Announced earlier this year in April, the HTC Sensation was originally rumoured to be the HTC Pyramid, I for one am personally glad the latter name was wiped off the board. The Sensation is probably one of HTC’s highest-spec offerings to date against other brands such as Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson who have all in recent years jumped onto the Android bandwagon. Not to say the least, the Sensation is highly capable of tempting iPhone users to trying out a droid and making the switch for the first time.
We’ve now been testing the Sensation for over a week to date, in this brief review, we’ll be focusing on its hardware, software and most commonly used features and looking into the pros and cons of these respectively.
Before we start, for those who are not so familiar with the phone itself, here’s a quick recap of its main specs. The HTC Sensation is a slim (11.3 mm) superphone which runs on Google Android’s Gingerbread OS, ie version 2.3, this is superimposed with HTC’s own user interface – HTC Sense version 3.0. The Sensation comes with a large 4.3-inch, qHD Super LCD capacitive touchscreen and features a 1.2 GHz dual core processor, Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon, Adreno 220 GPU. On board is 1 GB of internal memory, 768 MB of RAM, of course, with support for microSD of up to 32GB. Connectivity wise, it is boasted with GPS, HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, microUSB and FM radio with RDS. It features an eight megapixel camera with autofocus and dual-LED flash, this is equipped with features such as geo-tagging, touch focus, image stabilisation and face detection. Its also capable of recording in full HD 1080p@30fps.
While it may not be as thin as the iPhone 4 on paper (9.3 mm), when you look and hold the HTC Sensation in your palm, you will barely notice the subtle 2 mm difference. The Sensation may boast a larger screen but it certainly doesn’t feel chunky to use or leave in your pocket.
Like majority of HTCs I’ve tried out in the past, the Sensation feels sturdy and well built. Though it only comes in black, it doesn’t sport too much bling to its casing which some phonemakers tend to overdo nowadays.
Its keys are where you’d expect it to be, unfortuantely it doesn’t come with a dedicated camera trigger button which is a shame. At the bottom of its screen, you’ll also find capacitive buttons placed underneath the gorgeous, glass contoured display.
Overall, the Sensation is well presented, and somewhat business-like, creating a first impression which especially appeals to professional users.
Running Google’s latest Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread release combined with HTC Sense 3.0 out of the box. We liked a number of features which have been recently added on. Some of these are similar and in keeping with what Apple has been rumoured to be introducing for iPhone 5 / iOS 5. For example, users can now customise and specify which apps to quickly launch at the lockscreen. You can too specify what you want to see on your lockscreen such as stocks, weather, your own photo album or just a clock, as you can see below…
If you’ve used a sub-Gingerbread HTC phone in the past, notification menus are now even more user-friendly as you can now gain access to connectivity settings and vital information via the menu without having to download any additional apps.
In addition to Android’s existing applications, HTC Sense doesn’t just offer a unique UI but also features such as remote locking, backing up of contacts, messages. There are also free downloadable content such as widgets, ringtones, wallpapers and themes.