Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: HTC One V from C Spire Wireless is one good bargain

I usually carry my regular smartphone in my right pocket and whatever phone I'm reviewing for this column in my left pocket. Then it's a matter of how often I reach in my left pocket for the review phone to read email, run an app, check social networks, surf the Web, take a photo or shoot video.

I've been carrying the HTC One V from C Spire Wireless for a couple of weeks and I've been reaching in my left pocket quite often. I like this phone for a lot of reasons.

The HTC One V is one of the latest Android devices running OS 4.0, also know as Ice Cream Sandwich, with the HTC Sense interface running in the background. This combination gives a smooth experience with easy to navigate features.

One of first things I think anyone would like about the One V is the Beats Audio feature that HTC has deployed in several of their smartphones after announcing a "strategic partnership" with Beats Electronics in August 2011. You might be familiar with Beats Audio from the Dr. Dre audio promotions.

But the relationship didn't last long, as it was reported in July by HTC's investment arm and several media organizations that Beats Electronics did a repurchase of 25% of the company back from HTC.

Despite the business concerns of the two companies, I couldn't wait to connect a pair of generic earbuds to the One V and the sound didn't disappoint me. It was pretty good, but probably would have been better with a set of Beats Audio earbuds, which are no longer included with HTC Beats Audio-branded phones. If you still want the Beats Audio experience, you can start shopping for your own beats-branded earbuds for around $150.

The FM Radio feature on the One V is really handy for outside activities while listening to your favorite stations, which can be preset for easy selection and includes the station ID. The Beats equalizer software seems to do its job, even with a pair or Sony headphones connected instead of the Beats Audio brand.

The other reason for a closer look at the One V are the images from the 5 megapixel rear camera. While the camera rating is low, compared with other recent smartphones that have 8 megapixel cameras, the One V can hold its own with vibrant colors, a continuous shooting mode and a unique ability to also shoot video while also taking still images.

I found my digital images from the One V to be of good quality, but I would have concerns if there are plans for any kind of print production, such as a newsletter or brochure. There appears to be no front-facing camera available on this device.

The battery life from the 1,500 mAh battery in the One V was decent for all my testing, but it is non-replaceable, just in case that arises. It has a respectable talk-time rating of 7 hours. After a period of extended use, you'll notice some heat on the backside, but not enough to worry about.

As with all the Android devices, setting up email was a breeze. The options include Microsoft Exchange Active Sync, Hotmail, which is now Outlook Mail, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail of course. There also are other POP3 and IMAP email options.

The 3.7-inch display on the One V seems small among all the four-inch and above displays now available. But it's still larger than the iPhone's 3.5 display, which also is rumored to be larger in the next version due out soon.

As for processing power, the One V's 1.5 gigahertz Qualcomm processor was adequate for my purposes, but keep in mind that dual-core is all the rage nowadays on smartphones.

I'm glad this device has a good predictive text feature, as the keypad is a little cramped and I found myself using the landscape mode for most typing chores.

Despite a few shortcomings, the One V is quite a bargain at around $50 with a two-year C Spire contract. You'll get the latest Android OS and the best of social networking, email, document handling and other Android features.

A unique design with the curved-chin fits comfortable in your hand and against your face while talking.

It's a comfortable Android smartphone at an affordable price.

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  3. As for processing power, the One V's 1.5 gigahertz Qualcomm processor was adequate for my purposes, but keep in mind that dual-core is all the rage nowadays on one wallet