Cricket Wireless and HTC have just announced plans to sell a new One SV smartphone. Expected to ship January 16, the $349.99 Android device may not sound extremely affordable at first. That said, the handset offers a decent helping of useful hardware and software without your needing to sign a lengthy service contract.
What's under the hood
Hiding inside the HTC One SV is a nimble 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and an SD Card slot that accepts cards of up to 32GB. The phone also runs the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, which, while not as cutting-edge as Jelly Bean, is modern nonetheless.
The One SV's display measures a sizable 4.3 inches and is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass coating. Other goodies include NFC circuitry for transferring information between compatible phones by tapping them together and an LTE radio that latches onto Cricket's LTE data network.
What's not so hot
While the HTC One SV comes with a fancy BSI (backside-illuminated) camera, its resolution tops out at 5 megapixels. That isn't impressive compared with the 8MP and even 13MP sensors found on today's superphones. That said, you do get a 1.6MP front-facing camera for sharp vanity shots and the main imaging system captures 1080p HD video. I also hope HTC will equip the One SV with the slick shooting modes found in the company's other phones, such as HDR and continuous shooting.
How does the HTC One SV stack up against high-end handsets sold by bigger carriers? Check back soon for a deeper hands-on dive and a full review.