An Android 4.0 phone on a budget?
Benchmarks & Performance
Given that the One V just has a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, the phone was able to make it through the tests with mostly satisfying results for its specifications. LinPack posted a score of 23.48, and SunSpider clocked in at 3,342. For 3D benchmarks, GLBenchMark ran a score of 3,627 which means that anything too taxing on the phone such as graphically intense games will run with a bit of lag to it. Quadrant came up with a final score of 1,915 which isn’t spectacular based on most modern smartphones, but is enough to handle most apps and multitasking.
Despite the somewhat downplayed specs, navigating around the phone was smooth and effortless – the in-built task manager lets you manage your running apps at any time, deftly swiping to the right to dismiss them. The phone very briefly pauses when switching between apps, but with 512MB of RAM, that’s hardly surprising.
UI and Apps
The HTC One V features a slimmer version of HTC Sense software preloaded, which comes with familiar widgets and the general look and feel expected of HTC phones. You can’t pinch to view your various screens, and the transitions when swapping screens has also been left out, again due to the specifications of the phone. The on-screen keyboard felt a little cramped in portrait mode, so I often found myself typing in landscape mode instead. The phone does feature Google’s voice input as well as full support for Arabic text and typing. There are the usual number of HTC apps such as the Friend Stream for social updates, Polaris Office for tweaking documents, Dropbox, and HTC Hub which is HTC’s spin-off of the Google Play store. You can also automatically launch any of the four assigned shortcut apps from the lock screen, just by dragging the app’s icon to the ring at the bottom.
Screen and Camera
The screen on the One V is a Super LCD 2 panel measuring 3.7” with a resolution of 800×480. While this may not floor you, the screen is still very crisp and works wonderfully in outdoor lighting. While I’ve seen the screen suffer in other budget phones, the One V clearly shines with a respectable viewing angle and color rendering.
The 5 megapixel camera is quite standard, and you won’t find the processing prowess found in the later HTC One models. The One V’s camera produced fairly average photos, taking about a second to focus on a subject before snapping a photo. You can also hold down the camera icon to take a number of photos and then choose the best one, which is good for fast-moving objects. Video recording is available up to 720p, and worked out slightly better than taking photos. But both photos and video didn’t do so well in low light, with the flash tending to over-expose photos or wash out colors completely.
Sound quality & Battery
The One V comes branded with Beats audio, so listening to music via headphones is quite enjoyable and loud enough to drown out any noise. The lone speaker at the back is loud enough for nearby listening, but won’t be loud enough to fill a medium-sized room. It would have been nice if HTC had included a pair of Beats headphones to boot, but I’m guessing this would increase the overall cost of the phone.
Call quality on the One V was quite good, with no calls being dropped and voice being carried clearly for both parties. The battery life on the One V was also surprisingly good. I was able to get about eight hours of straight usage with frequent calls, Wi-fi always on, and my Twitter, Facebook, and email set to update every 15 minutes.
If you’re looking for a phone on a budget that offers you a little bit more than just basic text messaging, then the HTC One V is a decent contender. It’s probably not the most powerful thing on the market, but it offers a newer version of Android that itself packs a number of features. Though a tiny bit sluggish at times due to the lower specs, it’s still a phone that can give you a run through your workday with enough juice to crack your high score in Temple Run.