The emotional impact of a new smartphone may sound like something only geeks enjoy, but it is an aspect of modern mobile hardware that affects every user. When you first pick up a phone, you want to feel surprised by how it looks and how it works. As time goes by, you start to lose that feeling as familiarity increases and eventually you are left with a device that is there every day. When you reach that point, in an ideal world you still want to be able to pick it up and think to yourself how good the experience is.
To achieve the above ideal scenario, a smartphone manufacturer has to do a lot of work in the design phases to make the device as practical, functional and pleasing to the user as possible. It is far from easy and there are countless examples of high-end smartphones that miss the emotional side and go on to not sell in large numbers. People don’t talk about this side much and specifications and factual parts of a phone tend to dominate the headlines, but it is there and extremely important.
The problem is that you cannot tell how emotionally attached you will feel towards a phone just by looking at the marketing photos or video reviews. You may get a sense of what it will be like to use, but no more.
When I first picked up the One X, it hit me. Boom! It was there. That feeling that I can’t describe, but which makes me want to use a phone just for the sake of it. I wanted to keep picking it up and to just play with it, and could immediately sense that this feeling would continue. Rolling it in my hands, placing it on a table and looking at it and just having it with me. As I said, I cannot explain what is required to make a phone feel like this, but more than any other to date the One X feels great in every scenario. Despite being a little too big for my needs, I can still appreciate the effort that has gone into the design and it seems as though not just Jonathan Ive is capable of such masterful creations.
From a design perspective the One X is fantastic and practical in almost every way. Very few phones manage this in 2012 and I can only think of the Galaxy Nexus and maybe the iPhone 4S (which looks a little dated now sat next to the One X on my desk) which also achieve this. Well done HTC. You have cracked it!