Tuesday, May 24, 2016

One review - part 2: Hardware

Here is the second part of the One review. If you haven't rd the first part yet, you can find it here - One review - part 1. Design. This time we will review what lurks under the hood of the One, and help you to decide if this is your chosen top end phone of 2013.

The One is considered by many to be theAndroid flagship phone of 2013, and has topped thePhoneDog Smartphone Rankingsweekly since March 31st. This not only makes it one of the most successful of all time, it also mns it has been at the #1 spot for longer than even the immensely popular iPhone 5.

The success of the One can be credited to the major hardware changes and UI overhaul following the criticism received from One X users.Blighted by build quality issues, the One X launchwasn'tthe revolutionary moment required to stay on top of their finances and 2012 can be considered the yr that fell from grace, edging behind and in sales. Despite this, the One X was by no mns a bad device and still has many devoted users. In fact, it recentlyreceived the 4.xx.xxx.x software update (a rare ft among ) that was pushed via OTA andincludes Sense 5.0 (more detailshere).

source:www.btsbydre.comThe One needed to be something special. With profits slipping and their partnership withBts Audiohanging in the balance, put their tm to work. They had one goal in mind: to exceed the build quality of the Galaxy S4, while maintaining the trademark style of rounded corners and a prominent camera lens.

On February 19th, as rays of sun began to pierce through the cloud which thrtened to engulf the capital, the One was officially launched in London. The album from this launch event can be foundhere.

As Peter Chou demonstrated the new ftures of the device to polite rounds of applause, doubt began to creep through the brains of critics. How could a flagship phone not include a removable battery, or micro SD-card slot? (On a side note, these two main arguments against the One were discussed here "Virtual SD card on Android" and here"Removable battery - do we rlly need it?").Also of note was the mgre 4 megapixel camera; with unproven UltraPixel technology, had enteredunchartedwaters. Indeed, rding through the comments of a blog feed on launch day, it seemed people had instantly passed the One off as a failure, and fans rejoiced at the imminent demise of .

How wrong they were. The One rlly does need to be seen to be admired. It is a rl buty of engineering, with a sleek aluminium casing exceeding even the quality of the iPhone 5, with a superior hardness rating. The unibody polycarbonate body of the One X is a thing of the past, with ch individual One casing taking 200 minutes to manufacture.

The result is a masterpiece - the chamfered edges add another layer of style and the polycarbonate highlights (used for the cellular radio) brk the monotony of the aluminium and provide a grt contrast.


source:www..com/www/zoe/The large UltraPixel lens is centred like on the One X, however itdoesn'textrude which should result in less scratches to the protective glass. A single LED flash is loed to the left of this. The camera ftures a 4 megapixel BSI sensor with 2µm pixels, which are extremely large, and allow for grt low light photography. The pixels are capable of gathering 330% more light than typical phone lenses such as the Galaxy S4. The actual lens is a 28mm f/2.0 autofocus, and ftures Optical Stabilisation. This ensures that s and photos don’t blur while moving. Photos are processed with the Chip 2. This allows ftures such as 60FPS capture and HDR . Overall, the camera quality is grt and allows for stunning low light shots, matched only by the latest in the Lumia range.A wide-angle 2 megapixel front facing camera is nestled in the top right of the device.


The main fture of the One cannot be directly seen. The two aluminium strips on the top and bottom of the device house the stereo BoomSound spkers, and fture a unique machined hole pattern. Dual amplifiers mn that the sound output is extremely loud, and the clarity and bass are both exceptional. When compared to the output from the Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5, the difference in quality is night and day. No phoneto date can match the One for sound quality. Playing for example racing games on One is a rlly grt experience. Stereo system is just amazing.

The front of the phone is no less sophistied. The black bezel around the 4.7 inch 1080p (468 ppi) SuperL 3 screen is invisible with the screen off, which results in a grt edge-to-edge effect. The screen itself has fantastic viewing angles and grt colour accuracy, as well has being the highest display resolution on a mobile phone. While the screen is excellent, the brightness and colour vibrancy are still not as good as the iPhone retina display, and the black levels and saturation are behind the AMOLED displays, although those tend to have a bad blue/green tint. To protect the screen surface decided to use Gorilla Glass 2, however it was probably possible to use newer Gorilla Glass 3 instd.

Few words about the design

The sides of the One consist of injection moulded polycarbonate, which joins the aluminium panel to the front and maintains the zero-gap promise. The plastic has a soft touch feel, and helps to make the phone to feel even better in the hand.On the right hand side is the volume rocker, which is made of metal and has a nice spiral effect. The rocker is flush with the sides and has a solid click, although it can be difficult to find in a dark room as itdoesn'tprotrude out.

