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I absolutely loved this smart phone, it was my lifeline, great for email, web browsing and of course social networking. Quick and simple to use on the internet, the touch screen is very responsive, and the camera took good quality photos (for a phone). It has a large screen, which makes it much more convienient for web browsing than some of the cheaper smart phones. Also with that screen size it is not too bad for watching little videos on. Its an android phone, and similar to the iphone you can download apps for various things.
Although the phone is metal, the screen is glass (I think) and after a couple of drops I did have a rather nasty crack down the screen. On the plus side, this did not effect its use, the touch screen worked absolutely fine.
The way it is made, the battery is right inside the phone, you can't take it out like I have been able to on all other phones I have owned. This would not be a problem, had I not left it in a little puddle of water on my bedside table. Unfortunately the water got into the battery. Had I just been able to replace the battery I would probably still be using the phone, but the cost of repair was too high.
The year is 2013, and by now if you do not have a smartphone you are considered outdated and behind on the times. Furthermore, it's no longer just good enough to have a smartphone, it's got to be running at least Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, or be an Apple iPhone. It really is a cruel, cruel, world that we live in. Now to make matters worse, carriers like AT&T and Verizon have picked up the fact that everyone needs to be able to check their Twitter feed while on the bus, and therefore have jacked up prices on anything remotely "smart". This makes the HTC One V (the V for Virgin Mobile) all the more appealing if you are looking to get a great plan, and a great phone, at a solid price.
Prior to purchasing my HTC One V, I had an LG Optimus V through Virgin Mobile. It was a good phone to get me accustomed to using Android, but ultimately it was too outdated (running Android 2.3 I believe) and it was too slow to use many apps on. The first thing I noticed about the HTC is that the display is much crisper. I'm not sure what the graphic output is, but it's definitely very good and eye-pleasing. It's good for looking at pictures, watching video, or reading on.
There are three main buttons on the HTC, as opposed to the four you will sometimes see. There is of course the home and back buttons, as well as a third button that sometimes serves as a "Settings" button and other times serves as a "Recent Apps" button. It all depends on how the app that is currently in use is designed. There is also an unlock button on the top of the phone, as well as volume up/down buttons on the right side. All of the buttons are easy to get to. I have heard some complaints about them being hard to reach and press down on with particular cases. I'm pretty careful with my phone though, and do not currently have a case for it, so I can not speak on whether or not this is true, and chances are it varies from case to case. The body of the HTC is aluminum, and it feels and looks sleek in black. On the back of the phone is a 5.0 megapixel camera with a flash. I have used the camera often, and now hardly ever feel the need to have a digital camera with me unless the occasion is really special. The pictures turn out good, and the flash automatically detects and works great in low light as well, and is overall a much better functioning camera than my old LG.
One of the new things that I really like with the HTC is the way you unlock it. You press the top button to unlock, and then drag a circle ring into the center of the screen. Then if you have a password or pattern to enter, you put that in. However, if you have an incoming phone call, you do not need to enter the password or pattern so you can answer the phone call faster by just quick dragging the ring. This is a smart feature as it prevents you from missing calls, but also allows you to have the added safety of a password if your phone is ever lost or stolen. In addition, when you have an incoming phone call and do not want to answer because it's a bad time, there are several preset responses you can tap that will inform the person trying to get in touch with you that "I'm busy, call you back later." As a phone, it really does work very well. This is something that seems to have been forgotten in this day of cell phones, as it is often more about how well certain applications will work, or the speed of internet browsing. Fortunately, HTC has not forgotten what the main purpose of the phone should be, and calls are of good quality, even with poor reception.
Probably the primary thing that I spend my time doing on my cell phone is texting. It's something that most users are probably guilty of, smartphone or not. Texting is the new email, and is a lot of ways more improved due to people always having their phones and therefore you get a quicker response most of the time. Unlike my old LG, the HTC did not come with Swype pre-installed, and this caused big problems, as it was how I was able to type so fast before. Luckily, I consulted the Google Play store and found "TouchPal Keyboard". This is a great free alternative to Swype, and I actually like it a lot better, as it guesses the words you are typing out as you go, and also remembers common phrases that you use. Overall typing on the HTC is probably the fastest I have ever done on a phone.
As for applications, I have yet to come across any that do not work well on the HTC. With my LG I had a lot of problems since the Android OS was outdated, but with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, everything has been working well so far. Mind you, I'm not a heavy app user. I tend to stick to "mainstream" apps like Pandora, Amazon Kindle, Netflix, etc. and they have all worked well for me. I do have some third party apps, iFunny, Solitaire, etc. and these all work as well as the developers intended them to.
