HTC One Gold Review: All That Glitters...?

27/01/2014 14:58

The HTC One Gold is the new special edition of the flagship HTC One smartphone except it's… Gold.

Key Features:

  • 4.7-inch 1080p screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 600
  • 1.7Ghz quad-core processor
  • HTC 'Boomsound' speakers
  • 'Ultrapixel' camera
  • 2GB Ram

The Pitch

Phil Blair, HTC European President: "The best artists have always been given gold discs to celebrate their success, but today most people listen to music on their phone. We wanted to celebrate that fact.”

htc one gold


First, the basics: the HTC One is a fine smartphone, one of last year's best, with a great screen, extremely handsome design and some neat software touches that distinguish it from its rivals.

Unfortunately it also has some flaws - some of which were a problem at the time, and some which are more significant as we move into another year of new smartphone releases.

For one, the HTC One's experiment with a lower-megapixel, 'Ultrapixel' camera was designed to sacrifice image size for improved quality and low-light accuracy. And… it didn't quite work. The fact is the HTC One doesn't have anywhere near the best camera in the smartphone space, outdone by everything from the regular iPhone 5S to Nokia's array of absurdly high-resolution snappers.

It's also fair to say that elements of the HTC One's software - its 'Blinkfeed' magazine-style frontpage, the HTC Zoe image editor and sorting app - haven't set the world alight. Meanwhile its battery life is still an issue.

But the HTC One's biggest problem is that it's just a bit... old. HTC has already said a new flagship phone is coming soon. So what's the point in spending top dollar for an ageing phone?

Well, HTC wants to give you a reason. And so - in a move totally unrelated, honest, to Apple - it has brought the HTC One Gold to the UK.

The HTC One Gold is a restyled, recoloured One, with black accents but otherwise no differences to the original One.

The only real question, then, is how does it look? And the answer is… pretty decent, actually. Like the gold iPhone 5S, the gold One isn't too shiny or sparkly (unlike the version made for the MOBO awards). But it's not the exact same shade either - it's stronger, darker and richer than the iPhone equivalent.

Like Apple's handset, the Gold One is not outrageously flashy, but has a muted, 'bronze' tone that is classy while still being a bit self-consciously 'elite'.

Which model you prefer - the phone also comes in silver, black, blue and red - is a matter of personal preference then. And all are obviously good phones. But we might still suggest waiting around a couple of months to see what HTC has up its sleeves for 2014 before you make a big investment on what is really just a recoloured previous-generation smartphone.


  • 1 Apple iPhone 6s
    The iPhone 6s on the surface at least looks like your bog standard update. Visually it's very much the same animal but look a little deeper and this is an entirely different phone. There's now a pressure-sensitive display utilising a feature called 'Force Touch' while a blistering new processor means it's one of the most capable gaming devices outside of your living room.
  • 2 Google Nexus 5X
    The Nexus 5X strikes the ultimate balance between power and affordability. Taking over the responsibility from the frankly excellent Nexus 5, Google's new smartphone boast an ultra-light body but still crams in a fingerprint sensor, the latest version of Android marshmallow and a Full-HD display.
  • 3 HTC One A9
    The HTC One A9 is the iPhone for people who love Android. There's simply no denying the design similarities between the two phones. Thankfully HTC's packed this with more flagship features than you can shake a indecently sized stick at. There's a fingerprint reader, 5-inch Full-HD display, 13MP camera and the A9 can play high-resolution audio.
  • 4 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    Sony has created the world's first truly 4K smartphone. While you might be wondering why, the fact is they've gone ahead and done it anyway. Utilising Sony's amazing screen expertise it should come as no surprise to learn the display is an absolute stunner. There's a fingerprint reader and the ability to play high-res audio.
  • 5 Google Nexus 6P
    The Google Nexus 6P is Google's answer to the big-screen phone. Sporting a 5.7-inch Full-HD panel, the 6P has a beautifully thin unibody enclosure while the subtle fingerprint scanner on the back can be used for security and for paying. You'll also get the added advantage of owning a phone that'll always get Google's Android software before anyone else keeping it safer than ever.
  • 6 LG G4
    The LG G4 is LG's most advanced smartphone yet. Combining a massive 5.5-inch 2K display with a powerful F1.8 lens camera this is a phone that means business. If you can get past the size of it then you'll be richly rewarded. Thanks to that F1.8 lens LG claims that the G4 is the closest you'll get to a professional SLR on a smartphone without spending thousands on a camera.
  • The Galaxy S6 Edge is probably the most advanced phone available right now. With it's stunningly curved 2K display and powerful octa-core processor this is a return to form for Samsung that was much needed. If you're after the absolute cutting-edge then this is for you, just don't expect the battery to last any longer than a day.
  • The Moto X 2 is significant for two reasons; the first of which is that you can almost entirely design it yourself. On top of that you get a stunning 5.2-inch display that's matched with a phone that measures in at just 3.8mm at its thinnest point. Thanks to Motorola's agreement with Google it's pure Android and will get updates from Google as soon as they're announced. For now, this is your Nexus replacement.
  • This is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and it shows the biggest departure from Samsung's design thinking yet. Gone is the cheap plasticky body, replaced with a thin metal frame and smooth leather back. The screen is still 5.7-inches but Samsung's upped the resolution to a massive 2K.
  • The Nokia Lumia 930 is the flagship phone for Microsoft. Running the increasingly impressive Windows Phone operating system the 930 is a serious contender against the iPhone 6 and S6. It also happens to be a seriously powerful smartphone as well with a 5-inch Full-HD display, 20MP camera and professional levels of film recording thanks to four mics for full stereo pickup.
Suggest a correction