HTC may not have had the most successful year in 2012, but it wasn't for lack of trying. After releasing the HTC One X early in the year, and then backing it up with the One S, One V and the 4G-enabled One XL, the Taiwanese company has partnered with Optus for the One SV.

The second 4G-enabled handset to wear the One moniker, the One SV is a mid-range, affordable handset for Optus' expanding 4G network.

HTC One SV review

It doesn't pack in all the bells and whistles of the flagship One X or One XL - there's no quad core processor or 720p screen on the One SV. There's also a smaller 5MP camera and only 8GB of on board storage.

But HTC has made compromises with this phone that make it an attractive option. For a start, there's connectivity to Optus' LTE network. There's also a MicroSD expansion slot, which helps alleviate some of the pain from the small amount of on board storage.

The One SV comes with a replaceable battery too, which is especially useful given the battery draining properties of 4G downloads.

HTC One SV review

Design

The One SV has a very interesting, subtle design change over other One-branded handsets. The back of the phone is ever so slightly larger than the front, meaning that the sides actually taper out, rather than in.

With most smartphones these days, there's a real push to make them seem thinner than their thickest points, with narrow edges tapering to a thick point in the middle. The One SV does this to a much lesser extent, but adds a bit of extra real estate to the back of the phone to have the sides easily definable.

When you think about it, this design should fail miserably. But in the real world, it actually works. The tapered sides end up providing a nice angle for fingertips to grip onto while holding the phone, without adding significant thickness to the handset given it measures in at 9.2mm thick.

HTC One SV review

The 4.3-inch display is only rocking an 800 x 480 pixel resolution. Compared to the 720p magnificence on the One X and the One XL, the step down is noticeable, but hardly offensive. Unless you're looking at text via the browser, there's no real cause for complaint with the screen.

HTC has popped the three standard Android touch buttons below the screen , while above the screen sees wide, narrow speaker grill for the earpiece, a tiny 1.6MP front facing camera and the HTC logo.

The top of the phone features the power button on the right of the device and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left, while the bottom houses the MicroUSB port for charging and syncing the phone. The volume rocker rests on the right hand side, while the left is gloriously bereft of buttons.

HTC One SV review

The back of the phone is slightly more interesting, with the 5MP camera with LED flash located in the middle of the device towards the top. A small grill at the bottom separates the obligatory Beats Audio logo and the 4G LTE logo, while the centre of the back case is an embossed HTC logo.

The whole package weighs in at 122 grams with the battery inside. Pop off the back and you'll see that the battery itself can be replaced, while a MicroSD card slot lets you expand on the paltry 8GB of on board storage.

While the overall design isn't as striking as the flagship handsets from HTC, it still manages to impart its own sense of style, which is welcome for the class of phone that it is.

HTC One SV review