Review: HTC Desire SV – Dual Desire

Introduction:

Dual SIM Androids are not new to us. We’ve seen many of them in last few months especially from local OEMs. In global OEMs, Samsung has already been on the lead in providing dual SIM phones to the market. So how could HTC stay away? The Desire SV is the companies first ever dual SIM handset. Well it doesn’t share the same table as cheaper Galaxy Y Duos, rather it tries to fit itself with mid-range Androids with the power of yesteryear’s flagships. It carries the design for which HTC is famous and comes with a hefty price tag too. We will try to explain why it’s worth your money.

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Design:

Desire SV has 4.3” display. In the times when competition is going for bigger and bigger displays, this sounds small but it gives the Desire SV the perfect dimensions. It fits your hand perfectly. Display is big enough to type comfortably or viewing pictures or even watching movies while you travel. The display is Super Clear LCD 2 type and has FWGA resolution (480×800) which gives it the pixel density of 217 ppi. Although the display is LCD, the color reproduction is brilliant. Colors are saturated but not over-saturated. The black are reproduced are also very well. The display doesn’t have good viewing angles but that matters only if you’re going to see it from 0 degrees.

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Below the display there’s a usual set of Android buttons and by now you might know that the previous ‘Options’ key has been replaced by the ‘Recent apps’ key from Anrdoid ICS upwards. Above the display, there is a large earpiece grill which apart from a earpiece itself, also covers a notification LED and sensors like proximity and ambient light sensor. There’s no front facing camera by the way. Lot of dust gets accumulated in earpiece grill. There’s a metal frame around the display which definitely looks nice, better if the back is of different color than black.

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On the right side there is a volume rocker and left side is completely bare. On the top there’s a 3.5mm audio jack and power button. We don’t like this particular placement of the power button on any device with display bigger than 4”. The MHL/microUSB port is located on the bottom of the phone.

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We’ve always admired HTC for their design. But they did something wrong with the back of the Desire SV. The camera is recessed under the back cover. There’s a significant gap between the camera lens and the camera hole on the back camera. It acts as a door for lots of dust on underneath the cover and especially the camera lens. This wasn’t quite expected from HTC. Moving ahead, the back cover has matte finish which gives it overall a good grip. A 8MP camera and flash are placed vertically on the back. Go down almost to the bottom and you’ll see a loudspeaker grill. HTC didn’t forget to tell us that the audio is powered by ‘Beats Audio’. In the middle of the back, there’s a stylish and big HTC logo as well.

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Underneath the cover you’ll find the 1620 mAh battery. On the each side of the camera there is a microSIM slot. Of them, the one right side is capable of 3G while the second one only runs on 2G networks. Just below the SIM card slots, there’s a microSD slot.

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Software:

The Desire SV runs on Android ICS 4.0.4 which is quite old now with HTC Sense UI version 4.1 atop. It’s more fluid now. Though the changes are visible they are just minor ones. It now offers a better way to put widgets on homescreens. From one place, you can place widgets from any of the homescreen  .It still doesn’t offer ability to arrange icons freely. Widgets as usual come in various sizes. You get seven homescreens and no option to add new or remove existing ones. HTC Sense’s “Scenes” feature was the one we liked because of its usefulness in different scenarios. We dearly missed it in the latest version. Unlike previous versions, you can’t download more scenes. We wish HTC enables it again. You can still create new scene if you like too. HTC has also reduced the number of skins to just three and again you can’t download more. Even the lockscreen which used to most customizable has lost its shine. We don’t understand why HTC had to strip down all the customization.

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The menu is the same old story. The main menu is made up of horizontally scrollable pages. Each page has 4×4 grids of app shortcuts i.e. 16 apps on every page. Additionally apps are also sorted as frequently used apps and downloaded apps. There’s still no way to arrange them in the order user wants.  There’s a shortcut to Play Store present and you can also quickly manage your apps. We missed the presence of quick toggles for various settings such as Wi-Fi or Flight mode from earlier versions.

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Hardware and Performance:

Desire SV is powered by Qualcomm S4 1.0 GHz dual core processor with 768 MB RAM. It has 4GB of inbuilt memory. Hardware is by no means 2012 suitable but enough to pull the phone through daily multi-tasking. The device handles apps and tasks very smoothly with lags occurring rarely which we would attribute to the Android system.

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