Despite playing younger brother to the quad-core HTC One X, the S still has its charms, not least the fact that it will likely retail at considerably less than its flagship sibling.
Tech and price-wise the S looks set to be the middle child of HTC's One series. Being bigger and boasting slightly better tech than the V, but still falling short of the flagship title, which is currently held by the One X.
The chief differences between the One S and the X are their screen, processor, internal storage and battery.
The HTC One S houses a 4.3-inch 540x960 resolution display - this compares to the X, which features 4.7-inch 1,280x 720 screen. Additionally the S's processor is a dual, not quad-core 1.5 GHz affair and the unit will only boast 16GB of internal storage - half that of the X. The battery is also smaller, with the S packing a 1650 mAh component - the X has an 1800mAh unit.
That said, in our time with the device we can confirm that the S is no lightweight. Even without the X's quad-core chip the device was snappy and responsive to the touch, easily dealing with multi-tasking - by the end we managed to get multiple video's streaming on the device, each running with zero delay.
Additionally, though you could see a slight decrease in visual quality moving from the X to the S, the units screen was still clear and crisp, being at least on a par with the other high-end smartphones unveiled at 2012's Mobile World Congress.
For the eager snapper the One S packs an 8-megapixel camera rear facing, backed up by a front facing 1.3-megapixel that can reportedly record at 720p. The device's rear camera also supports auto focus, smart LED flash, and BSI sensor (for better low-light captures) and 1080p HD video recording support.
In our hands-on, as was the case with the X, we particularly liked that, thanks to the One S's ImageSense software, we could capture a photo while recording HD video - a useful feature if you spot something particularly classic while recording and want to put it in a frame.
Look and Feel
In terms of size the S isn't tiny, measuring in at 130.9 x 65 x 7.8mm. Though, like the X, we were pleasantly surprised at how light the S felt, with the unit weighing just 119.5g. Additionally, the S feels solid, with its uni-body case being made of metal rather than polycarbonate.
The use of metal makes the S feel solid and in our time with it we definitely got the impression it could take a few bumps.
We also liked the fact that the device comes in two colour options; ceramic black or anodised grey. The two finishes are apparently made using different production methods to colour the metal.
Operating System and Software
Like all of HTC's One series, the S will be released running Google's latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. On top of this the unit will come loaded with HTC's custom Sense 4 UI and feature Beats Audio tech. While we didn't get a chance to try out the Beats tech, come review time we're really looking forward to seeing just how good the One S's sound system and quality is.
Another nice touch by HTC across all its new One devices is the inclusion of DropBox support, with the S, V and X all coming with 25GB of free Dropbox storage, for two years.
Release Date and Price
There's currently no official word on the S's price and while we don't think it'll be overtly expensive, it certainly won't be cheap - we're guessing in the low £400s. As to its release date, HTC has confirmed that it should be hitting stores sometime in April 2012.
Check back at the International Business Times UK closer to the time for a full review.