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HTC One SV Review

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HTC One SV Review

Feature set summary for HTC One SV Review

4G compatibility makes the HTC One SV great for streaming media. While the 5-megapixel camera is run of the mill, it is raised above average thanks to features included for photos, video and editing.

Style and handling summary for HTC One SV Review

There’s no denying this is an HTC phone, the One SV has that familiar styling. It is a solidly built 4G phone, is user friendly and comfortable to use.

Battery power summary for HTC One SV Review

4G means video streaming and the great battery life on the HTC One SV means you’ll get five and a half hours off one charge.

Performance summary for HTC One SV Review

It was a little bit of a letdown to get a dual-core processor at this price. It is good enough for running apps, games and video streaming over 4G. For now, but it will age faster than those phones using quad-core.

User friendliness summary for HTC One SV Review

It might support 4G but the One SV uses the older version of Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich boosted by HTC Sense. Not the most recent version either, it still runs well and has lots of features, though lacks ability to add desktops.

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Battery Power
Overall Score 4G.co.uk grey star

Pros : Supports 4G; lengthy battery life; feature-rich camera; HTC sense

Cons : Uses the older Android 4.0; at this price would expect some special specs

Verdict : With its 4G connectivity, streaming media is something that the HTC One SV does exceptionally well. On the bright screen movies look superb. We’d have preferred stronger specs, and the elderly version of Android is a disappointment. HTC Sense saves it a little with some excellent features.

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Full Review and Specification for the HTC One SV

HTC’s One smartphone range wowed us in 2012. This included the robust and stylish HTC One S, and the HTC One V, an affordable handset with good media features. HTC has started 2013 with the One SV. It is 4G-compatible, and with a list of specifications that places it between the One S and One V. In short, it works well as a 4G mobile, with an affordable price tag.

4G with the HTC One SV

Our 4G tests worked well on the HTC One SV. Like other phones we’ve tested, 4G is super fast in Central London (apart from the Underground of course). With the expansion of 4G coverage the phone managed downloads of 20MB per second as far out as zone five. The 4G contract costs still feel pricey to us, but if you’re in the coverage area and do a lot of video and photo uploading or streaming media, the buffer-free speeds are worth it.

Expect to get about five and a half hours between charges if you are streaming media. That was our experience, and we even had the screen on full brightness to put as much pressure on the battery as possible. With normal usage of texting, emailing and surfing the internet, you’ll get a good two days between charges. And days of use if the One SV is left mostly in standby.

Style and handling

Anyone familiar with HTC’s phones will recognise the One SV at a glance. Rounded corners, glossy black face, touch-sensitive home, back and recent apps buttons placed under the display. In short, a styling it shares with most other HTC phones. The edges are trimmed in silver plastic. Power button is on top of the phone, with the volume rockers located on the right-hand side.

The rear of this 4G handset is white, and matt not gloss. In our experience, white on a phone quickly attracts scuff marks. But despite travelling in pockets and bags, the One SV remained mark free. Underneath the back plate you’ll find the Micro SD and SIM card slots. The back is easy to remove and replace, snapping firmly into place so there’s no fear of it accidentally sliding off.

Elderly OS

Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.4) is used on the HTC One SV. Sitting on top of that is HTC’s Sense 4.1. It was a shame they put this older version of Android on a phone with the latest 4G compatibility features. We’d have been happier getting Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android. Still, HTC has the OS working smoothly, with an excellent range of widgets available. Plus, we’d expect an upgrade pretty soon.

We’re not complaining about getting Sense though. This is a favourite with us, a great way to add widgets to Android, and personalise it. It does only come with two desktops though, and instead of just adding extra menus using the settings menu, you have to go through a slightly hidden process. Hold down the Home button, and then you get the desktops menu. Here you can add or delete.

Powerful streaming

The HTC One SV shows its cheaper end of the market credentials when it comes to media streaming. There’s no fancy quad-core processors or a fancy HD screen, such as those you might find on top-end 4G smartphones like Samsung’s Galaxy S III LTE. Even so, playing or streaming media is something this 4G handset does really well. It had no trouble playing high-res movies without any hesitations, and images looked great on the vivid 4.3-inch screen. We’ve no complaints about the viewing angles, and brightness levels are high enough to allow viewing in direct sunlight.

HTC’s Beats Audio software is, naturally, included. This does amazing things to low quality tracks, making them sound so much better, adding bass and clarity. It isn’t necessary though if your music is already of a good quality.

Underwhelming underneath

The HTC One SV is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm processor, which is just fine for playing games, and using apps. But with so many 4G handsets coming out with quad-core processors, this phone will quickly be out paced. Also, it is hard to see where the cost savings are using this elderly chip as similar dual-core handsets from a year ago are still selling but at a hundred pounds less. Phones like the Sony Xperia P.

There’s just 8GB of storage built in, and with our review sample, 4GB was available for use. Sounds a lot but will fill up rapidly once you start putting music, apps, video, and photos in there. Excess can be stored on the 25GB of DropBox online storage you get for free. This is an ideal way to back up precious photos and your own videos, especially with 4G making transfers nearly seamless.

Packing pixels

The One SV has a 5-megapixel camera, and we weren’t that impressed with its sharpness compared to other phones. Auto-focus works well, taking just one tap on the on-screen shutter button to lock onto subjects and shoot. Holding down the shutter button will activate the One SV’s action shot mode taking a quick series of photos. There’s stacks of ways to adjust all the settings so you can really set the camera up to suit, including face and smile detection, filters, geo-tagging, ISO and white balance, and countdown timers.

For self portraits and Skype calls there’s a front facing 1.6-megapixel camera. Anything filmed with the 1080p HD video looks crisp and clear when viewed on a much bigger TV screen. The camera does tend to keep taking focus adjustments though. Some features are pretty cool, like the slow motion mode that you can use to have fun with some action shots. And as with the HTC One X you can take still photos while filming. Lots of editing tools, and ways to share files, are built in to the phone. For example, you can trim a video before posting it to YouTube.


The main plus about the HTC One SV is 4G compatibility at a low price. As added bonuses you also get a feature-rich camera, a colourful, vibrant screen, and the excellent HTC Sense interface. On the slightly disappointing side, there’s the older Android version of Ice Cream Sandwich, although this still runs everything smoothly. Even considering you get 4G, it still feels expensive considering the low specs you get with this phone. HTC’s Desire X has almost the same build and spec list, but is £100 less. Sure, you get a front facing camera and 4G with the One SV, but is that really enough to justify the extra dosh? If you really do need to get onto the 4G level this year, then the One SV offers a dependable, low cost option.

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HTC One SV Specification


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 tick


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


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

Additional Features

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


SMS tick
MMS tick
Email tick
IM tick


Wi-Fi tick
Bluetooth tick
USB tick
NFC tick


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)
EDGE tick
GPRS tick
HSDPA tick
4G/LTE Yes 800/1800/2600 MHz (EMEA)


Colours (Standard) Pyrenees blue and Glacier white
Handsfree speaker phone tick
Customisable ringtones tick
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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