HTC One V: Design
The design of the HTC One V is quite different from the HTC One X and HTC One S. It has a much squarer look and a return of HTC's 'curved-chin' which the firm says makes the phone easier to hold and is a 'distinctive accessory to your life'. Our opinion is that it gives it a retro look reminiscent of older handsets like the Hero but doesn't really serve a practical purpose.
It is the thickest of the trio but not by much at a respectable 9.6mm. It is certainly the lightest at 115g - 5g lighter than the One S.
The HTC One V is the most compact of the range at 60 x 120mm and fits nicely into the hand, regardless of the curved bottom edge. It's no frills design with the buttons and ports where you would expect them and a distinctly grey finish but is also available in a nicer looking black. See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?
HTC One V: Build quality
Like the One S, the HTC One V sports an aluminium uni-body bar the plastic camera surround and the removable cover. The metal shell gives the phone excellent rigidity, strength and an overall solid feel. It's the kind of handset that can take a bit of abuse without showing signs of deterioration.
The one area of weakness that we discovered was the similar to the One X. Squeezing the sides of the handset or putting pressure on the middle of the display resulted in ripples appearing on the screen. We didn't see any lasting negative affect from this but it did leave us wondering what state the screen would be in after months of use. See also: Group test: what's the best Android phone?
HTC One V: Hardware
Being at the budget end of the scale, the HTC One V isn't a powerhouse when it comes to hardware. It has a 1GHz single-core processor, which compared to the quad-core chips packed into the One X and Samsung Galaxy S3 sounds pretty unimpressive.
The One V has a reasonable 512MB and didn't produce inspiring results in the Geekbench 2 test, scoring an average of 282 across three runs – less than half the One S. Although this score is low, from a user perspective the phone ran smoothly. In a side-by-side test it was only fractionally slower than the One S at opening the same apps and doing the same tasks.
Fitting in with the entry-level specs is 4GB of internal storage. This isn't much but unlike the One S and HTC One V there is a God send in the form of a microSD card for expansion. On top of this HTC has teamed up with Dropbox to offer its customers 25GB of cloud storage.
If you're looking for a modest screen size then the HTC One V will suit. It has a 3.7-inch display which is marginally larger than the Apple iPhone 4S. It has a resolution of 480 x 800 which spread across the screen results in a pixel density of 252ppi. This is a very respectable quality for a budget phone to say the least and is a higher density than the Samsung Galaxy S II and equal to the Nokia Lumia 800.
There isn't much in the way of connectivity but given the price of the One V, we're not too surprised. The handset has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with physical ports consisting of microUSB and a 3.5mm audio jack.
HTC One V: Camera
The One V has similar camera to the One S and One X with a 28mm lens, BSI sensor for low-light situations, an F2.0 aperture and dedicated imaging chip. It also has the same ImageSense camera app with filters, burst mode and the ability to take still images while recording video. However, it has a lower 5Mp resolution rating.
Our test shots came out reasonably well with the auto-focus doing its job. The resolution drop is definitely noticeable when you compare it to an 8Mp camera and we found that photos sometimes had a slight yellow cast and colours were often over saturated.
Overall, the camera will happily take the odd snap and uploading it to a social network but don't rely on the One V for important photos that you want to show people or print out afterwards.
Two other things to note about the camera on the One V are the fact that is records video in maximum 720p resolution and doesn't have a front facing lens for things like video chat.
HTC One V: Software
HTC prides itself on software and the One V is no exception. Even though this is a budget handset it still has the latest editions of Android and HTC's Sense overlay – versions 4.0.3 and 4.0, respectively.
The One V combines vanilla ICS and the Sense user interface very well, balancing familiarity and extra features. The user interface looks stylish and colourful with plenty of opportunity to customise with widgets, wallpapers and the like.
There is also a decent amount of pre-loaded apps, such as SoundHound and Facebook, without it feeling untidy. Like all HTC smartphones the One V comes equipped with Beats Audio software.
Furthermore, due to the lower amount of RAM, HTC hasn't put the recent apps multi-tasking part of Android into a separate window which we felt was unnecessary on the One S and One X. Instead it appears over the top of the app or menu being shown.
HTC One V: Battery life
The One V is a good performer when it comes to battery life. It outclassed its older brothers thanks to the less demanding set of hardware. We found that the 5.5Wh battery easily lasted two days between charges. This was with a 'normal' amount of usage and will of course vary depending on how and what you use your smartphone for on a daily basis.