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HTC One Review

HTC’s most promising release ever is the HTC One. The Taiwanese company probably pulled all stops to make this handset the best and most desirable smartphone in the market. Check out our full review of the HTC One after the break.

HTC’s naming conversion has become a bit confusing with the introduction of the One. It used to be a single letter nomenclature (One X, One S, One V) but with the flagship device, they’ve dropped the letters altogether. We don’t know why they kept on changing naming conventions every year but we don’t think it’s good for marketing.

Design and Construction.

There’s no denying that the HTC One is a masterpiece of a smartphone design. Both the materials used and the craftsmanship are a perfect blend of a desirable handset. If there’s one manufacturer that can match, or even surpass, that of Apple’s iPhone 5.

The generous application of aluminum in a unibody design gives the HTC One a very solid build. This all-metal and glass construction is a rare combination and a tricky attempt in the engineering department as it introduces a lot of complications (signal loss, heat dissipation, etc).

The top side of the handset is where the power button is located. It also doubles as an IR blaster so you can use it as remote control for your TV. The 3.5mm headphone jack sits beside it. On the right side is the volume rocker, while the left side is where the micro SIM card slot is found.

The HTC One’s design was slightly inspired by its predecessor, the HTC Butterfly. In fact, the recently announced HTC Butterfly S combines all the goodness of the Butterfly and the One into a single device.

The HTC One uses dual stereo speakers, both of which are placed at the front so when you’re playing music or watching movies, you get the full power of the system. It’s a minor engineering decision that makes a lot of sense although we’re curious why other brands have not actually employed.`

That elegant and premium feel, attention to detail and materials used in constructing the HTC One is something HTC should indeed be proud of.


Just like the previous flagship handsets, HTC continuously banked on Super LCD3 as its main component for display panels. Super LCD offers brighter whites compared to AMOLED and has better outdoor visibility and less glare in the outdoors.

With a screen resolution of 1080p of 1920×1080 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 469ppi which actually the highest we’ve seen in any flagship handset ever released in the market (others are normally in the 441ppi).

Images are very clear, text are crisp and easy on the eyes, and outdoor visibility is pretty decent.

The thick glass panel spans from edge to edge on the horizontal lane. The top and bottom corners though are terminated with a thick piece of aluminum alloy and looks like it was sand-blasted and laser-cut to give a somewhat polished finish. The same aluminum block also houses the speaker grills created by punching hundreds of tiny pin-holes into the slab.

The narrow bezel extends towards the side and spills over the edges with what could be Gorilla Glass. At the bottom corner of the panel is where the HTC logo is printed along with only two (2) soft buttons — one for Home and another for Back.

OS, UI and Apps.

With the new HTC Sense UI 5.0, the home-screen of the HTC One was totally re-designed to show Blinkfeed — a custom tile of social feed status, videos from HTC Zoe, and updates from friends on Twitter or Facebook.

The feeds are represented in tiles of varying sizes to give an impression of variety, much like the Live Tiles of Windows Phone 8. The only other widget that occupies the homescree is the Weather widget with date and time.

The shortcuts that hover at the bottom end links to the App drawer, Call, SMS, Browser and Camera. There are 3 additional screens aside from the Blinkfeed homescreen but you can just add more screens as you need them.

HTC Sense has really differentiated itself from the other typical homescreen UIs of other brands. Blinkfeed reminds us of Flipboard which we really liked.

The native virtual keyboard is pretty easy to use, responsive and the predictive text is decent to accurate. We liked the simple uncluttered layout, spacious keys, that allows us to type really fast with either one or both hands.

Since it’s powered by Android Jellybean, you have access to Google PlayStore to download more apps, games and widgets/themes if you’re not too keen with Sense UI. We’ve always been a fan of HTC Sense UI and this new versions looks really nice and clean.

We liked some of the native apps for music, movies and even the TV app which we’ll discuss in detail in the next section.

Multimedia and Camera.

It used to be that HTC’s biggest strength in the multimedia department is the fact that they have Beats Audio incorporated into most of their handsets. While that is still true, we think the additional features, native apps and design itself has added more value.

