The HTC One S is put through its paces by one of our eForum Super Users in this hands-on test.

With the HTC One X and One S now available for Vodafone customers and racking up critical acclaim, these much-anticipated Android 4.0 smartphones are already more than living up to expectations.

But while the HTC One X is the flagship phone of the duo, the One S offers many of the same great features and packs them into a smaller and more affordable package, which HTC says is its thinnest phone to date.

“Manufacturers will have their work cut out for them to come up with a worthy competitor.”

Powered by the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich software, and with a range of cutting-edge features on-board, the One S is one of the best Android smartphones you can currently buy. But what do the experts think?

To find out, we went straight to our eForum’s smartphone fans. And following their great response to the HTC One X, we sat down with one of the forum’s foremost Android authorities to see how the One S measures up.

Nabil Kabbani – or Nabs, as he’s known to his friends – is a veteran of our forum. And with almost 1,000 hours spent handing out advice since he joined in 2009, what Nabs doesn’t know about phones isn’t worth knowing.

Whichever way you look at it the HTC One S is beautifully designed

Premium design

As soon as Nabs got his hands on the HTC One S, he was won over. “When you pick up the handset you know it’s a premium device,” he said. “The metal unibody design gives it the feeling of quality without significant weight.”

Once the phone was powered up, the 4.3-inch capacitive screen proved just as striking, with Nabs noting: “It’s very bright, colour representation is fantastic and it has great resistance to fingerprints, with very few becoming noticeable.”

“To put it plainly the camera on this phone is simply amazing.”

“Responsiveness is good, the multi-touch gestures work well and the touch sensitive buttons fitted below the screen work flawlessly, responding immediately to every touch.”

But it was the Android 4.0 operating system that we were most interested to hear Nabs’ thoughts on. And the slick software, skinned with HTC’s Sense overlay, proved just as responsive and intuitive as on the HTC One X.

“HTC has done a very good job of integrating Sense into Android 4.0”, Nabs told us. “It is so simple to figure out how things work and I think manufacturers will have their work cut out for them to come up with a worthy competitor.”

Nabs tells us the camera on the HTC One S is one of the best he’s ever used

Picture perfect

And when Nabs snapped a few shots on the HTC One S’ 8-Megapixel camera, he quickly found his favourite feature: “To put it plainly the camera on this phone is simply amazing”, he told us.

“The high-quality 8MP sensor allows for great quality and full 1080p HD video recording”, he went on, “and coupled with the ImageSense technology HTC has developed, the One S’ camera is one is of the best I’ve ever used.”

“When you pick up the handset you know it’s a premium device.”

And finally, the Beats Audio technology also stood out, as Nabs put on a few of his favourite songs and noted that, “Beats Audio does a fantastic job and gives noticeable improvements.”

With such great first impressions, we can’t wait to see what Nabs thinks of the phone after some more time using it as his main handset, so we’ll be checking back in with him soon to see what else he’s found out about the HTC One S.

Have you tried out the HTC One S or the One X yet? What’s stood out the most for you so far? Let us know by posting in the comments below.

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