HTC adds One S to lineup, coming to T-Mobile (hands on)

HTC announces another smartphone, the One S, which lacks quad-core power but runs Google's latest Ice Cream Sandwich OS.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Jessica Dolcourt Senior Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Thought Leadership, Speed Desk and How-To. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica led CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy, team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Samsung, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
Brian Bennett
Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read
The HTC One S is slightly smaller than the 4.7-inch One X. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Thankfully HTC went big at Mobile World Congress with its quad-core HTC One X smartphone. Sadly, the next handset to fill out the company's new lineup, the One S, runs a less splashy Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU. Still, if today's phones are any indication, that will remain plenty fast.

The One S is decently equipped in its own right; it runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has integrated Beats audio technology. Its large 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen shines, as does HTC's latest version of the Sense UI. The One S has an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a sharp 1.3-megapixel front-facing shooter.

HTC makes pains to point out the One S' advanced camera, which has a claimed 0.7-second shot time, 0.2-second autofocus, and f/2.0. The latter enables the phone to snap better pictures under low-light conditions. While we didn't have a ton of time with the phone, the camera did capture photos quickly in a few test shots we were able to snap.

HTC has made a real effort to set the phone apart. At 0.3 inch thick, the device uses aluminum with a soft-touch surface created by a "micro arc oxidation" technique. This process is also claimed by HTC to be used in satellite design. It does look sharp, and as usual, HTC pays attention to details in the handset's contouring. It's an understated, but smooth device for sure.

Watch this: HTC One S

What appeals to us as U.S. denizens is the HTC One S' appearance on T-Mobile's roster, where it will connect to the carrier's HSPA+ 42Mbps data network. Pricing will be key, as always, but based on what we've seen so far, the One S is a handset we'd be happy getting to know.