In 1997 HTC was founded in Taiwan as a notebook company, but already a year later they started re-focusing on the handheld market. They used to produce outsourced products for HP and Palm while they were developing their own strategies. In 2007 they acquired Dopod International, a mobile device company. From that moment on nothing could stop the meteoric rise of HTC. At some point in 2011 HTC was the largest smartphone vendor in the United States, beating Samsung and Apple. Worldwide HTC is managing to hold on to the third position already for a few consecutive years.
There can be only One
HTC decided to make a series of phones that will rival all other manufacturers and decided to name the series simply “One”. There were almost a dozen variants in the initial One series, most were custom variants for contracted providers such as Sprint Nextel. The HTC One SV is basically a weaker variant of the mid-range phone One S, but with LTE. The idea for the HTC One series was sound, the phones were very good, but the sales lagged behind iPhone and Samsung due to the misconception of HTC that their partners overseas would also heavily invest into promoting the exclusive phone versions they received. They will remedy that misconception with the 2013 release of their new flagship, simply called HTC One, with a doubled budget for marketing efforts.
The inner workings of the One SV
On paper the HTC One SV has it all, it is moderately priced, has a nice 4.3 inches large Super LCD2 capacitive touchscreen with a 480 x 800 pixels resolution at a pixel density of approximately 217 pixels per inch. The primary camera is 5 MP, with autofocus and LED flash, records video with 1080p at 30 fps and has video stabilization. The processor is dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 at 1.2 MHz with the Adreno 305 GPU, 1 GB of RAM is paired with 8 GB internal memory expandable by microSD to up to 32 GB. It comes also with the now very popular and famed Dr. Dre Beats Audio sound enhancement. Not a stellar spec sheet, but nevertheless in this price class a great lineup of features.
The good, the bad and the ugly
It is a beautiful phone, the HTC One SV, but it has a really unsatisfying display. If you can look beyond the display quality – Sony phones in the same range are even weaker – than you can actually get a pretty decent phone for an even more decent price, because the price of the One SV is supposed to go down soon. The LTE is the strongest point of this phone, the display quality and the inferior processor the weakest link. The Li-Ion battery at 1800 mAh is again a good thing and generally with HTC phones it does happen that there are fluctuations between individual phones in final quality. Nevertheless, the HTC One SV, if the price drops at least 50 quid, may be a bargain and a great deal. As it is right now, it is an average phone with some good sides and some bad sides.