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

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The One V runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4. The system software and user interface are identical to that of the One X/One S. Anyone who's ever picked up an HTC Sense device will know exactly what to do with the V.

The lock screen on the V offers a handful of customizable shortcuts. You can set up to four apps/actions on the lock screen that will launch when you drag them down to the little ring at the bottom of the screen. The defaults are phone, mail, messages, and camera, but you can swap these out at will. It's cool that you can use a shortcut and a security passcode at the same time.

The central home screen panels all have a permanent dock at the bottom of the screen that holds five app shortcuts -- the same four as the lock screen, plus the main app menu. These can also be customized if you wish.

There are three standard Android buttons below the display: Back, Home, and Multitask. The first two are self-explanatory. Pressing the multitask button reveals a graphical listing of all the recently used applications. The hardware menu button has been removed entirely in Android 4.0, so you have to get used to find the three little dots within the applications themselves, which are the new indicator for the menu items.

The drop-down notification shade collects notification as before, but with Android 4.0 you can now dismiss individual notifications by swiping them sideways.

Applications are laid out via grids on the V. Swipe the pages to the left and you'll eventually jump from a list of all the apps to a list of all the widgets that are available. The widget menu lets you see what the widget looks like and tells you how big it is. You can alter the appearance of the main app menu in several different ways.

Last, a few words on performance. Truthfully, I was worried that the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor wouldn't be up to the task of running Android 4.0 on the One V, especially since HTC stuck far more powerful processors in the One X and One S. As it turns out, my worries were for naught. The One V didn't show any performance problems; I didn't see any stuttering or jerky screen transitions, and applications performed just as well as they do on HTC's more capable handsets.

 

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