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HTC One S smartphone with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich live first look

Gallery by Dan Seifert on Sunday February 26, 2012.

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Alongside the new flagship One X, HTC was also showing off its just-announced One S here at MWC 2012. Though the One S is not as high-end of a smartphone as the One X, it is equally impressive in its own right.

The One S has the same unibody type of construction as the One X, but instead of polycarbonate, it is made of aluminum. The finish of the phone features an ultra-matte black Ceramic Metal surface that is the result of a microarc oxidation process. This gives the phone a surprising amount of grip when it is in your hand, though it still attracts fingerprints like other matte finishes. The One S is extremely thin and light too, and the slight curvature to the body fits your hand better than say Samsung's flat, thin smartphones.

The display of the One S is a 4.3-inch AMOLED unit with qHD (540 x 960 pixel) resolution. Colors are vibrant and bright and the screen's viewing angles are very wide, so no complaints there. Below the display are capacitive buttons for back, home, and multitasking, which are usually functions controlled by virtual on-screen buttons in Android 4.0. Either way, they work as expected and don't take up any screen real estate.

HTC used a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz in the One S, and though it is not as high-end as the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip in the One X, I didn't notice any perceivable performance difference between the two when using them side by side. The One S powered through Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC's new Sense 4 interface without issue, and menus and apps opened up swiftly. There might be a difference between the devices when it comes to playing high-end games, but I don't think most users will notice it in everyday use.

HTC's toned-down Sense 4 looks familiar, but it feels less intrusive than with earlier versions of Sense. Time (and a full review) will tell if it indeed is a better experience than before, but upon first glance, I don't dislike it as much as older versions of Sense and some of the animations are actually pleasing.

The HTC One S is due to be released worldwide in April. A version of it will be carried by T-Mobile in the U.S., but a release date has not yet been announced for it.

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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