Android, Featured, HTC, Reviews

HTC Desire SV Review

When HTC launched their One series of Android phones in February this year, they only had one affordable-ish mid-range offering, which was the HTC One V. It’s been doing pretty well since it’s launch, and since then, HTC re-launched the Desire branding on more affordable devices, such as the very budget HTC Desire C, the (similar hardware) HTC Desire X and the GSM+CDMA HTC Desire VC.

HTC Desire SV Review

Yet there wasnt a Dual-SIM alternative to the popular, single core packing One V, which is a very popular category here in Asia. And that’s there the HTC Desire SV comes in.

HTC Desire SV Review

The HTC Desire SV is a Dual-SIM Android 4.0 ICS smartphone with a 4.3 inch display, Dual-Core processor clocked at 1Ghz, 768 MB of RAM, 4GB of onboard memory with a microSD card slot, 8 Megapixel camera and Beats Audio enhancements, released only in emerging markets like India, and Indonesia among others. It’s also released in some South Asian countries like Singapore as the HTC One SV, but with a single SIM card slot and LTE connectivity instead.

Not too bad for a mid-range smartphone eh? Let’s see what the Desire SV has in store for us.

[divider]

The Design:-

[divider]

The HTC Desire SV has a couple things going on, and it’s appearance is easily one of them. Measuring 129.7 x 67.9 x 10.7 mm, it’s fits very well in your hand, and feels very solidly built. Have I mentioned enough times, how impressed I’ve been with HTC’s build quality this year?

HTC Desire SV Review

Weighing 131 grams, it feels a little heavy compared to the 115 grams One V, but it admittedly does inspire confidence in that build quality which mostly utilizes plastic. You have very sleek, rounded corners, with a very minimally styled matt back panel. We got the boring black hue, but you also get the HTC Desire SV in matt orange, and white.

IMG_3278wtmk

DSC_0014wtmk

IMG_3235wtmk

What really caught my eye though, was that back panel. It has a really minimal, yet beautiful design. The placement of the 8 Megapixel camera and the single LED flash are right in the center, with the subtle HTC branding below it, followed by the Beats Audio branding and the speaker grille.

HTC Desire SV Review

The soft-touch matte back panel feels really nice to the touch, but admittedly does catch dirt and finger grease very easily. You can comfortably use it with one hand, but that 4.3 inch screen is definitely testing the lengths of how far your fingers can travel.

HTC Desire SV Review

HTC Desire SV Review

Yup, at the front, you have that large 4.3 inch Super LCD2 capacitive touchscreen, at 480 x 800 pixels resolution (which is about 217 ppi pixel density). It’s the same Super LCD2 tech used in HTC’s flagship One X and One X+, and I’m happy to say that it’s just as gorgeous. The low-ish resolution is a bit of bummer though, so obviously text and graphics dont look as fine as on the 3.7 inch screen of the One V (which has 252ppi), or the 720p resolution One X, but it’s pretty good.

HTC Desire SV Review

Colors are vibrant, and viewing angles are good. Visibility outdoors isnt a problem either.

Above the screen, you have the centrally located earpiece, and a hidden proximity sensor. No front facing camera unfortunately, which means you’re going to be missing out on being able to video call peeps over Google Talk.

HTC Desire SV Review

Worth mentioning though, is that the earpiece has gotten a lot of attention to detail, from a design point of view. It looks very cool, but I’m a bit afraid it might catch dust really easily.

Below the screen, you have the usual three Android ICS Navigation keys for back, home and recent apps. They’re capacitive and work well. No complaints as such.

HTC Desire SV Review

At the top of the Desire SV, you have the power/screenlock key and the 3.5mm standard audio jack. The power key is a little flush which makes it a little hard to find, but it works well enough otherwise.

HTC Desire SV Review

On the right side, you have the lone volume rocker keys, which again are rather flush against the lining around the device, so they’re a little hard to find, but have enough tactile feedback that they’re easy to use.

HTC Desire SV Review

No ports or keys on the left side, keeping it minimal.

HTC Desire SV Review

While at the bottom, you have the lone microUSB port, with a tiny pinhole next to it, for the microphone. HTC have very cleverly placed the notch to remove the back panel here, right at the back of the microUSB port, trying to keep their design uniform on the sides, I guess.

HTC Desire SV Review

All in all the HTC Desire SV looks pretty good, and is very solidly built. It’s design does make it stand out amongst other offerings in this same price category. Just dont get the boring black version, eh?

[divider]

The Hardware:-

[divider]

You have a Dual Core Qualcomm MSM8225 Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1Ghz, and 768MB of RAM powering the HTC Desire SV. It’s an odd combination, but it’s well suited for the market HTC is trying to go after with this phone.

