HTC One SV review: Picking up speed
Retail package not worth bragging
In the retail box of our Cricket Wireless branded HTC One SV, we found a charger, a USB cable, and a 4GB microSD card. In line with most US market devices, there are no headphones included in the box.
We are quite certain that the retail package of the HTC One SV will vary depending on the region of availability. With this caveat in mind, don't be surprised if you encounter headphones in the handset's box in your area.
Design and build quality
The HTC One SV is certainly a good looking smartphone, particularly in the screaming red color scheme which we got to experience. The device sports curvy edges and a metal ring which goes around its body. The earpiece grille and its loudspeaker counterpart increase the sense of a product well-crafted even further.
Build quality is unsurprisingly superb. The One SV's back cover is made of soft-feel plastic, while the entire front of the device is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 2. Add the metal ring going around the phone's edges and the HTC One SV feels just about as premium as it gets these days.
Due to its relatively modest display size, the HTC One SV sports measures which are likely to appeal to every pocket. They are 128 x 66.9 x 9.2 mm, while the handset's weight tips the scale at the quite acceptable 122 grams.
The 4.3" WVGA display of the device is arguably the weakest link in its armor. While its Super LCD2 nature ensures great color reproduction, viewing angles and contrast, its low resolution and pixel density of 217ppi are far from HTC's finest efforts even by 2011 standards. Separate pixels are easy to spot, particularly when reading text and web browsing.
The upside of having a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels on board can be seen in the battery and CPU and chipset performance. We will tell you more about both further down.
Above the display is where the stylish earpiece grille resides, accompanied by the front-facing camera, the ambient light, and the proximity sensors. Below the display is the usual for all HTC smartphones trio of capacitive buttons. In the case of our review unit, they glow in a pleasant red color.
There is nothing on the left side of the device. On the right, you will find the volume rocker.
The power/lock key, 3.5mm audio jack, and a secondary microphone are all located on top of the HTC One SV. The microUSB port and mouthpiece are on the bottom.
The 5MP camera and its single LED flash are located in the top part of the device's back. The loudspeaker grille is on the bottom. Naturally, you also get to see a massive HTC logo, along with a Beats Audio one and, in our case, some Cricket Wireless branding.
Under the back cover is where the user-replaceable 1800mAh battery, the microSIM and microSD cards reside.
The HTC One SV achieved an endurance rating of 38 in our traditional battery test. This means that you will need to recharge your phone every 38 hours if you use it for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily.
Handling the HTC One SV is an absolute pleasure. Due to its size, the smartphone offers superb one-hand ergonomics, which is a rarity with high-end Android smartphones these days. The soft-feel back feels grippy enough, so accidents are unlikely.
Overall, we give high marks to the HTC One SV for design, build quality and ergonomics. The display could surely have been better, but if the price point is right, many users will likely not frown at it.