HTC One X, With Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Coming to ATandT May 6

HTC's One X is a 4G smartphone with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, HTC Sense 4 and Beats By Dre built in. The phone hits AT&T's network on May 6 for $199.

The HTC One X, an Android-running, 4G-equipped smartphone that the skidding, Taiwan-based company hopes will bring its business back under control, will be available May 6 for $199, AT&T announced April 18.

The One X, which is geared toward this agenda, boasts a number of firsts. It€™s the first smartphone to launch on the AT&T network running Android 4.0, known as Ice Cream Sandwich. It€™s the first AT&T smartphone with built-in Beats by Dre Audio€”said to offer distortion-free sound and €œrich bass€ whether you€™re watching a movie or streaming music. And finally, it€™s AT&T€™s first HTC phone to ship with Sense 4, the latest version of the manufacturer€™s user interface (UI).

While nearly all Android-running phone makers wrap Android in a customized UI, HTC€™s is often cited as a favorite. This new version is said to bring improved battery performance, some assistance with the sound experience and improvements to the back-facing camera€”which is 8 megapixels and can do cool things like take photos while shooting HD video, take photos from existing video and snap photos in fast succession when the shutter button is held down. Also aided by what HTC calls an ImageChip, the camera can go from locked screen to snapping photos in just seconds, and it reportedly performs equally well in low-light, no-light and back-lit conditions. Plus, it can take a burst of photos, to ensure users catch the right shot.

On the front, for video calls, there€™s also a 1.3-megapixel camera.

The One X has a polycarbonate frame that supports an Nvidia Tegra 3 1.5GHz processor and a 4.7-inch display with a 720p HD screen that€™s said to make viewing video clear from all angles, even when the phone is angled up to 80 degrees. It can act as a mobile hotspot and GPS, offers microSD card support, and has HDMI Media Link capabilities, so users can stream to an HDTV.

HTC introduced the One series€”T-Mobile will also get a version, called the One V€”at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain, in February. Keen to entice users, HTC introduced it with an offer of 25GB of free cloud storage for two years, in cooperation with partner Dropbox.

While HTC had several success stories in the early days of Android adoption, an onslaught of Android options from competitors, as well as the Apple iPhone, has left HTC struggling for market traction. On April 8, it announced a first-quarter net income of $151 million, which represented a 70 percent decline from a year earlier.

HTC executives, like Motorola executives, have said that as part of a new strategy they€™ll introduce fewer but more differentiated products going forward.

HTC CFO Winston Yung, during a February conference call, admitted HTC €œdropped the ball€ with its fourth-quarter products and that there were lessons to be learned. With the One, HTC will hopefully show off some of what it has learned.

The HTC One X will be available for preorder beginning April 22.