HTC Vivid review: Welcome to 4G
A decent 8MP shooter
The HTC Vivid packs an 8MP camera that does stills of up to 3264x2448 pixels and records 1080p video @ 30fps. There’s a dual-LED flash / video light too. The camera unit has wide aperture lens for better low light performance.
The camera interface is space efficient. Most of the controls are on the right side of the viewfinder, with the virtual shutter in the center. There’s a virtual zoom lever on the left. By default the viewfinder image is cropped so that it fills the entire screen, but you can switch that off (note that cropping reduces the resolution).
You can focus by touching the screen. Geotagging is on board as well. When focusing, the camera unit makes a sound, suggesting it is taking care of business.
The camera of the HTC Vivid loads fast – you can access it straight from the lockscreen. The process takes less than a second.
The HTC Vivid produces nicely detailed photos with faithful colors and low noise levels. We’re pretty pleased with the results – they are on par with what the LG Nitro HD offers, for instance.
We have prepared a number of camera samples. Check them out below.
Full HD camcorder
The interface of the camcorder is similar to the one found in the still camera. You can set the video resolution, recording limit and add effects.
The camcorder interface
Videos are shot in 3gp, not the best quality container for a FullHD footage. We have prepared a couple of camera samples for you. Don't forget to click 1080p on the Full HD video sample and open the video full screen to really appreciate it.
We're generally pleased with the video quality. The framerate is less than 30fps, but it hovers around 27fps so it's an acceptable deviation. The video is nice and crisp though the colors are somewhat on the dull side, but this could be just us.
Here goes an untouched 1080p video clip (14MB) too.
Connectivity has all you need and some more
The HTC Vivid has a complete connectivity set. This department benefits the most from the presence of the Snapdragon S3 chipset. There’s quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band 3G.
The icing on the connectivity cake is, of course, the LTE network compatibility. The speeds which we encountered with the HTC Vivid on AT&T’s brand new 4G network often topped 50 MB/s for downloads – faster than most people enjoy in their homes.
The local wireless connectivity has Wi-Fi b/g/n and full DLNA support (both client and server, for images, videos and music) and Bluetooth 3.0.
The Connected media app handles all sorts of DLNA connections – it plays media to and from devices on the network with just a couple of clicks. Apps like the gallery have such functionality built in too.
You have a long list of options for connecting to a PC - Charge only, Disk drive (mass storage), HTC Sync, USB tethering (use the phone as a modem) and Internet pass-through (the phone uses the computer’s Internet connection). The Charge only and Disk Drive now have big, thumb-friendly icons, which is great since they are used most often.
Last but not least is the HTC Portable Hotspot. It can support 1 to 8 devices (default Froyo app maxes out at 5), you can WEP, WPA or WPA2 encrypt the hotspot and you can enable “allowed users” only to connect or leave it open for all (unsecure, but the quickest setup).
The app can be set to power off automatically after 5 or 10 minutes of inactivity, saving your battery in case you forget to switch it off manually.
We're not over covering the connectivity - the "microUSB port" as we called it for convenience is actually a MHL port. If you plug a MHL dongle in it, you can output HD video over a standard HDMI connection.
The phone's UI is mirrored on the TV - the qHD resolution has the perfect 16:9 aspect ratio for connecting to HDTVs.