HTC One V Review
The HTC One V hasn’t quite received the level of attention that it’s brothers, the One X and One S, managed and is running the risk of being ignored. But by running with the design of the HTC Legend and offering a smaller handset for those who don’t like the larger X and S HTC have brought us a phone that’s certainly not lacking in appeal.
One of the obvious strengths for the HTC One V is the top notch design, especially when compared to it’s rivals, which are mostly moulded in plastic. The HTC One V features the unibody design we’ve previously seen on the rest of the One range and has the same ridge on the side of the body to provide a little extra grip. With it’s smooth flow and anodised metal body it’s a very aesthetically pleasing phone and really comfortable to hold.
Measuring in at 120.3 x 59.7 x 9.24mm it may not quite fit into the current definition of skinny but there’s really nothing to complain about. It really fits the hand nicely and won’t cause a huge bulge when it’s in your pocket. One drawback in the design is that the screen isn’t quite flush to the body unlike the previous models, leaving a bit of a ledge where the display meets the chin of the phone. Brushing against this when you slide your thumb to try and hit the buttons makes it feel as if something is slightly wrong. This is a tiny problem on an otherwise finely designed handset, and one you quickly get used to.
Unlike it’s rival handsets with their cheap pop-off plastic cases, the HTC One V’s body can’t be removed, only a small section at the bottom to uncover the internals. While this does mean the battery can’t be changed it makes the phone a lot sleeker and prevents any problems with the casing.
Controls, connections and hardware
As an Ice Cream Sandwich handset the HTC One V comes with three controls along the bottom of the disply, back, home and recent apps. As far as physical controls go you have a volume rocker on the right side and a standby button on the top. For charging/data transfer it uses the now standard micro-usb.
This is standard set up across the One series but the One V includes one difference at the bottom of the device. It uses the regular sim but also includes a microSD card slot, allowing you to easily expand the, frankly lacking, 4GB internal memory the device comes with. It uses a 3.7 inch 800×400 pixel display, fairly typical for a handset at this price point. It’s a good quality screen, obviously not offering the same high pixel density you find on the high end devices the 253ppi looks very sharp. The display is nice and vivid so most content comes out looking good, although it does occasionaly look a little over-saturated.
The phone does seem a little dated when you take a closer look at the spec however, with a single-core 1GHZ processer and just 512MB of RAM this phone is left with some limitations, but no more than expected at this price point.
Compared to it’s companions in the One Range we also see the loss of the front facing camera a drop to a 5 megapixel sensor on the back, losing out on the Full HD video capture. The camera restrictions are less of a limitation in the real world, but with aging hardware powering the phone, it’s not going to be the greatest multimedia companion out there, something you’ll perhaps notice as the life of your phone rolls on.
Software and performance
When it comes to software the HTC One V leaves very little you could ask for, packing the latest version of Android and the latest version of HTC Sense. We’ll have a deeper look at both in the next article but I’ll give you a brief overview of the important details.
As usual HTC Sense customizes just about every detail of Ice Cream Sandwich leaving you feeling that it is very much a HTC device but still giving you full access to the latest features. One of the most noticable changes is the launch bar at the bottom of home pages. I’ve never thought of this as hugely useful but it’s now hugely customisable, allowing you to add in shortcuts to apps and create folders, giving easy access to your most import apps. The shortcuts also roll over onto the locked screen.
With this being HTC Sense you get access to a whole world of connectivity straight out of the box, including loads of integrated accounts which you can use to expand your sharing capabilities and populate your contact’s files. Flickr, Facebook, Dropbox and SkyDrive are all available giving you plenty of connected options. It’s not quite as connected as other HTC handsets, lacking the option to stream content from home media and computers but this can be solved by installing Skifta. You may also notice a little difference in speed between this and the X and S, with limited power available some things like Flash and the keyboard do run a little slower.
The camera interface has seen a big overall, with the biggest (and best) change being that you now have both photo and video buttons available at the same time, meaning you can capture either instantly, and also allowing you snap stills while filming. With loads of great editing options and good picture quality there’s a lot of fun to be had with the camera.
As far as video goes you’re limited to 1280×720 rather than full HD but the results and very reasonable, with continuous and touch focusing options but you will notice the quality drops off as objects move further from the lens. Overall the camera is very good, with a great interface and good picture/video quality for it’s price point.
HTC One V Overview
With a sleek, compact design and a neat little chin the HTC One V is a very comfortable phone, with a great OS, very user friendly and with bonuses like the camera software and Beats By Dre is one of the best value budget smartphones available, maintaining the quality seen across the One range and not compromising too much for the lower price.