Hands-on with the 18 carat gold-plated HTC One

18 carat gold HTC One is already scuffed and not by us

It turns out that 18 carat gold is slightly too soft to be a sensible material for smartphones. We've been hands-on with one of just five MOBO-branded gold HTC Ones, which are evidently a lot less subtle than the gold iPhone 5s (shown top right). While the exclusive $4,500 handset definitely wasn't as heavy as we were expecting, its delicate surface had already suffered a multitude of tiny scratches by the time we picked it up -- and that's despite a special protective coating that doesn't seem to be helping much. Meanwhile, our regular aluminum HTC One (shown on the left) still looks as good as the day it was born.

Update: We've just added our hands-on video after the break. Apart from the glossy finish (mainly due to the clear protective coating) and the extra 4 grams in weight, the 18 carat gold One is essentially identical to its aluminum counterpart. And since this is an "official" phone from HTC, it's also passed the usual radio performance tests to ease our minds. But did it pass our taste test? Find out in our video.

Richard Lai contributed to this report.