HTC One V Review
HTC’s entry-level Android handset comes with a signature design that traces all the way back from the HTC Hero and the HTC Legend. Check out our full review of the Android ICS-packing HTC One V after the break.
If you have found yourself wanting the HTC One V after reading our second encounter with it last week, now is the time to read our final verdict and find out if it’s really worth having you at â€œhelloâ€.
Design and Construction
The HTC One V’s design has good pedigree, drawing a lot of inspiration from its predecessors namely the HTC Hero and the HTC Legend, hence the chin. It has a unibody design which is similar to its other HTC One cousins and is finished with a metallic matte texture in grey color. If you donâ€™t like bulky and heavy smartphones, the One V is the device that your hands will thank you for. It has a slim body and weighs just 115 grams.
Appearance wise, the One V went for the simple yet straight-forward functionality. Look at the front and you’ll find the wide earpiece and three capacitive buttons just below the display. On top are the wake/sleep button, headset jack and the notifications light. On the right side are the volume rocker and the microUSB port on the left. Turn it on its backside and you’ll see the 5-megapixel camera and flash and the speaker grill right at the bottom.
From my experience in handling the device, I believe that the One V was designed for right-hand use. Hold the smartphone with your left hand and your palm will directly cover the speaker grill. It’s also frustrating to hold if a USB cable or charger is attached to it. So let’s say youâ€™re charging the device and decided to make a call, youâ€™re more likely to go for the right hand-to-right ear method.
The One V has a 3.7 inch LCD dispaly, one inch smaller than the One X’s, and is covered with glass that slightly protrudes from its mounting. The screen is vibrant with deep blacks, has crisp details and good viewing angles. Sunlight legibility is good as well.
The One V has a pixel density of 252ppi. It is 60ppi and 74ppi shorter than the One X and iPhone 4S respectively, but pixels are hardly noticeable in the One V.
On the downside, the glass display is a finger print magnet. If youâ€™re one with sweaty hands you’ll constantly find the need to wipe the screen with a cloth to clear it up.
HTC Sense UI
The HTC One V’s boot-up time from dead cold to network availability took 14 seconds. Pull the ring to unlock and you’ll get Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 with HTC Sense v4 UI all the way. Of course, HTC’s huge digital clock and cool weather widget are on the main home screen. Youâ€™ll get five home screens of which HTC has already managed to fill up with widgets for you.
Tap the app drawer and you’ll get a 4×4 grid of icons which you can navigate through left and right scrolling. The UI animations are pretty smooth and scrolling is very fluid. Although you’ll experience some slight lags but is rare and forgivable.
The One V has a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera that is capable of shooting HD videos at 720p. It can take clear and very decent shots even in low-light conditions. There’s no dedicated camera button but you can have the ability to tap the screen to set a focus point. There’s a lot of detail in the photos but the colors often times appear overdone especially on greens and reds.
A lot of thought has been given to the One V in terms of camera features. They took inspiration from the likes of Instagram and decided to add filters and effects. It also has the capability of taking HDR and panoramic photos, even slow motion video capture.
Multimedia and Apps
Like any other Android smartphones, adding your own multimedia files such as music and videos is just a matter of drag and drop. Although I have to create my own Music and Videos folder to avoid clutter, the One V just simply reads the whole memory storage and makes your multimedia files accessible and ready for your enjoyment.
Since we mentioned storage space, the One V has 4GB of internal memory but only 1GB is user accessible so make sure you have a microSD card in hand.
HTC went one step further in packing the One V with music-centered apps and features. It has 7digital and TuneIn Radio pre-installed and SoundHound integration within the music app. The music app is beautiful to look at especially if your song has an album art. If album art covers are your problem, you can simply update it within the music app itself with the help of Gracenote. As for Beats Technology, the enhancement is only available if you plug in a headset.
Video playback is wonderful and with added features like the ability to capture a scene just by tapping the shutter icon. Beats audio is also present but you can also choose to use HTC’s own mode of enhancement.
As for other apps, Google apps such as Gmail and Google+ are already scattered within the app drawer. The One V also has the HTC Car app that turns the UI into something that would look great on your dashboard, helping you utilize the basic phone and navigation features while driving.
As for other app needs, the Google Play Store and HTC Hub are ready to serve you 24/7 as long as you have an internet connection.
Performance and Benchmarks
The HTC One V has a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor with 512MB RAM and an Adreno 205 GPU. See the benchmarks below to find out how it performs.
The Quadrant score of 1,776 which is just within the range of the single-core processor of this category. The Antutu Benchmark took the score of 2876 while the GPU got a passable mark of 27.1fps.
The the configuration and ICS to boot, the One v performs really well for an entry to mid-range handset. You’d bump into some occasional lags but for the most part, things look smooth and snappy. Of course, the set up is more than enough to decently play most of your games and apps, like Temple Run.
With a single core processor and 3.7 inch LCD display, the One V benefits a lot from its 1500mAh battery. Meaning it isnâ€™t as power hungry compared to other monster smartphones that we have in the market. Therefore it channels the juice to other important stuff such as calling, texting, gaming, and internet browsing.
Iâ€™m not much of a caller and texter, managing only an average of 30 minutes of calls and less than 100 text messages a day, but Iâ€™m a heavy internet browser and multimedia user. With that kind of use and connected to WiFi almost 24 hours a day, I managed to squeeze two days of fun. I bet you’ll get lesser than that if youâ€™re heavy on texts and calls. But so far, Iâ€™m quite satisfied.
With all that hype for quad-core smartphones with massive displays, I sometimes wonder if the need for feature-packed smartphones with lesser processing power and smaller displays are slowly diminishing. With my experience with the One V, I can say that there’s still hope.
This is the kind of device that can provide a decent muscle power, lots of features combined with good looks. In other words, the HTC One V is a wonderfully designed smartphone that gets the job done.
HTC One V specs:
3.7â€ WVGA LCD Display @ 480Ã—800 pixels, 252ppi
1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor
4GB internal storage (1GB usable)
up to 32GB via microSD card
HSDPA up to 14.4Mbps
5MP autofocus rear camera
720p video recording
GPS w/ aGPS support
1500mAh Li-Polymer battery
Android 4.0 ICS
120.3 x 59.7 x 9.2 mm
The HTC One V has a suggested retail price of Php15,990.
What we liked about it:
â€¢ Sleek, classic design with trademark chin
â€¢ Sharp, vibrant screen
â€¢ Good, feature-rich camera
â€¢ Runs ICS out of the box
What we did not like:
â€¢ Internal storage is small
â€¢ Display is a fingerprint magnet
â€¢ Battery life could be better