One of the biggest problems among any smartphone nowadays is battery life, and the HTC suffers from it as well. I can get through a day just fine, but by the time I get home I'm probably at around 25% and need to plug it in. This of course depends on how much I am using the phone during the day. If I spend a good half hour playing solitaire, it will show big time. Luckily though, the one thing that I do a lot for long periods of time on my phone, listening to music, is something that does not take up a lot of battery, even while using Pandora for a few hours. You've got to make sure that the screen is not on during this time, but other than that you can listen to hours and hours of music while losing little battery life, assuming that music isn't being streamed off of YouTube. Games and internet browsing are still a killer though, and is really something that needs to be worked on during this age of smart phones. How "smart" is a device that can only be used for a day without an outlet? My flip phone from five years ago was able to go a week without being plugged in, between calls and texting... so what's up with phones nowadays not being able to go a few hours? Whoever solves this major problem is going to go far in this massive industry, and they'll have my money to prove it. In the meantime though, the HTC will suffice, but it still isn't great.
Overall, the HTC is probably the best smart phone I have owned up until this point, and I really do like it. The battery life definitely leaves something to be desired, but this is still a big step up for me, and I feel as if the phone is able to handle any important functions like serving as a GPS or browsing the web as competently as a more expensive phone like an iPhone or Galaxy S3 could. It may not have quite the processing power as the bigger players, but it also doesn't come with the hefty price tag, so I'm more than happy with where I am right now.
I got the HTC One V mainly because it is affordable and still seemed to offer quite a lot. New to the world of decent smart phones and pretty much a touch screen hater, I really like this phone. Interface is easy to use, layout can be customised and generally the HTC One V has a decent speed in loading programmes. Touch screen was sensitive but easy to get used to.
Battery life is pretty good, mine lasts for about a day and a half, with using browser, Twitter and Facebook a lot. Also on standby it lasts ages, if the battery is half full at night I don't need to charge it till the next day back at the office and don't need to worry about the alarm not going off in the morning.
I also use it as my MP3-player, sound quality is great and offers a lot of space for storing songs, lists are easily created and accessed. The in built camera has a good picture quality and I can edit videos with it as well.
Some apps can be a bit slow, Facebook takes ages to load but the actual internet browser is faster and easy to use. The Polaris Office app also makes it easy to write or look at documents on the go, from Word to PDF documents. Also having Dropbox available means I can share or access photos or files with family.
GPS works well enough, although sometimes the map can take quite a while to reload or show details.
Sometimes the device can freeze or go white - previous phones I had to restart, but the One V rights itself each time within seconds - I only switch off and start new when I've had lots of downloads.
I also really like that you can open several apps without the device slowing down, and being able to switch between them very easily by touching the right hand side button and sliding them away to close them.
In short, a great affordable phone that covers all the basics, is user friendly and a great allrounder.
~There are many things you should not to do a mobile phone~
I've never dropped a phone from a great height. I've never run one over in my car. I've never even cracked a screen by throwing one in my handbag and chucking my keys on top. Considering I've had mobile phones since they were half the size of a house brick, I thought I was doing pretty well. And then I dropped my Nokia e-6 down the toilet.
It might have not been too serious if I'd realised straight away - but I didn't. In fact it must have been down the loo for many hours before a courageous colleague rolled up his sleeves and pulled it out, managing against all expectations to save the SIM card. When I realised that I couldn't find my phone, the words of a colleague came back to me; "There's a phone in the Unisex loos" he'd announced earlier in the day. I hadn't realised that when he said 'in' he literally meant IN the toilet.
I marched off to IT with my tail between my legs to shamefacedly admit what I'd done. I'm on pretty good terms with IT because I stuck with a really bad Palm smart phone for 18 months longer than anyone else in the company so I'd earned the right to do something violent to a phone at least once in my working life. Earlier this year our company started offering a 300 Euro rebate to anyone who wanted to buy an iPhone as their company phone and I had been thinking about doing that. However, Jamie from IT told me not to bother. He had something I could have without having to pay that would be - in his words - 'Almost as good'. He also knows from many discussions with me that I took a conscious decision not to buy an iPad last year and so he told me that he suspected that I didn't REALLY want an iPhone either. Faced with 'almost as good' and not having to pay, I said yes to ordering an HTC One V.
