HTC's One V is the "budget" offering in its 2012 lineup and has the specs to match: a WVGA screen, 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera, and 4 gigs of storage. There's nothing embarrassing about a phone that's not featuring the latest specs or the thinnest body and that goes double for the One V, which takes the classic HTC Legend form factor and updates it for 2012.
The aluminum unibody frame curves around to a glass screen that is not quite flush, at least on the pre-production model we tried. The phone actually felt small and particularly narrow, at least by the "new normal" of super-sized phones in 2012. The prominent chin at the bottom remains as divisive as ever — we're split as to whether it still works as a design choice. We're not split on the screen, which is a straight 3.7-inch LCD and looks great despite being only 480 x 800.
This isn't an exact one-to-one copy of the Legend, the One V has HTC's new three-capacitive-button setup at bottom to go along with Android 4.0. HTC has also included Sense 4.0, but we noticed a few spots where it wasn't as graphically flashy as the other One devices. In particular, the multitasking button brought up the traditional, vertical Ice Cream Sandwich set of vertical thumbnails instead of Sense's horizontal listing. We're not sure if that will be a permanent thing or if it was simply early software. Note that our impressions on the software came from a pre-production model that HTC showed us earlier; on the MWC floor the devices weren't powered up.
Despite the budget nature of the phone, HTC tells us it deserves to get the unified "One" branding, as it still has Beats audio and the "HTC Image chip" to speed up photo processing. We'll need to do more testing to see if we agree with that assessment, HTC's new attempt
HTC is targeting Q2 for a release, but there's no word on whether it's coming to the US.