I thought the grid I saw on individual Google contacts on my HTC One was just the norm, until I stumbled upon a thread on this forum titled "Contact picture Issue"
Contact Picture Issue
The thread was live in the April to July 2013 timeframe and I thought it would be worthwhile reviewing for those like me who were unaware why the grid appears over the facial icon for contacts.
Thanks to BizzySignal and SCjRqrQCnBQ19QoYC who posted a solution and others on the thread who contributed.
Basically, HTC puts the grid on low resolution photos so that it doesn't look pixelated.
To get a higher resolution set as the contact photo, the contact has to be designated as "Starred in Android". That classification can be removed once the higher resolution photo is set up.
Two methods to fix the contact photos were described in the above thread; I chose to do it one at a time in order to update the photos with the latest facial icon in my Picasa photo album. I did this entirely on my laptop and didn't have to use my phone to get it done.
I went to Picasa and chose the facial icon I liked best for that contact. I went to the picture that contained that facial icon to make sure it was large enough that I wouldn't be just sending another low resolution icon. Back to the facial icon, right click and select "Copy Full Path". Then on Google Contacts, I selected that contact and in groups (crown tab) I selected Starred in Android, hit Apply. Then I clicked on their facial icon, hit "change photo" and selected the option to find photo in computer, pasted the link I had copied from Picasa, and the photo appeared with a cropping tool to zoom in on the contact's face. Once done, the new icon became the Google contact icon for all devices; on PC, phone, tablet. I then went back to that contact on my PC and removed them from Starred in Android.
The other method outlined in the original thread was an all at once method. It required one to go to Google Contacts, make all the contacts Starred in Android by putting them in a new group, go to the phone, sign out of one's Google account, then sign back in, and all the contact photos should be restored in high resolution, then go back to the contacts on the PC and remove them from Starred in Android. I was afraid to try this because it was my experience on my Resound that when I signed out and back in to my Google account on the phone, all the special ringtones I had set up for different contacts were un-linked, and a few contacts that I had set up as blocked were un-blocked.Also, an unknown portion of the contact icons were low resolution from the start and this wouldn't help YMMV
If there is an easier way to get the high resolution photos for contacts, please post.