The HTC One might just be the best-looking smartphone on the market right now. It’s a real head-turner, the kind of phone that you’d leave your current phone for. At first everything’s perfect, but then you realize that the HTC One has issues. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a really solid smartphone (check out our HTC One review for the full story), but every smartphone has its flaws. In this article, we’ll round up the most commonly reported HTC One problems and try to offer up some solutions for anyone suffering from this beautiful phone’s known issues.
Updated on 11-13-2013 by Simon Hill: Added Bluetooth problem, Wi-Fi connection issue, and no SIM card error.
Glitch: Background noise or static
A number of people have been complaining about a buzzing sound or background static. The problem is most common through the speakers, but can be heard when using headphones as well. Some people report hissing through the headphones when listening to music, especially noticeable during gaps in the audio. Others are reporting popping sounds from the speakers, most noticeably after notifications come in. There is also hissing for some during voice calls, and stuttering during audio playback.
It’s not clear whether this is a hardware or software issue. Some people have returned their handsets for replacements and report the exact same problem occurring on the new one as well.
Workarounds: You may not be able to get rid of the problem entirely, but you can reduce it by turning off Beats Audio via the gear icon in the Notifications panel. Some people report that having NFC turned on makes it worse as well, so turn that off, too.
- There might be a software update eventually that will address this issue, but HTC hasn’t confirmed the problem, so there’s no guarantee.
- You can try getting a replacement handset in the hope that it’s a hardware issue and the new one won’t have the same problem. There are plenty of people reporting that they have no audio issues with their HTC One handsets. Contact HTC, your retailer, or carrier to report the issue.
Problem: Gaps, rough edges, bulges, or scratches
It seems that some HTC One handsets shipped in less than perfect condition. There have been several reports of build quality problems with gaps between the plastic and metal, strange bulges, mysterious scratches on the body, and edges that feel rough to the touch.
Solution: This is really straightforward and there’s only one course of action to take. If you’re unhappy with the build quality of your HTC One, you should return it. Contact the retailer where you bought it, explain the problem, and you’ll get a replacement handset.
Malfunction: Proximity sensors not working
A few people have reported that their sensors aren’t working correctly. You may notice that the capacitive buttons don’t light up and this could actually be a sign that the sensor isn’t working. Try covering the sensors (top left) with your finger and see if the capacitive buttons light up. You can also test the sensors using a free app called Android Sensor Box.
Solution: If they aren’t working then it’s a hardware fault and you’ll have to return the phone and get a replacement.
Malfunction: Unresponsive Home or Back buttons
Many owners have highlighted an issue with the capacitive Home and Back buttons either side of the HTC logo beneath the screen. It seems they are unresponsive some of the time. This might be a bigger problem if you are using a screen protector. If this is a software issue, HTC will release an update to fix it at some point, but in the meantime there is something you can try.
Workaround: If you tap lock and then unlock, or tap on the touchscreen and then try the buttons again, you might find that they are more responsive.
- Go to Settings > Language & keyboard > HTC Sense input > Advanced > Calibration tool and just use a very light touch to calibrate. You should now find that the Home and Back keys are a little more responsive.
- You could turn on Vibrate feedback in Settings > Sound to make sure that you are touching the button correctly (apparently the capacitive area is small and you have to be precise).
Glitch: Dead or stuck pixels
There have been quite a few complaints about dead pixels (pixels which won’t light up at all) and stuck pixels (pixels which stay permanently on) on new HTC One handsets.
- You can try an app like Dead Pixel Detect and Fix and see if it helps.
- You can return the handset and get a replacement.
Problem: Blue/purple/red noise in low light photos
HTC outfitted the One with a pretty solid camera. When we first got our hands on it, we weren’t sure what to expect from the phone’s 4 “UltraPixels,” but we were pleasantly surprised when we started shooting. It takes great photos, but many people have come forth with complaints about its performance in low light, citing pictures with blue, purple, or red noise where there should be black. HTC has now acknowledged this issue and a possible software update with a fix is in the works. Here’s what you can try in the meantime.
