HTC Vivid review: Welcome to 4G

GSMArena team, 23 December 2011.
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Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI

A stripped-down retail package

In the relatively big retail box of the HTC Vivid, you will find nothing but a microUSB cable and a charger, which are being kept company by a couple of booklets.

HTC Vivid
The retail package is modest to say the least

While we are willing to overlook the memory card omission (the HTC Vivid packs plenty of built-in storage), we can’t help but wonder for the reason why the headphones were omitted.

Design and build quality

The HTC Vivid surely isn’t a design statement. The smartphone is certainly not the best looking offering we’ve seen from the Taiwanese company. It does however, look unmistakably like an HTC and we believe that this fact will appeal to plenty of people.

The build quality of the smartphone is solid. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about the choice of materials. The HTC Vivid is predominantly dressed in glossy plastic. While we didn’t find any flaws in its quality, it proved to be a massive dust and fingerprint magnet – that was especially the case with our black review unit.

This is highly unusual showing for HTC. We were always impressed by the materials and their implementation on the actual devices. Sadly, this is not the case with the HTC Vivid.

The measures of the HTC Vivid are 128.8 x 67.1 x 11.2 mm, while its weight is the whopping 177 grams. The smartphone is certainly not the most pocket-friendly offering you will encounter – even among the 4.5” Android devices. Once again however, this has never been an issue for the HTC loving crowd.

HTC Vivid
HTC Vivid measured against Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The smartphone is available in black and white color schemes – a fact, which should help it appeal to a seriously wide audience.

The 4.5” LCD screen of the HTC Vivid has the familiar qHD resolution. The display has the flaws of all its predecessors to date. Its viewing angles and outdoor legibility simply do not cut it in this price range. The unit is no match for the Galaxy S II’s Super AMOLED Plus unit or the award winning AH-IPS screen of the LG Nitro HD.

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The screen of the HTC Vivid leaves a lot to be desired • next to Galaxy Nexus’s Super AMOLED unit

Below the screen are the typical four touch-sensitive buttons. Above the display is where the earpiece, ambient light and proximity sensors, the LED notification light, and front-facing camera unit can be found.

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The view below and above the display of the HTC Vivid

There is nothing but the microUSB port on the left side of the smartphone. On the right is where the volume rocker resides.

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The microUSB port on the left • the volume rocker on the right

The power/lock key and the 3.5mm audio jack keep each other company on top of the HTC Vivid. There is nothing but a mouthpiece on the bottom of the device.

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No surprises on the top of the device • the mouthpiece on the bottom

The back of the HTC Vivid is covered by a great looking, matte black metal cover, which has tiny dots etched to it to give it texture. There, you will find the 8MP shooter with its LED flash, as well as the speaker grille.

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The back of the device looks great

There are no surprises under the battery cover of the HTC Vivid. The SIM card and microSD card slots are not hot-swappable.

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Typical sight under the battery cover

The 1620mAh battery of the HTC Vivid, despite appearing modest in capacity, achieved impressive overall score in our battery test. It needed a recharge every 42 hours when used for an hour each of phone calls, web browsing, and video playback.

You can find out everything about the battery test of the HTC Vivid here.

The smartphone handled well for its size. It is narrower than a Galaxy S II Skyrocket for example, so even single-handed operation is possible.

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The phone handles well for its size

Overall, we came out fairly disappointed from both the design and the build quality of the HTC Vivid. We do not recall when the last time we had such feelings for an HTC made handset was – they have always been among the benchmarks for high quality materials and solid feel. The glossy plastic of the Vivid however, is too much to handle. It collects dust and fingerprints, while looking seriously cheap - a really annoying combination.

Following next is a look at the software department of the HTC Vivid. There are less unpleasant surprises to be had here, as we’ve seen it on previous HTC smartphones.

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