Thursday, May 3, 2012

HTC One V first impressions

When HTC announced the One V at MWC this year, I moaned on twitter about how they should have used the design for their flagship phone rather than what the One X currently sports. Do not get me wrong, the One X is one sweet looking device, but the One V features an evolved design inherited from the HTC Legend/Hero - and I loved the design of those phones. But like the HTC Legend, specs takes a back seat on the One V. It's all about design. But who cares about quad core when you have a phone that looks this good?

Labelling the HTC One V as a wee phone is an understatement. This handset is tiny for a smartphone that features a 3.7" display. Compared to my Lumia 800, which also has a 3.7" display, the Lumia 800 is noticeably larger and heavier. And despite its petite size and lightweight construction, HTC has spared no expense with materials. Like the Radar, the One V is housed in a metallic unibody contruction, making the device feels more luxurious and expensive than it is.

The 3.7" LCD may be bog standard now, but with a resolution of 480x800 resulting in a pixel density of 252 ppi. No where near retina level, but it is sharp enough that most people will not be able to see the individual pixels. Below the highly reflective display lies three touch sensitive capacitive buttons, and below those is the recognisable HTC Legend-ish 'chin'. The chin doesn't actually provide any form of function apart from perhaps making the phone easier to grasp from the bottom.
Like the HTC Radar and Legend, the lower half of the rear is compleltely accessible, providing access to a microSD slot and mini SIM slot. Yes, the One V has a microSD slot to augment the built-in 4GB of storage, which is odd because the One X and One S doesn't. Curious enough, pulling out the rear cover will not cause the device to shut down unlike the HTC Radar. The rear cover also houses the antenna, loud speaker and microphone. On the top part of the rear part of the device lies the 5MP camera and a single LED flash. The camera is also capable of capturing video in 720p resolution with autofocus. A video recording sample is available here.

Construction quality is brilliant. The HTC One V does not feature any creaks and the rear cover does not exhibit any visible gaps. HTC's desire to make their devices as thin as possible also resulted in the battery being built-in. It's a trend that appears to be gaining traction among hardware manufacturers, and one that I do not completely agree with.

Powering the HTC One V is the modest Qualcomm MSM8255 SoC. The MSM8255 is a very capable chipset, powering the majority of mid-range phones currently on the market, from the HTC's own Desire S and Radar to the Nokia Lumia 800/710 and Sony Xperia Play. The single core ARMv7 CPU, clocked at 1GHz, and Adreno 205 GPU might be dated now, but is still sufficient enough to power Android ICS. HTC Sense 4.0 is preloaded with the One V and its deep customisation does cause the device's outdated hardware to struggle at times. Despite the occasional lag and slowdowns, the device was mostly responsive.
First impression is everything and the HTC One V's hardware quality and design blew me away. If you ask me today what's the best designed smartphone currently on the market and I would struggle to choose between this, the iPhone 4/4S and Lumia 800. It's a shame that the specs doesn't do the phone justice as HTC Sense 4.0 clearly requires plenty of processing power. Apart from the choice of texture finish (matte makes it slippery to hold), I can't fault the design otherwise.

HTC Sense 4.0 appears to be a stripped down version of the one found on the One X. This is perhaps a result of the need to retool the UI to accommodate the lesser hardware. One feature excised which I found odd was the removal of leap view from the homescreen. As far as I can remember, HTC Android phones with HTC Sense has always featured leap view so its exclusion confuses me especially when it has nothing to do with lack of power. HTC has also removed the Windows 7-ish Aero-like multi-tasking view. Instead you get the bog-standard but superior ICS multi-task menu. The UI as a whole is pretty but messy, with options that makes no sense. For example, removing widget or shortcuts from the homescreen requires me to drag the items onto the top right corner of the screen - hardly an intuitive process.

Over the next week or so I will be testing the HTC One V with some serious torture testing whilst on holiday in wet Dorset. If you have any questions, please ask on Twitter and I will do my best to answer. Many thanks to Three UK for loaning the device.

1 comment:

トリー バーチ(tory burch) said...

魔法使いのハリポタは8本のシリーズ連続小説で、イギリス人の誇りとして愛されています。1997年に刊行されると、全く無名の新人による初作であるにもかかわらず、瞬く間に世界的ベストセラーになりました。夢の魔法世界を実現してくれるのは、ヴィヴィアン iphone ケースです。ミステリーの雰囲気が満ち溢れ、魅力的です。また、今年のファッションガールズはぜひこの一品で気分を最高潮になれ~ディズニー iphoneケースDisneyといえば、だれも知っている世界的有名なブランドです。