One of the perks of being a magazine writer and tech columnist is the regular opportunity to attend press events: product launches, press conferences, media parties and such. This means I get to find out about, see and experience new things earlier than most folks. I get the scoop for my stories, which makes my editor very happy, and, sometimes, I win at raffles.

For my upcoming May column in the Philippine Edition of Esquire, I write briefly about the HTC One X being something I was keen on reviewing. The darling of the recently held Mobile World Congress, it was HTC’s flagship phone for the year and its first Quad Core smartphone. I was invited to the local launch and, lo and behold, I won it.

While I haven’t yet been able to put it through its paces (yes, this will go through the wringer), I can already say that I love its on-board camera. The usual Android camera apps haven’t yet been updated to run smoothly on Ice Cream Sandwich, but I’m glad to say I’m pretty happy with the native app.

Here’s an unboxing video I whipped up.

And some sample shots.

Roadside Mango Stand

The Gates of Kung-Fu Death

Chthulu in Green

Shroom House

Filtered Baby