30 days with the enemy: HTC One X (Day 1)

Just over a week ago I wrote an article about why I would never switch to Android. Needless to say, response was a little mixed. iPhone lovers enjoyed it, Android lovers hated. The temptation as a fan of one OS over the other is to remain closed-minded, and so, in an effort to try and be open, I’m going to be using the HTC One X as my main device for the next 30 days. (It’s the GSM global version, not AT&T’s LTE one.)

I will still have my iPhone switched on, but it will be used solely for receiving calls from people who don’t have the number for my One X. Since the HTC is locked to T-mobile, it wasn’t as simple as switching over my Vodafone SIM. I will not use it to text, email, play games, listen to music, browse the web or even make calls. Receiving calls only.

1. Apps

The first challenge when switching platforms is finding all your most used apps. So, I hunted in down the Google Play store online and searched. Disappointingly, there are still a few that don’t exist yet in what used to be called the Android Market. It’s mainly the TV catchup services that weren’t there. In the UK, all of the major channels have a service that enables you to watch the shows you missed online, or using a native app. So far, I’ve only found BBC iPlayer.

That being said, I do enjoy using the online Google Play store. Being able to access your apps from your Google home page is a great experience, and if you have more than one Android device, you can pay/download apps and tell the store which phone/tablet you want to send it to. Different to iCloud, since Automatic Downloads in iOS just downloads anything and everything you buy when switched on.

2. Music

Every work day, I have my iPhone sat in a Sonoro cuboDock speaker system. It’s made for the iPhone and has a 30-pin dock connector. Fortunately it has Bluetooth and an auxiliary 3.5mm input jack too. Hooking up the One X wasn’t a big problem, I just opted for Bluetooth instead. The lack of iCloud hurt me a little here. With my iPhone I have very few albums actually stored on the device. Instead, I use iTunes Match and stream it, or use the Home Sharing feature. Needless to say, I couldn’t do either with the One X. Since HTC Sync Manager for Mac is still non-existent, I had to plug in the phone and drag and drop files in to the relevant folder on the HTC’s drive. A tedious experience for someone who’s used to the seamless nature of iTunes Match. Before anyone jumps down my throat: I don’t have access to Google Music in the UK, and I like having my own collection of music. I gave up on Spotify a long time ago, but this could force me back in.

3. Impressions – Hardware/UI

As I stated in the hardware comparison with the iPhone 4S, the HTC not only has an impressive spec sheet, it translates those in to a great experience. The display truly is first class, and the battery is much better than I expected, easily getting through a day of use.

On the user interface side, I’m really enjoying the redesigned HTC Sense. Previous versions of HTC’s custom skin very unattractive, bulky, messy and drained processing and battery power without adding any real value to the user experience. The most recent one – dare I say it – actually improves on Ice Cream Sandwich. I love the clean lines, thin typeface in the trademark clock UI, and the redesigned icons are all polished and professional. Both are traits which aren’t usually found within the typically “nerdy” Android OS.

There are other aspects I like, such as the ability to customize the home screen with widgets and app shortcuts. It certainly makes a change from the endless sea of square icons on the iPhone. I particularly like the Chrome Beta browser and GMail apps. Both are attractive, fast and laid out in a way that makes sense. Also, you don’t realize how constrictive having only one button is, until you have 3.

All in all, I’m fairly happy. The lack of iCloud support is a big issue for me, but, I’m sure I can do without it for a month. (I hope).

If you have any suggestions or questions you want me to answer during this 30 day challenge, please leave them below, or tweet me: @TiP_Cam

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  • SteveEscobedo

    I have my AT&T One X pre-ordered so this is good information to have. Thanks!

  • liszewskishanne

    i am an Android guy, but i don’t like htc’s version of Android, honesty the galaxy nexus or a Samsung UI would have been better for this testing, it would give you a more pure google Android experience,

  • SgtKoopaTroopa

    Yeah TV apps aren’t there yet due to the fact that the previous versions of android weren’t secure enough too support themes … the US just got the time Warner cable TV app for android 4.0 devices.