For one, we loved the idea of the dual stereo speakers positioned at the front — one at the top and another at the bottom. Once you flip the phone horizontally and watch a movie or music video, the entire power of the sound is delivered right in your face. That means very strong sound volume, not muffled nor directed elsewhere. We have to say, it is the best sounding handset we’ve ever tested and reviewed — hands down.

The power button is made up of a translucent material because it also serves as the IR blaster (pretty neat implementation there) which allows you to use it as a remote control for your TV. There’s a native TV app that includes some Channel Guides, Schedule of Programs and Recommendations. The apps is actually powered by Peel but customized for HTC.


Much has been said about the UltraPixel camera of HTC and while we were skeptical before, our actual experience on the field has totally impressed us. Yes, it’s just 4-megapixels but the level of performance, sharpness, speed of focus, and over-all quality of both stills and videos are excellent.

If anything else, the HTC One has practically proven that picture quality is not all in the megapixel count.

The camera has very fast focus and contrast adjustment. For busy or chaotic scenes, there will be times when it re-focuses several times while looking for the dominant subject. HTC Zoe is a neat camera feature, allows you to get a few seconds of video footage on top of the still photo.

But, we still leave it to the actual photos that we took so you can judge by yourself. Here’s a collection of photos taken with the rear camera:

[fancygallery id=”25″]

We were thoroughly impressed by the crispness of the images, the color saturation and most especially the depth of field (just look at that bokeh from one of the shots of the flowers). The camera can also take photos while recording videos or shoot a burst of up to 20 frames at a time.

Here’s a collection of snippets from the videos we took using the rear camera:

Don’t forget to tick the 1080p settings in the video before playing the track.

The camera allows you to set it at fixed focus or use the touchscreen to shift focus on various subjects in view. The fast focus and the depth of field that the camera can do is something very noteworthy.

Even our low-light samples are actually very clear, has less noise and still maintain a well-balanced contrast.

In the multimedia department, we think the HTC One has accomplished a lot of firsts and did very well with it.

Performance and Benchmarks.

The HTC ONe is buttery smooth, the HTC Sense UI is snappy and very fluid. Apps launch really quick and the system can handle dozens of simultaneous tasks running at the background. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 chip coupled with 2 GB of RAM can chew on almost anything we threw at it. We never saw the handset choke on anything in the course of our regular use for the past couple of weeks.

As for synthetic benchmarks, the Adreno 320 graphics scored really high on Nenamark 2 with a frame rate of 6.14fps. Both Quadrant and Antutu Benchmarks also gave impressive results at 12,428 and 24,0007 respectively.

HTC used a lightly underclocked Qualcomm APQ8064T quad-core Krait 300 which maxes out at 1.7GHz per core. This is to save up on battery life once all cores are on full power (a logical work-around). This is in contrast to the Galaxy S4 running on the full 1.9GHz Qualcomm chip.

Call Quality, Connectivity and Battery Life.

The HTC One has all the connectivity options needed in a smartphone, plus a little more. Aside from the dual-band WiFi 802.11ac, you get Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Infra-red, GPS and LTE.

With LTE, we’re able to connect to local networks and get speeds of up to 42Mbps (our random tests with Globe LTE averages at 16MBps down and 8Mbps).

Our standard battery bench places the HTC One running a full HD movie in a loop at 50% brightness and 0% volume. The results were a bit underwhelming and the handset only lasted about 7.5 hours.

In the last two weeks using the HTC One, we’ve never had any problems with it from the basic functions of making calls and sending SMS. Voice calls are crisp and loud, SMS notifications arrive on time and wireless connectivity like Bluetooth and WiFi worked flawlessly.

We’ve also been using the device as an LTE hotspot and it has done a good job at it. It’s also probably a power-saving feature but we’ve noticed that the hotspot automatically turns off after a while if it’s not actively used.

Then, there’s our little concern with the back of the device heating up pretty fast once it’s connected to LTE. Because the device is mostly made up of aluminum, heat build-up is quite fast although it dissipates as fast too.


HTC has a very strong and solid position with the HTC One. It’s absolutely beautiful, powerful, and has a great set of multimedia features and impressive UltraPixel camera.

Of course, it has its fair share of shortcomings. The average battery life and the lack of expandable memory are just some of the things you might want to nitpick about it. Nevertheless, we still believe that its strong suit outweighs the minor inadequacies.

