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HTC, $50/m 24m op­ ★★★

THIS smart­phone might be cheap in com­par­i­son with its big­ger broth­ers, but it’s not cheaply made. HTC’s lat­est hand­set, named the One V (above), is a solid phone with a tough, alu­minium ex­te­rior that feels like it could with­stand daily abuse.

Its 3.7-inch screen, while it looks smaller than it sounds, is also easy to look at, and the phone uses Google An­droid’s Ice Cream Sand­wich soft­ware to keep apps run­ning smoothly.

And even though this phone uses a 1GHz pro­ces­sor, it re­sponds in a speedy fash­ion to most re­quests.

The One V is a hand­set made avail­able through Op­tus and is clearly de­signed for users mak­ing the step up to a smart­phone. Its de­sign is rem­i­nis­cent of the HTC Leg­end, thanks to a curved end that rises, gen­tly, to near your mouth. This curve makes it easy to hold and pick up.

HTC has added a qual­ity cam­era, too. Though ca­pa­ble of cap­tur­ing only 5-megapixel shots, it opens quickly from the home screen and its aut­o­fo­cus is quicker than you might ex­pect. It can strug­gle to adapt to dif­fer­ent lighting, how­ever.

The cam­era can also cap­ture 720p high­def­i­ni­tion video and shoot pho­tos si­mul­ta­ne­ously, record­ing im­ages to a Mi­croSD card.

But a phone of this price does not come with­out com­pro­mise. Users will need to buy and in­stall a Mi­croSD card in this phone as it has only 4GB of mem­ory. Its mea­gre 512MB RAM also slows things down some­times, it doesn’t of­fer a front-fac­ing cam­era for video calls and you can’t re­move its bat­tery.

For the price (less than $250 or free on a $50 plan), it’s a solid per­former and smart­phone starter kit.


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