  • jjb

    there are several apps that allow you to sync your music with itunes even some that do it wirelessly (before the iphone could) the one that i use is called iSyncr and i like it alot. i can hard wire it or use the wireless. 
    just search for sync to iTunes and you will find several variants.  good luck I have been a samsung guy for a while but with all the battles between apple and sammy ive kinda been turned off both of them,  The HTC One x Looks AMAZING and i think i might have to switch to it in my next upgrade.. I look forward to your challenge.  jjb

  • Soni

    I’m kinda stuck between buying a HTC One X or Xperia S.Users said that HTC One X has a terrible battery life mainly because of the Big display and Quad-Core. 
    So how much do you use your Phone for Browsing and watching photos/videos? 

  • airforcerocker32

    if you like iCloud for music try google music i use it and love it

  • mazer4455

    He already mentioned it.” Before anyone jumps down my throat: I don’t have access to Google Music in the UK”

  • mikej523

     @Soni problem with the xperia s is that its already outdated as in I mean Sony will not be updating it to ICS from what ive heard it is released and always will have gingerbread or 2.3.

  • airforcerocker32

    missed that last sentence gotcha ya that sucks you can’t get to it

  • Kylem

    I might be inclined to suggest Amazon MP3 for your streaming needs. I find it very easy to use, great cloud option for streaming, storing and buying. Also you can still buy your songs from iTunes and upload them to Amazon MP3, I believe. I even prefer this to Google Music. I keep music on my SD card and Google Music has problems with giving me duplicates songs between streaming and what’s on my SD card already. Amazon MP3 handles this easily with options of Cloud and Device.

  • EVO3Davis

    @liszewskishanne your obviously not an Android guy because no android guy would claim that crappy ass Samsung touchwiz is closer to a pure android experience. HTC quality far outshines anything Samsung builds..I’ve been developing android OS since cupcake..I know android ..and he picked the most solid Android phone available.

  • davem

    Well, android a well good luck with that! I’ve tried iPhone and loved it and I’m all about iOS but when it comes to their stuff (phones) well some are neet and some a mess I had the original droid it was ok. Then iPhone4 and 4S came out and I miss iPhone! I do use the latest iPad 4G and iPods, so I’m not out of the loop totally. I can’t wait for 5 to come out to see the nest big thing from Apple. But you’ll still servive with android it will be tuff put possible!

  • RobertManser

    I’m only an Android user, WOW I SOUND LIKE A CRACKHEAD LOL, I’m happy to see you have a open mind. Oh and I’m an HTC fan and Samsung tablet.

  • RuslanFernandez

    Just like you said having more than 1 button makes more sense. I have many friends with iPhones and I always have the weird feeling of why there is no back button? Home button is good, back button is a plus. 

  • manuvmenon

    i am also an iPhone 4s user. and the only thing i miss in iphone is the drag n drop of music files. thats not tedious as u said. I am also a fan of iphone, that said,  i really dont think iphone is perfect, it is perfect for what it has. but it misses some features. and this drag n drop is really useful. not like u mentioned..

  • JavierDelgado

     @mikej523 excuse me sir…but xperia its a a totally new phone wich has even higher PPI than iphone famous retina display..  iphone 330ppi…xperia S ..340ppi     its not sony ericsson…its just SONY..i like the new interface…i wanna try it also …it has a good eco system.. looks android look more stock unlike SE xperias phones and yess it will recieve ICS very soon ……….there will be 3 phones…. to start the SONY alone thing….        xperia S….xperia P and xperia U…

  • Mattmoney1622

    I used to have an HTC EVO 4G and I broke and it and had to get it replaced so I bought an iPhone just for iCloud. I know Android fanboys will hate me for saying this but it is actually way more usefull than you think.

  • lewiy

    Well of course your music isn’t all there, you bought it all through iTunes.  You can’t expect everything to seamlessly sync across from your Apple world because Apple is so incompatible with the rest of the world.  Same reason you have to have docking stations with dedicated “iPorts”.  You would find, if you lived permanently with Android you would find you could flit between manufacturers and have whichever handset suited you best hardware-wise and still have all of your home comforts available as they were before.  Just don’t criticise Android or HTC for not having your iTunes playlist available, that’s just retarded.

  • dropfeather

     @EVO3Davis  @liszewskishanne Have you not used touchwiz 4? It’s pretty sweet man, dont be scared. Just try it, you’ll like.

  • RuslanFernandez

    Your itunes can be your music if you want it to be. I know the software you can use to convert it and back it up for safety or to use it on another kind of player.

