news Independent mobile retailer Mobicity has started selling a version of HTC’s flagship HTC One XL smartphone which will fully function on Telstra’s 4G mobile network, ahead of an expected launch by the telco of the device in the next month or so.
In early March Telstra confirmed it would shortly be launching two handsets in HTC’s new flagship One line-up in Australia, firming suspicions that HTC’s new top-end LTE model, the One XL, could be headed to the big T’s flagship Next G 4G mobile network. All of the HTC One handsets run the new Ice Cream Sandwich (version 4.0) edition of Google’s Android operating system, and offer advanced features over the company’s line of HTC Sensation and Desire handsets previously launched in Australia.
However, the telco has not yet launched any HTC One handsets locally and is still believed to be testing the handsets with its Next G network. Unlike Optus and Vodafone, which have already launched 3G versions of the One X, Telstra also offers an extensive national 4G network with dramatically enhanced speeds over its rivals. Consequently, it is likely the telco is testing at least one of the HTC One series phones against this network.
The likely delay of the One XL handset launch in Australia has left the nation without a really high-end handset supporting Telstra’s new 4G network for some time. The current 4G handsets available through Telstra — notably the HTC Velocity 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G — are largely seen as re-workings of existing handset offerings in Australia rather than examples of the next-generation of handsets available internationally.
However, as of yesterday, independent retailer Mobicity is offering Australian customers a way out of the delay. The company has started selling a version of the HTC One XL which it guarantees works on Telstra’s 4G network. This news was first reported by Ausdroid.
“The HTC One XL X325s has been exclusively tested by MobiCity on Telstra’s new high speed, Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G network and has hit astonishing speeds of over 54mbps download and 35mbps upload,” the company’s website states. “It’s also Telstra Next G compatible, meaning you can take advantage of Telstra’s extensive network coverage and high data speeds in more places.”
The screen of the One XL handset being sold by Mobicity is a 4.7″ touchscreen running at a high definition resolution of 720p (1280×720) and using Corning’s Gorilla Glass material. As previously reported, it runs a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU running at 1.5GHz, instead of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset used by the non-4G versions of the HTC One X.
Mobicity’s version comes with an eight megapixel camera, it weighs 129g and is 8.9mm thick. It is unlocked, and can also work on the networks of Optus and Vodafone. It comes with an 1800 mAh battery. Delimiter’s review of the similar HTC One X states:
“HTC’s One X sports a very generous 4.7-inch display, yet manages to retain an elegant look and feel. It’s only 8.9mm thick and weighs in at an impressive 130gm thanks to the polycarbonate unibody design with the slightest of curves which should still fit most pockets.
… It’s still early days for Ice Cream Sandwich and quad-core processors and we can expect more great handsets this year, but for now we’d say HTC’s One X is the new gold standard in Android superphones.”
In my opinion, this HTC One XL handset is likely to be one of the handsets of the year in Australia, if not the handset of the year. The only handsets which I would expect to beat it would be the next version of the iPhone, if it launches with 4G support in Australia (and bear in mind we know next to nothing about Apple’s next iPhone plans), or a 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is not even on the horizon at this point. If you have the cash up-front and you are in the market for a new phone, this HTC One XL is looking like a very safe option on Telstra’s network. It should be future-proof for at least 18 months or so.
Image credit: HTC