As most of you know, I’m a big HTC fan: I love the HTC EVO 4G LTE for Sprint, I love the HTC One S on T-Mobile, and I really want to love the AT&T HTC One X. But AT&T has really left a sour taste in my mouth, for a variety of reasons, and because of this, I can’t really see myself using the One X long-term.

Today marks one month since I first picked up the One X from Best Buy on its release date. And today is also the day I’m going to return it to Best Buy. Here’s why:

  1. AT&T won’t let me activate the phone on a prepaid plan. Apparently, because this phone is a 4G phone, it’s not compatible with any of AT&T’s prepaid plans. I’ve been told by several different AT&T reps – both in-store and on the phone – that if I were to attempt to put in a prepaid SIM card, my data services would stop working very quickly; this is because AT&T is actively monitoring who is using what device on prepaid plans, and it would cut me off as soon as it detected the One X. It wouldn’t even matter if I purchased the prepaid smartphone add-on; absolutely no EDGE, 3G, or 4G services would work on the phone.
  2. AT&T won’t let me accept any OTA updates unless I’ve activated the phone on an AT&T plan. When I enter the settings menu, HTC’s System updates option has been replaced with AT&T software update. However, even if I have a solid WiFi connection, the phone will not let me check for updates. Instead, I get this message: “Network is not ready.” Essentially, this means I won’t get any updates unless I put in an AT&T SIM card.
  3. AT&T’s post-paid plans still require a credit check and approval, even though I paid full-price for the device and I want to pay month-to-month. My credit is fine, but I don’t want the ding to my credit score that comes with every credit check. And yes, I realize that this point isn’t necessarily unique to AT&T. What’s different, however, is that AT&T won’t activate the device on any prepaid plans. So basically, if I want to get an OTA update, I have to submit to a credit check.
  4. Too much bloat. Yes, most of it’s removable through the Disable feature in Android 4.0. But it’s still a pain: the first time I power up my phone, I don’t want to see: AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Ready2Go, Live TV, myAT&T, Top HD Games, and YPmobile. Also, the default email signature is extremely long and annoying: “Sent from my HTC One (TM) X, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone”

For these reasons, I’m returning my HTC One X. Due to AT&T’s restrictive policies, it’s just not a good device to use as a WiFi-only UMPC or as a back-up prepaid phone. Don’t get me wrong: if I were an AT&T customer, I’d be all over this. But for my purposes – and especially since I’m already using the EVO 4G LTE as my daily device – it’s just not the phone for me.

However, perhaps I’m acting unreasonably? Maybe my expectations were too high? I really want to know: what do you think?