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Monday, 30 January 2012 12:13

HTC's 4G Velocity: not the best, just the first


The first reviews of the HTC Velocity have arrived, and unsurprisingly, we learn that while it's fast, it's not the absolute "best", but as it's the first'¦ this is no surprise!

HTC's Velocity is the first 4G LTE smartphone to officially hit Australian shores, and while it's clearly super-fast when in 4G LTE coverage areas, it's clearly never going to be the very best smartphone ever made.

That's because there are several contenders for the top of the smartphone tree, and once one smartphone reaches that pinnacle, another one from someone else comes along to steal the spot for itself, however temporarily.

It's also obvious that there will be a plethora of 4G smartphones this year, whether they be Android, iOS or Windows Phone powered, with great expectation that an iPhone 4G, or perhaps iPhone 5, will appear, preceded by an expected 4G LTE-powered iPad 3.

Reviews of the HTC Velocity have appeared, with Gizmodo's one worth reading, and it's easy to see that, while it's very fast in 4G mode, the rest of has features that you'd find on a stack of other high-end Android smartphones out there.

One disappointment is the lack of Android OS 4.0, with the Velocity instead coming with Android OS 2.3.7, but the Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 OS is promised to arrive in the next few months.

Ultimately, it all comes down to whether or not you really need 4G speeds on your smartphone, and even more importantly, whether you really need a new smartphone right now or not.

If you do, and you spend a lot of time in 4G LTE areas, whether they be metro or regional, and genuinely need those superfast speeds, then getting the first 4G smartphone is a no-brainer, especially if its for business purposes.

But, if you already have a smartphone, are on a contract, and have the same budgetary pressures as everyone else, a brand new smartphone of any type is unlikely to be at the top of the purchase priority list right now.

Still, you might have lost your phone, you might simply be sick of your existing smartphone and OS, and thus you might be in the market for a new phone.

Android OS 2.3.7 is the most polished version of the Gingerbread Android OS, and with Ice Cream Sandwich compatibility assured, you're not buying a dead-end smartphone - indeed, far from it.

The bottom line is that there are a range of top-end phones that will vie with the Velocity for 'best' status, none locally available are as fast as the 4G LTE Velocity.

If you feel the need for immediate speed, spend a lot of time in 4G areas, and need a new phone, the Velocity will make you a very happy smartphone chappie, or chappette.

But if there's no major rush, 2012 will be the year of 4G LTE smartphone choice, so whatever your situation, take your time and choose the phone that's best'¦ for you.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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