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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

Maps

HTC One VX review

One of the best things about having an Android phone, even a dated Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich phone, is full Google Maps integration. This means that all your location searches, be it in Maps or via voice commands, will be querying Google's massive 1984-esque databases.

Yes, Google Maps is available on iOS 6 and on Windows Phone 8 via the mobile site, but remember the "full integration" part. iPhone 5 users, your location-based Siri queries will be answered by her dumb buddy Apple Maps, even if you download that beautiful third-party Google Maps app. WP8 users have it the worst, they have to go use Google Maps via their browsers.

So be thankful for Google Maps and the navigational goodness it provides. Thanks to it, the One VX offers location photos, Street View, address and contact info, plus turn-by-turn spoken directions all in one place.

As usual, carrier AT&T has jammed its superfluous AT&T Navigator onto the phone. Its presence is somewhat mystifying, since it offers a service inferior to that of the free Google Maps, and has the audacity to ask for $9.99 for its less detailed maps and choppy voice support. Just ignore it.

Media

Since we're in Android territory, the One VX has access to Google Play, the main competitor to iTunes and App Store. It offers books, magazines, music, movies and apps at rates competitive to Apple's storefront.

While the One VX's screen is just 540 x 960, not HD, it doesn't do a bad job displaying videos. The screen is bright (sometimes too bright, due to bad auto-brightness), clear, and a decent size. It's not at all a bad way to watch some YouTube or Netflix, but we'd be surprised if it motivated anyone to pony up for an HD copy of "Prometheus."

HTC One VX review

The One VX does an even better job with music, thanks to Beats Audio. Based on our experience, the mix provided by Beats is pretty much equivocal to the audio support on the iPhone 5. It's not amazing, but as far as smartphones go, HTC devices are among the best stewards for your music collection, whether it's through Google Play, Spotify or what have you. Also, the extra 32GB you can add to the One VX via microSD card makes a capable mobile music player.

Apps

One VX review

The Google Play Store offers a wide variety of apps, ranging from games to utilities to straight up oddities. Running ICS, the One VX is about one full version behind, which isn't old enough to run into many compatibility issues.

However, we did encounter a few in-app quirks, most notably with Facebook. Whenever we liked a friend's post in the News Feed, our 'like' would not show up when we viewed that post on their timeline. We're not sure of the cause of this inconsistency, but it could be that the ICS version of Facebook is not receiving as much attention as the JB or iOS 6 versions.

As far as app performance, the more power hungry apps you encounter will give the VX's dual-core a run for its money. Expect noticeably increased loading times when compared to Android 4.1: Jelly Bean as well as stuttering if and when the machine attempts to multitask. It's capable of playing basic games very well, and the more advanced if you give a little patience.