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HTC One VX review

A quirky but above average mid-range smartphone

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Our Verdict

For

  • Expandable storage via microSD
  • Beats Audio
  • Noise canceling microphone
  • Large, sharp display
  • All day battery life
  • Free with AT&T contract

Against

  • Buttons are hard to press
  • Dual-core bogs down easily
  • Cheap, plasticy feel
  • Facebook and text messaging quirks
  • Auto-brightness will burn your retinas

Messaging and Email

HTC One VX review

SMS and MMS text messages are handled through the aptly named Messages app. Conversations are arranged with the typical back and forth look of an instant message conversation, using the profile pictures assembled in Contacts. There's also a simple paper clip button for attaching pictures and other files to messages.

One odd bug the One VX exhibited was doubling of incoming text messages. Texts we received from friends would sometimes appear twice. Occasionally the duplicate would show up immediately, sometimes it would be delayed a few minutes but would appear with the same time signature as its twin. It's unclear whether this has to do with the AT&T's service or the One VX, but since the phone is a carrier exclusive, they're one and the same, really. Weird, but nothing more than annoying quirk, really.

Email duties default to the Mail app, but since this is Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich, a separate Gmail app is included as well. Both provide convenient management for multiple inboxes, and play very nice with the information assembled in the Contacts app. ICS also features nice mail widgets, which let you access inboxes with custom parameters right from a home screen.

HTC's Sense UI keyboard has good predictive text that nicely supports the typing experience on the One VX. With basic words and phrases, it generally guesses what you want within a few letters. For less common vocabulary, it maintains a running personal dictionary which you can directly access and manage, if you like.

Overall, we'd put the keyboard on the One VX above the standard ICS keyboard, but below third-party powerhouses like SwiftKey.

Internet

The One VX's browser is called Internet. It's snappy, and clean looking, other than a dock of social functions found at the bottom. It does an especially nice job resizing text and images when you zoom in and out.

Using the default browser, the Google homepage generally load in three seconds or less, and the TechRadar homepage loaded in around five.

HTC One VX review

That dock of social buttons at the bottom is a questionable design choice. Though it generally hides when not in use, when it pops up it wastes precious screen space. Often times the buttons to tweet and Facebook 'like' articles failed to perform.

HTC One VX review

That quickly drove us into the arms of our favorite browser Chrome. This is Android, after all, you're not locked into using the default Internet browser. It's easy to change the default web surfing program to whatever you like.

Chrome's support for mobile tabbed browsing is very good, making it easy to open a few links in separate tabs and start reading through them one by one. Just like HTC's browser, it does a fine job formatting sites for a phone screen, but it's free from the annoying social bar that pops up at the bottom of the One VX's Internet.

As far as data service goes, we had a reliable though not always blazing fast experience on AT&T's 4G LTE network. While we never struggled for a signal, we often found ourselves on the slower 4G, rather than 4G LTE. We tested the One VX in the San Francisco Bay Area and while traveling in the Chicagoland area.

When it comes to megabytes per second, our data speeds were usually in the mid to high teens. The occasional low service area would yield single digit speeds. The highest we ever got was 20 mbps. As mentioned, we often found ourselves bouncing between 4G and 4G LTE, but we never ended up on 3G or Edge, nor did we struggle to maintain a data connection.

AT&T's data service isn't always blazing fast, meaning you won't always have incredible downloads and streaming services, but you'll never have a problem browsing the web or getting your email.