HTC One V. The budget smartphone pick
On first look the HTC One V prompts memories of the hugely popular HTC Legend..except in this case the chin seems to be mostly for effect..there is no trackball for example. That said the junior member of the HTC One team is its own phone and looks to be a solid contender in the budget smartphone arena..After all it is the only budget smartphone so far to feature Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
While the chin may not appeal to some, this is a nice looking phone with the solid built feel we have come to expect from HTC. The aluminum unibody construction wraps around to meet the Gorilla glass covering the 3.7″ screen. The matte aluminum finish has a nice grippy feel and despite some sharp edges this phone feels comfortable in the hand. The 480×800 pixel screen was bright and sharp and I didn’t notice any dimming or colour changes on any viewing angles.
The back features the 5MP camera with LED flash in a rubberized insert. At the bottom the back of the chin..also rubberized plastic..slides off to reveal a standard SIM card slot (unlike the Micro SIM required by its One siblings) and a slot for a Mico SD card..not included..you will want to invest in one right away if you plan to add any apps, music or video. The overall specs are what you would expect from a budget smartphone.
- 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255
- Adreno 205 GPU
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB ROM (1GB available for apps) with microSD slot
- 3.7-inch 480 x 800 display
- 1500mAh non-removable battery
- 5MP rear camera
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- FM Radio
- Dimensions: 120.3 x 59.7 x 9.2 mm
- Weight: 115 g
- Android 4.0 with HTC Sense 4.0
While a 1500mAh battery doesnt seem much is this day of huge screen dual CPU smartphones on this little phone I was able to get two full days of average use on a single charge and standby time is measured in days. It should be noted that this battery is not removable.
HTC has managed to adapt Ice Cream Sandwich nicely to last year’s specifications..the performance is surprisingly good..scrolling was snappy and lag free apps opened quickly and ran well. Multitasking worked fine with several apps running with the notable exception of app updates or installations..the phone really slowed down for the few seconds the app was actually installing. Voice quality at both ends of the conversation was excellent but on speakerphone I found the speaker a bit tinny. Data performance was excellent on WiFi but the One V was noticeably slower than most current phones on Bell’s HSPA+ network.
There is no front facing camera on this phone so those of you who like to make video calls are pretty much out of luck. However, the rear facing camera is pretty good. The One V has essentially the same camera as its bigger siblings except the sensor is a smaller and less sharp 5MP. That combined with processor limitation video tops out at 720p and stills taken while shooting video are only 3MP..otherwise performance is quite similar. I am told startup time and continuous shutter speed are slower..if they are the difference is so negligible that I didn’t notice it.
Picture quality is equivalent to a budget point and shoot. It lack the dynamic range of the cameras in the other HTC One cameras..I guess due to the smaller sensor. Still, it is perfect for casual snapshots.
Video quality is only average..again it lacks the dynamic range and sharpness of its HTC siblings..I wouldn’t want to rely on it for important videos.
The HTC One X features Beats Audio..but does not include a Beats headset. I tried it out with my Bose headset and found the audio quality to be very good..but quite frankly I didn’t notice a heck of a lot of difference between the various audio enhancement and/or Beats selections..perhaps a different headset or different music selection would provide different results.
If you are looking for a budget smartphone then this is the one to buy if you like getting the most bang for your buck. A solid good looking with excellent performance launched on Bell for Free with a three year plan and $299.99 with no plan..that is a pretty unbeatable price. Telus is close at $29.99 and $289.99 and Koodo is $25 and $175. In the US the One V will be available from Virgin Mobile by the end of June at a price of around $200.