One makes three: HTC releases third “One” handset

Not long after HTC has released its top tier One X and One XL handsets, the company is talking up it’s new HTC One S, a handset that brings in a smaller screen size and a metal body to create a handset that “is the ultimate combination of powerful technology and impressive style.”

Announced earlier this year at Mobile World Congress in Spain, the HTC One S drops from the more commonly large 4.7 inch screen seen on the One X and XL to a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED running at qHD or 960×540. Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass is on guard duty here, making sure that the screen doesn’t completely shatter or break when it comes into contact with anything heavy.

The handset runs Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, and features the same dual-core Snapdragon processor last seen in the HTC One XL. Storage is set to 16GB in the One S with no room microSD slot for expansion.

For HTC, the more interesting feature for the One S is how it’s been designed and built.

Almost like an echo from HTC’s past, the One S takes some build cues from the HTC Legend, as it’s one of the first phones since that handset to feature an aluminium unibody made from the one block of metal, making it reasonably strong and light. It’s also quite slim, measuring 7.9mm thick.

Then there’s the multimedia, with HTC’s new camera software straight from the One X and XL, with an f/2.0 lens and 0.2 second autofocus helping you grab photos on the 8 megapixel camera quickly and easily. A front camera is also there for video chat, though it’s only rated for VGA quality.

All the regular staples are making an appearance, including WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and support for Beats Audio to improve the sound quality, but support for Near-Field Communication technology is missing in this handset.

What isn’t missing is an availability date, with Optus and Virgin each grabbing the HTC One S from July 2 on a variety of plans, while Telstra receives it on July 17.