  • EVO3Davis

    @dropfeather @EVO3Davis @liszewskishanne Yes I have used the newest version of touchwiz…hate it just like previous versions.. its clumsy, overbarring, and doesn’t add to the ICS experience…ill stick with SENSE or stock android..thanks

  • MicahMadru

    “Needless to say, response was a little mixed. iPhone lovers enjoyed it, Android lovers hated.”No you were met with quite a lot of criticism from people that have iPhones and Androids. You don’t have to like android…but that article just plan out sucked. Your number one complaint in this article is a very real complaint. Right now, the iPhone does have a lot of apps you won’t find on android (there are apps on android you won’t find on iPHone too!) there are a lot of times equivalents, but sometimes there aren’t. It’s the first thing I tell someone that wants to switch from iPhone to Android.

  • MarkCrowe5

    Why don’t you use doubleTwist?

  • Ali

    You can also use DNLA streaming. There are many free servers for PC and Mac that expose your music, videos etc to your network, there are also DNLA cloud options, it’s an international standard and quite a few Android devices come with support pre-bundled, otherwise there’s a huge array of apps. It’s this same service that allows you to stream content from your phone wirelessly to many modern TVs.
    Main thing to realise with Android is that you have a choice of services. Likewise, if you can’t find a certain app, there’s quite possibly a very similar one with a different name.

  • Ali

    Oops *DLNA* my Bad =P

  • “Lack of iCloud”, isn’t it Apple’s problem? There are Google Drive, Google Music etc. available that you can use.

  • augustofretes

    Lacking iCloud? You have unlimited video and photo uploading thanks to Google+, and you also get Google Drive. 
    Also, really, did you actually used stock ICS? Because Sense is pretty ugly compared to it, at least to my eyes.

  • EVO3Davis

    @augustofretes have u seen or used the new sense 4? its totally redesigned, toned down and less intrusive. It fills in nicely where ICS falls short. It really is gorgeous. Many sense haters have agreed, this version is top notch.

  • EVO3Davis

    @Soni Dude get the One X..I’ve held and used both..one X is far higher quality. The ppi of a screen doesn’t make a screen, you have to take resolution and the fact of pentile displays…Meh….one X screen is pure art.. NO SCREEN TO DATE IS MORE CLEAN, CRISP AND UTTERLY STUNNING THAN THAT ON THE HTC ONE SERIES. just so everyone knows :)

  • RenC

    I have a ? I use an iPhone but have used android to. My biggest problem was the touch buttons (home,search…) every time I would have my hand off the screen to play a motion game or such I would just touch those buttons and it would stop or cause you to exit the program, which was very frustrating. Do you accidentally touch those buttons and have the same problem.

  • even make calls. Receiving calls only.

  • Jacques42

    I really appreciate the initiative!
    I’ve been using android for quite a while now (currently on a Htc One X)  and in order to remain open minded, I just bought the new iPad (considerable upgrade from my Asus transformer!!)… 
    Differences between the 2 OS range from significant to hardly noticeable, and quite frankly, I enjoy both of them, a lot!… The only thing that sucks (as you mentionned in your article) is the lack of tools to help you switch seamlessly from one plateform to another (eg. importing my Chrome web browser on my iPad / accessing iCloud from android ).
    I personally couldn’t find a better solution than third party apps (dropbox) to keep my cloud up to date, which works fine, albeit the lack of integration in both plateform!
    Anyway, have fun and keep us posted!!!

  • Ali

    Forgot to add that Google’s vision is a 16:10 screen such as 1280×800, however with home buttons running along the bottom/side so that you still receive 720p 1:1 pixel mapping in landscape but the overall device side can be reduced with the loss of a physical button, this has the effect of a better effective screen height.
    This has been shown in some of the concepts of the Galaxy S III http://www.concept-phones.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Samsung_Galaxy_S_III_I9500_2.png an idea which I quite like.

  • Ali

    device size*

  • Ali

    Haha what a moron I meant this for the day 4 post, sorry!

  • Ahmed

    “In the UK, all of the major channels have a service that enables you to watch the shows you missed online, or using a native app. So far, I’ve only found BBC iPlayer.”… 1. There are apps for ITV player, and Sky Gohttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.ITVMobilePlayer&feature=nav_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDMsImFpci5JVFZNb2JpbGVQbGF5ZXIiXQhttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bskyb.skygo&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5ic2t5Yi5za3lnbyJd2. Because android supports adobe flash you can go to the websites directly from the phone browser and watch the content there, I have tried 4OD and it works fine.  You can save a bookmark on the homescreen as an alternative to an app if you want.