HTC One SV review

The HTC One SV is a mid-range Android smartphone - with all new 4G skills

Reasons to buy
  • +


  • +

    Good battery

  • +

    Cool style

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Low resolution screen

  • -

    Average camera for the money

  • -

    Doesn't make full use of 4G

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The HTC One SV is a mid-range Android smartphone - with the added bonus of 4G. But is it wasted on a mid-range handset?

From the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini to the Motorola Razr i, there's a huge selection of mid-range phones across all operating systems - Android, Windows Phone 8 and iOS, with an entry level iPhone 4 costing £319.

The HTC One SV costs £349 without a contract, so naturally you'll be expecting big things and 4G is a landmark feature for a smartphone at this price level...

HTC One SV: Size and build

At 9.2mm thick, this is a slim smartphone with a 4.3-inch screen and an impressive 122g weight, under the 137 gram weight of the iPhone 4. Build quality is good, rather than premium.

The removable back panel is sleek but feels less solid than the ever increasing range of smartphones that are all-in-one models like the Motorola Razr i. There's a Gorilla Glass screen and typical larger speaker for the Beats audio too which means this is a smartphone that feels rugged if not classy overall.

HTC One SV: Features

The HTC One SV has 8GB storage out of the box, which is pretty standard for the price level while the Micro SD slot is a necessary and cheap upgrade for music and movies.

4G is the stand out feature which works well, well enough to justify the giant '4G LTE' branding on the rear of the smartphone.

The HTC Sense OS works well however and if you're upgrading from an older HTC smartphone, you'll instantly feel at home. The camera has a 5 megapixel sensor and for audio streaming fans, there's the latest AptX Bluetooth 4.0 tech inside and NFC.

HTC One SV: Screen

4.3 inches is a great size for the money and while the resolution is lower than we'd like for the money, it's a responsive screen that's very bright for web browsing and movie playback. It's not a smudge free screen and it doesn't go as far to the edge of the body as modern high-end models do.

It's a decent effort, but simply not as sharp as lower priced rivals, which is an issue.

HTC One SV: 4G

The 4G performance is good when in a area with decent 4G coverage. The pre-installed EE Film app with Film Store speeds along and offers cheap downloads and trailers, which is a nice extra. With 3G speed it crawls and demands too much of the network, so can only really be appreciated if you live in a 4G area.

HTC One SV: Performance

The dual core processor is average and we did expect a faster performance, which is a shame. There have been several corners cut for 4G tech and, really, we have to question whether a mid-range smartphone customer wants 4G over 3G if other tech suffers.

You really do need an iPhone 5 or Galaxy S3 to make the most of the network speeds, mainly because movies and TV streaming demand a big screen with a high resolution.

The speaker is excellent for a smartphone - place flat on a glass or wood table and there's deep bass and loud volume for streaming radio.

HTC One SV: Battery

The battery life is good, especially powering a large screen. The removable 1800mAH lasted a day and a half with heavy use and naturally comes with the option of a spare if you're traveling.

4G does bring the battery life down to a day and if you're traveling, the constant automatic switching between 3G and 4G will have an impact on the battery life too.

HTC One SV: Verdict

The HTC One SV is cool, rather than premium and would feel much better value with double the 8GB storage and a 8 Megapixel camera. The iPhone 4 outperforms it in all respects for £30 less and feels premium to boot.

There's been big build sacrifices to include 4G tech on a smartphone that can't really do the high speed network justice in the way a £500 smartphone can. We think most people would be better off with a similar-priced 3G smartphone with a better screen and build or save for a Galaxy S3 which can really do 4G justice.

HTC One SV release date: Out now

HTC One SV price: £349