Alongwith the launch of their flagship device, the One X, HTC launched two other phones – the One V and the One S in distinct price brackets. The One V features in the lower end of their troika of One edition of smartphones, which makes it all the more interesting for the average Indian consumer. It may not have the same herculean specs as its brothers – but that doesn't mean it isn't as aspiring as the other two. The One V is distinct in its own sweet way, but distinct isn’t analogous to impressive. Can this Android smartphone manage to conjure up the two together? Let's find out.
On video: HTC One V
Design and Build Quality
Featuring a curved chin design that was made popular with the HTC Legend and the HTC Hero, the One V has an exterior with an extremely premium feel to it. It has a polished metal unibody with a super smooth coating, along the back and the sides. The contours along the entire frame of the phone give the phone a tapering look along with adding further definition. The One V is one carefully designed handset. For instance, the chin itself has a different feel and texture on the outside and the inside. It has a stylish, sophisticated and everlasting feel to it, that unfortunately most smartphones in the competing category do not.
The front of the One V consists of a 3.7-inch display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. Underneath the display are three capacitive buttons for Back, Home and Menu, while the proximity and ambient light sensors are hidden on top. The display may not be a super AMOLED or a ClearBlack screen or any of that, but is downright impressive. With amazing blacks, awesome sunlight legibility and brilliant viewing angles, the One V has clearly one of the best displays in its price bracket. On the top we have the 3.5mm headphone jack, a brilliantly placed notification light (can be seen irrespective of how the phone is placed) and a power ON button. The volume rocker is located on the right, while the microUSB port is located on the left. At the back we have a 5 megapixel snapper, along with an LED flash. The microSD card slot and SIM card are located under the hood of the chin. THe One V has a non-removable 1500 mAh battery.
The notification LED on top
At 115 grams and with a thickness of 9.24mm, the phone will be pretty inconspicuous in your pocket. The One V may not have micro arc oxidation that the One S boasts of, but the phone has durability written all over it. There are no creaky panels or flaps or any compromises, whatsoever in the design department. In a market flooded with cheap plastic lookalikes, this Android smartphone definitely stands out with its premium finish and build. A new benchmark.
Non removable battery
Features and Performance
The One V is powered by a 1GHz CPU with a Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon chipset and an Adreno 205 GPU with Android 4.0 onboard. There's 4GB internal memory (1GB user available), 512 MB of RAM and HTC’s Sense 4.0 atop Ice Cream Sandwich. With their custom ROM, HTC have managed to make ICS look even better – it's refined, clean and polished. While some may miss the look offered by stock Ice Cream Sandwich, we definitely aren't the ones complaining. The stock look and feel makes an appearance where it has to, and is beautifully overlayed with the Sense feel at other times; giving you the best of both worlds. However, we did notice a couple of animations and interactions (like the task switcher, weather widget on unlock) that we saw on the One X, were missing on the One V. Chances are they were memory intensive and hence disabled. Either way those are just minor niggles and what you get with Sense 4.0 on the One V is definitely not a compromise.
So, it's sexy. We got that. But is it lag free and quick? Yes, for most of the time. Manouevring through the various menus and going about your usual usage is a breeze and the phone doesn't slow down on you. It does have that occasional lag, which forces you to pause for a moment or two before you carry on with your work. However, that was visible on the One X as well; though not at the same frequency, but its presence was very much existent. For those wanting to use the V for heavy multitasking, it’s worth mentioning that disabling animations (via Settings) and consistently shutting unrequired apps (by sliding them out of the screen) definitely helps in improving the overall performance of the handset. The phone also comes with a Fast boot feature and we clocked the device turn-on speed at a super quick seven seconds.
We put the One V through a set of synthetic benchmarks and compared it to a couple of phones in a similar price range. We’ve included a couple of dual-core phones – the Sensation and the Atrix 2 – for a wider result of the benchmarks. Here are our results. The HTC One surprisingly scored the highest amongst the competition in Quadrant, which is a CPU, I/O and 3D graphics benchmark. Linpack placed the V in the middle of the pack, along with the Arc S. NenaMark 2, an OpenGL benchmark gave the One V a brilliant score of 28.5 fps, while it was placed last in AnTuTu, close to the Neo V. To sum it up, though it’s a single-core processor, it’s a very capable one.
