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HTC One SV review

 Review: January 2013  
 

Last updated September 2013

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: The HTC One SV is a nicely-styled, relatively compact smartphone with a 4.3 inch display and a fast dual-core processor. Running Android plus HTC Sense, it also has the benefits of 4G, expandable memory, Beats Audio and strong battery life.

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Design & Looks

Let's think of the HTC One SV as a mid-range, compact version of HTC's flagship One X+. The phone looks very much like the One X+ but with a curved plastic cover on the back. It feels solid and is best characterised as "premium plastic". It's nice and lightweight too, at just 122g.

The One SV has a well-sized screen measuring 4.3 inches and with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution. That's not in the same league as the One X+ with its whopping 4.7 inch HD screen, but is nevertheless a bright, sharp display with a good working size. It's typical for a phone in this price bracket. Thanks to its relatively compact size, single-handed use is certainly possible.

Hardware specs

The SV runs with a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor, which makes it nice and fast, but doesn't justify the use of adverbs like "blazing" or "insanely". There are faster Android phones available, but unless you have a compelling need for speed at all costs, dual-core will do very nicely, thank you. There's a full 1GB of RAM to back up the processor too, which should be plenty.

The built-in memory is more modest at just 8GB, but there is a microSD card slot, which will allow you to expand the memory by up to 32GB for very little extra cost. You'd be well advised to buy a 32GB card and store all your music and videos on it, keeping the built-in memory free for apps. You also get a free 25GB two-year Dropbox account for cloud storage.

Operating system

The One SV runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense. HTC Sense adds refinement to the user interface, enhancing the lockscreen, home screen, adding a Clock/Calendar/Weather widget, an improved contacts app and some useful shortcuts. It's not a huge transformation though, and it would probably be more useful to get the latest Android updates as early as possible, rather than have to wait for HTC to release them. We'll be hoping for an update to Jelly Bean 4.2 very soon.

Cameras

HTC is equipping its phones with quietly impressive cameras, and the One SV is no exception.

The front camera has a 5 megapixel sensor, a BSI sensor (for better low-light imaging) and a large f2.0 lens to gather in as much light as possible. Thanks to the dedicated imaging chip, image capture and focussing is very fast indeed - up to 4 shots per second. One-press continuous shooting captures up to 60 shots, and you can even capture a photo in the middle of recording a video, or extract a still image from a video frame. The main camera can record video in full HD 1080p resolution, with an option to record with high quality slow motion.

The secondary forward-facing camera has 1.6 megapixels and can record HD 720p video.

Beats Audio

Like HTC's high-end phones, the SV is equipped with Beats Audio for deeper bass, crisper vocals and detailed high notes. A 3.5mm headphone jack is provided or you can stream music to a Bluetooth headset.

Connectivity

The One SV is a 4G phone, supporting data speeds of up to 100Mbps. It also supports 3G HSPA with downloads up to a maximum of 42Mbps.

Wi-Fi is also available of course, as well as Bluetooth 4.0, a micro-USB connector, a 3.5mm headphone jack and NFC support.

Battery life

The battery has a generous 1800 mAh capacity and is removable. This is an above average size battery for a phone of this type, and battery life is better than many smartphones, although all Android phones suffer from a battery crisis at times. If you're a light user you might even get several days between charges.

Conclusion

If the HTC One SV has any faults, we were unable to find them. True, it doesn't have the largest screen or the fastest processor, but that's what the HTC One X+ is for. Compared with other phones in the same price bracket, the SV doesn't put a foot wrong. It's a compact well-built phone with a nice screen, fast dual-core processor, good quality camera, good battery life and sufficient memory. Plus it has the added benefit of 4G, although if you plan to make use of this, you might as well pick a more upmarket model as you'll be paying the same on monthly contract.

In this mid-to-higher price range, you might also consider the Motorola RAZR HD, Sony Xperia SP, or even the Samsung Galaxy S3 if you can find it at a good price.


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HTC One SV user reviews

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Reviewed by Ryan from England on 10th Oct 2013
Have had the phone a few weeks now and no problem and very good battery life. Just a Shame it doesn't have more room for apps. But still a great phone.
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