by Will Park

HTC got off to an early start Sunday night, on the eve of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

With acres of plastic sheeting still on the floors of the Fira de Barcelona Conference Center, ground zero for MWC, the world’s 5th largest phone maker used the event to launch its HTC One X phone. The sleek offering, HTC’s first with NVIDIA, is powered by the Tegra 3 mobile processor, the world’s only 4-PLUS-1 quad-core processor with a fifth battery saver core.

The packed press conference, with more than 500 attendees in a coliseum-size mall opposite Fira, kicked off at 9pm – not so odd in a city where dinner often doesn’t start until 10pm. It featured HTC’s CEO Peter Chou, who described the One X, which features Android Ice Cream Sandwich, a 1.5GHz Tegra 3 processor, 1GB RAM, 4.7-inch SuperLCD 2 screen with 1280×720 resolution and Gorilla Glass, 32GB inbuilt storage and an 8-megapixel camera, as a whole new way to record the world around us.

“You each have your own memory, interests and relationships that define who you are,” Chou said, speaking under a dome amid a multi-colored light show set to music. “These memories are key to who we are and how we chronicle our lives.”

He said the phone’s camera has a boot-up times of just 0.7 seconds and auto focuses in a mere 0.2 seconds, faster than the blink of an eye. Its image sensor is equipped with larger pixels, which allows it to collect more light, with the camera’s flash automatically adjusting to the distance of the subject.

The HTC One series, including the One X with Tegra 3, will be available, come April, through some 144 phone operators virtually worldwide.

We go hands-on with the HTC One X in the video below: