Where 4G isn’t available, the dual-channel 3G modem kicks in automatically. It’s good too, with us achieving speeds of 15Mbps down and 1Mbps up – that’s faster than every other 3G smartphone we’ve reviewed.
Equipped with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, the Velocity performs well with these snappy download speeds, running multiple windows of websites without problem. We only had one issue where lag cropped up, and that was fixed by flipping to standby and back again.
Our only other gripes are to do with the Velocity’s plastic construction. With its premium feature set, it would have, we think, been more deserving of the aluminum body found on many other HTC models.
Then there’s the battery cover. While this is difficult to remove on other HTC models, with the Velocity you merely need to push up against the back plate for it to come off. This may be of no consequence at all, but the design doesn’t impress like the HTC Sensation XL or Evo 3D.
Like that Sensation model, the Sense overlay exhibits some curious keyboard quirks. This includes failure to run the word suggestion feature outside of message and email apps unless HTC’s Skype-like “Trace” technology is used. It’s still a curious oversight and one that surely needs a patch.
Battery life is fairly average, offering a little more than a day of use. You’ll need to recharge nightly, something that’s becoming a common occurrence in premium smartphones.
We were also surprised to discover that HTC does not include Beats Audio in this handset, a technology that aims to make music sound “the way the artist intended”. This is integrated into the HTC Sensation XL and XE models, which launched in 2011, and we’d expect this new top tier handset to provide it as well.
If you want internet access speeds well in excess of fixed lined ADSL2+, and you want them on your phone, the HTC Velocity is currently the only game in town. This won’t last for long, though, with more LTE capable phones scheduled to arrive from mid-year.
Until then, HTC’s Velocity provides an impressive Android smartphone experience on top of a unique point of difference.