It seems there is a new crop of Android phones every few months, which is great if you’re in the market for a new phone.
I got separate pitches from ATT and T-Mobile a few weeks ago about new phones from HTC.
First, T-Mobile sent me the HTC One S, which arrived promptly and sat on my desk for a week.
Then ATT sent me an email about its HTC One X. I read that email on my iPhone when I was away from the office and quickly replied that I had that same phone from T-Mobile.
It seems I was mistaken.
The phones look similar, cost the same and share a lot of the same features, but there are differences internally and externally.
The One S from T-Mobile retails for $199 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.
Anchored by a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED touch screen, the One S has a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor with 16 gigabytes of internal storage and 1 gigabyte of RAM.
The screen resolution is 960 x 540 pixels.
The body of the One S is aluminum, is 7.8 mm thick and weighs just 4.22 ounces.
The One S has two cameras — an 8-megapixel rear camera with a 28 mm f/2.0 wide-angle lens that captures 1080p HD video, and a lower-resolution camera on the front for video chats.
The One S was the first phone I’ve seen with Beats Audio, a sound-enhancement software to “enrich” the listening experience.
The One S runs on T-Mobile’s 4G network and is the first T-Mobile phone to ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
PROS: metal body, slim, fast network, Android 4.0
CONS: no card slot for extra storage; the screen resolution could be better
BOTTOM LINE: a good phone for the money
The One X, offered by ATT, is the big brother to the One S in that it sports a larger display and a slightly larger battery.
With a polycarbonate body, the One X is 8.9 mm thick and weighs 4.6 ounces. The display resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels.
The One X also has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor.
The phone has the same 8-megapixel rear camera as the One S, but it has a slightly better 1.3-megapixel front camera.
The X also has 16 gigabytes of storage and 1 gigabyte of RAM, and runs Android 4.0.
Neither phone has an external slot for extra storage.
The One X also has Beats Audio enhancement.
The One X features NFC (near field communication), which allows the phone to support Android Beam or Google Wallet, two technologies for device-to-device data transfer. Think of it as a way for the phone to act like a credit card.
Both phones can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices.
I used the One X as my Internet connection for a weeklong business trip and found the 4G LTE network to be very fast.
I did have to hunt for the setting that disconnected the Wi-Fi hotspot after a few minutes of inactivity, but once I did, the One X had more than enough battery power to last an entire day of surfing with my laptop and iPad.
The One X is $199 with a new two-year contract and a qualifying data plan.
PROS: screen size, NFC, fast 4G LTE, Android 4.0
CONS: no card slot for extra storage
BOTTOM LINE: This is a flagship phone for ATT. One of the better choices for Android devices.