All things modern.
Although all of the mainstream tech review websites are raving about the build quality of the HTC One (except this one), it would seem that many customers are receiving handsets that fall well short of the “no compromise” billing by HTC. In fact some of the handsets passing quality control are downright insulting to the consumer.
Here is the story of my HTC one and the way it looked when I opened the sealed box.
First of all there was a scratch straight out of sealed the box. Yes a scratch even though the phone had never been removed from its packaging. It was only minor really so I covered it in a bit of black marker. Notice also that the paint around the corner is inconsistently applied.
Closer examination of the phone however revealed several more marks and signs of a poor quality manufacturing process. There was a mismatched seam as the top speaker grille failed to line up with the rear housing with what looked like remains of glue visible.
The next issue was the area surrounding the sim tray. Not only was it badly cut, actually it looked like it has been cut with a box cutter, by a child but the area around the tray bulged resulting in the tray not fitting flush. Look at that sim eject hole as well, it looks like a dull bit was used to drill it.
Then there was another mismatched seam at the bottom. Notice also all the dings where the front meets the rear case.
I wouldn’t expect to see this kind of workmanship even on a cheap dumb phone, and I have owned loads of those. But to see this on a flagship phone, one lauded for its build quality, is shocking to say the least. However there was one final problem which proved too much to bear. After owning for two weeks I took the phone out of its official HTC Flip Case to dust it and for some reason laid it face down on the table. To my horror, the phone would not lie flat but wobbled, like a table with a short leg. Looking at the picture below you can see one corner a full millimetre or two above the surface of the desk.
This of course is unacceptable for any phone, let alone a flagship device so I phoned HTC customer service who nicely arranged to replace the back cover of the device. One week later, the handset arrived back home…with a letter stating “we have been unable to replicate the fault”. This was despite the fact that I printed and sent the pictures above along with the phone.
But that’s not all!!
Yes folks the kind repair men returned my phone with a brand new scratch above the speaker grill on the front! Perhaps the repair man thought he would teach me a lesson for daring to return a poorly built phone.
Naturally the phone is on its way back to HTC along with letters of complaint to the HTC General Manager for Europe and Phones4u from whom I purchased it. I am not optimistic, but if this blog post succeeds in making one person in the whole world buy an iPhone instead, then I will feel like my loss has at least been someone else’s gain..