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HTC One V review

We review the HTC One V, a compact mid-range Android smartphone.

HTC’s 2012 smartphone lineup numbers three handsets as we write this. The One X is the flagship, with its quad core processor and generally blistering specifications. The One S is a smaller, more pocketable offering. And the One V is the baby of the bunch in size terms, has received less publicity, and may perhaps be ideal for many people.

The HTC One V looks very much like the old HTC Legend and its predecessor, the HTC Hero. Both older handsets had a little upward curving lip along their bottom edge, and that is replicated here. It’s distinctive, and while it does mean the One V sits a little awkwardly in tight pockets, we like it.

In general the build is pleasing and the notification light that’s a tiny teeny strip on the top edge is rather distinctive. Still, we do have a major niggle. There’s a solid aluminium backplate that can’t be removed – so you can’t get to the battery.

There is a small plastic cover along the bottom edge, and you remove that go get to the SIM and microSD card slots. It is irritating not being able to remove the battery, but at least the HTC One V supports a standard sized SIM as opposed to the microSIMs that are in many higher end handsets.

We also have a minor niggle about build. The screen is ever so slightly raised from its surroundings. Mostly this isn’t an issue, but we found it a little irritating that we could feel the screen’s edge along its bottom section near the handset’s lip.

With the HTC One V coming in at around £250 inc VAT it is not going to be a surprise that the general specifications are fairly average. There is quite a lot of good news on the specs side though. The HTC One V runs Android 4.0 and HTC Sense 4 so it is as much at the leading edge as the One S and One X.

A cut down on the number of home screens, from seven on the other two handsets to five here, isn’t going to trouble everyone, and you might actually be pleased to learn that the recent apps screen is as Android intended it here with a vertically scrollable thumbnail sequence that’s quick to get through rather than the single app at a time system used on the HTC One S and X which is much slower. We prefer the Android way.

And while there is no front facing camera and just a 5 megapixel camera on the back with no hardware camera button for taking pictures, HTC has done the right thing and retained the neat camera features from its One S and One X.

So you can indulge in the clever continuous shooting mode which lets you grab lots of photos while holding the software shutter button down and then choose which one of the set to save. And you can take a still while in the middle of shooting a video thanks to the fact that both softbuttons are on the screen at the same time. Video is recorded at 720p too.

The screen measures 3.7 inches and feels quite small, though its 480 x 800 pixels ensure everything is clear, crisp and sharp. The screen isn’t the optimum size for things like web browsing or watching media, but at least it is possible to reach right across it for one handed use.

The 1GHz processor clearly isn’t up there with the very best of them, but we found it perfectly acceptable to work with. More irritating, perhaps, is that there is just 4GB of built in storage, though a microSD can be used to add more so even that is not a disaster.

Review written by Sandra Vogel