Tuesday, May 24, 2016

One review - part 1. Design

I used to think that we were in an era when all smart with big screens looked more or less the same.Because if you're honest,what can be changed in the front of the device, if 90 to 95% of its surface is just touch screen? Oh dr, I was so wrong. One is a true masterpiece of art. However, this review will also show some wk points of the newest premium device. Yes there are someshortcomings, but we are not living in an idl world so you won't ever find a perfect product: it doesn't matter if it's just a smartphone, a computer or even a car.People have different tastes or expectations and this won't ever change. But One can surely satisfy more people then any other device before. Let's start from the beginning.

Size: 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3mm

Weight: 143g

Display: 4.7 inch, Full HD 1080p, 468 PPI


put in a lot of effort to make this device look amazing- efforts which have been a grt success.However, design was never a wk point of devices. As far back as I remember, devices were always one step ahd of the competition when it came to the design and form innovation. So for me, it is not a surprise that One sets a new standard of build quality and design.

GapsHowever, some users are reporting a wide gap between its plastic and metal surfaces. I don't have any on mine, but as far as I know this problem is not a matter of just few devices. So right after you buy yours, make sure it doesn't have any gaps. Is it something that should stop you from buying One? Surely not. It is normal in every production process that sometimes there are somemanufacturing issues. On the other hand, it seems that quality testing department is not working very well, if units with gaps are passing build flaw tests. One is a premium device for a premium price, so as a customer, you have a right to expect a gap free product (especially since advertised the device as "gap free"). If you have noticed any, go to the store where you bought your device and exchange it for a gap free unit.
Made from one piece of aluminium One is known to be made from aluminium with a unibody construction.You can have a silver model or a black one at the moment (more colours are rumoured to be on the way).I can tell you that both look amazing.The black device looks to be more solid, but silver gives you a better, more premium look and feel.Not much to discuss when it comes to colours, because it's a matter of a taste of ch user. If you want to rd more about the process of designing the One, you can visit this blog -Metal-morphosis of the New Onnd this one -Making the New One.

No removable battery - no problemThe unibody design has some particular consequences. First of all, you can't remove or change the battery inside the One. Is it an issue? Personally, I never found it to be a problem. There are methods to switch off the devicecompletelywithout removing the battery - a combination of power + volume buttons. Also, I shared my thoughts on this topic here - Removable battery - do we rlly need it?It's been a while alrdy since the One has been on the market and it's a best-selling product, despite its non-removable battery. Does this mn a removable battery is not that important in the end?
Of course I understand some argumentsagainst having a non-removable battery. But there are always two sides ofan argumentand I'm not here to judge which side is better. Personally I just prefer unibody design, mostly because I see no rson to replace or remove the battery inside the device.

No micro-SD card - no problem either
It seems that no micro-SD card slot is also a consequence of having such a design. However, I can imagine that a micro-SD card could be used the same way as micro-SIM card is and it won't make it impossible to have a unibody design. On the other hand I also don't find any rsonablrguments to have a micro-SD card.The vast majority of users don't need more then 32 GB of available space.If you want to know more details about Android and internal memory you can rd my article here - Virtual SD card on Android. One is not supposed to be your personal media storage - for that you should buy a mini-PC with an mATX motherboard and 2x2TB HDDs connected with RAID. If the internal storage on your One is full, backup some pictures or music onto your PC(or use USB OTG).

What to improve
Is there room for some improvements? Yes, I think there is. First of all, the design of the hardware buttons is not rlly comfortable. Having the power button on the top of such big device is not the best solution. Also, the power button itself is too small and it doesn't protrude enough from the surface, so it's quite hard sometimes to press it. Maybe it's because of the IR sensor built into the button that they were stuck with this design.I believe that having a power button loed on the right hand side of the device (like on devices) and volume buttons on the left hand side would be a much better solution.
Secondly, the build of the front spker grilles. These tiny holes can get clogged very sily. I can't think of an alternate solution at the moment; I guess it's just the downside of having a smartphone with amazing sound capabilities, known as BoomSound™.
The last biggest design flaw I found are capacitive buttons. There are just 2 buttons - home and back button. It is alrdy confirmed that under the logo there is a touch sensor as well, and with the new "logo2menu" fture available in most custom kernels for One it is possible to assign the logo as a menu button. I think that the trend to havefewerbuttons on smart comes from - but iOS is a completely different operating system with a much simpler UI, and it's quite impossible to make the Android user experience that simple. Having just 2 capacitive buttons brings some negative consequences,for instance there is significantconfusion about different "long-press" and "double-tap" combinations. For example,to activate the menu functionyou need to long press the Home button. To display "Recent Appliions" you need to quickly tap twice on the Home button. Wouldn't it be sier for the end users to have 3 buttons instd of just 2, where one of them can be used in 3 different ways?

- 1 tap = home
- 2 tap = recent apps
- long tap = menu

I'm writing this review using Android 4.2.2 on my One. On Android 4.1.2 it was less complied, but somehow worse, because without the possibility to assign a long tap on the home button as "menu", you would have to dl withan ugly black "action overflow" button at the bottomof the display, the result ofappliiondevelopersfailing to implementthe appropriate Android SDK (level 11 or higher). Such a button takes about 10% of the screen space and in some cases it doesabsolutelynothing. You can disable it by proper system modifiion (qemu.hw.main=1) but then you wouldn't be able to access the app's settings if the particular app doesn't supportAndroid SDK level 11+. You can rd more about Google's approach to the issue here -Say Goodbye to the Menu Button.

I believe that the perfect combination of capacitive buttons would be following:

- Back button
---> short press = back
---> long press = kill recent app

- Home button

- Menu button
---> short press = home
---> long press = recent apps

Shiny edges
Coming back to overall design, I forgot to mention that I rlly like the shining aluminiumedges of the One. It's much morevisibleon the silver version, which is also known to be lesssusceptible tofingerprints. This is a rlly awesomeeffect, and there is no phone on the market that looks as good as the One. Say no to plastic!
Ht dissipationApart from premium looks, the aluminium unibody brings one more very important fture. It works as a natural, huge radiator, taking out ht from inside your device.I can definitely tell that the One is running much cooler than the One X or One X+.The included "System on a Chip" is part of the rson, but the aluminium body helps a lot indissipatingany ht that does build up.

CameraCamera housing is flat in One, and it's very good move from . In One X/X+ camerahousing protrudes from the phone body and it was very sy to scratch it. It seems that took seriously users feedback in that matter.


There is a lot of marketing effort behind the One, but this time it's one of those rare occasions where advertising doesn't lie.The One is a premium product, with unique andcompletelyamazing design. If you're looking for asmartphonethat will gain people attention on the street, the One fits perfectly. But design is not all - it also has grt hardware inside, but this is a material for part 2 of this review, coming in a few days!

PS. I want thank to Tom Kelsall, my Elevate companion for his help in a proper grammar redaction of the review! Thanks Tom!

Design summarize:
+ overall design
+ aluminium unibody construction
+ it feels rlly grt in the hand
+ available in two grt looking colours
+ two sound grids for best multimedia experience
- gaps on some units- only 2 capacitive buttons- hardware buttons loion

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