You will not discover all the most recent flagship smartphones on Virgin Cellular, however its choice and high quality are on the rise. The HTC Need ($279.99 listing) is fairly spectacular with a sensible design with strong midrange specs. Add 4G LTE help and the BoomSound front-facing speaker and also you get a really engaging Android choice on Virgin. There are larger or sooner choices on the market, however the HTC Need appears like the correct amount of cellphone on the proper worth. Virgin Cellular Supreme Earns our Editors’ Selection, with its huge 720p show, sharp show, and sharp digicam.
Design, community and name high quality
Ambition($94.95 on Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) appears to be operating HTC One Mini($69.99 on Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) extra elements HTC One X+, with faux-brushed metallic panels lining its entrance and soft-touch rubberized plastic rear. It is a actually good trying midrange cellphone, although at 5.3 by 2.67 by 0.39 inches (HWD) it is a bit tall. There is a headphone jack and energy button on the highest, quantity buttons on the suitable, and a micro USB port on the underside. The again pops off to disclose SIM and microSD card slots and a detachable 2100mAh battery. We’re nonetheless operating battery checks, so we’ll replace this evaluate when the outcomes are available in.
It is not HD, however the 4.5-inch 960-by-540-pixel show on the Need appears to be like good. It is fairly sharp at 244 pixels per inch and has a good extensive viewing angle. The display screen will get shiny sufficient for outside use and colours look correct, with clear whites and good distinction. Above and beneath the show are stereo front-facing BoomSound audio system—they are not on the identical stage because the HTC One, however they blow most midrange and even high-end telephones out of the water. Flip the amount up too excessive and you may hear crisp distortion, but it surely’s good for sharing YouTube movies with associates.
Virgin Cellular runs on Dash’s nationwide community, and the Need helps CDMA (800/850/1900 MHz) and 4G LTE (1900 MHz). The latter is larger, as Dash’s 3G community is way slower, but it surely’s vital to notice that the Need does not help the service’s new tri-band Spark LTE. It is nonetheless fairly quick, although, with checks in New York Metropolis yielding speeds of about 5-10Mbps down and 3-5Mbps down. I noticed peak speeds of 13Mbps, which is fairly quick, however we have seen Dash’s Spark community eclipse 30Mbps earlier than, so you are not going to get the quickest speeds attainable right here.
Name high quality is not notably sturdy, but it surely’s adequate. Voices within the earpiece sounded muffled throughout testing, and the max quantity was a letdown after listening to how loud the entrance audio system can get. Transmissions by means of the mic had been clear and callers on the opposite finish of the road mentioned my voice sounded full and pure. Noise cancellation labored nicely, making street noise barely perceptible. Speakerphone quantity is a bit disappointing contemplating the front-facing speaker’s max output, however the vary retains distortion in test.
Show, Android and Digicam
Powering the Need is a dual-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM, which is frequent within the low-to-medium smartphone phase. It’s equally outfitted. carried out higher than LG Optimus F3($29.99 on Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) The general system felt pleasantly zippy in benchmarks and in day-to-day use. There’s nonetheless a slight delay in launching apps, however that is fairly typical for a cellphone on this class. Graphics efficiency was fairly common and loading visible impactful video games like Asphalt 8 resulted in stutter and dropped frames that dragged down the gaming expertise.
The Need is operating Android 4.2 with HTC’s Sense 5 pores and skin. Which means a wholesome pile of options like HTC’s BlinkFeed and Zoe, in addition to a feel and appear much like the corporate’s flagship One line. Fortunately, not all customizations dampen the need, however should you weren’t a fan of HTC’s Sense earlier than, there’s nothing new right here to impress you.
Virgin Cellular implements its Cellular ID app on the Need, which incorporates pre-loads and suggestions for brand spanking new customers. You may’t disable or uninstall Cellular ID, however you’ll be able to take away the person apps that include the Starter bundle. This contains apps like Virgin’s The Feed, which is a reasonably nonsensical information and social media aggregator, and Virgin’s app Discovery Widget.
Out of the 8GB of complete inner storage, 4.04GB is on the market out-of-the-box. You may broaden the inner storage utilizing a microSD card and our 64GB SanDisk card labored positive. The Need had no downside enjoying practically all of our media take a look at codecs, together with OGG and WAV for audio, but it surely does not help DivX video.
The 5-megapixel rear-facing digicam is brief on pixel depend and pixel dimension – these should not the “ultrapixels” used on the HTC One. Regardless of its shortcomings on paper, the Need made a good efficiency as a digicam cellphone. Out of doors pictures seemed sharp and vibrant with good dynamic vary. The digicam struggles with noise indoors and in low mild, however that is true for each smartphone on this vary. Video tops out at 1080p with strong body charges in good lighting, however no stabilization to talk of, and body charges begin to drop below low mild and photographs begins to stutter.
There are just a few methods you’ll be able to go when selecting a smartphone on Virgin Cellular. On the excessive finish, you’ll be able to seize a Iphone 5s(on amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) $499.99 or so for one Samsung Galaxy S III For $399.99, the latter of which is one yr previous. You may also purchase the LG Optimus F3 for $179.99 or the Samsung Galaxy Ring for $149.99. The HTC Need lands someplace in the course of $279.99, providing extra display screen actual property, extra storage, and sooner efficiency than the F3 and Galaxy Ring. It nonetheless does not beat out the ZTE-made Supreme, which packs a much bigger 720p show, sharper show and a 13-megapixel digicam. Nonetheless, not everybody can deal with a cellphone that massive, and the Need’s mixture of excellent design and strong options make it a best choice for Android smartphones on Virgin Cellular.
HTC Need (Virgin Cellular)
The HTC Need is a well-crafted Android cellphone for Virgin Cellular prospects, delivering strong options and 4G LTE speeds for an inexpensive worth.
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