Verizon began carrying the HTC One in August a full 4 months after it was released in the US and over month after the Google Play Edition graced our reviewers’ hands. 

We’ve already reviewed the HTC One in its many forms and came away singing its praises. There’s no doubt it is a great phone, made much greater when you strip away HTC Sense overlay. Its 4.7-inch 1080P display is glorious. The feel of its rounded aluminum case feels great in the hand and it performs amicably.  Even the camera, which we loved in the Google Play edition version is the best we’ve seen.

Nothing has really changed here on the Verizon version. Same great build quality, great screen and great camera. Same awful Sense overlay.

Add the universally-loved Verizon’s LTE 4G network and you’d think you’d have one of the best smartphones on the market. Not so fast.

I received the Verizon HTC One review unit almost a month ago and I haven’t had much reason to use it.  If I want a full featured Android phone, I still prefer the Nexus 4 running on T-Mobile’s HSPA+.  Sure HTC’s phone is specced out way better, but Vanilla Android is still much more usable for me and with Verizon and HTC both mushing up Android, the much faster One feels much slower in my hands.

You also can’t yet easily unlock the Verizon HTC One so your best bet in ridding yourself of Sense is to install yet another overlay.

Add Verizon’s recent moves to try to kill Net Neutrality and I have a hard time recommending the company’s plans, even though they often have fastest (and most expensive) LTE network.

So there it is: Best Android Hardware, Best Network, Can’t recommend.


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3 Responses to “Review: HTC One on Verizon – the best hardware on the best network and why I’d pass”

  1. Grab Boyd says:

    2-3 years ago, maybe but I think that at&t is overall the best cell network in the US today. at&t has caught up in terms of coverage and their hspa/lte combination is much better than the cdma/lte of verizon. Not to mention, their prepaid plan does NOT include LTE but only the old cdma n/w.

    While some areas may have better coverage for one n/w than the other , overall my money is on at&t. Verizon did a great job of advertizing in the past and they are making their customers pay for all that investment in marketing.

    • Ian Eberle says:

      I think AT&T is superior because they always get phones first. Because they’re GSM, there’s a lot more flexibility out there. And because they’re GSM, global companies like Samsung and HTC are almost always on AT&T first. By the time the HTC One got to Verizon, it didn’t seem like news anymore.

      So even if Verizon has a bit of better LTE coverage, AT&T has better phone choices. I’m currently a Verizon customer waiting for my contract to expire so I can jump ship to AT&T.