HTC's Perception problem, can they fix it?

fernandez21

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The HTC One looks like a fantastic device I cant wait to pick one up myself. To me its the first android phone to really match or maybe even surpass the iPhone in industrial design. However the questions remains with how well it will actually do and if this can reverse the downward trend HTC has been in the last year or so. To me their biggest problem is perception, and the big elephant in the room is how Samsung has been able to control that perception in their strong marketing. Ask anyone now about what they think of HTC and Samsung, and you get HTC has horrible batterylife, sense makes things super laggy, and their software take forever to update, while Samsung is innovative with great screens and make the best phones. Here are some snips of reviews for the HTC One X and Samsung S3 from their launches last year:

Galaxy S3 Review
Engadget said:
There's no point in skirting around the fact that the GS III can be deflating when you first look at it. That's partly because its rounded corners and glossy finish make the phone look more mainstream and less, well, edgy than the Galaxy S II, but also because the handset still bears so much physical affinity to its predecessors. The earpiece and speaker grilles, camera lenses, home button and other items of furniture are all in their familiar and predictable bolt-holes and there's nothing overwhelmingly new about any aspect of the design. HTC tried something different with the build of their new flagship, the One X, but on this occasion Samsung has voted conservative.
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It's understandable that Samsung wants to make its own mark on Android and differentiate itself from the competition, but did it really need to mess with Android 4.0 so brutally in the process? When you look at how much effort Google puts into improving its open source OS, it's actually unforgiveable for Samsung to come along and give us a skin that makes it all feel like old-fashioned Android 2.3. The phone doesn't even follow the latest button conventions: it has 'back' and 'menu' capacative buttons on either side of the physical home button, and thus omits the 'multi-tasking' button that came with the ICS. This means you have to press and hold the main home button for a second or so (honestly, it feels like an eternity), just to move between the apps that you're running. It's backwards and it's wrong.
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The worst thing about the GS III? No matter how hard it tries, it just isn't greater than the sum of the HTC One X's parts. That's not to say it falls short, but merely to emphasize that times have changed since last year's Galaxy S II, which landed on an unsuspecting world that was largely devoid of predators. The Snapdragon variant of the One X has similar computing power, battery life and photographic credibility, but it also has a much better user interface that sticks more closely to the guiding ethos of Android 4.0. The One X also has a more forward-looking physical design, while the GS III clings to the tried and true styles of old. Perhaps the biggest sacrifice you'd make by going for the One X over the GS III is the loss of the cheap storage offered by the microSD card. That's a painful thing to give up, but given how deeply we feel about the need for Android to move forward and not get stuck in a Gingerbread-flavored groundhog day, we might just take the hit.

The Verge said:
A silvery band wraps around the Galaxy S3?s sides, and its curvature is extended by the rear cover, which is white on my review unit or a faux-brushed aluminum blue on the alternate version. I?ve never been a fan of plastic being made to look like metal ? it feels disingenuous both on the part of the company selling the product and, subsequently, the person owning it ? and I find it makes the Galaxy S3 look cheap. It?s okay for Samsung to use plastic to build this phone, but less so to feign that it?s made of higher-grade materials. The white version suffers from this issue in a more diminished way than the darker variant ? its silver sides have been subjected to a similar treatment as the Pebble Blue GS III.
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This 4.8-inch display can be held up proudly alongside most other AMOLED panels. Sadly, while that may have been a great compliment a year or two ago, the quality and viewing angles of AMOLED have recently been bypassed by refinements in LCD technology. HTC?s One X is the standout demonstration of that ? offering unrivalled clarity, color balance, and viewing angles. In all of those respects, the Galaxy S3 is one or two tiers below the One X: its display has the usual blue tinge characteristic of AMOLED displays, which gets worse as you begin to look at it off-center.

Android Central said:
There are some valid criticisms to be made of the S III?s screen, however. The first thing we should get out of the way is the inevitable comparison to HTC's flagship, the One X. Right now, that phone?s SuperLCD 2 panel is the best-looking display on any smartphone, and unfortunately HD SuperAMOLED simply falls short of this mark in terms of clarity, color quality and sharpness. Daylight visibility, though not at all bad, is also inferior to the One X, and this is exacerbated by the white bezel. The trim is extremely reflective in bright sunshine, making it all the more difficult to focus on the screen it surrounds. Auto-brightness, too, could use a little tweaking, as like the Galaxy Nexus it defaults far too low, particularly indoors.

