THIS. The HTC One X.
This phone represents one of the biggest changes to how Android will continue on existing and it has nothing to do with Google.
(First off, take the time to check out The Verge’s review. The phone is NICE.)
Now, hundreds of Android phones have flown out from HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc. since the launch of Android. This is both a good and bad thing for Android. The marketshare exploded, however the quality of phones really dragged down the quality of Android. Even on the nicer phones, lack of updates due to supporting so many phones made phones obsolete days after release.
I’m a huge fan of Android, but frankly I’ve viewed my Android interest as solely the latest Nexus phone. Google is doing it right in competing against the iPhone. One phone a year and it should represent your best.
The HTC One series really gives me a glimmer of hope for other companies competing for my dollar. Honestly, I don’t care if HTC keeps shoveling out other crappy Android phones, as long as they realize that this is how you try to win over the same people who went to the iPhone. Each company should try to compete with iPhone not with their monthly releases because they slightly bumped up the processor, but with one solid (as close to perfect as possible) phone. Promise to keep the OS up to date. Promise that it will be their flagship for at least a year without some “HTC One X MAXXXXX Plus+ 4G 3D” coming out 3 months from now.
Make one phone that represents the company. Apple doesn’t make a hundred different iPhones a year, they sell the old ones for less. If HTC keeps the One brand strong enough, they can find themselves in the same position. This would mean less phones for them to have to worry about software updates for and Android fragmentation would decrease by a huge amount.
As for the Sense skin, I’m glad they toned it down. I’m still a vanilla guy myself (why can’t companies just offer a way to revert to stock?) but this is at least much, much better than what Sense used to be. Companies argue how there are a lot of factors that slow down updates, but skins certainly play a part. This phone’s release (HTC’s first ICS) is closer to Google announcing the next version of Android at I/O than it is to Ice Cream Sandwich’s release in November. Skins suck.
Also, why real buttons? What happens if Jelly Bean reintroduces the Search button or changes how the back button functions? I always saw the change to buttons being on the screen for the Galaxy Nexus as being a stepping stone for more contextually aware buttons.
There are clearly some things HTC needs to fix, but frankly the phone looks beautiful and this is a HUGE step in the right direction for how companies should be handling Android.