HTC Desire SV Review

The Dual Core keeps the Sense UI chugging along happily. Animations are smooth, navigating through the homescreen and menus is fluid, and performance is generally quick though not as quick as the quad core One X ofcourse. There’s the occasional bit of lag or stutter once in a while, but it’s less often than on the One V so it’s a rare enough occurrence.

2012-11-09_17-38-47

The processor is more than snappy enough to handle your day to day activities though. Infact if you want a better idea of how the Desire SV runs, check out our HTC Desire X Review, since the Hardware is almost exactly the same.

HTC Desire SV Review

Almost every game on the Google Play Store will work just fine, including Temple Run, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, etc. Though heavy tasks like updating an app or loading a heavy web page will slow things down just a little, while the processor tries to handle everything. Dont even think about setting a live wallpaper though.

HTC Desire SV Review

You’re supposed to have 4GB of onboard memory, but in reality all you have is about 1GB of user-available space, which is reaaaally limiting. Yeah, you’re going to want to get a microSD card for the Desire SV.

HTC Desire SV Review

In terms of connectivity, you have Bluetooth v4.0 with aptX™ enabled, Wifi, GPS, HSDPA, HSUPA and an FM Radio with RDS. There’s also a microUSB port ofcourse, but that’s just for data transfers and charging.

[divider]

The Software:-

[divider]

You have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running on the HTC Desire SV. A couple weeks ago I’d say it was one version old when Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was the latest OS, but it is now two versions old thanks to Google releasing Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. As such it doesnt have Google Now, or the enhanced notification bar of JB, but HTC told us they were working on the update for the Desire SV, and that it’d come along ‘soon’.

HTC Desire SV Review

On top of ICS, you have HTC’s Sense UI version 4.1 which throws in quite a bit of functionality. Some of the fancier animations and the horizontal multitasking screen of regular Sense 4.1 (that’s on the One X) are missing though, so this appears to be a tweaked version for the Dual Core processor, but otherwise the experience is pretty similar. I’d highly advice taking a look at our HTC One V Review for a better idea of HTC Sense v4.

HTC Desire SV Review

Like the HTC One series, the Desire SV also comes in Dropbox integration, giving you 25GB of free online storage for 2 years along with the device. HTC has also thrown in their Friend Stream app which is a central hub of all your Social Network Notifications, but it only supports Facebook and Flickr for some odd reason. I’d stick to just using the official Facebook, Twitter and Google+ client. You also get TuneIn Radio pre-installed, Polaris Office and Soundhound. There’s also the HTC Transfer app which lets you transfer over contacts from your old phone over Bluetooth.

2012-11-09_17-12-42

2012-11-09_16-37-26

2012-11-09_17-39-40

2012-11-09_17-39-46

2012-11-09_17-39-52

2012-11-09_17-39-58

Moving on, thanks to the large screen size, typing is very easy. The HTC Onscreen keyboard is pretty good, and the built-in auto-correct and auto-complete comes in handy.

HTC Desire SV Review

You can always install Swype or SwiftKeyX if you want another keyboard instead. Typing in portrait is pretty comfortable, and ofcourse things get even easier in landscape.

HTC Desire SV Review

Coming to web browsing, the built-in web browser on the HTC Desire SV does a pretty good job of rendering heavy web pages, though it can take a little while. Especially if the Adobe Flash plug-in is enabled, but you can disable that right from the browser bar.

2012-11-09_17-40-47

Admittedly it’s nice that the Flash support is there, just incase you need it for some scenario. Navigating around simpler web pages works just fine though, and next to the address bar on top, you also have a menu bar for your bookmarks, or to go to your other open tabs.

HTC Desire SV Review

That being said, Google’s Chrome browser is pre-installed though, and way quicker/faster/better so I’d advice just using that instead.

Coming to media, the music player on the Desire SV is pretty straightforward and elegant, coming with multiple widgets that you can use on your homescreen, and lockscreen controls as well. The Beats Audio enhancements really help bring today’s mainstream music to life, if you’re into genres like pop, hip-hop or R&B. With other styles you probably wont notice much of a difference, apart from the increase in volume.

2012-11-09_17-31-47

2012-11-09_17-31-57

The stock earphones that come in the retail box dont do it justice though. So dont expect to be blown away unless you switch to a better set of headphones. Like most ICS phones, there’s support for MP3, eAAC+, WMA, WAV and apparently FLAC as well though we werent able to test that out.

