We were also seriously impressed with the screen. It's a 4.7in model with a Full HD 1,920x1,080 resolution, leading to a huge pixel density figure of 468ppi. When compared side-by-side with the Xperia Z's display, we preferred the HTC One's screen, thanks to its superb contrast. It has incredibly deep blacks (for an LCD at least), and our test photos showed rich, vibrant colours and plenty of shadow detail.
The Xperia Z had the advantage when it came to looking at web pages, however; its slightly larger 5in display meant text was ever-so-slightly larger and easier to read when web pages were fully zoomed out, helped by brilliant white backgrounds, compared to the very slight grey tinge on the HTC One.
Last year it was 720p, now Full HD 1080p screens are becoming the norm on top-end smartphones
This difference was borne out in our subjective web browsing tests. Both phones rendered graphics heavy web pages at a similar speed, but when zoomed in and panning around a web page, the Xperia Z would stutter when coming across a large image – a problem we didn’t have with the HTC One.
Luckily, HTC has provided a huge 2,300mAh battery to power the fast processor and bright screen. The handset managed 8h 32m in our continuous video playback test, which is a strong result and bodes well for all-day battery life.
SENSE 5.0An Android smartphone can be beautifully designed and have an amazing screen and top-notch chipset, but none of this will make any difference if the software is rubbish. HTC sails closer to the wind than most on this front, as it heavily customises Android with its latest Sense interface.
Sense has always divided opinion, but this time HTC has really pushed the boat out. Running on top of Android 4.1.2 is Sense 5.0, and with it comes the end of the traditional Android homescreen, with its mix of widgets and icons.