Life After Nexus 4: Unlocked HTC One available for $575

For those with upgrade-itis (hey, I've had my Nexus 4 for six months already... an eternity!), the HTC One could hold us over until either the X-Phone or Nexus 5 lands in the U.S.

HTC One: Available unlocked, contract free for $575 (32GB). Still pricier than the Nexus 4 for $349 (16GB) but a viable option for those who would otherwise wait for a Nexus 5 or Google X-Phone.

LTE supported device (T-Mobile HSPA+ too) that sidesteps AT&T. Even Google with its unlocked Nexus 4 was unable to pull that off — though that could change come Google I/O next month where we’ll likely see an upgraded Nexus 4 (Nexus 4S?!) featuring LTE.

At $575 (32GB) the unlocked HTC One is not as cheap as a Nexus 4 which comes in at $299 (8GB) and $349 (16GB). However, for those of us who are unlocked loyalists it does make for a viable, tempting upgrade path. Note that current shipping estimate is 2-4 weeks. Also, for those not running LTE it’s worth pointing out that T-Mobile sells an unlocked version (with fewer frequencies supported) for $579 – and that includes a car dock.

Almost twice the price of the base Nexus 4, which is sold direct via Google Play, the unlocked HTC One is not exactly a slam-dunk. Still, for $226 more you get the hottest phone on the market, double the memory, and a much better display. Also, it’s about $200 cheaper than a comparably equipped iPhone 5; not that I’d ever entertain the idea.

I’m not a huge fan of LG’s design with the Nexus 4 – the glass back is fragile, the display is average (put it side-by-side with even something like the Galaxy S II and you’ll see what I mean in terms of poor white reproduction), and battery life is poor. I was hoping to upgrade to a Motorola X-Phone next month. Inside word is that Google is delaying it. And since Nexus devices are typically unveiled in Q4 we likely won’t see the fabled Nexus 5 anytime soon.

For those with upgrade-itis (hey, I’ve had my Nexus 4 for six months already… an eternity!), the HTC One could hold us over until either the X-Phone or Nexus 5 lands in the U.S.

But, I’ll likely wait a few more weeks to see what Google unveils at I/O. At the very least we’ll get Key Lime Pie. And guess which phones that’ll come out on first? Hint: not the HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S 4. Once again, software trumps hardware. Patience, patience…

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  • vperl

    Old news, but you knew that already .

  • Emoney

    I’m rocking an OG Incredible. upgrade-itis doesn’t even begin to describe it

    • VicVicVic

      I finally got the Nexus 4 recently – my first smartphone, ever. Previously, I had a phone that came out in 2007.

  • bro

    Umm… all in all, the Nexus 4 is a better phone than the HTC One. Why would anybody want to downgrade?

    • kervation

      I totally agree. I am an Android enthusiast and pure Android on a Nexus device does the job for me.

    • marque2

      If it is about the software, maybe. But the specs on the HTC One do outdo the Nexus 4, especially screen resolution, and the sound is suppose to be incredible. And I am sure you can always root the phone/upgrade the OS.

      I will keep my Nexus 4 however – cuz well I have just had it 2 months, it has to make it another 2 years.

    • Maybe. I’m still with Nexus and like pure Android. Waiting to see what happens at I/O. But if no new hardware it’s going to test my patience to wait until Q4 for Nexus 5… will likely go S 4 or HTC One unlocked in the interim. Hey, life is short!

  • Pequeno Pete

    What do you mean ‘even’ a Galaxy S2 when referring to the screen? The S2 had one of the best OLED screens out there. If Samsung were ever to go back in that direction and produce a non pentile screen that would be a killer phone.

  • topgun966

    It should be noted that the developer version does not support most of T Mobile’s frequencies. Most places will get 2g at best. The few cities that have been upgraded will get HPCA+, but few and far between.