Gold seems to be on every device maker's mind right now. Recently we saw Apple introduce the Gold iPhone 5S, and then Samsung countered with a gold Galaxy S4, today we got a chance to hold and look at a special edition Gold HTC One. I stuck my gold iPhone 5S alongside the gold HTC One to compare the two gold phones.

The special edition HTC One is electroplated with 18 carat gold by Goldgenie for the 18th anniversary of the MOBO Awards. One of the devices will be given away to the winner of the best newcomer category at the MOBO Awards.

HTC is only making 5 gold HTC Ones, and the device we got hands on with is a test designed for getting the plating right and doing testing, so it isn't quite as flawless as the end devices will be. There's a clear coating on top of the gold to prevent scratching or flaking, of course gold itself has native properties that resist the formation of an oxide. Oddly enough the clear coating seemed to be the cause of most of the visual scratches which are suspended above the mirror finish gold plating. The front metal inserts of the HTC One are also gold plated. This gold version weighs 4 grams more than a normal HTC One as well, and HTC says its valued at 2,750 GBP, or roughly 4,400 USD.

Whereas the gold iPhone 5S is more of a champagne color, the gold HTC One is a much more vibrant color owing to the native color of the gold plating. The plastic regions are black on this gold edition as well, as an aside I wish Apple had a black and gold combination rather than the white and gold available now, as gold and black is visually much more striking.

HTC says the special edition gold HTC One has passed all the necessary RF testing, in spite of being plated. Antenna attenuation is of course still a concern even if the gold edition of the HTC One is ornamental.

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  • Flunk - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    That's the tackiest looking phone I've ever seen. What a complete waste of money, but a great marketing idea!
  • Hrel - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    How is that good marketing? "Our company wants to help you look like a childish pimp". That's the message that sends.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    Did you read this story? Did I read this story?

    Any publicity is good publicity. This reminded many people of the HTC One and in fact the first thing that pops into my mind when I see this is how the normal One looks much better. That's good marketing, releasing a special-edition to get exposure and making sure the normal version looks better is brilliant.
  • drexnx - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    I read the story and registered my disdain for a company clearly out of touch with reality. They need to spend more money on marketing and carrier tie-in than on gold-plating phones and making sure they still have adequate RF performance.

    this is AMD circa 2008 - sending journalists out on press junkets, doing stupid things while their business crumbles beneath them
  • Jillxz - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    HTC needs a new CEO in my opinion.
  • hrrmph - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    Am I the only one starting to tire of AT paying so much attention to phones as 'jewelry' with seemingly little regard to what a phone 'does' for us?

    This trend seems to have really taken off with Brian, who also seems to be influencing Anand in that unwanted direction. I understand that the 'jewelry' aspect will sell some consumers on a particular model. But, it's being overdone, both by the manufacturers and AT.

    All of the flagship phones look great - so let's get back to talking about what they actually do.

  • kyuu - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    It's a short pipeline article with an Anandtech author noting his impressions of it, since he got a hands-on. Yeah, it's ugly and silly expensive. Blowing up at Anandtech because they wrote up a short article on it is uncalled for, though.
  • Razorbak86 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    You will be hard pressed to find another tech journalist who does more detailed and comprehensive cell phone reviews than Brian Klug.
  • Hrel - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    Based on how HTC normally does things I'm pretty sure plenty of the people who work there are as disgusted by this as I am. I wonder what tardtastic idiot thought this was a good idea.
  • cj100570 - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    Samsung didn't counter with a gold S4, it was announced and released before Apples champagne iPhone.

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