HTC One S: Hardware(versions) and Display
The CPU in the HTC One S is Qualcomm's new Snapdragon S4 Plus SoC that consists of two proprietary 'Krait' cores and an Adreno 225 GPU. At least, that is what our test sample has and also the One S phone sold up until now. However, due to manufacturing problems at the TSMC plant Qualcomm is unable to meet demand of S4 processors, so HTC has decided to also equip the One S with older Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processors.
That means you need to pay close attention when buying a One S. Phones with the Snapdragon S4 processor have product number Z520E, while the Snapdragon S3 versions are called Z560E. HTC claims that consumers won't notice any difference and therefore doesn't distinguish more clearly between the two. While we have not tested the Snapdragon S3 version, it seems very far-fetched that it could perform as well as the S4 even if it runs at 1.7 GHz. That's because the new Snapdragon S4 has a more powerful CPU and GPU than the S3.
For the sake of this review we will assume that the HTC One S is equipped with the Snapdragon S4 processor. The phone also has 1 GB memory and 16 GB storage space, but it also does not have a memory card reader. Again the battery is not replaceable.
HTC made an interesting choice for the screen of the One S. The 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display comes from its competitor Samsung and utilises a pentile pixel matrix. The result is the display is somewhat less sharp than a comparable RGB screen.
The 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen has a resolution of 960x540 pixels. This so-called qHD resolution has significantly less pixels than the 1280x720 screens from the other phones in this test, but is still sharper than most other Android phones.
The screen of the HTC One S does look good, but it's not perfect. The contrast of the display is very good, because black is actually very black on an AMOLED display. You can still clearly read the screen at different angles, even if the colours do shift somewhat and the screen gets a greenish tint. At a normal viewing distance the screen is not as sharp as screen with an RGB panel. While on the Galaxy SIII you can barely tell that it has a pentile pixel matrix, on the One S it is visible.
Still, we prefer the screen of the HTC One S over any screen with 852x480 resolution, but you should keep in mind that the combination of a pentile matrix screen with 960x540 resolution is less sharp than the HD displays on the other phones in this test.