Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why I returned my HTC One S

I just returned my HTC One S under buyer's remorse for a number of reasons. I am going to opt instead for the Samsung Galaxy S3. I am really a bit disappointed about this. We need strong competitors to Samsung--HTC is the most likely candidate. And I have been mis-treated by Samsung before (Galaxy S/Vibrant). So I really wanted HTC to have a winner here. Alas, it was not to be.

Severely Broken Multi-Tasking

As has been more publicized for the HTC One X, the memory management is so aggressive that you can barely multi-task at all. It's like the Generation 1 iPhone. Especially a killer, since one of my main uses cases is to listen to streaming NPR.

Signal Fluctuation Issues

I think the signal fluctuation issue was largely fixed by the recent update. Pre-update, sometimes I would spontaneously have no signal at all. Post-update, sometimes the signal drops precipitously for no reason at all, but hasn't gotten to the point of "X for no signal".

Bluetooth Spontaneously Disconnecting/Crashing

The bluetooth would spontaneously disconnect, pretty frequently--probably once every 2-3 hours of use. A couple of times I think it even caused the phone to re-boot. Again, since my #1 use case for my phone is voice calls for work (I know, who would have though, voice a primary usage for a smartphone! :) ), and my #2 is streaming NPR, this is a big problem.

Screen Size

I knew what I was getting, but I had really wanted a 4.6" widescreen (like GS2). I was willing to compromise on this, but it was a factor. Had I known T-Mobile would get the GS3 so promptly, I probably would have held out from Day 1.

App Association (Probably Intentional) Bug

In Android, you can set a default app association for various "Intents", such as Contacts, Messages, Home Button. The first time the Intent occurs, it will list all the available "Intent Receivers" (Apps), and let you choose if you want one to be the default. From then on, you don't have to choose, you get the default. In HTC ICS, it seems like this is broken--I set the default, but it is never remembered. This gets very, very annoying. Especially for a Launcher app that replaces the Home Screen.

Menu Button

For the many apps not updated to ICS, you lose quite a bit of space in portrait mode, due to the on-screen menu button. I know this isn't HTC's fault, they are following the Google spec, but it was a real bummer (and compounds the screen size compromise). I am thinking Samsung made a much better choice with the GS3 by going against Google's intent and including the menu button. Surprised this hasn't been discussed more, it is a real bummer.


  1. I'm very pleased with our Tmobile Samsung GS2. Good luck

    1. Beth has one. Even almost 1 year on, it is a great phone.