HTC's Drew Bamford is a long-time defender of the Sense UI, but in a fresh interview he's switched tactics and rushed headlong at the competition. He told Laptop that Sense 4 beats native Android 4 (as seen on the GNex) on a number of fronts, possessing a more inviting look, greater personalization of the lockscreen and wallpaper, plus faster camera performance. Of course, he would say that, but having spent many balmy evenings with both the One S and the One X we're inclined to agree that the latest version of the skin is lighter-footed and, actually, pretty nice. What's perhaps more revealing is Bamford's statement that HTC's software guys had "not a lot of time" with ICS before they released Sense 4, and had to build key components in isolation from the new OS. This could explain why HTC was forced to see sense (ahem) and tone down its custom layer. More broadly, if manufacturers are struggling to keep their handset launch schedules in sync with Google's in-house development, it's no wonder that Android skins seem so unsympathetic to the green robot's natural complexion.
HTC One S
HTC One X