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printed December 22, 2014
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Review: HTC One V for Virgin Mobile

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  11  

Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

In order to keep the sale price of the One V down a bit, HTC went with a screen that's not as stunning as those on the One X and One S. The V's display measures 3.7 inches across the diagonal and offers 480 x 800 pixels. This is a resolution common to mid-range and low-end Android smartphones. Despite the less-than-HD resolution, the Super LCD looks fantastic. It's very bright, colors look rich, and most on-screen elements look sharp and free of pixelated edges. I found it to be usable outdoors, though taking pictures under a bright sun was a bit difficult.

Signal

Virgin Mobile USA operates on Sprint's CDMA-EVDO network, which means the HTC One V does, too. During my tests with the device, it performed very well on the Sprint/Virgin network. In fact, it performed a bit above average. When other Sprint devices showed two bars of coverage, the V showed three. Additionally, the V was more consistent at making phone calls on the first try and connecting to the web when compared to other Sprint devices tested in the same area. I had no problems at all with the One V, and the device never dropped a call while in my possession. The One V can't use WiMax or LTE, so data speeds are limited to about 1.2Mbps over 3G.

Sound

Holy moley, this is one loud phone. The earpiece is so loud when set up all the way, it felt like somebody stabbed a sewing needle into my ear. I found that lowering the volume to about 60% is perfect for most situations. It's still loud enough to be heard -- even in noisy restaurants -- without causing hearing loss. Wanna know about the quality? Good. Very good, in fact. I was pleased with the warmth of voices coming through the earpiece. The speakerphone isn't nuclear-klaxon loud, but it's good enough for most environments. It was easily audible over background noise such as a TV or several conversations in the same room. Quality of calls through the speakerphone was quite good. The ringers and alerts were jarringly loud, and the vibrate was strong enough that I felt it even when the One V was in my backpack.

Battery

Thanks in part to the smaller display, less-powerful processor (more on that in a moment), and lack of 4G, the One V delivers solid battery life. I consistently scored 36 or more hours of battery life from a single charge, despite using the device for email, social networking, and listening to the new Tremonti album over and over. I suspect most users will charge it every night, but if you forget to plug it in before passing out at night, you'll be good through lunch the following day. That's as much as you can ask from any smartphone these days.

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