HTC One V Review
HTC’s entry-level budget phone in the One line is the One V. Entry-level phone buyers might be intrigued One V is worth the money.
One of the first things I noticed about this phone is its size. At 4.74″x 2.35″ it’s more in line with the size of a typical iPhone; the .36″depth notwithstanding. But for those who think the larger-sized One S and One X are too much the smaller package might be very attractive. Having a 3.5″ screen certainly hasn’t been a problem for the iPhone.
Under the Hood
A good look at the hardware shows why the One V is considered HTC’s entry-level smartphone. Compared to its two big brothers this phone really cannot compete. But in all likelihood you probably won’t see a significant drop-off in performance for most of your daily use. For a budget level phone the hardware here is not bad:
- CPU – single core 1 GHz Snapdragon S2
- GPU – Adreno 205
- Memory – 512 MB RAM
- Storage – 4 GB with microSD up to 32 GB
- Battery 1500 mAh Li-ion
What’s most disappointing with the One V hardware is the limited RAM at just 512MB. RAM is cheap enough these days that it seems HTC could have at least made it 1 GB without adding too much to the base price. Nonetheless, with 4 GB of on-board storage and the potential for an additional 32GB SD card there’s certainly plenty of space to store your photos and videos until you can get them transferred to your PC. As for the other standard hardware pieces the One V offers 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and full Bluetooth.
The most talked about feature throughout the entire One line is the stunningly beautiful display highlighted by Corning Gorilla Glass. The display on this model is not as good as the other two One phones but is still nothing to be disappointed over. The 3.7″ WVGA panel displays at 480 x 800 resolution and is nice and bright. Even in sunlight the screen is easy to see without trouble. The only time you might notice a significant difference between this display and those on the S and X models is when streaming HD video. For a budget phone, the display is one of the best attributes of the One V.
Along those same lines the touch capacitive screen is what you’d expect from a standard Android phone. HTC has modified Android to make way for its Sense 4.0 UI, but that hasn’t changed the scrolling issues and the lack of smoothness as compared to the iPhone. Android users have just come to expect that so you might not care.
In all honesty I must say I’m disappointed with the on-board camera offered by the One V. The 8MP cameras on the S and X rival what’s available on the iPhone 4S; the One V’s 5MP camera doesn’t even come close. The phone includes both ImageSense and ImageChip; two packages designed to give the phone continuous rapid-fire picture taking, quality HD video, and no lag on shutter time. Unfortunately, only the rapid-fire picture taking lives up to its reputation.
No matter how many times we tried, and regardless of the picture taking conditions, the HD video and shutter lag didn’t cut it. If we were choosing a phone based solely on its camera capabilities the One V certainly wouldn’t be our first choice. That said, if the budget phone buyer looks at photographs and videos as an extra bonus rather than something of necessity the 5MP camera is adequate.
HTC One V Sample Video
OS and Software
Like the other two phones in this line the One V is powered by Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and HTC’s Sense 4.0 UI. This latest version of Android is by far their best offering to date. There are quite a number of new enhancements that continue to make the OS better with every new release. Furthermore, I was pleasantly surprised to see the implementation of Sense 4.0 to be decidedly lighter on the One V that is on the S and X models.
To be quite honest, I was very disappointed with those other two phones because they included far too much by way of useless pre-installed software. There’s nothing I hate more than having my resources being bogged down by apps I neither want nor need. But the One V comes through with shining colors in this area with very little to disappoint. HTC got it right for this model by adding a beautiful UI that is not top-heavy and is as functional as possible. Would it be too much to ask them to move this version of sense 4.0 to the S and X?
Look and Feel
Another pleasant surprise of the One V comes by way of its look and feel. All three phones in the line feature uni-body frames and cast aluminum cases, so they don’t look or feel cheap. Even though this phone is an entry level model it is sturdy and elegant enough to fool the average user into believing it’s a higher priced phone. The case features all rounded corners, a slight grain to add some texture, and overall comfortable feeling when held in my hand. About the only downside is the plastic cover at the bottom that gives access to the SD card. The antennas for both the WiFi and cell reception are located here as well, so if you take off the cover you’ll lose your connections.
One other thing about the body design is the slightly turned-up bottom panel. Perhaps this isn’t an issue for most people, but the way I hold my phone for one-handed navigation means this case design makes things a little awkward for me. On the upside, it makes it a little easier to pinch the phone between my chin and chest when I need to use my hands for other things.