HTC One SV Review – Not Just A Pretty Face (Part 2)

3/12/2013 9:14:11 AM

A modest 5MP camera can adorn the back of the One SV, but HTC has not skimped on “trivial decorations”: autofocus, backside illumination sensor, f/2.0 lens, ImageCHIP, HDR, burst shooting, recording videos and taking photos at the same time, slow motion video recording and so on. We had laid high hopes on the slogans attached to the camera, and to some extent it has done a good job. You can take a number of beautiful photographs, including macro photos, with the best results happening in natural light. Color and exposure is very commendable, especially when using the HDR setting. However, indoor performance is slightly bad. “Playing” with white balance settings proved useless in all scenarios, even outdoors. In automatic mode, it is quite accurate, but you might also apply filters to the viewfinder with all other options. Low light performance is acceptable, as long as you have firm hands.

Lots of camera features but low resolution

Lots of camera features but low resolution

One thing we had a problem with was the "smart flash" feature, which adjusts the intensity of the light depending on the distance to the object. It is erratic and during the test, we weren’t able to tame it. We mainly jumped into deeper settings, but ISO, exposure, contrast, saturation and sharpness adjustments are all available for users to change. We changed the sharpness a bit: it seemed to be slightly too high by default. Panorama mode is quite challenging. We never succeeded in capturing a series of five images, so we imagined that only a robotic arm can keep the accuracy of panning the camera that it requires. Oh, and a note about digital zoom for you: do not use it.

The camera application is fast to open, and the shutter speed is ultra-fast, as proved by the burst-capture feature. Recording video is a slightly different story. The 1-second boot time feels like forever compared to speed of shooting photos. Fairly accurate brightness levels and slow motion mode that allow recording videos with high fps speed in return require a sacrifice of quality – an interesting feature to play with. One problem you may have noticed in the sample clips below is that the autofocus lagged quite often. This happened while recording videos and taking each frame. Overall, the 5MP photos and videos are possible to be used – it’s only that they cannot be compared with those of the One S or X. Those who like self-portrait and video calling may have worse results with the 1.6MP front camera.

Performance and battery life

What stays below to keep everything moving is a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus processor with Adreno 305 GPU (MSM8930) and 1GB RAM. Do not worry about the little storage of 8GB, as the microSD slot with 32GB memory card support can be found under the back lid on the removable battery, beside the micro-SIM hole. In terms of connectivity, it has LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n – both 2.4GHz and 5GHz - Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.

Inside HTC One SV

Inside HTC One SV

If the One SV is a piece of broken biscuit, then the overall performance will be its bar of chocolate. We've said this before – scrolling through menus is very quick. It did not cycle through the screen as fast as the One X does, but it did not crash or skip a screen while we were swiping with an erratic speed. Waking the device from complete sleep mode takes about 7 seconds (with 7 or 8 seconds more for everything else to wake, too) and the time for loading applications is also very fast, with one second for most applications to be ready to use. The browser is very interesting, and basically, the websites appearing in the browser are available as fast as how your connection allows it to be (Chrome is slightly slower, but not much).

GTA III is the game that requires our selected resource, and the initial launch time reflected higher demand. It took up to 5 seconds to start the game, which often made us quit the game due to lack of patience. It is fully playable on the graphics settings from low to moderate; if higher, the One SV begins to struggle, but it still continues to run at a lower frame rate. Riptide GP, a spectacular racing game that was released one year earlier than GTA III, ran smoothly with maximum images. To summarize, we were surprised how fast the device proved to be depended on the components inside – the WVGA screen must parcially be held responsible for this, certainly.

The HTC One SV is a mid-range Android smartphone - with the added bonus of 4G.

The HTC One SV is a mid-range Android smartphone - with the added bonus of 4G.

We would like to talk briefly about the sound. Of course, the Beats brand will not leave the One SV, and the sound reinforcement in the music player is available, as well as in third-party applications such as YouTube. However, it does not work with external speakers, which produces average loudness and quality. Nonetheless, it is still sufficiently loud to annoy other people on public transportations if it is in your pocket. The call quality was clear (remember, it’s not HD), though we could not point out the role of any noise reduction. The Wi-Fi and mobile connections had no problem, and the device has LTE. EE’s 4G network has not been much developed, and in the South of London where the author of this article stayed, the high-speed data collection was not homogeneous. However, when we had the opportunity to perform speed tesst, the speed ranges were from 25Mbps/download and 10Mbps/upload to 40Mbps/download and 15Mbps/upload.

It's time to take a deep look at the statistics! Just like human beings, no device looks exactly like one another, but there are not many differences between the One SV and One VX that has recently been reviewed. The similar S4 processor can be found on the two devices, and many other specifications are also shared by them, although the One VX has a large 4.5-inch screen of 960x540 pixels. Test scores showed very similar performance between the two, and the AnTuTuscores made them nearly a match with the powerful X-One. Comparing the One S with the SV, we saw that both deserve to show off depending on the method that you're viewing. The interesting thing we found when running SunSider was the statistics above were shown on the available browser, whereas in Chrome the scores were a lot worse.

We performed a battery test on the One SV’s 1800mAh battey as we often do: repeating 1 video, brightness at 50%, GPS and Wi-Fi on but only LTE connected, 1 push email account and a couple of social networks regularly updated. The phone ran out of power after nearly eight hours of running. While it did not beat the period of more than 10 hours that some devices can achieve, it survived one hour and a half longer than the VX, over 60 minutes longer than the V, S or X. These tests were very useful, but how does it run in daily use? Acceptable, but not outstanding. It can handle several tasks, from moderate to frequent ones, for the whole day, including the browser, taking photos, updating status, and playing normal games, but not much more. The One SV cannot escape from the nightly charging ritual that we are all familiar with. You will not be disappointed with its battery life, but do not expect it to last more than one day if you use your thumb regularly.

One SV

§  Quandrant v2: 4,718

§  Vellamo 2.0: 1,491

§  GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt 1080p Offscreen (fps): 12

§  CF-Bench: 7,518

§  SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 1,418

§  AnTuTu 3.1.1: 10,871

One VX

§  Quandrant v2: 5,242

§  Vellamo 2.0: 1,268

§  GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt 1080p Offscreen (fps): 12

§  CF-Bench: 7,423

§  SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 1,504

§  AnTuTu 3.1.1: 10,552

One V

§  Quandrant v2: 1,636

§  Vellamo 2.0: 1,155

§  GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt 1080p Offscreen (fps): N/A

§  CF-Bench: N/A

§  SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 3,215

§  AnTuTu 3.1.1: N/A

One S

§  Quandrant v2: 5,053

§  Vellamo 2.0: 2,452

§  GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt 1080p Offscreen (fps): N/A

§  CF-Bench: 9,457

§  SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 1,743

§  AnTuTu 3.1.1: 7,067

One X

§  Quandrant v2: 6,369

§  Vellamo 2.0: 1,638

§  GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt 1080p Offscreen (fps): 9.7

§  CF-Bench: 13,750

§  SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 1,274

§  AnTuTu 3.1.1: 11,030


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