Bringing impressive specs to a more entry-level friendly price point, the HTC One V is a smartphone that will help push user expectations of competitively priced handsets to new, ever advancing levels.

Far from a beige device that will simply blend into the highly competitive crowd, the HTC One V features enough standout specs and impressively simple user interface characteristics to separate it from the throng of devices all vying for the same limited custom.

Although not perfect, the handset's 1GHz Qualcomm CPU keeps the device zipping through content at an impressive pace, with little lag when jumping between apps, menus and the selection of heavily skinned home screens.

We liked

Playing host to an impressive and eye-catching design that stands out from the crowd, the HTC One V is beautifully styled, with its strong chinned form factor and sturdy, reassuring and aesthetically pleasing finish resulting in a product that truly sets itself apart from the plastic-backed candybar collective that currently dominates around the £230/$350 price point.

Jumping firmly on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich bandwagon, the HTC One V sees a joyous combination of software with the fledgling operating system joining forces with an improved version of the already much loved HTC Sense UI. The overall package has a high-end feel that far exceeds expectations.

We disliked

While a boxed pair of Beats headphones would nicely offset the Beats audio innards, the HTC One V would benefit from a selection of minor tweaks rather than any dramatic specs or software overhauls.

With slightly sloppy video recording abilities and a sometimes fiddly on-screen QWERTY keyboard, the HTC One V is just a few irritations away from becoming a show stealing member of the mid-range phone market.

Buying Guide
Best Android phone - which should you buy?
Best Android phone

Final verdict

An all-round impressive handset, the HTC One V is a smartphone that has filtered down a selection of previously used specs to a new budget-friendly price tag, packaging it in an impressive and desirable shell in the process.

Although those looking for a selection of groundbreaking specs might instead plump for the handset's HTC One X sibling or an iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S2 or Motorola Razr, for a possible first smartphone or a transition phone on the way to the big hitters, users could do far, far worse that this 3.7-inch screen, 5MP camera-packing powerhouse.