HTC One V Android smartphone
Review In the beginning was the Hero and then came the Legend, and now the Legend has sired the One V. Yes, the V is the runt of the One litter but its forebears had a solid following and, as a one-time Hero owner, I’m hoping the bloodline is in good health.
Another one: HTC's One V
With the One V, HTC’s design has reached its purest form thanks to the chin finally being freed from any superfluous navigation controls. Now it just gets on with the job; getting the microphone closer to your cake-hole and feeling good in the hand.
The One V is wrapped in an aluminium unibody much like the Legend though it’s both thinner and lighter than its forebear. It’s wider and taller but since the screen is half an inch larger, that’s to be expected. Like the other One series phones, the V is beautifully screwed together.
Sense UI and web browing
Slide of the cover on the reverse of the chin and you will find slots for a regular size SIM and microSD memory card. Like the other two One models, the battery – here it's 1500mAh – is fixed in place.
The One V relies on a 1GHz single-core Qualcomm MSM8255 chip – the same one used in the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray – and while it doesn’t set the world alight, it does a decent enough job of keeping the show on the road even with only 512MB of RAM.
Run the AnTuTu benchmark and you get a score of over 2700 which is a few hundred points better than my old 1GHz Desire HD. In the real world, even a game as demanding as Shadowgun ran fluidly and 720p MP4 video played back without a hitch. While the UI is slick enough it’s not always quite as ultra-slick as that of the quad and dual-core One phones when multiple apps are running.
In line with its junior status, the One V has a 480 x 800 screen measuring 3.7in corner-to-corner. It’s a basic LCD panel with no IPS voodoo but is bright and colourful, while the 252dpi pixel density is only four per inch short of the One S’s resolution.
720p video playback looks a picture
The camera is more of a drop-off from the rest of the One range – at 5Mp and only able to record HD video in 720p, it’s nothing more than ordinary though it does at least share the family trait of a very quick turn-around time between snaps.
While the One X has 32GB of storage and the One S 16GB, the One V has to make do with a meagre 4GB, though uniquely in the One range you also get memory card expansion. That 4GB is a bit misleading though. My handset showed only 940MB free for apps and a useless 95MB for internal file storage.
4GB - where? Shrinking storage and AnTuTu scores
The One V also lacks a secondary camera and that comes as a bit of a shock. Less so the absence of any NFC tech. We’re back again to the issue of HTC parcelling out features across the One range in the name of marketing strategy, rather than value and that, combined with the sub-4in screen and single core CPU, highlights a problem.
At around £220 unlocked or £23 a month on contract the One V is not a cheap phone, especially now that Vodafone will happily sell you a Huawei Ascend G300 for £100 pre-paid or £15 a month.
Shadowgun plays well
Which is the better? The HTC has Ice Cream Sandwich, Sense 4.0, Beats Audio – though no Beats earphones – and aptX-enabled Bluetooth 4.0 and a more modern CPU and GPU (Adreno 205 vs Adreno 200) but the Huawei has a 4in 480 x 800 screen, a genuine 2GB of built-in file storage, a VGA secondary camera and an ICS update is promised in the summer.
Both have the telephonic basics covered well enough, though the HTC scores better for battery life – unless you hammer it you can go two working days between charges. The HTC also feels much the higher quality product and is both thinner and lighter.
Well built, but missing a trick or two
The One V is a thorough refresh of the Hero/Legend form factor but for a phone that is in the mid-price rather than budget category, the absence of a front camera is a drawback. And don’t forget, the new dual-core S-AMOLED 4in Samsung Galaxy S Advance will soon be available on contract at exactly the same price as the One V. ®
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