Excellent battery life; 4G support; Feature-packed snapper; HTC Sense.
Old version of Android OS: Specs disappointing for the price.
Media streaming is a joy thanks to the HTC One SV’s 4G support – and films look great on its bright display. The dual-core processor and the older version of Android are disappointing, but the HTC Sense overlay adds some nice features.
HTC managed to impress us last year with its phone releases, including the mid-rangers the HTC One V and the HTC One S. To begin 2013 in the right way, HTC has released the One SV, which offers 4G support in the body of a very capable mid-range phone.
The back of the One SV is matt white, which we thought might attract scuffs, but it survived outings in bags and pockets while staying in good shape. The back plate is eased off to get to the battery, SIM card and Micro SD slots. The back plate clips back on easily and fits nicely.
A quick look tells you straight away that this is an HTC handset - note the rounded corners and the black glossy front. Here’s where you’ll find the touch-sensitive keys for home, back and recent app. Around the edge of the handset sits a slim silver coloured plastic band. The power button sits on the top and the volume rockers are located on the right side.
Stale Ice Cream
It’s a shame the One SV runs on the older Android Ice Cream sandwich, although it does benefit from the excellent HTC Sense 4.1 user interface. We would have liked to have seen Android Jelly Bean, but nevertheless, the interface offers a smooth experience, where you can switch between menus and desktops – and there’s a good selection of widgets too. We’d expect to see an upgrade to Jelly Bean in the not-too-distant-future though.
Sense adds plenty of great features, customisation and widgets to the operating system. It just seems to be a tad confusing when adding desktops. You only get two to begin with, and you can’t add in extras via the settings menu. Instead you need to hold down the home key to get the desktops menu to appear – and this is where you delete or add your desktops.
Four is the lucky number
On to 4G – and as we have found with other phones, streaming HD video in the middle of London is a breeze. Heading out of town speeds seem to be improving – nearly 20MB per second in zones four and five. For anyone who can afford the 4G contract price and who uploads lots of videos or photos and streams films and music, it’s a joy to use.
Battery life is impressive when streaming video – we got a good five and a half hours out of a single charge. In normal use, you should get a good couple of days if you’re doing a bit of net surfing, sending texts and emails – and it will last for days on standby.
Under the hood sits a dual-core Qualcomm chip, which is fine for running games and apps but will not be as futureproof as the quad-core processors found in other handsets now on the market. And as you can pick up a dual-core handset such as the Sony Xperia P for 100 quid less, it seems like a bit of an omission on HTC’s part.
Streaming media is where the One SV comes into its own. It may not have a super-HD display or quad-core processor, but high-res films looked good on the 4.3in screen. Viewing angles are impressive and on maximum brightness there will be no issues from glaring sunlight.
Music fans get the bonus of built-in Beats Audio software, which improves the quality of MP3 files – bringing them back to life, taking out any graininess and introducing some clarity and bass. If you’re downloading decent files from a reputable music vendor, you may not need it.
The onboard storage is a stingy 8GB – and only 4GB on our review model was actually usable. Happily you can expand this by up to 32GB with the memory card slot. Plus there’s 25G of free storage with DropBox on offer, so you can back up photos and other important files.
In the picture
There are two snappers – the front-facing one is a 1.6MP model, which takes clear portraits and is ideal for Skype chatting. You can also grab 1080p video, which looks excellent when watched back on a TV – although the regular focus adjustments proved somewhat distracting. There’s a neat slow-motion mode, and you can take still shots while shooting video. Plus there’s a neat range of sharing and editing facilities – you can even trim videos before uploading them to YouTube.
The five-megapixel snapper has a good autofocus, although it doesn’t have the same full-screen sharpness seen on other phones’ cameras. You can take a number of shots one after the other by holding down the shutter button. And you can play with all kinds of settings, such as filters, geo-tagging, white balance, ISO, smile detection and so on.
Media fans will love the HTC One SV with its colourful display, 4G support and decent snapper. It runs on an older version of Android but has the bonus of the HTC Sense interface. However, the One SV is still a tad dear considering its specs. You could pick up the HTC Desire X for around £100 less – but the SV does have the 4G compatibility. Unless you’re really set on a 4G upgrade this year, we’d suggest buying a 3G mid-ranger and saving some money.
|Type of device||Smartphone|
|Operating System||Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich|
|Dimensions||128 x 66.9 x 9.20 mm|
|Processor speed||1GHz dual-core|
|Screen size||4.3 inches|
|Display type||16.7 million|
|Memory card slot|
|Secondary camera||1.6 megapixel|
|Special camera features||Panorama, LED flash, and BSI sensor (for better low-light captures), f/2.0 aperture and 28mm lens, HD 1080p video recording, 1.6 megapixel front camera with BSI sensor for better low light captures (720p for video recording) Dedicated HTC ImageChip for fast focus and clearer, sharper shots, VideoPic: Shoot video and capture pictures at the same time, Continuous shooting: One-press continuous shooting captures up to 60 shots at up to 4fps, Smart Flash: Five levels of flash automatically set by distance to subject, Video stabilization: Removes shakiness for smooth, professional videos, Slow motion video capture and playback.|
|Music player||Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 9), Recording: .amr|
|FM Radio description|
|Video player||Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 9), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3), Recording: .mp4|
|Games||Download via Google Play|
|GPS||Assisted GPS + GLONASS|
|Band||GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz HSPA/WCDMA: 900/1900/2100 MHz (EMEA) HSPDA 42 HSUPA 5.76 LTE: 800/1800/2600 MHz (EMEA)|
|4G/LTE||Yes 800/1800/2600 MHz (EMEA)|
|Colours (Standard)||Pyrenees blue and Glacier white|
|Handsfree speaker phone|
|What's in the box||Charging adaptor, USB cable, Stereo headset with In-Line Mic and Call control, Quick Start Guide and reference material|
|Battery life multimedia||N/A|
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