Product Type: HTC Smartphone
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Smartphone at a Stupidly Low Price
HTC One V
Member Name: Lions
HTC One V
Advantages: sleek, light, good camera, fast, works well
Disadvantages: battery life
The year is 2013, and by now if you do not have a smartphone you are considered outdated and behind on the times.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 It was a good phone to get me accustomed to using Android, but ultimately it was too outdated (running Android 2.3 I believe) and it was too slow to use many apps on.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.
Summary: Probably the best value smartphone on the market right now.
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