If you have to save up for a phone now and will stick to it in the next 2 or 3 years, this is the One. No doubt.

HTC One specs:
4.7-inch 1080p Super LCD3 display @ 1920×1080 pixels, 469ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600 1.7GHz quad-core
Adreno 320 Graphics
32GB internal storage
WiFi 802.11ac
Bluetooth 4.0 A2DP
Stereo FM Radio with RDS
GPS w/ aGPS support, GLONASS
IR Blaster
TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
4MP rear UltraPixel Camera
1080p video @ 30fps, 720p video @ 60fps
2.1MP front-facing camera
1080p video @ 30fps
Beats Audio
Li-Po 2,300mAh battery
Android 4.1.2 with HTC Sense 5.0
137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3mm (dimensions)
143 grams (weight)

The HTC One comes in silver and black colors and retails for Php32,990 for the 32GB variant (the cheaper 16GB and the higher 64GB are not available locally). It’s also available on a Globe plan for free at Php1,599 month with unlimited LTE.

What we liked about the device:
* Impressive design and build
* Great performance
* Impressive camera performance
* LTE connectivity
* Great display
* Very good sound quality
* IR blaster as remote control
* Large internal storage
* Built-in NFC
* Great Sense UI

What we did not like about it:
* Average battery life
* Heats up quite fast
* No expandable memory

Disclosure: The review units was given to us for free by HTC Philippines.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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71 Responses

  1. flaglette says:

    flagship product of HTC = so so battery life, eto na ang best nila?!!!!

    • toomuchcomplain says:

      2300mAh of battery, still so-so? A mere 300mAh of difference with s4. Grabehan, masyado na atang oa ang mga tao pagdating sa battery life ah. Isa pa, snapdragon 600 yang processor, hindi exynos 5 octa. May mga software optimizations yan para makatipid sa battery

    • garz says:

      LTE heats up the device pretty fast and thus consumes more battery. And in this day and age of technological advancement, mankind still has no answer for power longevity. Not even the Droid Maxx or the Galaxy Note 2 lasts a day on LTE.

    • Lee17 says:

      7hours of 1080p video aint bad. if battery life is what you need, get a cloudfone 430x and quit complaining.

    • flagellum says:

      2,300 mah? this day and age? dapat 5000 na ang minimum sa “flagship” smartphones……

    • r41 says:

      The quest for greater computing power and utility always has this glaring flaw, the inevitable increase in power consumption. Sadly batteries aren’t getting any better, hence we can only rely on the manufacturers to increase their product’s efficiency.

      Also, 5000 mAh battery on a phone? That’ll only make the phone a brick, which is undesirable for a typical consumer.

    • Ryan says:

      @toomuch di ba nga nag test ng video loop same ng s4. ang s4 mas malayong mas tumagal kesa HTC one. yung 300 difference nla sapat na sa 4hrs difference na video loop test? di hamak ng mas optimize ang battery ng s4 kesa HTC one pro i must admit its more handsome than s4. Medyo mabilis din uminit ang s4… :(

  2. Goldstar says:

    LG “G2 ” will kill this.

  3. Yusuf says:

    Excellent phone crippled with bad battery life, no international LTE (only supports Globe in the Phil.) and a much higher price tag.

  4. K.Kusgan says:

    HTC One battery lasts longer than IP5 or N4 even.

    No complaints here.


  5. P says:

    HTC one and Xperia Z are the best smartphone to date. Now, it’s only a matter of preference between the two

    • Yusuf says:

      Xperia Z? Lol

    • Ryan says:

      pag sure oi…

    • P says:

      Yup, the most gorgeous design ever, and the sony android UI is the most sophisticated of all. The only drawback of HTC one is the smaller screen size (4.7″) and does not play some formats of videos unlike the Z wher I use to watch high graphic movies.

      Also, if u complain about the viewing angles of Z, bitch please, i dont want to share my screen to others, so in my POINT OF VIEW, it smashes its rivals.

