HTC One XL review: HTC One XL

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Typical Price: $799.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars 2 user reviews

The Good Excellent Super LCD display. 4G network speeds. Great performance.

The Bad Non-replaceable battery and storage. Only average multimedia playback options. Battery life not suitable for business use.

The Bottom Line The One XL is just like the One X, but with 4G network speeds. It also benchmarks faster, though it is similarly held back by its battery life.

8.5 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice Jun '12

Because this model is identical to the One X, we'll keep this review brief. There are a few key points of difference to draw reference to, but we'll try not to repeat ourselves by covering everything else. Check out the HTC One X review here for more detail about the phone's design, multimedia features and the updated Sense user experience.

Of this year's swag of 4G variants, the One XL is a stand out. Unlike the Galaxy S2 4G , with last year's hardware, the One XL is also one of HTC's flagship smartphones for the year. A 4G phone with the best of this year's tech? Sounds like our kind of phone.

Design

The differences between the One XL and the One X are all below the surface. Physically, these phones are identical — save for the fact that the One XL comes in a charcoal grey, while the One X is white. They both have the same dimensions, including slim 8.9mm depth and matching 129-gram weights with the battery installed.

Most importantly, the one XL has the same outstanding LCD display that we saw when we reviewed the One X. Colours are vibrant, blacks are deep and images look sharp, thanks to the 1280x720 pixel screen resolution.

The One XL has a combined charging and data transfer port, but unlike most Android smartphones, the battery is not user replaceable and there is no micro-SD card slot to expand the unit's 32GB internal storage.

Performance

Let's get down to business. The big difference between the One X and the One XL is the introduction of 4G network compatibility, but to do this, HTC has had to ditch the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor to accommodate the necessary LTE radios, and has opted for a new dual-core Qualcomm S4 processor to take its place. On paper, this may seem like a trade off, slower processor for faster internet, but, in fact, you might just be getting faster processing too.

It all comes down to how much faith you put into smartphone benchmark tests. In the web-based BrowserMark test, the One X and the One XL came out neck and neck, but in the BaseMark Open GL test we ran, the One XL was well ahead — rendering twice as many frames per second. We also ran Qualcomm's Vellamo benchmark, which features a mixed bag of test suites, and the One XL scored the best results of the year so far — just ahead of the Galaxy S3 and well ahead of the One X.

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