The HTC One V is the latest arrival in the One series, sitting behind the flagship HTC One X as a value-packed, Android 4.0 mid-range smartphone
Android 4.0 running on a £230 smartphone is all the more impressive when several high profile Android smartphones such as the Sony Xperia S are still struggling to get the update.
HTC One V: Build
The HTC One family - which also includes the higher-specced HTC One X and HTC One S - looks stunning and the HTC One V offers a gun metal grey body with the familiar HTC ridge (for those that remember the HTC Hero) at the bottom of the smartphone which neatly directs your fingers to the Android control buttons.
At 115g, it’s 25g lighter than an iPhone 4S but feels sturdy. The rubber panel on the rear neatly drops to reveal the SIM and MicroSD card slots and works brilliantly, feeling rugged and secure.
The camera lens is surrounded by the same matt rubber coating which protects the lens and flash when placed on a flat surface. The 3.7 inch screen sits above some sharp lines on the unibody design and is Gorilla Glass coated.
The HTC One V manages to avoid fingerprints from all angles too and feels like a genuine step-up in build quality from the Nokia Lumia 710.
The components feel premium rather than budget and the lack of any shiny plastic ensures that the classic design feels impressive the moment the HTC One V is lifted out of the box.
HTC One V: Features
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the headline feature here, cleverly trimmed via the HTC Sense skin. The 4GB storage is slightly disappointing but, unlike the 16GB HTC One S, there’s a Micro SD card slot which allows up to 32GB of extra storage.
A major bonus for those in need of more storage is a free, 25GB 2 year subscription to Dropbox, already installed which is great for backing up photos and uploading big files such as video.
The 5 megapixel camera delivers a big performance drop against the 8 megapixel HTC One S but it’s fast and has fun shooting options. HSDPA and HSUPA network functions keep streaming ticking along at speed too.
HTC One V: Screen
The 3.7 inch LCD screen features a 480 by 800 resolution and a 252ppi display which isn’t at the high-end of smartphone tech, matching the Nokia Lumia 710 pixel for pixel, but it is vivid and works well at all angles, lacking definition only in the most complex of web pages.
Importantly, against budget contenders like the original Samsung Galaxy Ace with a 165ppi display, it delivers a much better viewing experience. We found the touch controls average, lacking the immediate response times of high-end smartphones like iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S2.
HTC One V: Performance
The 5 megapixel camera produces average results in low light but is fast and works well for 720p video.
The main camera controls are on-screen rather than solid buttons on the body of the HTC One V but the Instagram style shooting modes are a nice touch and it’s easy to shoot and upload at speed for Facebook and Twitter fans.
Inside, there’s a 1GHZ MSM8255 Snapdragon processor that keeps most tasks running at a good speed, only pausing for thought when we flicked between apps rapidly though that’s to be expected with 512MB RAM rather than the 1GB RAM of the HTC One S. An AnTuTu benchmark test resulted in a overall score of 2458, behind the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus with a overall score of 3153.
We played Death Rally and didn’t witness any slow down although though we did wish for a bigger screen for the overhead race tracks. A quick game of Angry Birds fared much better on the 3.7 inch screen.
HTC One V: Battery
The 1500 mAh battery provided almost two days of juice with emails on push and a few hours of offline Spotify listening. It’s not removable, with the small rear panel leaving space for SIM and MicroSD card only.
HTC One S: Verdict
The performance per pound level of the HTC One V can’t be faulted. As a mid-range smartphone, it’s best in class, just beating the Nokia Lumia 710 as an all-rounder and offers build and style that the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus just can’t manage.
Android 4.0, HTC Sense 4.0 and extras like Beats audio and Dropbox storage are the icing on the cake. Battery life, build and style are all high points.
The minimal 4GB of storage demands a MicroSD card upgrade but we think it’s an acceptable payoff.
If you’re an avid Spotify user after an affordable Android smartphone which won’t embarrass you in the style stakes, this is it.
HTC One V availability: Available now
HTC One V price: £230