HTC One VX -- Not Bad for the Price

You won't get high-end features like the X and X+, but it's a decent value for the price you'll pay.

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 / WCDMA 850 / 1900 / 2100 / LTE 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1900
Form Factor:
Block / Google Android OS v4.0
134 x 68 x 9 mm
Touch Screen
Battery Type:
1810 mAh Li-Ion
Talk Time:
Standby Time:
8.0 GB
Radiation (SAR):
Above Average Radiation (1.16 W/kg)

Main Screen:
Super LCD 2 (Accelerometer / Proximity Sensor / Ambient Light Sensor)
16,700,000 colors (540 x 960 px)
Secondary Screen:
5.0 MP / BSI Sensor / LED Flash / Zoom / 1080p Video Recorder / 0.3 MP / Video Calling

MP3 Player:
Beats Audio (MP3 / AAC / WMA)
FM Radio:

540 x 960 px
Screen Savers:
540 x 960 px
Android Market
Streaming Multimedia:

POP3 / IMAP4 / SMTP / Gmail
AOL / Google / Windows Live / Yahoo
Predictive Text:
Handwriting Recognition

Google Calendar
To-Do List:
2.0 (Webkit / Google Search)
Voice Commands:

Infrared Port:
High-Speed Data:
802.11 a/b/g/n / NFC
Google Maps
PC Sync:
USB 2.0 / HDMI

Product Website

Compare With Similar Phones:

Google Nexus 5 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Apple IPhone 5C Apple IPhone 5S Motorola Moto X
Google Nexus 5 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Apple IPhone 5C Apple IPhone 5S Motorola Moto X

When HTC released the One X, it ushered in a new type of smartphone -- the do-it-all flagship. The X+ extended the reputation for top-notch quality.

Then came the mid-tier S. It lacked the high-end features of the flagships, but for the price, you got a decent package of features. Now, the VX is here. If the S was a step down from the X, the VX is a jump below -- it's the cheapest of the bunch.

Besides the decent camera and Beats Audio, it's hard to get excited about the lackluster features. Still, if you're on a budget, beggars can't be choosers. If you don't expect much from the VX, it's not a bad phone. But best of all, you won't pay much, either.

What's the Phone?

Instead of aluminum, the VX is made of a polycarbonate plastic material, so it's lighter and cheaper, than its high-end siblings. It doesn't look as elegant, but the gently curving sides are there. It's still durable, though, just a bit uglier. You can remove the back cover to get to the microSD slot. But hold your horses: HTC glued the 1,810 mAh battery tight, so unless you have a nihilistic impulse to take things apart, it will stay put.

Photo 1

The 4.5-inch display features 960-by-540 pixels, about the same resolution as the mid-range S. Despite the lackluster 245-ppi density, it's sufficiently clear and sharper than I expected for a phone of this caliber. Fonts are easy to read and graphics are free from jagged edges, and if you browse the Web or stream movies for hours, your eyes won't strain. I did like the wide viewing angle. Even outdoors on a bright day, I could see everything from every odd direction.

The 5-megapixel camera, meanwhile, is a great. Again, it's a step down from the 8-megapixel option on the more expensive X+, but I love the BSI sensor and f/2.0, 28-millimeter wide-angle lens -- photos turned out surprisingly clear with excellent color balance -- it's one of the best 5-megapixel lenses around. HTC added "ImageChip" technology to help the lens focus, even when you move the camera around.

You'll get the standard features like panorama for scenes and smile shot to snap a photo when everyone's smiling, and high-end functions like macro, ISO and HDR mode for more contrast in low-light. I did notice a bluish hue, though. The shutter is fast, and you can snap four photos in less than a second. Meanwhile, you can record 1080p clips and video chat with the front-facing VGA lens. Overall, it's a great bang for the buck, and I'd even go as far as saying it's better than some 8-megapixel shooters.

Like its siblings, the VX comes with Beats Audio. If you love heavy bass and thumping tracks, it'll bring a smile to your face. The signal processing software magnifies high and low frequencies, so you'll get a richer music-listening experience. I love it, but if you prefer a more natural sound, you can turn it off -- music still sounds great. Unfortunately, Beats won't work with third-party apps, so if you stream through Spotify, you'll miss out. You'll have to do it the old-fashioned way, download or transfer to the memory and play songs through HTC's pre-loaded player.

AT&T released the VX at the same time it launched the X+, which runs Jelly Bean, so when I saw ICS, I scratched my head. HTC, though, promises to push out an update shortly, so it's not a big deal. The Sense interface isn't as annoying as other UIs and Friend Stream is surprisingly useful -- you see all Facebook, Twitter and messaging interactions in one place. If you have a lot of friends, it's overwhelming.

AT&T is still heavy-handed with bloatware, but mercifully, most of it is removable. I found a few apps helpful, like Code Scanner, which reads bar codes, but you'll want to start uninstalling out of the box. If you're a helicopter parent, you'll love Family Map -- it lets you track your kids' whereabouts. If you don't have kids, and don't want a snooping spouse, you'll want to uninstall it.

Photo 2

The VX runs on a speedy 1.2-gigahertz dual-core chip and AT&T fast 4G LTE service. It comes with a meager 8-gigabytes of storage, so if you take a lot of photos or listen to music, pick up a microSD card. I lasted a solid eight hours on one charge -- that's one area it outperforms the X+. It runs on AT&T's 4G LTE network, for real-world speeds of around 20-megabits per second.

You'll Want It If...

You want a cheap, but decent phone. The One VX isn't a bad phone -- the 5-megapixel camera and Beats Audio are splendid, but the plastic materials will make you wish you spent more for X+.

It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?

If you're on a tight budget, take a look at the Pantech Discover. It costs about the same, but it has a faster processor, more defined display and a higher-resolution lens. Otherwise, if you're willing to give Windows a try, Nokia's Lumia 810, 820 and 822 are great mid-range phones. They're basically the same phones, just for T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, respectively.

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User Reviews

Rating: 4 of 5 Good Value, Good Features

Rob R. on December 02, 2012

After debating between the One X+ and the VX, I decided to go with the VX since it has a FM radio. I like listening to stations on the go, so it sealed the deal for me.

The VX is cheaper than the flagship X+ but it has a decent suite of features. The front and rear-facing lenses do the job, albeit at a much lower resolution, but the photos and HD videos do the job well.

It ships with Android ICS rather than Jelly Bean installed, but AT&T promises to upgrade the device in the near future. ICS is not bad, but I can't wait for Jelly Bean.

The design is superb. The speakers are well-placed and Beats Audio improves the frequencies for better-sounding bass and trebles. And with noise cancellation, calls are clear too.

It comes with a meager 8-gigabytes of storage, but there's a microSD slot for up to 32-gigabytes -- sold separately. The VX is a good deal. You won't have the best features, but you'll get a decent package at a reasonable price.

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Rating: 4 of 5 I like it

Lori on May 07, 2013

I like this phone. It does what I need it to do. The pictures come out beautifully. The screen is big and clear.

The main thing I hate about this phone is I keep receiving duplicate text messages. Sometimes I will get the same message 12 times. Also I fins this phone can lag quite a bit.

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