~Not such a smart (or demanding) user~
I'm not someone who demands a lot from a smart phone. The HTC One V is probably my seventh smart phone and most of them were a lot smarter and many much stroppier than me. I may not know how they work and I certainly use quite a limited range of functions, but with six smart phones behind me - at least 4 of them with serious flaws that made me hate them - I know what I like and what I don't like. And much to my surprise I LOVE the HTC One V.
Since it's a phone provided by my employers, I can't tell you what it would cost - but then who really 'buys' a phone these days? Most are supplied with contracts so cost is built into whatever package you have. Googling around I got the impression one would cost you around the £250 mark - but that's purely an indication.
The key features of the HTC One V (let me just call it the HTC from now on) are that it has a large touch screen, is android based and so far everything on it has worked as well or better than I expected.
~What you get~
The HTC came in a white box made of a strange 'egg box' like cardboard which contained the briefest of guides (the 'switch on here, plug charger in there' level of information), an enormous booklet about the warranty, a charging cable with a standard USB fixture at one end and the mini USB at the other, and a UK 3 pin plug to charge from the wall. The only other thing provided was a set of earphones. Jamie from IT set up the Outlook link for my work email, gave me a quick demo of the touch screen and then told me to get on with it. A minute later when he realised I was still standing there, he kindly agreed to show me how to switch it on and off since regardless of how 'intuitive' it was supposed to be, that wasn't obvious. He also mentioned that it was one of the few phones he's set up recently that came totally without any charge on the battery so if you're the type of person who wants to play straight out of the box, charging it up first might drive you insane.
So let's start with the basics. The phone is black and that's one of the few things I don't like about it. My handbag is full of black things and if I had a choice I'd prefer a nice bit of shiny metal or a bit of colour to help me find it but it's something I can live with. I have bought it a cover as giving it some 'clothes' may make it easier to find. It's about the same size as an iPhone but I would say slightly thinner and less blocky. It's just 9 mm thick and weighs a mere 115g. I was eyeing up a colleague's iPhone this morning when I decided to write this review and I would say the HTC is lightly less chunky. It has a strange and probably unnecessary bend at the bottom - not much, certainly not enough to put the phone nearer to your mouth or anything like that and the only thing I can think of is that it might be designed to make getting the SIM card out a bit easier than if it were flat. The SIM card is the only thing you can get out of this as there is no battery compartment at all - the battery is in, and it's staying there. Since several of my earlier phones suffered from the frequent need for a hard reboot (by which I mean I had to take the battery out and put it back in again) I was at first a bit concerned by not being able to do this. My colleague who has the HTC One S says hers has got a battery compartment so whether you do or don't get one seems to depend on the sub-model. To date nothing has ever frozen on the phone so it hasn't been an issue. She has also suggested that the 'bend' at the bottom makes the phone slightly easier to hold than with a totally flat phone like the iPhone.
Talking of batteries, the life on the HTC is very good. Previous smart phones I've had have been not very smart when it came to staying powered up. A charge on this phone will keep me going for a couple of days of normal work use. Obviously how long you'll get will depend on how much you use the phone but this beats the Nokia and Palm predecessors I've had in the last couple of years by a mile but falls a long way short of what you'd get with a good standard not-smart phone.
~ Living with the HTC ~
The display switches on and off with a button at the top of the phone. To activate the screen you have to drag a silver ring from the bottom of the screen up the screen to unlock it. Fortunately a little message reminds you about this if you forget. This means that in your bag or your pocket the phone can't accidentally switch on and start phoning people. If it's a while since you used it, dragging the ring will take you to the log on screen where you'll need a code of at least 4 numbers to get things going. Each time you tap a number, the phone vibrates slightly so you know that it worked.
My home screen is set up with the time and the weather on the main screen. Since I've had the phone I've become fascinated with weather forecasts in a way that never happened before. Flicking the screen to the right twice will bring me to the most recent sms message and the screen for composing such messages. Flicking from the home screen to the left brings a phone status display which oddly doesn't allow you to change the status, only to be reminded whether it's on, off, in-flight mode and whether the wifi is enabled. If any of these things are not as you'd want them to be, you can alter them on the main screen full of icons by using the 'settings' icon. One thing I find a little annoying is that there doesn't seem to be a 'silent' mode - for that I have to switch the volume to it's minimum setting and since there's no way to see quickly that I have put it on mute, I have a nasty tendency to miss calls as a result of forgetting I've switched the ringer off.
The bottom of the home screen has 5 icons for useful shortcuts. One is the phone symbol which not surprisingly takes you to the phone, the second is the email symbol which displays the number of messages waiting for you on your lead mail account and takes you to it. The third icon will take you to all the other options including those already mentioned and includes an option to see all the apps or just the most frequently used ones. The fourth icon notifies you of new SMS messages and the fifth is a very handy short cut to the camera.
