Colorful and compact design; Long battery life; Swift overall performance; Fast camera; Unlimited music downloads included
Cricket has small 4G LTE footprint; Low-resolution display; Some photos look soft; Lacks Jelly Bean (for now)
The HTC One SV for Cricket gives contract haters a stylish design, fast camera and long battery life, but Cricket's 4G coverage is limited.
In the growing no-contract phone world, the HTC One SV for Cricket is considered a mid-range device. That's because for $329 you get an Android phone that has many of the latest and greatest features and a monthly plan that won't break the bank. The colorful One SV packs a 1.2-GHz quad-core processor, a 5-MP camera that can shoot continuously and unlimited music downloads via Cricket's Muve service. You get all of that--and LTE, depending on where you live--starting at $50 per month. Find out if the long-term savings is worth the up-front investment.
Measuring 5 x 2.6 x 0.36 inches and weighing 4.3 ounces, the One SV is fairly light and compact for a device with a 4.3-inch display. It's comparable in size and weight to the One VX for AT&T (5.2 x 2.6 x 0.36 inches, 4.4 ounces), which has a slightly larger 4.5-inch screen.
Our only complaint about the design of the One SV is that the earpiece is so large (also complete with red accents) that it easily got pocket fuzz caught in its grille.
Display and Audio
The One SV registered 446 lux on our light meter, well above the smartphone average (298 lux) and not far away from the One VX (471 lux).
Software and Interface
The bad news is that the HTC One SV is saddled with Android Ice Cream Sandwich instead of the newer Jelly Bean software. That's kind of sad to say in 2013. So, at least for now, you won't be able to take advantage of such features as Google Now and offline voice typing.
Swiping down from the top of the screen shows the notification drawer, where you can also access a settings button and the Beats Audio button (if you have headphones plugged in).
PerformanceGalaxy S III (4,731) and Droid RAZR M (4,495).
The One SV has plenty of graphics muscle, too. In An3DBench, the device scored 7,200, slightly better than the category average (7,189) and greater than the One VX (7,042) and Galaxy S II (6,994). The RAZR M notched a slightly higher 7,335
In terms of everyday use, the One VS proved responsive, launching the camera in just a second and opening and closing apps quickly. Some apps took longer than we'd like to load, such as HTC's Mail and Calendar apps, but overall we were pleased. We also had fun blasting blood-spewing zombies in the "Dead Trigger" game. Even with several bad guys on the screen at once the animations never became choppy.
4G and Web Browsing
Cricket's 4G LTE network is fairly small right now, limited to 17 cities in six states. So if you live in Arizona, Delaware, Nevada, Philadelphia, Pa., or Texas, you may be able to enjoy fast speeds. Otherwise, you'll be stuck on 3G EV-DO as we were in both Chicago and New York. On the Speedtest.net app we saw decent speeds ranging from 304 Kbps to 1.2 Mbps on downloads and uploads in the 448 Kbps to 688 Kbps range.
The bundled Cricket Browser app is pretty much the same stock HTC browser you'll find on most of the company's other phones. You can quickly access tabs up top next to the address bar and access a Read mode when you just want to scan content without having to zoom in.
Less offensive are the demo games of "Uno" and "Block Breaker 3 Unlimited." You'll also find Cricket411 (digital Yellow Pages) and MyAccount. HTC's selection of apps includes Dropbox, FM Radio, Friend Stream and People for managing your contacts.
It took us a little while to get the hand of the Muve Music app's interface, which looks somewhat crude compared to others we've used. To move back up in the menu tree at any time (say, Artists, My Music, Home) just press and hold toward the top of the screen and select the option you want. Our biggest issue with the app is that it crashed on a couple of occasions, but it's hard to complain too much when you're getting free music.
Camera and Camcorder
As this is an HTC One series phone, the SV's 5-MP camera is full of nifty features. You can snap photos while you're recording video, shoot continuously just by pressing down the shutter and take your pick from lots of fun effects, from Vintage Warm to Posterize.
The 1080p camcorder on the One SV captured detailed footage but had trouble tracking fast-moving objects. While we could easily make out the individual lights behind a postal truck's blinker, playback seemed to slow down when moving cars entered the frame. The SV also had a bit of trouble adjusting to the bright sky when we panned up from the street. It took a couple of seconds for clouds to register.
[sc:video id="ByYTNqcTo00lR_exLpAy6_9MJFz9npzN" width="640" height="410"]
We were pleased with the One SV's 720p front-facing camera. It captured warm skin tones when we recorded some quick footage of our face. We just wish it were easier to switch modes; you have to press the settings button and then change the camera from Main to Front.
Call Quality and Battery Life
The HTC One SV had an unfair advantage in our battery test because the 4G LTE radio wasn't doing any work. Still, 10 hours and 27 minutes of endurance over 3G when surfing the Web is nothing to sneeze at. We expect this 1800 mAh battery to last at least 7 hours on 4G, as we saw from the similarly equipped One VX. That would be an hour above the smartphone average.
Plans and Value
Cricket's regular/ongoing smartphone data plans contain unlimited voice and texts, plus 1GB of full-speed data on the $50 per month plan; 2.5GB for the $60 plan and 5.0GB for $70 plan. The 4G double-data plan (available for a limited time) offers 2 GB of full-speed 4G data on the $50 per month plan; 5.0GB for the $60 plan and 10 GB for the $70 plan. By comparison, AT&T charges $59.99 per month for 900 minutes and $30 for 3GB of data, or $90 per month. If you opted for the 4G double plan, you would save $960 over two years.
VerdictOne VX for AT&T for just $50. However, you'll save a bundle in the long run and still enjoy a premium design, speedy dual-core performance and a feature-rich camera. We can overlook the low-res display on the One VS. What prevents this handset from earning a higher rating is Cricket's limited 4G LTE footprint and that the phone is running older Android Ice Cream Sandwich software. Overall, though, the One VS is a stylish no-contract phone that delivers plenty of value.
|Form Factor||Candybar Touchscreen|
|Operating System||Android 4.0|
|Networks||GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; HSPA/WCDMA 800/AWS/1900 MHz; LTE 700/AWS/1900 MHz|
|CPU||1.2-GHz Qualcomm S4|
|Memory Expansion Type||microSD Card|
|Display (main)||4.3 inches/800 x 480|
|Bluetooth Type||Bluetooth 4.0|
|Front Camera Resolution||1.6MP|
|Camera Resolution||5 MP|
|Audio formats supported||WMA|
|Audio formats supported||OGG|
|Audio formats supported||MP3|
|Audio formats supported||MIDI|
|Audio formats supported||AMR|
|Audio formats supported||AAC|
|Video formats supported||MP4|
|Video formats supported||AVI|
|Video formats supported||3GP|
|Video formats supported||3G2|
|Talk / Standby Time||230 minutes/450 hours|
|Size||5.04 x 2.63 x 0.36 inches|
|SAR Rating (Head)|
|SAR Rating (Body)|