One X Review
Engadget said:
Comparing a carrier-sanctioned device to its SIM-free counterpart often results in disappointment. Processor swaps and operator-imposed software tweaks don't usually mix well when it comes to performance (AT&T's Galaxy Note comes to mind). Well, you can rest easy: AT&T's One X bucks this trend and feels just as blazingly fast as the global model, if not brisker. In our benchmarks it beat the Tegra 3 variant in almost every test, with scores matching the Snapdragon S4-equipped One S in each category. All told, it's quite possibly the speediest handset we've ever played with.
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Even with LTE enabled, battery life is noticeably better on AT&T's One X than on the foreign version. This was a sticking point in our original review, so we're extremely pleased with the improvement. We recorded eight hours and 55 minutes in our video loop rundown test with the screen set to 50 percent brightness --
most folks will have little trouble getting a full day's use from the 1,800mAh cell.

The Verge said:
If a phone were judged by its physical design and materials alone, the One X would've been an instant winner before I ever even turned it on. It can't be overstated what a beautiful device this is: it looks (and feels) as though it's a culmination of everything HTC has learned over the years about the way consumers handle their phones, and it also does a good job of framing the beefy hardware underpinning it. I think that making a phone look "reasonable" becomes progressively harder as the display gets larger, but there's nothing unwieldy or awkward about the One X ? it's just a great-looking phone from top to bottom. It's a quantum leap beyond any HTC in recent memory; put it next to something like a Rezound or a Vivid and you get the same feeling as when you put an iPhone 3G next to an iPhone 4.
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Fortunately, the software issues aren't even close to pushing us away from a recommendation. Put simply, this is the best Android phone you can buy on AT&T right now and perhaps the best end-to-end Android phone you can currently buy on any carrier in the United States ? it's lightning fast, LTE generally works like a charm, and it's one of the more attractive smartphones ever to hit the market. I'd still prefer stock Android, but the Snapdragon S4's speed minimizes Sense 4's hassles ? and odds are very good we'll start seeing excellent third-party ROMs within a few weeks anyway.

Android Central said:
Actually, forget our usual review-speak. Battery life on the AT&T One X/One XL is nothing short of incredible. How much of that is having the modem on the chipset, or how much of that is software tweaks, we really don't care. So long as the donuts taste good, you can make them however you like. And these donuts -- erm, battery life on this One X -- is nothing short of magical. We all talk about having a phone that will last "all day." In the AT&T HTC One X/One XL, we've found it.
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If you hadn't figured it out by now, we're pretty enamored with the HTC One X. That's not to say we don't have a couple of concerns ? specifically we're scared to death about scratching up the camera lens and rendering one of the major features of the phone useless. And while we certainly have to mention that the One X doesn't have a removable battery or microSD card storage, it's not like it's the first phone to go that route. It's a point worth making, but not necessarily harping on. Otherwise, it's got powerful hardware, a great design, and it's running the most recent version of Android. The new HTC Sense 4 adds to Ice Cream Sandwich without making you wonder where it went.

On a more macro scale, the HTC One X is the standard-bearer for the new HTC One line, and rightfully so. For as great its middle brother, the HTC One S, is with its slim, sleek and (no kidding) space-age design is, the HTC One X trumps it with its beautiful display and higher resolution.

Indeed, the HTC One X has set the bar high for this new generation of Android phones. That bar's always going to inch higher as the year goes on. But for now, HTC's back in the saddle and is riding high.

As you can see, things were alot different when these phones were released, but what can HTC do to combat this?
 
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dmmarck

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The HTC One looks like a fantastic device I cant wait to pick one up myself. To me its the first android phone to really match or maybe even surpass the iPhone in industrial design. However the questions remains with how well it will actually do and if this can reverse the downward trend HTC has been in the last year or so. To me their biggest problem is perception, and the big elephant in the room is how Samsung has been able to control that perception in their strong marketing. Ask anyone now about what they think of HTC and Samsung, and you get HTC has horrible batterylife, sense makes things super laggy, and their software take forever to update, while Samsung is innovative with great screens and make the best phones. Here are some snips of reviews for the HTC One X and Samsung S3 from their launches last year:

Galaxy S3 Review








One X Review




As you can see, things were alot different when these phones were released, but what can HTC do to combat this?

Release the same device on each and every carrier -- not this "everyone by Verizon" thing -- and then attack Samsung head on.
 

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