• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

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.

Looking good

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.

Disappointing specs

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.

Media musts

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. 

Our conclusion 

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.

Get this phone.




Type of device Smartphone
Operating System Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Dimensions 128 x 66.9 x 9.20 mm
Weight 122 grams
Form factor Touchscreen
Input Touch Screen
Processor speed 1GHz dual-core
CPU Qualcomm S4
Graphic chipset  
Announced December 2012
Status Available


Screen size 4.3 inches
Screen type N/A
Resolution 480x800
Display type 16.7 million


Internal storage 8GB
Memory card slot  


Camera 5 megapixels
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.


3.5mm Jack  
Music player Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 9), Recording: .amr
Audio recording  
FM Radio description  


Video recording  
Video player Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 9), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3), Recording: .mp4
Video calling  
Video streaming  

Additional Features

Browser Google Browser
Games Download via Google Play
Voice control  
Voice dialling  






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  
Customisable ringtones  
What's in the box Charging adaptor, USB cable, Stereo headset with In-Line Mic and Call control, Quick Start Guide and reference material
Website http://www.htc.com/us


Standby N/A
Talktime N/A
Battery life multimedia N/A

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