HTC One SV review: Picking up speed

GSMArena team, 28 January 2013.

Shared camera interface

The HTC One SV packs a 5MP auto-focus camera that does stills of up to 2592 x 1944 pixels and records 1080p video @ 30fps. There is a LED flash, but unfortunately no shutter key, which would've been useful given the presence of autofocus. At least, touch focusing is present, so you can use that instead.

The camera interface is the same for both the still camera and the video camera - they don't just look alike, the camera just has the UI shared between both functions, with the option to either take a video or snap a still image all from one screen.

The right-hand side features the Effects button, shutter key, camcorder record key and a shortcut to the gallery that shows the last photo/video taken. On the left are the buttons for toggling the general settings and shot mode.

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The HTC One SV camera interface

To snap a photo, you tap the virtual shutter button. To record a video, you tap the button below it.

The effects button brings out a panel with the usual set of color effects (sepia, solarize and so on), while the shot mode button offers just a few very limited options - portrait, landscape, and low light.

The HTC One SV photos turn out somewhat of a mixed bag. There is virtually no noise as everything is covered up by a noise suppression algorithm. Unfortunately, the noise suppression smudges literally all the fine detail in its path. To compensate for this fact, HTC has applied a rather strong sharpening filter.

The resulting photos look good when fit to a computer screen's resolution but don't hold up their own under a closer inspection. At 100% magnification oversharpening seems to be a notable issue, but once you zoom out again to Fit to Screen, it becomes less noticeable and the photos appear nice and punchy.

We guess most users who are only going to share downsized versions of their photos on Facebook and the likes will be pretty content with the results in terms of image quality.

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HTC One SV camera samples

Full HD video recording

The videos by the HTC One SV turn up quite nice. There is stereo audio and the frame rate is steady 30fps so everything is smooth. The video bitrate is around 10Mbps, which is somewhere at the bottom of the ladder as far as 1080p clips go - the LG Nexus 4 uses 12Mbps, the iPhone 5 - 16Mbps, and the Galaxy S III - 17Mbps. Still, detail is on a relatively nice level and we don't have specific grounds for criticism.

Here is an an untouched 1080p video sample video clip.

Ample connectivity options

The HTC One SV offers quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band 3G, as well as LTE connectivity. Local wireless connectivity features Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC.

You have a long list of options for connecting to a PC - Charge only, Disk drive (mass storage), HTC Sync, USB tethering (use the phone as a modem) and Internet pass-through (the phone uses the computer's Internet connection). The Charge only and Disk Drive have big, thumbable icons, which is great since they are the most used.

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Selecting a USB connection type • Starting the personal Wi-Fi hotspot

Last but not least is the HTC Portable Hotspot. You can WEP, WPA or WPA2 encrypt the hotspot and you can enable "allowed users" only to connect or leave it open for all (unsecure, but the quickest setup).

The app can be set to power off automatically after 5 or 10 minutes of inactivity, saving your battery in case you forget to switch it off manually.