HTC One X With Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Sense 4.0: a Hands-On Look

REVIEW: HTC One X, coming to AT&T May 6 for $199, runs Sense 4.0, Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich and is skinny, light, big, fast, responsive and generally a pleasure to use.

Picking up the HTC One X€”AT&T's version of HTC's new line of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices€”a first impression is that it's thinner and lighter than one expects a phone of its size to be.

The One X has a silky smooth 4.7-inch, 720p high-definition Gorilla Glass display and overall measures 5.3 by 2.75 by 0.36 inches and weighs 4.6 ounces, considerably less than, say, the substantial-feeling 5.6 ounces of the Nokia Lumia 900, also an AT&T phone though with a 4.3-inch display. Both phones are constructed of polycarbonate€”a type of plastic that arguably avoids feeling cheap and makes the light One X feel cool and maneuverable in the hand.

However, the One X is so large that said cool maneuverability, paired with the subtle curves that have been designed into it for better "hand feel," make it downright slippery in a hand whose dimensions make it unequipped to palm a basketball. To keep the comparison going, the Lumia 900, at 5.03 by 2.70 inches, feels noticeably more manageable. While I never dropped the One X€”probably because I was always using it with two hands€”there was the nagging sensation that I might at any time.

The issue of the size of the One X out of the way€” and if you can indeed palm a basketball or simply love the idea of a giant phone, it won't be an issue at all€”the HTC One X is a very nice, very attractive phone€”available in black or white, the latter emphasizes how even the display has been shaped and rounded so that it doesn't so much sit inside the phone as ease into it.

Apart from the design, the other major features that AT&T and HTC are keen to point out are the One X's camera, the embedded Beats Audio (a feature unique to the One X on the AT&T network), and the pairing of HTC's Sense 4.0 user interface with version 4.0 of Android.

The camera is 8-megapixels, but it's the experience of what HTC calls it's "Image Chip," paired with Sense 4.0, that's the camera's real selling point. The shutter snap is quick€”though a friend picking it up to take a snap insisted it was slower than his AT&T iPhone 4S. When there's a can't-miss-it moment, though, the One X lets a user hold down the shutter while it snaps like matter. Later, a single image is displayed in the photo album, with a little icon of a pile of photos. A user can flip through all the snaps that were taken, looking for her favorite, or tap "Best Shot," and let the phone pick the best from the bunch and delete all the others. Most of the time, I agreed with its choice.