Over the weekend, I was kindly given an HTC One by a friend. Today, I will share you my experience on what I thought about the phone, but most importantly, why I’ll be sticking with my BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry 10 all around.
I have a friend, well, let’s just say, will buy and try anything that is technology. Mobiles – he’s had every phone under the Sun. He’s currently using the BlackBerry Q10 and the iPhone 5. However, he picked up the HTC One and he offered me the chance to give it a test run, see what it was all about. I and he both are avid fans of mobile phones. I didn’t hold back and I took the phone immediately.
First impressions of the phone was –Not bad, nice build quality, gorgeous screen. At first, I was convinced I wouldn’t need to put my SIM in the phone because I’d just be using it off Wi-Fi. However, hours later, after setting up BBM and downloading Instagram, Vine, the BlackBerry Empire Forum app and a few others – I was bored. During the period of the BlackBerry 10 launch and actually receiving the BlackBerry Z10, there was features explicitly shown off that had myself and others intrigued and when I finally got my Z10, I enjoyed in showing off said features. However, that “buzz” wasn’t present on the HTC One. There wasn’t anything I was looking forward to in particular. I’m talking in regards to the BlackBerry 10 Keyboard, the Timeshift camera, the swipe gestures. As far as I knew, this was just like any other Android device with the Manufacturer’s own “Skin”.
Anyhow, I figured if I really wanted to get a feel of the phone, I would need to put my SIM in. Once I did that, I was ready. (By this time, my Z10 was running off Wi-Fi and my BBM contacts we’re already transferred over – seriously, what is it with not being able to use one ID with multiple devices?)
No-one does Email like BlackBerry
The first occurrence which made me really appreciate my Z10 was when I emailed myself a picture that I needed off my brother’s phone (I email myself quite often – it’s not weird!) – Surprise surprise, my Z10 received it. I had to manually sync my Hotmail folder on the HTC One and even then, I don’t even think the second email arrived.
Over the weekend, I used it moderately. I received BBM messages, WhatsApp messages, the odd text message, received phone calls, kept upto date with the latest news and to be brutally honest, there was nothing wrong with it. However, all the little things such as the keyboard, the ease of access including multi-tasking, the Hub (This is a big one, I’ll get back to it) wasn’t present on the HTC One. Yes, the apps are there, the screen is nice, but I was getting more and more frustrated with actually getting things done.
I’ll also publicly say this now: The BlackBerry 10 touch keyboard is the best touch keyboard to date.
Typing on HTC One was not enjoyable for me considering I’m constantly messaging back and fourth. Also, for some odd reason, multiple languages other than English was selected under Languages, so the keyboard was replacing my perfectly English written words into other languages! This is where I really appreciated the BlackBerry 10 keyboard. I couldn’t just “swipe” to the left and have the words delete, the entire keyboard was set oddly, it didn’t feel like a good keyboard at all and I’d end up typing gibberish. I know you can download different keyboards on Android from the Google Play Store, but that’s not the point. HTC presented me with this particular keyboard and I was inclined on using it.
Every phone should have a “Hub” like notification centre, otherwise – forget it – I’m not using it.
The third occurrence which made me really appreciate BlackBerry 10 was the Hub – gorgeous little feature! I cannot emphasize even more on how frustrating it was to be opening different app icons for Gmail, Hotmail, Text Messaging and I’m not even sure if it has a notification centre alone. You would think the Hub isn’t so much a selling point, but believe me, once you’ve experienced the Hub and all it’s glory, I don’t think I ever want it to be any different now.
Remote File Access is an underlooked and underrated feature.
Now, the last feature I really missed having was Remote File Access. For some reason unknown, the HTC One wouldn’t connect to the Laptop. Now, keep in mind, the phone was in used condition and had been battered a little, so this was hardware issue, but never mind. Having Remote File Access means I’m too lazy to transfer anything onto my phone – the contents of my phone is slowing becoming very much based on Cloud. Remote File Access is genius – I can’t tell you how many times I reload OS’ due to leaks and experimenting and ever since the official 10.1 dropped, RFA has worked like a charm. The fact that I can pretty much access the contents of my Laptop – anywhere in the world (Laptop has to be turned on and connected to wi-fi, ofcourse) and read and write to and from my Laptop is something very underrated and undermined by a lot of people. It doesn’t require additional applications to be downloaded, it comes out of the box and it works 99% of the time. With not being able to connect my HTC One to my Laptop, having RFA would have been the perfect opportunity to copy a few files over.
By the end of the weekend – I dearly missed my Z10. On Sunday, I even dropped my Z10 in a bath full of water and I panicked. Luckily, after leaving the phone in rice for an hour, turning it on, experiencing a very weird screen defect (By this time, I thought the phone was utter and truly f***ed) Hair dried, back in the rice for another 12 more hours – My Z10 was steam-less (Yes, the camera lens was steamed up) and 100% working. So naturally, the weekend had passed, my Z10 was recovered and I couldn’t wait any longer to put my SIM back in the phone.
Z10 dropped in the bath. 12 hours later, working like nothing ever happened. Champ! #blackberry
— Bilaal Saghir (@bilaalsaghir) December 23, 2013
Is the HTC One a good phone? Yes. Did I like the HTC One? Yes. However, personal preference has me gunning for BlackBerry 10.
The Hub, the Keyboard, the Browser and the gesture based multi-tasking wins me over – hands down. The small attention to detail is what wins me over and BlackBerry has done an amazing job with that and I believe you won’t entirely appreciate that until you switch to another platform. (But why would you go and do that for?)
So there you have it. My weekend was pretty fun, I used a new phone and I’m glad to be using the Z10 and what’s even better, it’s working perfectly fine after having a swim in the water! BlackBerry has work to do, but they have done a good job with BlackBerry 10 and with 10.2.1 coming along, I’m looking forward to seeing what BlackBerry have in store us in the future.