We really have reached the point where the top of the Android smartphone market is blanketed by some highly impressive devices. It's tough to go wrong. There's something for everyone, be it form factor or features or gimmicks and gizmos. But for our money, there's currently no better phone available than the HTC One.
There's a lot to like here. The (mostly) all-aluminum body looks and feels more sophisticated than a plastic phone, and the gentle curve fits the hand nicely. While we've still got our quibbles with the Sense user interface, Sense 5 is the most stylish version yet, and most important is that it doesn't exhibit the lag that we've seen in the Samsung Galaxy S4.
The front-facing stereo speakers change the way you experience music and videos on a smartphone. Games and movies are much more immersive and are a downright pleasure to play and listen to. There are a few times when the speakers may be too loud, but there are many more times when you're amazed you're getting that sort of sound from a Best Android smartphone.
HTC's camera also brought forth a bit of a paradigm shift. It's not the best all-around camera -- it suffers from contrast issues, and if you need something with a higher total resolution for enlarging pictures, you'll need to look elsewhere. But the introduction of Zoes -- the 3-second video clips -- and the introduction of automatically composed Video Highlights are something that nobody else is doing, and they make up for a lackluster camera application.
The HTC One also has been released on three of the four major U.S. carriers, as well as seeing wide availability worldwide -- and we're expecting Verizon to get its own variant this year as well.
In the months we've been using the HTC One, it's continuously caught the eyes of those around us and continued to impress us with its performance -- and for that it ranks as our best smartphone for first part of 2013.