Four times the strength of regular aluminum. Or not, HTC?

April 11, 2012
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Uh oh, there seems to be some trouble brewing in the HTC paradise, as a good number of unhappy owners of the HTC One S report that the phone’s surface isn’t as sturdy and durable as HTC has been claiming. So what’s wrong with the surface of the HTC One S then?

In spite of the bold claims made by HTC about the micro-arc oxidation (MAO) process used on the One S making the phone almost immune to dents and scratches, reality (as it, too often, tends to do) begs to disagree. A thread on XDA-Developers, started by a user complaining about the chipping that appeared on his freshly bought HTC One S, quickly turned into a cacophony of laments from other users that are suffering from the same problem. So, just what went wrong for the HTC One S?

It’s certainly not out of the ordinary for a phone to show signs of wear and tear, but dents and scratches shouldn’t just come out of nowhere, after only a week or two of usage. Moreover, in the case of  the One S, HTC even went as far as to claim that a protective case isn’t required. Some people are pointing fingers at MAO and how the brittle ceramic shell of the phone can’t hold on to the flexible aluminum underneath. But that’s only a hypothesis, and we can’t pinpoint yet the cause of the problem.

It is still unclear whether the problem is a design issue (the chipping are occurring on the sharpish edge of the phone) or merely a manufacturing problem, but HTC has been notified by members of the forum and it acknowledged that it has received numerous similar complaints from disgruntled users. Whilst awaiting for the company to look into the matter, affected customers can send the phone in for repairs.

On a better note, only the black variant of the HTC One S is suffering from the chipping problems. The blue/grey variant, which will be making its way to T-Mobile USA soon, doesn’t undergo the MAO treatment. While this rather embarrassing issue may slightly tarnish HTC’s comeback attempt, we have full faith in HTC to come with an explanation and a solution to the problem.

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