HTC One S beguiles and charms in video review

This sleek, sophisticated blower proves that you don't need to boast spectacular specs to win top marks.

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If we were to play Top Trumps with Android phone spec sheets, the HTC One S would not be the mobile to propel you to victory -- that honour might just belong to its beefy brute of a brother, the One X.

Nevertheless, we bestowed a respectable four and a half stars on the One S in our review -- higher than the four stars the One X earned -- proving that however wonderful a phone looks on paper, it's how it charms us when it graces our hands that matters.

In this case, understated good looks, a subtle, sturdy design and the suave Sense interface helped the One S beat its sibling's attention-grabbing figures to a well-deserved Editors' Choice victory. Hit play on the video above to see it in action.

Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) comes as standard on the One S, which immediately helps it to stand out proudly from the disappointingly Gingerbread -heavy Android competition. Draping the newly rejuvenated Sense 4.0 software over the top of ICS proves that the two are excellent bedfellows, making for a simple, slick and enjoyable user experience.

The dual-core 1.5GHz processor concealed inside the shell of the One S does not quite match up to the quad-core credentials of the One X. But those measly two cores whizzed like Duelling Dragons at rip-roaring rollercoaster speeds through every task, small and large, we baited them with.

A perfectly proportioned 4.3-inch screen set into the slim and elegant chassis really makes the One S a lovely proposition to the hand and pocket. It also comes in two equally classy finishes -- black ceramic or anodised grey metal -- and strikes the ideal balance between feeling reassuringly solid and expensive and not too weighty.

An 8-megapixel camera will help you fill the 16GB of internal memory with albums of competent snaps and clips of 1080p resolution video. Take into account the free 25GB of Dropbox storage that comes with the phone and we can almost forgive it for not having a microSD slot to physically expand the memory.

Beats Audio, which is stowed away onboard, as well as the matching logos and requisite red design touches, add a final flourish of tech sophistication to what is already a rather lovely phone. Don't expect to find Beats buds in the box though -- we'd recommend investing in some to save yourself the pain and shame of using the mediocre bundled ones.

For a closer look at the One S , watch the video above, or see how it competes with other high-end heroes, the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S2 , in our head-to-head comparison . Let us know whether you're hoping to pocket one of these beguiling blowers in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

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About the author

    Katie Collins is a Production Assistant on CNET UK where she is charged with keeping the site shipshape and in good working order. She is also the nightwatchwoman for CNET.com's home page, guarding it with her life while America sleeps.

     

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