The new Desire range looks set to bask in the shadows of HTC's highly-rated flagship One series (X, S, V) whether it likes it or not. Nonetheless, the strange new direction the series took might detract and confuse some because the phones that once took on the Desire tag included high- to mid-range devices including Desire HD, S and Z. As such, the new Desire V and Desire C, both single-core smartphones, seem to falter under their more powerful predecessors. Aside from the mixed marketing messages, we take a quick at the Desire V, an affordable Android 4.0 device with a 4.0-inch screen that comes with dual SIM card slots and find how it fares.
As per HTC standards, the Desire V is well-built, sturdy and classy in design. While it doesn't come with high-end specs, it certainly doesn't look like the typical low-end device. Boasting of a aluminium unibody design doused with a tasteful and minimalist color palette of white and silver (with a hint of orange trimmings at the camera), the Desire V has enough spunk to stand out from the usual cut-and-dried black smartphones.
On the whole, the handling experience has been largely positive. A white matte back cover protects the phone from not only scratches but nasty fingerprints. Not only that, it also helps users to keep a tighter grip on the smartphone. That plus its rounded and slightly curved edges made it very easy to hold without any discomfort. There are only two physical buttons on the device, the power button and volume rocker. These physical buttons are long strips that presented good feedback and posed no problems with functionality despite their thin form. As with the Android 4.0 equipped HTC One series, the Desire V is has three touch buttons (back, home, multitasking).
Like the HTC One V, the Desire V comes with Android 4.0 and HTC Sense 4.0a user interface, the latter being a lite version that is built to run on HTC devices with smaller memory footprints and single core processors. If you want a better look at what both offer, take a look at our Android 4.0 Basics article and our HTC One X and One V review. Local HTC representatives have mentioned that the HTC Sense 4.0a UI comes with reduced UI animations like the 3D multi-tasking switcher and live wallpapers to ensure a smoother user experience.
Prominently, the UI comes with lesser built-in applications (like Stocks, News, Movie Editors) and themes, and leaves it up to users to decide whether they want to include them on their phone, since most of these software can be downloaded via the HTC Hub or the Google Play Store.
So what's the main difference between its closely related cousin, the HTC One V, and the Desire V? Other than a bigger 4.0-inch screen, the Desire V is also the first smartphone from the company and one of the very few Android versions in the market (the other recent entry being Sony Xperia Tipo) to support dual SIM cards. For those looking for a specialized feature like this, the HTC Desire V is definitely an option to look at. Frequent travelers who need to have both local and home SIM cards active at the same time on the same phone will certainly appreciate having dual SIM cards functionality.