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TheStreet Open House

Review: HTC One Impresses But Software Disappoints

Above and below the screens are two speaker grilles. That means that when you turn the phone sideways to watch a movie, you'll get real stereo sound, without headphones. The speakers are great, too, pumping out surprisingly deep sound.

The price you pay for a body that feels as tight and sharp as a knife fresh from the forge is that nothing goes into or out of it. You can't change the battery, and you can't expand the memory with cards. Again, this is very much in the iPhone's vein, but it's a contrast to Samsung's Galaxy phones, which have chintzy plastic backs that allow you to change batteries and plug in memory cards.

The camera does something interesting, but the results are disappointing. It's well known that boosting the megapixel count of camera sensors doesn't really do much for the image quality, but phone and camera makers can't seem to stop using megapixel count as a marketing tool, so the megapixels keep climbing. HTC has finally taken a stand against this trend, with a camera sensor that has only 4 megapixels of resolution. It's a timid stand, though, as HTC doesn't actually tell you it's a 4-megapixel sensor.

Rather, HTC calls it an "Ultrapixel" camera. The story is that the sensor pixels are twice as big as they are in most phone cameras, which means they can gather more light. More light per pixel means better pictures in indoor lighting, at least in theory. In practice, I found the images to be better than those of other Android phones in low lighting, but not as good as those from the iPhone 5, which are of higher resolution. Low-light pictures taken on the HTC One do show relatively little "noise" â¿¿ which usually looks like colored speckles â¿¿ but the images aren't particularly crisp.

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