A spec bump in the middle of a product cycle? All the cool cats do it these days, even if they risk alienating customers who just bought what they thought was this year's flagship device. HTC has actually played this game for a while, first with the Sensation XE, which acted as a mid-term replacement for the original Sensation and now, with the One X+ which treads all over the One X's toes. However, with this latest handset, the manufacturer has some justification: the One X+ comes with 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, whereas the global One X maxed out at 32GB and the AT&T version was only 16GB. Since there's no microSD expansion on these phones, it's possible to argue that the One X+ is a sensible addition, which caters specifically to storage-hungry power users and audiophiles. (Note: We'll be reviewing the HSPA+ UK version of this handset here, and comparing it mainly to the HSPA+ One X. We'll test the US-destined LTE variant very soon.)
There are other improvements aside from the bigger storage option, of course. The NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor has had a speed bump to 1.7GHz -- perhaps in an effort to challenge the Galaxy S III's benchmarking might. There's a larger 2,100mAh battery to stay in step with that more power-hungry silicon; the front camera module has been replaced with a higher-res chip and better image processing; and, there's also some new audio circuitry to improve the speaker's sound quality. The One X+ also runs HTC's updated Sense 4+ skin, based on Jelly Bean, which will eventually arrive on older One-series phones as well. As for the rest of the spec sheet, all the good and not-so-good stuff from the One X has carried over -- the stunning 4.7-inch, 1,280 x 720 Super LCD2 display is still here, thank goodness, and so is the 8-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera. However, there's still only 1GB of RAM (LG and Samsung flagships boast double that). So, what's needed here is an upshot: if you haven't made the leap to a 2012 superphone just yet, how does the One X+ carry itself relative to its cheaper predecessor and the latest competition? Read on and we'll endeavor to find out.