2012-11-09_17-32-18

The Stock video player can easily handle videos up to 720p, and DivX/Xvid files as well. There’s also support for subtitle files, and the loudspeaker is loud enough for you to enjoy a video. I couldnt playback any 1080p videos though, but considering it’s resolution I dont think that’s a big deal.

Images are sorted into galleries of “Camera shots”, “All photos” and “All videos” though you’ll see more if you add your Facebook account or WhatsApp, Flickr, etc.

Which brings us to…

[divider]

The Camera:-

[divider]

The HTC Desire SV boasts an 8 Megapixel camera, with a single LED flash and HTC’s ImageChip which is supposed to help create some good looking photos, and generally quicken camera performance.

HTC Desire SV Review

Sure enough the camera is quick, though there is a slight, occasional shutter lag that happens every so often. Strangely there’s no burst mode, but you can take a picture while recording video o the Desire SV. Apart from that, there’s various scenes modes, image filters, face detection, panorama mode, etc.

HTC Desire SV Review

As far as image quality goes, pictures looked pretty good, with plenty of detail, good color reproduction and low digital noise. Atleast for the pictures we took outside on a nice bright sunny day. White balance is a bit off sometimes, and the camera can take a couple seconds to adjust exposure and brightness. Indoor shots look okay, provided the room is somewhat well illuminated. Once the lights start getting dimmer though, image quality starts to deteriorate. The LED flash doesnt really do much to help, but it can come in handy for portrait shots in low light scenarios, I guess.

2012-11-09_17-31-00

Here’s a couple camera samples from the HTC Desire SV to give you a better idea:

[divider]

IMAG0002

[divider]

IMAG0003

[divider]

IMAG0004

[divider]

IMAG0011

[divider]

IMAG0012

[divider]

IMAG0014

[divider]

IMAG0015

[divider]

IMAG0016

[divider]

IMAG0017

[divider]

IMAG0019

[divider]

IMAG0021

[divider]

IMAG0022

[divider]

IMAG0023

[divider]

IMAG0025

[divider]

IMAG0026

[divider]

IMAG0027

[divider]

IMAG0028

[divider]

IMAG0030

[divider]

IMAG0033

[divider]

IMAG0035

[divider]

IMAG0037

[divider]

IMAG0040

[divider]

IMAG0041

[divider]

Coming to video, I was shocked to see that you could only record at a maximum of 480p. Thankfully it’s at a smooth 30fps though, but considering there’s a dual core processor underneath we were hoping for atleast 720p HD video.

2012-11-09_17-31-10

Video quality isnt too great unfortunately. Details are scarce, the colors looked a little cold, and things were quite choppy, with strange artifacts appearing. Here’s a camera video sample from the HTC Desire SV, to give you a better idea:

[divider]

The Call Quality:-

[divider]

The Call quality on the HTC Desire SV was surprisingly above average.

HTC Desire SV Review

Voices came in loud and clear, on both ends of the call, with no complaints as such. There’s no second microphone for noise cancellation though, so it does let in a bit of background noise. The loudspeaker is also pretty loud, which can be helpful at times when you’re driving, or on a long conference call.

[divider]

The Dual SIM:-

[divider]

As I mentioned earlier, the Desire SV is a Dual-SIM device, though you’ll need a microSIM card for both slots. Possibly the first MicroSIM Dual-SIM device? Heh.

HTC Desire SV Review

2012-11-09_16-28-30

2012-11-09_16-32-02

Both sim cards are active at the same time, but you have to set one preferred SIM card, which the phone will use for a network data connection. When you get a call, you get a tiny indicator on the upper left side to let you know if it’s from SIM card 1 or SIM card 2.

2012-11-09_16-32-20

2012-11-09_16-32-31

2012-11-09_16-32-35

You can also set a name for SIM card slot 1 and slot 2, and if you’re sending a text message, you can also choose which SIM card to send it from. In the phonebook, there are even clear indicators to let you know which contacts are from SIM 1, and which are from SIM 2.

2012-11-09_16-35-37

2012-11-09_16-39-04

2012-11-09_16-39-15

All you have to do is remember which SIM card is in slot 1 and slot 2, heh. The integration is pretty cleverly done.

[divider]

The Battery Life:-

[divider]

With the HTC Desire SV, you get a 1620 mAh battery. It’s removable, so you can buy an extra battery if you’d need to, and it’s decent enough so that you can get through an entire day of moderate usage.

HTC Desire SV Review

That Dual Core processor doesnt use up too much power, and neither does the Dual-SIM, but that huge 4.3 inch LCD does, so you’re going to want to charge it up every night. Unfortunately HTC’s site doesnt have an official rating for the battery, so we cant tell you anything more specific in terms of how long it’d last on standby.