With Sense 4.0. the media department has got a complete overhaul in terms of looks and features. Firstly, TuneIn Radio, SoundHound and 7digital are integrated into the default music player. A simple tap fetches you the music info, the option to purchase music, find lyrics and similar artists as well as locate tour dates. A couple of them, including the similar artists and music info proved to be quite useful to get more out of your existing music library.
The 3.7-inch screen is large enough for personal viewing and with the brilliant display, it’s a pleasure watching YouTube videos and other video content on the V. The speaker is considerably loud for personal viewing, too. As far as formats are concerned, 720p content, WMV and MP4 played without an issue, but 1080p and FLV content didn’t play.
The smartphone doesn’t come bundled with Beats headphones at that price, but we did hook up the phone to our test headphones and audio quality was simply sublime with the clear tones and punchy bass. The sound enhancers, include a bunch of preset equalizers, along with Beats Audio. Overall, the media experience with the One V is a pretty satisfactory one.
Connectivity options, include 3G, Wi-Fi with Hotspot functionality and Bluetooth 4.0. DLNA is unfortunately not included. Call quality via the earpiece is crisp and the recipient could hear our voice pretty clearly. The speaker is loud enough as well. Image heavy websites did put some pressure on the processing of the V and manouevring, panning and zooming wasn’t the swiftest we’d want it to be. Infact, it’s pretty laggy and we’d recommend a third party browser, if you use the browser a lot.
The curved chin look
Social networking integration is done well with the dedicated pre-loaded apps as well as Friend Stream that acccumulates all your data into one single feed. It also let’s you post to multiple sites from the app itself. Google+ Messenger has been included as well. Typing on the 3.7-inch keyboard in portrait mode wasn’t a problem for our human-sized fingers. Gmail has a new look and it’s much more refined and easy to use now.
The pre-loaded apps on this phone, include 7digital – a music buying app, Bollywood Hungama – for your Bollywood news, reviews and previews, Dropbox – for your cloud needs, Saavn – for music streaming and Show me – a how-to app for the One V. The other apps, include eBuddy XMS, Polaris Office, Navigation, HTC Hub, Tasks and Teeter.
HTC's car mode
Lastly, a well thought-of Car app has been included that acts as your navigation system. The phone operates in the landscape mode and has quick access to all the stuff you need, while driving.
The HTC One V comes with a 5 megapixel sensor with an an F2.0 aperture, a 28mm lens and a BSI sensor for low-light captures. We put it through its paces in our outdoor test and boy did it impress us! You can check out the images on the next page to see the collection of snaps we’ve managed to take with the One V.
The camera interface
Low-light capture sans flash is pretty average, though. The image turns out to be slightly grainy and we’d recommend you keep the flash on for your low-light snaps. A couple of embedded filters and effects will make sure you won’t need any third party camera apps. The slow motion video capture is a fun feature, too. Unfortunately, the One V doesn’t come with a front camera or a dedicated shutter button.
More images on the next page
720p video captured a good amount of detail, but slight colour banding was noticeable. Focussing, though, was pretty good. With the amount of customizations and features present in the stock camera app, it's going to pique your interest for a long time to come.
The One V comes equipped with a 1500 mAh battery. In our video loop test, the phone lasted for 12 hours 30 minutes with connectivity options (besides network) disabled. In our Tech2 loop test, the smartphone lasted through three hours of calling, three hours of video, four hours of audio and two hours twenty minutes of audio streaming. All tests were performed under the automatic brightness mode. Under heavy day-to-day usage, we could crank up more than a day’s worth of juice from the One V. Shutting down unrequired applications running in the background also helped extend battery life.
Worth a buy?
The HTC One V is priced at Rs.17,500 (MOP). At this price tag, it competes with the likes of Sony Ericsson Neo V and the HTC Rhyme. The dual-core Xperia U is priced a little cheaper, but we’ll reserve our comment on that phone till we review the unit. The One V clearly steamrolls its anagrammatic competitor, the Neo V. This phone is a worthy device in its own right, very much capable of handling your non-extinguishable smartphone desires.
Note: All images are taken as is from the camera. The effects and filters are built into the stock camera itself. They haven't been edited in any way.
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Oct 27, 2016