      I hope that if HtC will release the next “one” it will be larger, and make the capacitive touch buttons to 3,

  6. Gian Austria says:

    The Lenovo K900 is still around the corner…kahit kulang sa gustong specs

  7. harold says:

    I want this handset. Sana lng ung htc phils ilabas nila ung handset nila at least 8 months apart naman. Kakabili ko lng ng butterfly last jan. NIlabas na nila tong one. Bka nmn by dec ilabas na din nila ang butterfly s.

  8. Glenn says:

    if only Globe has stock of this unit, this will probably my choice over the S4, sigh..

  9. awdog says:

    2 things I keep noticing sa HTC One

    (1)Something is really off sa side bezels nya pero sa totoo maganda naman sya.

    (2) Everyone is raving how great the screen is for this phone. Para lang sakin wala sya “wow factor” compared sa stunning screen ng Galaxy S4 napa nganga talaga ako literally nun nakita ko.

    • abuzalzal says:

      1. It gives the illusion of being larger than it actually is

      2. Amoled isn’t everybody’s cup of tea (I for one, hate it because I watch a lot of HD videos), while the S4’s screen has vastly improved over their previous SAMOLED incarnations, it’s still not there yet (it tends exaggerate Grays).I feel that the HTC one’s display is the more balanced screen of the two for media consumption , I have seen both , actually, the HTC’s display is a thing to behold

    • dogaw says:


      1) actually negative point sakin yun side bezel ng htc one. i dont like it parang eye sore. what i mean is pag nasa harap mo na sya hnd mo pansin ang panget na bezel.

      2) i like hd movies too. i think superb tlga screen ng s4. i didnt like the screens of S3 and Note 2 due to tha fact na greenish sya at kulang masyado sa brightness. i feel otherwise sa screen ng s4. I like it very much.

  10. Nino says:

    Yuga, will the Nexus HTC One work on Smart’s LTE? TY

  11. abuzalzal says:

    Curious lang ako, si boss Yuga lang yata ang pumuri sa Ultrapixel ah…hehehe

    I see no advantage of it except for the slightly better color rendering and white balance under poorly-lit conditions, apart from that, the S4 craps over HTC One’s camera

    • yuga says:

      That’s why I made sure I posted a lot of sample photos and videos to show the camera output.

    • Wave87 says:

      Yes, HTC’s Ultrapixel is just another marketing gimmick. It’s good in low light though.

    • vovokatalaganoh says:

      @abuzalzal eto ka naman hahaha hindi marketing gimmick ang ultrapixel,curo ung beats audio pwede pang gimmick pero ang ultrapixel ay HINDE kasi gumamit cla ng maas malaking image sensor kumpara sa ibang smartphone,mas malaki pa sa ibang cameras(hindi ung mga nasa phone) para makakuha ng mas maraming light kaya ang resulta maganda ang kuha sa mga lowlight perod ko naman sinasabi na ito ang may pinakamagandang camera sa lahat,LUMIA pa rin ako(pero kung ikukumpara sa ibang flagship,sa ONE na)

    • abuzalzal says:


      At ano naman ang alam mo sa sensors at camera? care to explain what you have just said?

      educate me please

      Or uma-ayuda ka lang sa sinasabi ng HTC lmao, bobito….the Ultrapixel is NOTHING special, ugokuloid, satsat ng satsat

    • vovokatalaganoh says:

      marunong kang maghanap ng reviews sa net tungkol sa LENOVO na wlang SD SLOT tapos simpleng Ultrapixel lng d marunong???(vovokatlgahahaha) pero para d ka na mahirapan anjan na lahat ng explanations http://gizmodo.com/5985348/what-is-an-ultrapixel

    • abuzalzal says:

      Uyyy, natameme. …nagbigay na lang ng link haha
      Marketing gimmick lng ang ultrapixel tunggak, 4 mp , thats it

      Ngayon ibigay mo naman ang link kung saan nakalagay ang sd slot ng K900, saan nakalagay eksakto? video na lang kaya kung meron hehe sige nga.

    • wuwuwu says:

      Marketing strategy yung term na “Ultrapixels”,
      pero dinaan lang talaga nila sa lesser pixel count + bigger pixel size ang camera nila para sa mga taong mas madalas kumuha ng photos under low light.

