Preview: HTC One V

A budget Android phone that has an aluminium unibody design

HTC One V

HTC One V

The HTC One V is the baby of HTC's new One range, but it features most of the same software as other models.

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The HTC One V is a low-end smartphone that is likely to retail at a very competitive price, but its unibody aluminium design is likely to give it an edge amongst plastic alternatives. The One V gets its inspiration from the HTC Legend, a phone that launched back in 2010 and was widely regarded as one of the best looking devices of its time. Like the Legend, the One V has an angled lip at the bottom of the phone: on the Legend this was often referred to as a "Jay Leno chin" in the US, but it does appear less pronounced on the One V.

Naturally, the specifications of the HTC One V won't blow you away. It has a 3.7in TFT display with a resolution of 480x800 and is powered by a modest 1GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM and has only 4GB of internal memory. Unlike the flagship One X and the mid-range One S, however, the One V at least gets removable storage in the form of a microSD card slot, though its battery is not removable. It also has a full-sized SIM card slot rather than the micro-SIM used on other models.

The HTC One V only has a 5-megapixel camera compared to the 8-megapixel snapper on the other One models, but the good news is that the One V retains all of the software features from the One range. Users can bypass the lock-screen and immediately jump into the camera app, while the One V also allows you to take a photo while shooting HD video (called "double shutter") and can even allow you to capture a still image from an already recorded video. Holding your finger on the on-screen shutter button will also enable burst mode.

The HTC One V runs the latest 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich version of Google's Android operating system and is skinned with HTC's Sense 4.0 UI. HTC has attempted to simplify an interface which has often been accused of being too cluttered — as an example it has removed some of the fancy 3D animations to improve performance, and redesigned other UI elements to tie in better with Android 4.0's interface.

New features of Sense include "ImageSense" which enables you to take a photo in 0.7 seconds with a 0.2 second autofocus, Dropbox integration with 25GB of free storage, and the ability to sync iTunes playlists automatically. The One V also comes standard with Beats Audio qualities, a direct result of HTC's "strategic partnership" with the Beats By Dr. Dre audio company. It will work in all applications, not just the music player.

HTC hasn't announced pricing or availability details for the One V, but it is expected to launch in Australia in the coming months.

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