I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Sometimes, choosing one phone over the other is more a matter of software differences than hardware. A perfect example of this is when you’re comparing the HTC One X to the Samsung Galaxy S3 trying to decide which you like more. Both phones have near identical hardware specifications, so it really comes down to the software experience. So, in this review, I’ll cover HTC’s Sense 4 UI in depth to help you make that decision:
Lock Screen: The lock screen on HTC Sense 4 hasn’t changed too much from the previous versions of Sense. But that’s not a bad thing. You can unlock the phone by pulling the ring at the bottom up or go straight to an application by pulling its shortcut (you can have up to four) into the ring. What is new in Sense 4, however, is the lock screen styles you have such as being able to your pictures (from a preselected album) show up or having the latest stock quotes right there.
Home Screen: You can have anywhere between as little as one home screen to up to seven if you so desire. Simply pinch your fingers on the home screen or double tap the home button to view all of your home screens at once. One of the things I love about HTC is that they add a whole bunch of widgets and wallpapers in Sense unlike other manufacturer UIs. You can choose from over 20 pages of widgets and dozens of wallpapers (without having to download a thing).
App Launcher: With the new TouchWiz, you now scroll from side to side when looking at the app launcher (previous builds scrolled up and down) just like you would on stock ICS. You have a few tabs at the bottom of the launcher for all, frequent, and downloaded. You can edit these tabs by pressing and holding on them and even remove them from even showing up if you decide you don’t want them.
Personalize: In the settings, you have a “Personalize” tab that lets you customize your phone to your liking. You can switch between different scenes (home screen layouts) and themes (colors and styles) with the touch of a button. The personalize tab is where you can also set your wallpaper and lock screen styles mentioned earlier.
Camera: Probably my favorite part about Sense, the camera UI is in my opinion the best on any phone. You can take a picture or record a video from the same screen, and if you want to use burst shot mode you can do so simply by holding down the shutter button. This will take anywhere between 2 to 20 pictures and gives you the option for “best shot” after you’re done which deletes all the pictures you decide aren’t worth keeping automatically. Also worth mentioning is that Sense’s camera offers slow motion video.
Design: I change my mind. The design is my favorite part about Sense 4. Things just look very clean and polished on Sense, from the alarm clock to the weather widget and everything in between. You have a nice little 3D cube effect on when you swipe from tab to tab, and this is consistent throughout the UI. Basically, Sense just makes you feel like you’re using a higher end device compared to some of the other Android UIs out there.
Extra Features: Some other features that come with Sense 4 are fast boot, app associations, memory cleaning and the browser’s “read” mode. Fast boot makes the phone turn on 4x times faster than normal. App associations let you see what apps are set to default for certain actions. Memory cleaning makes more storage space on your phone by clearing out old cache. And the browser’s “Read” mode filters out all the advertisements and menus on websites so you’re left with nothing but the article you want to read.