Multimedia and Extra Apps
Aside from the standard set of Android apps, HTC has also added a few extras. These include integrated Dropbox support. This not only lets you access you dropbox folder from an app on the phone but also shows your dropbox pictures in the gallery app and uploads your pictures taken with the camera straight to the cloud.
Tap on the Music app and integrated into it are further apps for SoundHound (a Shazam equivalent), TuneIn Radio (internet radio) and 7Digital music downloads. It's nice to have all these features together in one place.
Another addition is Locations. This is a mapping service set to compete with the likes of GoogleMaps (which is included as well) but rather than having to download maps on the fly you can download them in one chunk beforehand. The maps provide reasonable detail and they're a useful extra for if you're in an area with no phone signal (assuming you've previously downloaded the map) but overall the experience isn't a patch on GoogleMaps.
On the multimedia front, the smaller screen here means video and games have much less visual impact than on larger models, but given how popular the iPhone's small screen is, we can hardly complain. More of a concern is that the slower processor will mean high bit-rate files struggle to play, no matter what media player you use, so you may have to transcode your files anyway.
At least getting your files onto the phone is really easy as you can just drag and drop them onto a microSD card and pop it in, or just plug the phone straight into your computer. You will need a microSD card, though, as only a tiny proportion of the 4GB of inbuilt storage is user accessible.
When it comes to taking your own snaps, the One V's 5MP shooter is as mediocre as we expected. The problem isn't a low megapixel count as such though, more that images just look a bit rough, with blotchy oversaturated colours. As such, while there are a host of fun and useful settings and modes on offer, images only ever look okay rather than great.
Detail is okay but colours like a bit over done.
Everything looks a bit more subtle here.
There are loads of effects to choose from including posterise.
But, what a selection of options. There are all sorts of funky filters to apply as well as panorama and HDR modes. You can also rattle off loads of shots in one go simply by holding your finger down on the virtual shutter button (there's no physical camera button sadly) . We particularly like that tapping the screen to set a focus point is a feature that hasn't been dropped, as it often is on cheaper phones. The LED flash wants for nothing either, with it proving as capable as that of its bigger brothers.
You can also record video in up to 720p resolution, with options to apply many of the same fun filters, and you can even take photos as you shoot, though they are only of the same resolution as the video. The footage suffers the same colouration issues as the photos but otherwise is more than acceptable.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the HTC One V is how good its battery life is. Despite regular use our review sample soldiered on for an easy two days. Use it even more intensively and it will conk out a bit sooner but we think you can easily get away with only charging every other night, rather than every night as is the case with most larger phones when you've actually been using them a fair amount.
With a design that's as cute as a button, a great screen, adequate performance and a cracking Android 4.0 OS, the HTC One V is a really exciting mid-range handset. Sure it would be nice if the camera and processor were both a little bit better but overall we've completely fallen for the combination of features on offer here. If you don't have money to burn or want one of the current crop of enormous smartphones, the HTC One V should be top of your shopping list. There is definitely an argument for saying you should spend the extra hundred pounds or so required to move up to a faster, more powerful handset but if you simply don't have the money the only way to get a better deal would be to buy secondhand.
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