HTC One SV review: Picking up speed
As the LTE networks rapidly increase their reach globally, support for them is no longer exclusively reserved for high-end devices. The HTC One SV is a clear example of this trend. The Android smartphone is far from the Taiwanese company's top shelf offerings. Instead, the handset aims to offer affordable LTE goodness, packed in a well put together, fairly affordable package.
As its name unambiguously suggests, the spec sheet of the HTC One SV is a blend between the HTC One S and the HTC One V internals, thus a mixture of old and new. The handset packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset, whose dual-core 1.2GHz CPU is quite leggy even for today's Android smartphone standards. Its 4.3" display on the other hand comes straight from 2010 with its WVGA resolution.
But let's take a deeper look at the full list of talents which the HTC One SV possesses.
- LTE network support
- Quad-band GSM/tri-band HSDPA support
- 4.3" 16M-color Super LCD2 capacitive touchscreen of WVGA resolution (800 x 480 pixels); Corning Gorilla Glass 2
- Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4.1
- 1.2 GHz dual-core Krait CPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 chipset; Adreno 305 GPU
- 1 GB of RAM and 8GB of built-in storage
- microSD card slot
- 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash; face detection and geotagging
- 1080p and 720p video recording @ 30fps with stereo sound
- 1.6 MP 720p front-facing camera for video-chat
- Wi-Fi b/g/n and DLNA
- GPS with A-GPS
- NFC connectivity
- Accelerometer, proximity sensor, built-in compass
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth
- MHL TV-out (requires MHL-to-HDMI adapter)
- Smart dialing, voice dialing
- DivX/XviD video support
- FM radio
- HTC Portable Hotspot
- Beats Audio sound enhancement
- Superb build quality and ergonomics
- Outdated display
- No dedicated camera button
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich does not cut it in 2013
- Pricing in some markets inches too close to better equipped devices
While the chipset and the connectivity options are up to today's standards, the WVGA display of the HTC One SV certainly raised our brows. However, having such a resolution does have its benefits too. The smartphone feels quite zippy, as its GPU has to deal with a relatively moderate amount of pixels. The battery certainly doesn't mind the arrangement too.
This far, the HTC One SV identity has us a bit puzzled. The smartphone is clearly neither an entry-level offering, nor a fully blown mid-range device. So, has HTC entered a new market niche with the One SV? Read on to find out! As always, we will kick things off with an unboxing, followed by a design and build quality inspection.
Editorial: You might notice that this review is shorter than usual and doesn't include some of our proprietary tests. The reason is it has been prepared and written far away from our office and test lab. Still, we think we've captured the essence of the phone in the same precise, informative and detailed way that's become our trademark. Enjoy the good read!