[divider]

The Video Overview:-

[divider]

Here’s a detailed video overview of the HTC Desire SV. Just to give you a better idea:

[divider]

The Conclusion:-

[divider]

There are two reasons why I’d imagine some folks might want to buy the HTC Desire SV. First, maybe you really liked the HTC Desire X and wanted a Dual-SIM version of it. Granted the screen on the Desire SV is larger than the Desire X, and as a result battery life is slightly lower.

HTC Desire SV Review

Or maybe you just really want a Dual-SIM smartphone that features decent specs. Admittedly, these are the best specs on a Dual-SIM smartphone right now.

IMG_3232wtmk

Even if you forget the specs for a second, what you have here, is a pretty neat mid-range phone that boasts an attractive design, solid build quality and decent enough performance, with Android 4.0 ICS out of the box. And as I highlighted earlier, that large screen is pretty darn great.

If you’re buying an HTC Desire SV for any of the above reasons, I’d imagine that you probably wont regret it. There are cons though, like the inability to record 720p video (or decent video at all), the lack of a front facing camera and the low screen resolution. But there’s just simply nothing else in the Dual-SIM world that you can compare it to.

IMG_3237wtmk

IMG_3236wtmk

If you’re looking for a single SIM card smartphone though, there are plenty to choose from. HTC’s own One V, and Desire X are worth checking out, as is the Sony Xperia P. If you really need a Dual-SIM mid-range Android smartphone though, well here ya go.

[divider]

[col_1_4 style="box border box_green"]
[title]The Good:[/title]
- Neat Design
- Gorgeous, large Display
- Solid Build Quality
- Decent Performance
- Dual-SIM
- Best specs on a Dual-SIM so far
- Decent camera
- Android 4.0 ICS (Hey atleast it’s not Android 2.3)
- Removable battery
- MicroSD card slot
[/col_1_4]
[col_1_4 style="box border box_yellow"]
[title]The Bad:[/title]
- No front facing camera
- Terrible video recording
- Hardware keys are a little hard to use
- Low-ish Resolution for a screen that large
[/col_1_4]
[col_1_4 style="box border box_blue"]
[title]The Conclusion:[/title]
Know any other mid-range Dual-SIM smartphones? The best specs you can get on a Dual-SIM phone so far, means the HTC Desire SV doesnt really have much competition.
[/col_1_4]

[divider]

  • Dilmeet

    Nice Detailed Review! Hats Off to You! I am using HTC Desire V and seriously thought if HTC could get some more processing power then it was a bestseller! Anyways Nice Price at Launch and in this Price Band the Device is perfect! I don’t know why people think it’s over priced or other things as under 22k the specs are good!

  • tapan

    thanks for the detailed review, was looking to find out if the Dual SIM on the HTC Desire SV was dual active or standby, your review clarifies that its dual active.. also that FM radio is built in, thanks

  • manas

    htc desire sv is a dual sim standby phone , not dual sim active..I bought this mobile recently and sales guy told me that its dual active..then I found out one sim gets into disconnected mode when other sim is on a call.I called up htc care and they told me its dual standby. So I felt little bad about this..but performance wise this phone is great..camera quality is good, also liked the video quality..if u are ready to sacrifice a front camera..its a pretty good device

  • Dev

    Its a good phone. Only issue with it is, it has only 2.2 gb memory which is divided in to 1.1 for phone and 1.1 for memory storage. So u can not use an additional memory for transferring your additional application . External memory card is bit useless as it can be only used for saving ur data, songs and video file.
    So if u want to install some good games, it wil not possible. also you have to live with max 2.2 gb on the phone. external memory is not usable for installing any application.

  • Karthik m

    sorry but the battery life is bad, it lasts only for 10 hours with moderate use. my htc desire sv is dead ny evening, my blackberry used to give two days of battery life with heavy usage., very disappointing.

  • Ashish Kanwar

    Hi can you pls let me know how to Activate both Sims active on this phone as it was told that its a Dual Active Phone, which means another SIM call will be visible or kept on waiting when 2nd Sim call in On.
    Pls let me know how to get it active

  • shekar

    It’s wasting of investing the money in buying this phone. The battery life is less, You can’t install the apps on SD card and you can’t even move the apps to SD card. If the internal memory gets full the phone gets stuck very badly.

    Only happy thing in buying this phone is dual sim, 4.3 inch screen.

  • Gaurav

    Phone has an issue…
    it gets switch off abruptly…
    nearly 50 times a day….

  • palizzmm

    htc has stopped manufacturing it there is some defect in this phone i have wasted 20000 on this do no try to repeat