On the left is the SIM card slot, which requires the SIM removal tool. Using a pin may fail, but paper-clipshould do the trick). This could be a problem for people who may need to swap SIMs on the go, as you will need to carry around the SIM removal tool.


Up top is the IR power button and the hdphone jack. The power button protrudes slightly and clicks well. This mns it is sy to find. The IR capabilities are fantastic. It's hard to find a whichisn'tsupported, and the inbuilt app has grt functionality, including a guide. Any case which covers the power button will stop IR working, so br this in mind when choosing your case. The hdphone jack is just the standard 3.5mm.

Finally, on the base of the phone is the MicroUSB 2 slot for charging and data transfer. This is standard on most, if not all, Android . The One uses MTP, which can be slower than USBMS, but supports everything just fine and most users will not notice a difference. The phone tends to charge in around 2-3 hours with the 4.2.2 update. This can be considered quite slow when compared to the iPhone, but it has a much larger battery to charge. The phone ftures a 2300 mAh battery, which can sily last a day of hvy use. The average screen on time tends to rest around the 4 to 5 hours mark, which is fine for most users, but cannot match the Galaxy Note series, which are known for their large battery capacities.

System On a Chip

The processor inside the One is a new Snapdragon 600 by Qualcomm. This is a change from the NVIDIA Tegra 3 found in the One X, and is a quad-core ARM based chip clocked at 1.7GHz. This is the exact chip used in the Galaxy S4, but clocked 200 MHz lower to incrse battery life.When One was relsed, we alrdy knew that Snapdragon 600 wasn't the highest model of the new SoC's family by Qualcomm. It's Snapdragon 800 being the top unit, and it seems to be the only member of new family based on new Krait 400 ARM-based CPU. Is Snapdragon 800 just a higher version of Snapdragon 600? No, it's completely different unit. It has nothing to do with S200, S400 or S600. While Snapdragon 600 is more like upgraded Snapdragon S4 Pro, the 800 is a true successor of S4 Pro.Snapdragon 600 model isAPQ8064T and Snapdragon S4 Pro (presented in 2012) model is APQ8064. As you can see, "T" is the only difference. However, there are not much differences in the overall specifiion as well. Both units (S4 Pro and 600) have the same Adreno 320 GPU and Krait 300 CPU.
Picture source:www.qualcomm.com/snapdragon
However, S600 seems to have enough power to supply, because the speed and fluidity of the One is something to be admired. Every system app can be launched in under 2 seconds, and the overall experience feels very snappy. In fact, the phone feels faster than Galaxy S4, which experiences many micro lags caused by its TouchWiz custom UI. The Onedoesn'tseem to lag at all. The only instance is caused by Android: poor scrolling in some apps. This can be because of two factors: Android has poor scrolling as a whole, or because GPU Renderingisn'tenabled in the app. This can be force enabled under Development Settings, and can rlly help scrolling in unsupported apps such as Facebook as it mns that the GPU is handling the rendering instd the CPU. The voltages of the processor depend on the CPU binning of the chip. Out of a max of 7, mine is 3. This mns that it is around average. A higher should mn better battery life as the voltages supplied to the CPU are lowered.

With the new Snapdragon 800 processors due to be included in starting September, the 600 will soon be minorly outdated, but it is still an excellent choice. Bundled with this is the Adreno 320 GPU. This is one of the best GPUs currently available, and bts the PowerVR SGX 544 found in the Galaxy S4. The iPhone 5 also uses a PowerVR, and due to it’s smaller screen size and resolution, this phone will erally play games smoother than on the One, however at the cost of screen size.


One of the main issues which had to tackle during the designing process of the Onewas a how to ensure the device wan't susceptible to capacitive detuning, where the human hand would stop the radio formfunctioningcorrectly. An example of this was the grip of dth experienced by the iPhone 4. solved this issue in a unique and clever way: the antennas tune themselves actively in order to ensure the best Standing Wave Ratio and to matchimpedance during the presence of a hand or case. introduced a new antenna feeding structure to ensure thatattenuationdoesn't affect the overallantennaperformance regardless of how the One is held in the hand.Thisactive antenna tuning is a first for 2013. The actual antennas uses are the metal strips at the top andbottom of the device.

