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printed October 31, 2014
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Review: HTC One S for T-Mobile

Form Basics Extras Video Wrap-Up Comments  1  

Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The One S has a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED with qHD resolution (960 x 540.) It's not quite as impressive as the One X's HD display, but it is still a very, very good screen. You can see individual pixels along the edges of text, images, and so on, but you have to get your eyes close and this could be in part due to the PenTile screen technology. It is plenty bright, and I had no trouble using the One S both indoors and out.

Signal

The S performed well on T-Mobile's network. I tested it in New York City and in New Jersey, and it always remained connected to the network. The S supports T-Mobile's HSPA+ network at 42Mbps. The network indicator will show "4G" any time the device has access to speeds of 14.4Mbps and up. I never saw the S drop down to 3G during my time testing the device. Network speeds varied according to coverage, but browsing the web and downloading apps were consistently quick.

Sound

The S is an iffy voice phone. Some calls were nice and clean, but others were littered with hissing, pops, and other background noise. It's possible, since I did make some calls that were crystal clear, that those with noise and interference were caused by the network and not the device. The earpiece offers a good volume level when set all the way up, and can be heard in most environments when set at about 75%. Pushing it to the max distorts the sound a bit. Calls that I sent to the speakerphone had the same snap, crackle, and pop that the earpiece had, and the volume was only so-so. You can use it at home or in a quiet office, but it'll be hard to hear in a noisy place. The vibrate alert was just fine, and the ringers were loud enough to be heard most of the time.

Battery

The S didn't have any trouble living through a 24-hour period on less than a full charge. That includes time spent syncing to Google's services for the first time, which can drain a significant portion of the battery. Under normal use (email, SMS, browsing, downloading apps, and taking pictures), the S should make it through a typical waking day with no problems.

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