generation mobile broadband technology – also known as Long-Term Evolution or LTE – being used here.

That’s basically where the “L” comes in with the “HTC One XL” name, offering an HTC One X, but with the added bonus of LTE’s high-speed connection, currently available up to a maximum of 40Mbps in metropolitan areas.

There’s also another thing the HTC One XL has going for it, and that’s Blue Tick certification, an acknowledgement that this phone can be used in rural areas. This is a fairly important point, as few smartphones released in Australia are certified for performance outside the city.

Like what we saw in the One X, there aren’t many ports or buttons to speak of in the One XL, with only two physical buttons – a power button up top and a volume rocker on the right side – as well as three soft buttons on the bottom of the screen, supporting back, home, and menu.

There are only two open ports on the One XL, with a 3.5mm headset jack on the top and a microUSB port on the left side.

If you have a regular SIM card, it's time to get a new one, as the One XL only takes the microSIM.

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Price (RRP)

$$744; Also available on Telstra on plan;

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Insanely fast 4G downlink; Above average battery life; Excellent screen; Fantastic camera;

Product Cons

Keyboard responsiveness could be improved; No microSD expansion slot;

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Design

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