~ But can you make a call with it?~
With the multitude of things you can do with a smart phone it's easy to forget that its prime function should be to make and receive calls. I find that the shape of the phone can make it a little hard to hear the other person and I'm generally to be found moving it around my head trying to get the best audio performance. Mostly I use mine with the headset provided which is very clear and with which I get a lot less complaints from other people than I've had with other such phones. I also make most of my calls from the car on my hands free bluetooth system which is great - though I can't say that's due to the phone rather than the car's system.The speakerphone performance is also very good and very clear. My phone numbers replicate with the numbers in my outlook account and it seems also with my facebook account which is a bit unnerving. I have somehow inherited the numbers of people I've never rung thanks to the folk at facebook.
The 5 mega pixel camera is surprisingly good on this phone and if I could be bothered to check all the camera functions, I think I'd be very impressed. However, I carry a camera with me most of the time so this only gets used for quick snaps in restaurants or hotel rooms rather than 'proper' photography. The range of settings available is better than on many good quality compact cameras. I had to download the online instruction book in order to work out how to get the pictures off the camera and I also had some amusing incidents where my phone was automatically uploading shots to Facebook without me realising it was happening. Cue some very confused comments from facebook friends confronted with unexplained photos. If you want to store your photos or other documents, the phone comes with 25 GB of free Dropbox space which could come in handy. I've not linked mine to my Dropbox storage account because I don't see too much value in it, but it's worth knowing it's there if you need it.
I have never in my life bought an 'app' or downloaded music onto a phone. I know that makes me Mrs Dinosaur but I feel no need for either and having always had a work phone, I'm reluctant to put too much of my private life onto my employers' phones. Obviously that means I can't comment on the ease of such things because I don't do them. Equally I can tell you that the audio has somethng to do with 'beats by Dr Dre' but I can't tell you if that's any good because I don't listen to music on my phone. The phone came with a lot of apps already installed and I've ignored most of them or failed to see too much value in them. I do however use the alarm clock which is excellent and unlike other phones only wakes me up when I want it to and not when it feels like it. The calendar which is linked to my outlook account is good but the task list makes little sense on the phone and I need to do a bit more research to work out what's going wrong with that. If I ever should need it, there's a handy flashlight function which could come in handy, and yesterday I found a game that gave me a train journey's worth of distraction. I think it will take me a few more months to work out all that the phone has to offer. There's a navigation and mapping system which I've not used but which I intend to give a go next time I don't have my Tom Tom handy.
The main reason for the phone - aside from making calls - is for me to be able to receive my work emails on the go. In the UK I happily let the phone keep updating the inbox but when I'm travelling I can run up sizeable phone bills doing that so I have the phone set to only replicate when I ask it to in order to save money. Our company also has a preset size limit for messages so not all attachments will be received. With a large screen size of 8cm by 5 cm, reading messages is easy on the eye and the pop up touch screen for typing on is just about manageable with my little fingers although I do tend to turn the screen to landscape to get bigger buttons and make it easier. Some of the predictive texting is a bit weird to say the least and takes getting used to. It's important to read all messages before sending them as some rather weird textonyms can get substituted if you aren't paying attention.
Setting up my gmail account for my private mail took me only a minute or two which means it's REALLY easy. Similarly setting up my facebook account took about the same time. With Outlook for work, Gmail for home and facebook for fun, that's really all I need for communication. Occasionally I do use the internet function and find it better than all previous phones but still rather clunky. I don't have the patience to wait for things to load.
Despite having the phone for three months now, I can't help but think that I've only scratched the surface of what it can do but I'm more than happy with it. Once I'd found the downloadable instruction book, I felt a lot more secure about being able to work out what I was doing and compared with other smart phones, getting the hang of this one has been a doddle. If you're the sort of person who doesn't want a smart phone that's too smart and that you can actually work out how to use, then this one is a delight. I suspect it would also suit more advanced users too but not being one, I can't say that with total confidence. If you want a touch screen Android phone that looks good, doesn't weigh a ton and seems to be very reliable, then this is well worth considering. I have normally fallen out of love with a phone within the first month - but with this one the honeymoon period is still going strong.
- HTC ONE V -
At a glance...
I recently got my hands on this beauty of a handset as I was due a contract upgrade and managed to get a bargain deal with Virgin Mobile on a new tariff of £12 a month and getting this handset for 'free'..