      Ang kinaganda lang naman ng maraming pixel count na camera is kapag binlow up mo yung photo, mas less chance na magpixelate. Di ka naman siguro kukuha ng photo using a cameraphone tapos gagawin mong billboard. IMO

      Magkakatalo na lang sa photo rendering, and both HTC One’s and S4’s have their own advantages: high vs low light capturing.

    • jayron says:

      Mas panalo pa rin ang pixel count kung medyo malayo kinukunan mo. Mas may detail kung i enlarge mo yung tiny part.

    • Spike Like Mike says:


      tanga me sd card slot ang k900.

      subukan mo kaya pumunta sa lenovo official website at facebook pan page.

      ikaw ang inutil: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2lc9v7c&s=5

      and i already saw one in Jakarta, Indonesia , they are selling it for 16,000 PHP ( converted! )

      #namfutakabobomo! yung unang nirelease sa china wala talagang sd card slot yun, yun ang mga nakikita mo sa mga video at nbasa mong review! INUTIL!

    • vovokatalaganoh says:

      @jayron technically may point ka sa sinasabi mo pero lahat ng smartphone camera users ay viniview lng nla ang pics sa phone nla o kaya sa PC or social sites tska d naman tayu ganun katanga na kukuha ng litrato tapos icocrop hahaha tska ang quality ng sensor all the time mapapakinabangan mo eh ang pixel count bihira lng kung magzozomin ka or crop

    • jayron says:

      @vovo: well, I always do some cam stalking on any good looking folks I see from afar. Kaya importante saken ang mega count.

    • vovokatalaganoh says:

      well kung sayo na isang self-rpoclaimed stalker mp count is a huge factor most people does not =))

  12. Candy Te says:

    I got HTC One at Greenhills last two weeks from now… this thing was very fast and no lagged in any application… I dont have any problem so far, i love this phone so much… i am updated to phone like samsung and iphone, and i am very satisfied to this thing… i hope that i would have the version 4.2.2. Keep up the good work HTC…

    • mang kanor says:

      asus… di mo pansin lag pag bumabalik ka sa homescreen?? comon pipol…

    • Candy Te says:

      i hope meron ka nito mang kanor, i got iphone 5 and note 2… and of course htc one… para malaman u difference…

  13. wuwuwu says:

    I just hope people can learn to judge a smartphone without comparing it to the others. Cos in my honest opinion, HTC One is a beast.

    Sure, it doesn’t have the camera/gesture features of the S4, and sure its camera is only 4mp (to be fair, HTC One’s camera has a wider lens compared to other smartphone cameras), and sure its display won’t be as sharp and cartoony like the SAMOLED.

    But I think it all boils down to personal preferences.

    Ako, personally, kaya gusto ko ng HTC One, kasi para siyang best of two worlds eh: You get the premium build/feel hardware (like the iPhone) plus the awesome Android platform software.

    So I guess, having the HTC One gives me a win-win situation. :-)

    • Kamibeyb says:

      Nicely said, wuwuwu.

      I myself prefer premium built. Yung tipong bibilang k ng taon before you can diss the unit kasi maganda p ito.

      I dont think HTC One will not win the Computez 2013 Gold Medal in Design and Innovation for no reason, right?

      Sana lang nag 5″ xa. Hihi.

    • Wave87 says:

      Competition creates comparison. Without it, companies won’t bother to improve their products.

      I too would choose HTC One over S4. Samsung’s UI is “meh”. Amoled is over saturated.

      Like you said, it all boils down to personal preference.

  14. bow says:

    vovokatalaganoh / abuzalzal ,

    mga engot. bakit kayo nagtatalo sa camera ng CP. bumili kayo ng DSLR kung yun lang ang gusto nyo. Magandang pang picture. LOL….

    • vovokatalaganoh says:

      tanga mas engot ka hindi ibig sabihin na gusto ng tao ng magandang camera sa phone dapat dslr na ang bibilhin kung ako gusto ko ung tamang quality lng(parang sa mga high end phones) pero portable at napapasok sa loob ng pocet(i dont like bringing dslr kahit san)

    • Wave87 says:

      Pwede mo ba ilagay sa pocket ang DSLR? LOL. Crappy smartphone cameras are things of the past. Btw, I’m not referring to HTC One’s camera. I’m talking in general.

