We haven’t been giving much love to mid-range Android handsets of late and we apologise for that. To try and make up for it we thought we’d get our hands on HTC’s latest 4G LTE mid-ranger, the HTC One SV (not to be confused with the HTC One S or HTC One V) and put it through its paces.
Right now we’ve only had the phone for a couple of hours, so this post is more of a first-impressions, rather than a review. The full HTC One SV review will come later.
The One SV might not sport the most stylish or unique design that we’ve ever seen from HTC, but it’s definitely a good one. The phone is very thin, remarkably light and has a rubberised back that offers fantastic grip. This, added with the smaller size of the screen (4.3 inches), the One SV is one of the best phones we’ve held in terms of surety of grip.
The profile is also super-thin, adding to comfort both when held and when kept in the pocket. The sides of the handset are much thinner than the convexly-curved middle of the rear panel, but even at its apex the One SV is still pretty slim.
It’s a bit of an overcast day today so we haven’t been able to test out the 5MP camera too effectively. So far shots outside have been passable, if not particularly impressive. Inside shots have lacked focus, but once again this is only initial testing. We were impressed with how quickly the camera reached its point of best focus, as on some Androids this can take more than a few seconds in less than well-lit areas.
We’re starting to dislike HTC’s ‘new’ music app less as we become more accustomed to it. While we still think that it leaves much to be desired aesthetically, the merging of all one’s music services in to one place has its benefits. Still, we’d prefer it if the app didn’t come with its own pre-built in bloatware. The extra, unasked-for apps are easily enough deleted, but bloatware is bloatware and we’re kind of sick of deleting a myriad of things off of an Android every time we get our hands on a new one.
UI and Speed
The Sense UI is back in all its glory. The lock screen is still one of the most functional around, even if it hasn’t changed in a few generations, and HTC’s lovely sense of style is still present in the available widgets.
The UI itself is fast, but not as smooth as something like a One XL or a GS3. This is to be expected, of course, as the One SV isn’t designed to compete in the big leagues. So far we’ve found it to be more than adequate in turns of general operations.
Browser and Internet
4G LTE is one of those things that can be amazing or a total let down, but instead of being the phone’s fault it’s the carrier who is usually to blame. The One SV picks up 4G LTE as well in our area as any other 4G phone we’ve tested.
The browser, however, is surprisingly slow considering the connection speeds we’re getting. Sites that take a second to load on more expensive 4G handsets are taking upwards of two or three on the One SV. It’s also not particularly great at pinch-to-zoom. It isn’t terribly laggy, but it is the slowest 4G browser we think we’ve yet seen. That being said, it still blows our best 3G times out of the water.
The 4.3 inch 480×800 display is, well, fine. Colours are vibrant, whites are clear and blacks are passable, although certainly not the best we’ve seen. 4.3 inches is more than adequate for the average user to type on and may even be preferable to many.
So far we haven’t watched any videos on it, but the screen appears to be comparable to that of the Galaxy SII (GS2), except with better whites and slightly less over the top colours.
So far the One SV appears to be a solid little mid-range 4G LTE handset. The screen is passable, the UI is relatively smooth, the camera has potential (if not a lot) and 4G is still one of our favourite things around. We’re looking forward to getting to know the One SV better and we’ll be sure to post a full review when we’re done.