On first glance the handset has a real attractive "iPhone" type of feel about it, with its sleek black design and full 3.7inch high definition colour touch-screen. Unlike most handsets the battery is integrated within the shell and only the bottom tab is detachable for sim & memory card expansions. The device looks very professional and is definitely the new business man/woman's new gadget..
- First Use From New -
On first start up the handset takes a couple of minutes to get going, but once you've activated your sim and wifi etc your ready to go.. The devices features an excelling 1GHZ core processor which is visibly significant in the handset processing time. You can easily use multiple applications at the same time I.E switching between apps like Facebook, Twitter etc whilst browsing the web and sending an e-mail whilst listening to your favourite tracks through the media player! ... I am the type of user that we will really push my technology to the limits aswell whether im on my laptop or phone I will reguarly have over 10 apps running at once and I am happy to vouch that this handset has managed to put up with me so far and keep my needs met! :)
-"What's So Special..?, it's just a phone.."-
The most impressive feature in today's smartphones is the ability to adapt to the individual users preferences with the use of Apps and Customisation so whether your an avid Social Networker or you simply love your games you've got it all whilst on the move, Being an android based system you can get whatever you wan't whenever you want basically whether its the latest E-Books, Software, Games, you can find something for everyone across several android sellers including GooglePlay with 1000s of FREE and cool stuff which can easily kill those moments of boredem.
The menu design is extremely similar to that of the iPhone with a sliding page design with mini tabs for your apps, settings etc, the handset flys between pages without issue. When browsing through images, videos etc the handset operates seamlessly, haven't experienced any form of slow processing or lagging as of yet.
The handset features Beats Audio which by record when used with Beats official headphones gives you possibly the most effective sound quality received on a mobile device to date. I haven't actually got a set of beats but have used standard 3.5mm headphones with the phone and the audio quality can't be faulted, it can reach a level which is almost to loud for in ear headphones but still doesn't have any loss in quality or distortion.
Media player supports: MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV
The unit features a 5Megapixel (2592 x 1944 pixels) camera and despite the fact that their are higher pixel camera's on the market you really wouldn' tell the difference between the output quality on this handset in comparison. Camera Pics & Video recording is of a high crisp HD quality. There are also effects available to really set the scene on your content. You can also take several images one after another to choose the best pic, also has a decent integrated LED flash.
The handset has a built in FM radio which receives DAB information and display's up to date content on demand, also included is the TuneIn app which can stream live radio shows direct to your handset from anywhere in the world, this app also allows recording and downloads of podcast's which can be used for playback at a later time.
According to the records the handset is capable of external storage up to 32GB which can be gained by using a MicroSD HC card, I recently got myself one of eBay for £8.95, others are available in stores and online between £12-£30. Although it is stated 32GB maximum there is online evidence which shows a 64GB chip operating without problem should you need the extra storage!
Work On The Go -
In today's age technology is at the for-front of our lives where the majority of us have some form of communications device not far from our side, with this handset you can combine almost all of your technological needs in the palm of your hand, with e-mail built in as standard you can quickly and easily set-up your mail accounts google, hotmail etc so that you receive your e-mail in real time and receive notification on your phone. The handset also features Dropbox which can be used for storing files securely online and accessing them when you need them. There are also other extra Apps which work well like WhatsApp for example where you can chat between friends free of charge, sending images and having multi-person conversations whilst going about your day.
-Extra Stuff -
The handset features Java and also Adobe Flash Player which is useful for many websites which can not be accessed on a high majority of handsets. When using sites like Soundcloud or BBC IPlayer you can stream your audio and video content directly.
Battery Life is by far the best that I've encountered, having used many handsets over the years even on low use they can't keep up with the power of HTC. Having listened to the radio for the majority of the day and surfing the web and using the Facebook App the handset lasted for over 10 hours on full use.
Standby time is recorded in excess of 25days, how true this is I am yet to find out as I can't put my handset down long enough!
Another main biggy that needs a mention is that GPS is integrated and works amazingly, I've had a couple of places to go to recently and haven't had a clue where I was going, by using the Navigation App from Google it easily guides you along your way without hardly any breaks in signal. You can use voice or text search to find your location and or search by postcode so its a well developed Sat Nav system in simple terms..
This handset is the bomb in terms of what's on offer on the market today there isn't much different between the iphone4s, Samsung Galaxy S3 and the One V except for the price.
To get this as a handset only you would be looking at between £220 and £250 and in comparision to the iPhone or Galaxy you would be paying considerably more!
If you've got an upgrade coming up on your contract then this handset is definitely worth a look in to..
Thanks for reading, please leave a rating if you found this useful..