The One includes NFC, which allows wireless file transfer with other NFC enabled . There is a loop antenna below thluminium nr to the UltraPixel camera, which allows NFC to function. Despite having NFC support, the device lacks wireless charging.This islikely due to the fact that having the full metal phone mns that it would not charge correctly.
GNSS support on the One mnsthat the phone can always find your loion, and is excellent for in-carnavigation. The phone supports both GPS and GLONASS, which mns that it can lock onto satellites extremely quickly, and can track your loion to the nrest 4 meters.
Wi-Fi is where the One rlly excels, due to being the first smartphone on the market to support the next eration Wi-Fi - 802.11ac.This mns that it supports 80MHz channels and a highermaximum PHY rate of 433 Mbps. The support comes from the new Broadcom BCM4335 chip, which also supports Bluetooth 4.0and FM Radio.The Galaxy S4 only ftures the BCM4329. This new chip could potentially incrse battery life due to a shorter duty cycle for the same througut amount. The chip also has better range.
Picture source:www.anandtech.com
RAM / ROM memory

The One comes with 2GB of LPDDR2 RAM. This is a boost from the 1GB found in the One X. Appliions can cache more with a grter amount of RAM, and this can improve both scrolling and multitasking. The multitasking screen on the One has room for 8 app previews, and you can be pretty safe in saying that at lst 6 of these will still be cached and rdy to jump straight back into. Android handles multitasking differently to on iOS, and allows things to rlly run in the background. This mns that downloads can continue if the app is closed, and that a YouTube can continue to play if you lve the browser.One negative point of the RAM is that it is still using LPDDR2, while the Galaxy S4 is using the newer LPDDR3 RAM. This offers more memory bandwidth, and mns that the RAM is faster at caching and loading from cache. This mns a slicker multitasking experience. Despite this, the Galaxy S4doesn'tshow much of an advantage in rl world use.

The One is available in two storage variants - 32GB and 64GB. There are some users saying even 64GB is not enough, but for mostaverage users 32GB is more then they need. Keep in mind that neither One or any other Android device was not crted to be media storage. For that purpose we recommend buying mini-PC with at lst 1TB HDD drive.

Modem variants

There are a few One models available currently on the market. The main difference between them is the modem version and their capabilities to run under particular network frequencies. For more information on this matter plse visit this thrd - One variants.


In conclusion, the One has proven itself to be top of the Android class, andthoroughly deserves its extendedperiod as PhoneDog #1 smartphone. The build quality is second to none, and the overall specs definitely don't fall short. On paper, the phone is a bst, but in the hand it's more of a buty.

Hardware Summary:

+High-end Snapdragon 600 SoC
+2GB of RAM memory+Impressivecameracapabilities with Zoe™fture+IR (infra-redspectroscopy)
+BoomSound™stereo spkers+2300 mAh battery+Excellentfull HD SL3 screen with 468PPI
+Next eration 802.11acWi-Fi modem
+GNSS support
+ Effective cooling system with aluminium unibody
-No LPDDR3 RAM memory-No Gorilla Glass™3-Only two capacitivebuttons instd of three
-Under-clocked CPU (from 1.9 to 1.7 GHz)

Here are the officialspecifiions of the One:4.7-inch Full HD 1080p SL3 @ 468PPIGorilla Glass 2.01.7 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 600 (Krait 300 core)2GB LPDDR2 memory32GB/64GB internal storage (without SD-card slot)Full Aluminium UnibodyMicroSIM card2300 mAh Li-Polymer Embedded battery (non replacble)Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX enabledNFC CapableInternal GPS antenna + GLONASSWi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/ac/b/g/nInfraredRemote SupportMicro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port with mobile high-definition link (MHL) for USB or HDMI connectionCamera: UltraPixel Camera (4MP)BSI sensor, Pixel size 2.0 µm, Sensor size 1/3'Dedied Chip™ 2F2.0 aperture and 28 mm lensOptical Stabilization (OIS)Smart Flash: Five levels of flash automatically set by distance to subjectFront Camera: 2.1 MP, 880 wide angle lens with HDR capability1080p Full HD recording for both front and back camerasHDR Sound:Dual frontal stereo spkers with built-in amplifiers ( BoomSound™)Studio-quality sound with Bts Audio™HDR MicrophoneNetwork:HSPA/WMA:Europe/Asia: 850/900/1900/2100 MHzGSM/GPRS/EDGE:850/900/1800/1900 MHzLTE:(optional)EU: 800/1800/2600 MHzUS (AT&T): 700/850/AWS/1900 MHzUS (TMO): 700/AWS MHzUS (Sprint): 1900 MHzAsia: 1800/2600 Mhz
Have any questions or comments? Feel free to share!Also, if you like this article, plse use the media sharing buttons (Twitter, G+, Facebook) under this post!

No comments:

Post a Comment