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Cricket offers a competitive carrier option with the HTC One SV (review)

HTC continues to make solidly designed smartphones and the new One SV on Cricket is awesome. I love the orange color and compelling service options from Cricket.

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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 25 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

HTC One SV retail box for Cricket

It seems that more and more people are starting to look at alternatives to the four major US wireless carriers as wireless costs continue to rise. In the past, you had to settle for pretty basic phones, but that is changing as more modern smartphones are becoming available and the services offered are quite attractive. Many of these regional carriers and MVNOs now offer options with no contract, no activation fees, and nationwide coverage. I was recently sent the new HTC One SV from Cricket that even supports LTE data.

I did not get to test out LTE on the One SV since LTE is currently only available a few select cities, including Las Vegas, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and more. Cricket uses Sprint's network so that is the major carrier network to think about as you consider going with a less expensive and more user-friendly regional carrier.

Hardware: HTC One SV

I continue to be a fan of HTC hardware and wish of their hardware designs. As a fan of the color orange, the HTC One SV is one of the most attractive phones I have used in a while with cool orange coloring of the front capacitive buttons, orange highlights in the headset speaker, an orange frame, and a removable orange back. It has a solid feel in the hand thanks to the solid glass front, metallic frame, and full soft touch back panel.

Specifications of the HTC One SV include:

  • Qualcomm 1.2 GHz dual core processor
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4
  • 4.3 inch Super LCD 2 800x480 pixels display with Gorilla Glass
  • 1GB RAM and 8GB integrated storage with microSD card slot
  • 5 megapixel camera with ImageChip
  • 1.6 megapixel front facing camera
  • Beats Audio
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX
  • WiFi, AGPS, NFC
  • 1,800 mAh removable battery

Cricket will be selling the One SV for $349.99 on 16 January. This is the full retail, no-contract price and if you compare that to other unsubsidized prices this is reasonable for a device of this quality. It doesn't have the latest processor and operating system, but is more than capable for typical smartphone users. I am a fan of HTC's Super LCD 2 display and even though this one isn't the highest resolution display, it still looks great.

The HTC One SV comes in cool eco-friendly packaging that includes the USB cable and A/C charger, along with a Getting Started guide and Muve Music user guide.

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Back of the HTC One SV retail package

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Opening up the retail package

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Retail package contents

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I love the orange back of the One SV

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Solid design by HTC

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HTC One SV in hand

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Front of the current HTC lineup

The HTC Droid DNA, One SV, and 8X are well designed smartphones.

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Back of this HTC lineup

See how colorful these smartphones are today.

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microSD and LTE SIM are provided

See how colorful these smartphones are today.

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HTC Sense 4

Software

The HTC One SV comes loaded with Android 4.0 with HTC Sense 4. HTC Sense 4 includes the slick home screen panels and widgets, along with HTC optimized apps and software. HTC's camera software is solid with LOTS of options to help make your photos as good as they can be for a 5 megapixel shooter. You can record at 1080p resolution too. Movie Studio video editing software is included as well.

There are a few Cricket apps and services loaded on the One SV, including Cricket Navigator ($5/month navigation software), Cricket411, My Account, Cricket Browser (a shortcut to a Cricket-focused page in the browser), and Muve Music. Muve Music is a service available to Cricket customers where unlimited song downloads are included with your monthly payment. The application is touch friendly and optimized for mobile phones. Given the Beats Audio support in the HTC One SV, music is a good focus for this device.

I missed not having Google Now on the device and am not sure when, or if, a Jelly Bean update will be coming to this device. The software is snappy and I was pleased with the One SV.

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Cricket custom services

Cricket services and experiences

Unfortunately, I don't get the greatest Cricket coverage where I live and work. Even with rather limited coverage, I did see that the One SV did a good job of connecting to the network. I would like to test the LTE coverage, but wasn't in an area currently covered by Cricket. Calls did sound good and when I had a connection, performance on the One SV was solid.

Cricket is launching the HTC One SV with a special offer of double the monthly data full speed allowance. Thus for $50/month you get 2GB of full speed data, $60 gives you 5GB, and $70 gives you 10GB of data. Data is unlimited, but there are limits on when throttling kicks in. In addition to these data plan offerings, you get unlimited Muve Music, unlimited voice, and unlimited messaging. All of this is offered with no long term contract or other unnecessary fees. These prices are pretty attractive with a reasonably priced smartphone and as awareness of these regional carrior options increases I believe we will see more and more people seriously consider them as their primary carrier.

Related ZDNet posts

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Cricket Navigator option

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Cricket Storefront

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Available downloads, paid of course

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More Cricket-focused options

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Muve Music mobile client

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Muve Music store

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Installed apps and services, 1/5

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Installed apps and services, 2/5

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Installed apps and services, 3/5

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Installed apps and services, 4/5

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Messaging on the One SV

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Enjoying music from Muve Music

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Social aspects of Muve Music

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