Despite unexpected setbacks, the HTC One is finally available in the U.S. from top carriers. With the 32GB version costing $199 or less, it’s priced right up there with similarly specced phones. However, as we all know too well, paying the subsidized price means getting locked into a contract, T-Mobile being the exception.
Even further, opting for a carrier subsidized version often leads to pre-installed bloatware, slow updates, and the carrier’s logo on the device so people won’t mistake who you pledge allegiance to. Now, if you want to buy an unlocked version, most carriers offer that as well. With higher-end Android smartphones, you can expect paying upwards of $700.
You can buy the unlocked version (with a truly unlocked bootloader) directly from HTC for $574.99, which works on AT&T or T-Mobile’s LTE network. What’s interesting is that it’s priced around $25 less than buying directly from AT&T. AT&T-branded devices have typically been the only ones able to access its 4G LTE network. Last year with the launch of the Nexus 4, many users were disappointed with the lack of LTE onboard.
Integrating LTE meant working directly with carriers. Because of Google wanting to control the user experience, and keeping carriers out of the process, users were stuck with 3G. Fast forward to the HTC One, and things are starting to change. Not only can people completely bypass buying from AT&T, but HTC has promised its own updates to the unlocked version.
This means a completely unadulterated user experience, similar to the Nexus line of devices. AT&T definitely has an impressive and growing LTE network. If you’re in the market for the HTC One, and mostly use data, T-Mobile has an offer that’s hard to refuse. For just $30 per month, you can get 100 minutes talk, unlimited text, and 5GB of 4G data, an option that’s been very popular with Nexus 4 owners.
However, unlike the Nexus 4, you can actually run at 4G speeds.