  15. oyo says:

    taiwan made!!! yung nagpapahirap sa mga kababayan natin. pass ako dyan.

  16. YuYu says:

    I am an HTC fan because of their elegantly designed handsets and when I was about to get my next phone, I was weighing on the HTC One, Xperia Z, & S4. I ended up w/ S4 due to the following:
    1. Bigger Screen.
    2. Expansion option.
    3. Plethora of Accessory options.

    For me, in the end, they are all android devices, so whoever has the better specs at the same price-point at the time I’m getting one will win it for me.

  17. HTCOneUser says:

    Yuga, paano nyo napagana yung TV app with program guide? I see TV Patrol in one of your screenshots. Wala kasi sa choices yung Phils during setup. I’m able to use it as remote though.

    Nwys, I’m loving my HTC One. Build quality – at par or better than an iPhone and of course Android JB. Can’t wait for the 4.2.2 update!

    Sana lang ma-solve na yung supply issues here and sa ibang bansa. I have a lot of friends who settled with other phones dahil walang stocks sa Globe at HTC stores.

  18. HTC dream says:

    Sir yuga any input about the charging time of HTC one from 0-1% to 100%? Thanks sir Yuga…

  19. sora says:

    hindi ito ginive away? give away give away! yugatech bookmarked!

  20. Just says:

    Is it true na itinigil na ng globe ang pag offer sa HTC one boss Yuga?

  21. pol says:

    battery life depende yan sa gamit mo sakin moderate to heavy use umaabot ng 1.5 days with 30% brightnes. disabled ung auto sync and locations. enable ko lang locations function pag kailangan. charging time minsan 3 minsan 4 hours from 0% un. weird nga e. i hope marelease na 4.2.2 soon sa pinas.

    • nic says:

      @pol medyo let down lang talaga yung charging time 3-4 hours…@[email protected] balita ko kasi di naka activate yung fastcharging ng snapdragon 600 sa HTC one because ang concern ng HTC madaling ma degrade yung battery daw?

      I hope na mag karon ng remedy dito ang hirap kung naka kabit ka wall socket ng 4 hrs or power bank.. hassle in my IMO…

  22. vovokatalaganoh says:


  23. Erwin Agustin says:

    Its highly unlikely that HTC will be able to get the latest OS updates as the company is also struggling to source their materials. compared to Apple, Samsung and pure Google based phones, this will be one of the drawbacks. Sure the phone is nice, but is it updated? Might as well get the HTC One Google version but the price is quite too steep.

    • Lol says:

      Advanced users may root it and pretty much “convert” it to a google edition phone without spending extra money forit. Ang mahalaga naging GE siya. Meaning we get the latest Source codes from google. Hindi nga lang themed and tweaked by htc’s liking. :)

  24. Hyatt says:

    Boss yuga, may stock na kaya ng htc one sa globe stores ngayon? From your experience, okay ba yung sound recording niya compared sa s4? Mahilig kasi akong magrecord ng mga gigs at live bands e. salamat!

  25. Har-Har says:

    hahahaha, i really like reading the comments. daming marurunong! ang tanong, may pambili ba? hahaha

  26. Jesson says:

    HTC One comes more durable than with Samsung S4

  27. azel says:

    if you were to choose between S4 & HTC One, which one would you choose?

  28. I was pretty pleased to uncover this page. I
    wanted to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!!
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  29. Mark says:

    Hi Abe,

    Your review is very detailed and accurate with regards to the specs of the phone. I actually have an HTC ONE and one of the main reasons I bought it is because of the good reviews similar to what you have written. However, as you would probably know by now, the HTC ONE has a MAJOR flaw with regards to its camera. Just google HTC ONE PURPLE TINT and you will find all the details about it. Even if HTC gave you free units to write this review,I urge you to please inform your readers about this flaw. So far, HTC has not resolved this issue. Furthermore, their customer service is very lousy to put it mildly. So please, give your readers the whole picture on what this phone is all about. Again, recommending a flawed product would not only hurt the manufacturer but also your credibility as a writer.

    Mark Isidro

  30. kat says:

    i want to ask how can i contact the distributor of htc one dual sim. im from phil.thank you

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