With a 1.2GHz dual-core processor under the bonnet the HTC One SV is by no means a powerhouse. However we noticed no speed issues while using the handset - web pages loaded smoothy, apps fired up without any hassles and video playback was pain free. Saying that, when used alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the iPhone 5, the HTC One SV just isn't as nippy during everyday usage.
We benchmarked the HTC One SV using Antutu, and it scored a reasonable 7,212. That puts the phone almost on a par with the Sony Xperia T, which scored 8,013, and makes it nipper than both the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Orange San Diego.
One of the HTC One SV's main selling points is the fact that it comes with 4G LTE, being made available on the EE network here in the UK.
The HTC One SV didn't disappoint when it came to speed either. We saw average download speeds of around 13Mbit/s and upload speeds of around 12Mbit/s, although these figures fluctuated down to 6Mbit/s and up to 20Mbit/s.
With average download speeds of 12Mbit/s, the HTC One SV signed up to EE doesn't quite match the network's claims that its LTE network offers speeds "five times as fast" as those on 3G, especially when we recorded speeds of 5Mbit/s on our 3G iPhone 5 just moments before, but the speed bump really is noticeable.
For instance, refreshing a Twitter feed will take no time at all, nor will uploading a photo to Facebook or firing up a media heavy webpage. Video too didn't disappoint, although we have found it to be faster on other 4G handsets such as the iPhone 5 LTE.
This time last year we'd have been delighted to receive a smartphone running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but 12 months on that mobile operating system release seems almost obsolete. That said, the One SV's Android 4.0 operating system is barely recognisable thanks to HTC's Sense user interface, which will be a draw for those used to using an HTC smartphone.
HTC Sense 4.1 is the version skinning the One SV, and this comes with the usual array of apps and widgets from the Taiwanese smartphone maker, including Friend Stream, Calendar and the firm's familiar clock widget. HTC's tweaked Android web browser is also onboard the One SV, but we didn't find it quite as slick as using Chrome, which also comes pre-installed.
That's not all HTC have replaced, as it has also equipped the One SV with its own onscreen keyboard, which again is no better than the stock Android offering. This theme continues throughout HTC Sense, and we can't help but think that if HTC toned down its tinkering with Android the handset would offer a more pleasant user experience.
Next: Camera, battery and storage.
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