- Qualcomm MSM82552 SoC with 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU and Adreno 205 GPU
- 512 MB RAM and 4GB built-in flash storage
- 3.7" LCD capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 800 resolution
- Quad band GSM and tri band 3G
- 5 Megapixel autofocus with BSI sensor camera with LED flash and 720p video recording
- Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi 802.11b/g/n
- GPS with A-GPS
The One V is a tiny device. With the same 3.7" screen size and 480x800 resolution, the One V is smaller than my Lumia 800 and lasts longer too. And despite the size, the One V is all about quality. The metallic unibody design is tasteful. You couldn't have asked for a better looking mid-range device. If the engineers behind the HTC One V's design brief was to create a phone that bettered their high-end devices (in my opinion), then they succeeded.
Below the display lies the now three touch sensitive ICS capacitive buttons - back, home and multi-tasking. I am not a fan of this button configuration, least of all the removal of menu button. Developers haven't been quick to update their apps to support this new design style on ICS and it annoys me having to access the menu button by pressing down the multi-tasking button and going through a couple of extra steps. The One V also features a notification LED on the top of the display, one of the few devices to have one in recent memories.
HTC Radar and Legend, the lower half of the rear is completely accessible, providing access to a microSD slot and mini SIM slot. One pleasant surprise I found with the One V is that it contains a microSD slot (2GB included) to augment the built-in 4GB of storage, an odd addition because the higher end One X and One S doesn't have one. Still it is a welcome feature. Unfortunately the micro USB port doesn't support MHL with HDMI-output, but at this price point, it is excusable.
do not completely agree with. Despite that, the One V's battery is solid. You could easily last a day of medium use on a single charge, often outlasting both the Lumia 800 and iPhone 4S.
So the hardware quality and design of the HTC One V is pretty much a win, but what about the performance? Powering the HTC One V is the modest Qualcomm MSM8255 SoC with 1GHz Snapdragon processor and Adreno 205 GPU. 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/Ray. Unfortunately unlike the Lumia and Xperia Play, the One V's deep customisation and reliant on HTC Sense does cause the device to struggle. I am not quite certain if the Sense UI is GPU-driven, but do expect occasional slowdowns and lag.
HTC has also removed the Windows 7-ish Aero-like multi-tasking view found on their more expensive One S and X-series. Instead you get the standard ICS multi-task menu, an improvement over the one found on the One X. 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. Fortunately the screen here is small enough that it isn't a complete nuisance.
Like all ICS devices, the One V comes with a brilliant browser. With a sharp but small 480p display, you will be relying more on text reflow, of which it handles with gusto. Other functions includes Adobe Flash, Java, offline and incognito mode. YouTube videos will play directly from the web browser, but I do find the performance here a tad disappointing. Adobe Flash hiccups aside, the browser is downright brilliant. Should the native browser not rock your boat, Android Market, sorry, Google Play offers plenty of third party alternatives including Opera, Chrome and Dolphin - each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Is the One V a worthy successor to the HTC Legend and Hero? I am not so sure about it. Priced at £231 on Amazon, the One V isn't expensive, but it is still pricey for a device which performance is crippled by Sense UI. For less you could easily get a Windows Phone-powered HTC Radar and not worry about any performance issues, or the similarly sized but more powerful Sony Xperia U - due out at the end of the month.
Many thanks to Three UK for loaning the device. It is available on their network for £22 a month with no upfront fees.