- Turn down your ISO. This will reduce the camera’s sensitivity to light and help make your photos less grainy and noisy.
- If tweaking your camera settings doesn’t help, you can always return your handset and get a replacement.
Annoyance: Takes a long time to charge
The HTC One does have a bigger battery than many smartphones, rated at 2,300mAh, and some owners have been complaining that it takes a long time to charge. You may be used to your smartphone being fully charged within three hours, but the HTC One is likely to take four hours or longer. Apparently HTC has taken precautions to ensure that the battery lasts (since it isn’t removable) and this partly accounts for the longer charging time. If it seems to be taking a lot longer than that then there are a couple of things worth checking.
- Are you using the charger that shipped with the phone? If you’re using an older charger or plugging it into your computer via USB to charge, then it will take longer. If you are using the charger that came with your HTC One, then you might try a different charger, just to make sure that the original isn’t faulty.
- Have you got a lot of apps running on the phone while it is charging? The less that’s active and syncing, the faster the phone will charge.
Bug: Bluetooth won’t auto-connect
A lot of people run into problems getting their smartphones to automatically connect to Bluetooth devices, especially in the car. Some people have found that specific functions don’t work. We’ve seen a few complaints from HTC One owners about Bluetooth issues and there are a few potential fixes worth trying.
- Try deleting all the previous pairings on the car’s system and on the HTC One, via Settings > Bluetooth, and then try to connect again.
- If you have trouble sending messages then go to Settings > Bluetooth > Advanced and make sure that Message access is on.
- Make sure that your Device name under Settings > Bluetooth isn’t something complicated (avoid special characters).
- Check that the firmware in your car, or where applicable, on the Bluetooth device you are trying to connect to, is up to date.
- Try installing a free app like Bluetooth File Transfer; it seems to have solved the issue for some people.
Malfunction: No SIM card error
A number of HTC One owners have encountered an error message about the SIM card not being detected properly. This problem has popped up on a few smartphones, including a number of HTC’s previous releases. It is most likely caused by poor contact between the SIM card and the phone.
- You could take it back and try a replacement handset, or possibly a new SIM card.
- The SIM card tray is at the top of the left spine and you’ll need to insert the SIM card ejector pin (or a paper clip) in the hole to pop the tray out. Sometimes just making sure it’s reseated properly and re-inserting will solve the problem.
- Try gently cleaning the gold contacts on the SIM card with some rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth. Make sure it’s completely dry before you re-insert it and make sure there’s no dust or debris in the tray.
- You can also add one or more layers of tape, or a small piece of card to the other side of the SIM card without the gold contacts and then re-insert it. If it’s loose then this will potentially solve the problem.
Problem: Wi-Fi won’t connect or “Authentication problem”
Wi-Fi issues are common with all smartphones and tablets and the HTC One is not an exception. A lot of people have run into issues trying to connect to different Wi-Fi routers, and there are several reports about an “Authentication problem” message popping up on the phone. We have a few ideas that might help.
- Turn your router and your HTC One off for 30 seconds and then turn them both on again and retry the connection.
- Delete the connection on your HTC One and re-enter the details manually.
- Some people report success after turning Wi-Fi off, turning Airplane mode on, then turning Wi-Fi on again, and then Airplane mode off.
- Try installing the free Wi-Fi Analyzer app and find out how crowded the channels are. If that looks like an issue then change the channel on your Wi-Fi router.
- Make sure that your router firmware is up to date.
- Check the authentication protocol on the router and review the other settings. Make sure Mac filtering isn’t turned on.
If you’ve run into any other HTC One problems or, even better, found a solution that isn’t listed, then please post a comment and share. You will also a lot of great advice over at the XDA Developers forum for the HTC One.
Updated on 8-26-2013: Added the camera issue.
Article originally published on 5-02-2013.