Review: HTC Velocity

By Mike Wheeler

There was much brouhaha about the launch of the HTC Velocity – not so much about the unit itself, but the fact it was the first 4G-enabled smartphone to hit the Australian market. At its most basic, what this means for the end users is speed, speed and more speed when using it for uploading and downloading data from the internet, or more personal items live videos and photos.

But what is the unit like itself? Not bad. Not bad at all. It is slightly wider and longer than the company’s EVO 3D phone, but about the same weight. This might seem a little bulky for some users, however its touch screen is pretty good and gives is 114.3mm with qHD (540 X 960) resolution – in other words it’s nice and bright. What it makes up for in size, it makes up for in thinness.

It has all the things you want in a smartphone – texting, video and still camera, the ability to download a tonne of apps etc, and has an excellent build. It also comes with 16GB of storage, with a microSD slot to expand. It also uses the latest generation of Gingerbread – surprising that HTC did not decide to use Ice Cream Sandwich, but you can’t have everything. But let’s face it, there is only one main reason people would buy this smartphone – the 4G network.

As mentioned at the top of this review, what 4G is supposed to give you is super-fast speed. This is not to be confused with the type of speeds the National Broadband Network would give you, so don’t raise your expectations. So how good is it? Pretty good from our testing. For downloads our test showed it do so at about 27/28Mb per second and uploads of about 13/14 Mb per second. This is more than decent and about seven or eight times faster than on 3G. HTC claims that when you watch flash videos on the device there is no buffering. Well there is, but we’re talking a couple of seconds before it plays, and there is none of the annoying stop/start shenanigans when the video starts streaming. We watched a couple of YouTube videos and the speed was impressive. Also downloaded a couple of pics and vids – again, impressive speeds.

Be aware that it will move over to the 3G network if it cannot hook into 4G. As the 4G bandwidth is still in its infancy it doesn’t cover everywhere – mainly a 5km inclusion zone within all the capital cities and some regional areas. Note there is no coverage for Optus or Vodafone at the moment, but it will be rolled out over the soon.

Pros: its 4G capabilities; Telstra are not charging a premium; big screen, light to carry
Cons: Only available of Telstra; could be smaller in length.

$859 or a Telstra plan