Over the past year, the selection of Android phones carried by Virgin Mobile has exponentially increased. They now carry a wide variety of cellphones to cater to all walks of life, as well as various allowences of money people can spend on a phone. With the no-contract service, you pay a little more out of pocket but save in the end. Virgin Mobile has bottom-tier Android phones for around $100 USD and the recently-released iPhone 4S for $650 USD. Sitting at the top of the Android price-point at $300 USD is the HTC Evo V.
In a nutshell, you are getting a 4.3″ touchscreen coupled with a 1.2Ghz processor all built atop the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwhich) platform. The unique feature about the Evo V is the 3D camera, though, and everyone I showed this to was amazed by it. With a simple flip of a switch (right above the camera button), you turn the regular 5.0MP camera into a full 3D image camera. It seems awkward at first, as you have to play around with the angle when viewing the picture, but with the perfect angle it is jawdropping at first.
First and foremost among its attributes, the Evo V has a long-lasting battery life. I use my phone a lot, for both personal use and business use. I constantly check emails, text, Tweet, update Facebook and read articles on the web. In a normal day, I would kill my old phone at some point and it would have to be charged. The Evo V withstood the same amount of usage and survived into the next day.
It took a little bit of time to get used to the 3D camera, as it bulges out just a tad on the back. It’s also in that awkward position that I was used to resting my finger across, which was another reason it took some time to adjust to. I eventually did after a few days, so that complaint became null.
The rest of the design is flawless. The large screen makes everyday tasks easier and games more enjoyable. The unit weighs only six ounces and the back has a ribbed texture to make gripping comfortable and slip-resistant.
One of the most convenient features is the quick unlocks. From the lock screen, you have four “favorites” you can drag to the ring at the bottom to auto-open the corresponding app. For example, I swapped the “Phone” feature with the “Google Talk” app so I could instantly open Google Talk instead of unlocking the phone and then selecting the app itself. It’s a very streamlined experience for people that use up to four apps on a regular basis.
With 1GB of internal storage, you have plenty of room for apps. On more budget-friendly phones, you have to be conservative of your space but not on the Evo V. I was downloading apps just to try, and never had to worry about deleting anything. The zippy 1.2GHz processor opens apps quicker than my old Optimus V, too. Another issue I never ran into was the phone bogging down by having so many apps running in the background simultaneously thanks to the 1GB of RAM.
The stock keyboard is nice, showing off that 4.3″ screen. The lack of Swype being pre-loaded is actually good news for anyone interested in the product, though. Swype was what sold me on my first phone, but it became a problem and I couldn’t upgrade to the newer, fixed version for one reason or another. I downloaded the Swype beta on the HTC Evo V and found that it is a solid upgrade all the way around. If you are looking for a phone with Swype, don’t overlook the Evo V.
Of course Android 4.0 is another treat. The delicious Ice Cream Sandwich will make your life easier with quite a few enhancements over previous versions of the OS. For those that depend on their cell phone to capture every waking moment, the camera has been improved with built-in effects and a timer for time-lapse pictures. My favorite functional upgrade was to the copy and paste function; it was easier to copy selections from emails and paste them in a new email or text. Being able to access the notifications bar while locked also made a difference in streamlining the overall experience during day-to-day use.
Call quality was what I expected, which is a good thing. I never had to repeat myself due to a distorted line. The signal, however, was weaker than my previous phone from the same company. Sitting right next to one another, the Evo V would get two bars, whereas I had a near-perfect signal with my Optimus V.
After an extended amount of time using this phone exclusively, I did have one issue with it; the lock button. Far less prominent than the more budget-friendly Optimus V, I had some problems locking and unlocking the phone and had to try multiple times in some cases. The button makes little effort to stand out and certainly feels no different when actually depressing it. The Optimus V has a very distinct feel so you know you unlocked the phone.
There are so many little things built into this phone that make it a more luxurious upgrade over other phones, I can’t begin to explain every little detail. I live off my phone. I use it so much throughout the day (and not just for personal reasons like texting, phone calls, etc.) that I don’t want to have to settle for an “okay” or “good” phone. The HTC Evo V is a great phone that made both my personal life and business life easier to manage. The two problems I mentioned above aside, and dismissing the newly-released iPhone for Virgin Mobile, the HTC Evo V is a the cream of the crop for Android phones for the no-contract carrier.
- The technical specs are everything you would expect from a top-tier Android phone
- 4.0 OS, for improved interface
- 1GB of internal memory
- That beautiful, large screen
- The lock button was pretty aggravating
- Signal took a serious hit compared to my old Optimus V
Note: This phone has 4G, but it is not available in my area at this time.