HTC has taken its One X smartphone—already a very nice phone, and a deal at the reduced price of $100 on the AT&T Wireless network—turbocharged it and renamed it the HTC One X+.
Expect, still, a 4.7-inch display in a super-light polycarbonate shell that feels cool in the hand. But then come the changes. Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, has been upgraded to Jelly Bean, and 32GB of internal storage and a 1.5GHz quad-core processor have been swapped for 64GB of storage and a 1.7GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 AP37 processor, said to be 67 percent faster.
The battery is now 2,100mAh, up from 1,800mAh, for 50 percent more talk time, and improvements have been made to the camera and music and audio experiences.
There’s a Self Portrait mode on the front camera that applies “subtle enhancements to skin and eyes,” HTC officials said in an Oct. 2 statement, and two new views in the Gallery that can group images by where they were taken.
An HTC Watch 2.0 feature offers access to thousands of movies, and a video hub—a feature of HTC’s Sense 4 user interface—”for the first time [will let you] put all your video entertainment in a single place,” said HTC officials.
As with other HTC smartphones, Beats Audio technology is included, and on the One X+, a new Tap and Go function enables users to connect the phone to a Beats speaker when the two are tapped. Another tap separates them.
Still another feature—and one that hopefully other manufactures will copy—is a Get Started Web service that enables a user to set up his or her phone not by poking around on the screen but on the Website. Once all the settings and personalizations that a user would like are selected, these choices are transferred to the phone “with the touch of a button.”
The One X+ will arrive in Europe and parts of Asia in October, reach South Asia in November and make its way to North America eventually. HTC officials said to expect a separate announcement when it does, which means a few more things, if even the name, might be tweaked at that time.
Taiwan-based HTC has struggled in recent quarters, less from a lack of strong offerings than a wealth of muscular competitors. Feeling out-competed by Samsung and Apple, earlier this year it shifted its focus from the U.S. market to Europe and Asia.
Taking a new tack, in September it introduced a new line of phones for the U.S. market, these running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 instead of Android, suggesting HTC feels better able to compete against Nokia than Samsung.
The thin-and-light HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S will be available in November from more than 150 carriers in more than 50 countries.
HTC CEO Peter Chou, introducing the 8X and 8S at a New York City event alongside Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, called the 8X and 8S phones that can “stand up against any phone on the market.”