Reviewed: HTC Sensation dual-core smartphone

Recommended
Reviewed: HTC Sensation dual-core smartphone
Rating
Overall:

A solid phone that missing a beat on performance, but features impressive usability. While not quite a world beater, HTC's first dual-core smartphone has a lot to offer

Performance:
4
Features & Design:
6
Value for Money:
5
Price
Price: $792
> Pricing info
Specs
Dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8260 CPU 768MB RAM 1GB ROM 8GB microSD card 4.3in 540 x 960 S-LCD Bluetooth 3 802.11n WLAN 8mp camera GPS Android 2.3 65 x 11 x 126mm (WDH) 148g
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In the world of dual-core phones, the Australian market has already seen offerings from Motorola, LG and Samsung and now, finally, HTC has release its model, the much anticipated Sensation.

The Sensation proudly shows HTC’s design pedigree, with a multi-textured rear case and a silver finish for the buttons and forward speaker. The phone is a solid block of a unit, weighing in at 148g, putting it into the heavyweight category compared to Samsung’s rather svelte Galaxy SII. It’s also a bit thicker, hitting the 11mm mark at the apex of its gently curved back. The solidity isn’t a negative – its gives a genuine perception of build quality, something that we felt was lacking on the otherwise excellent SII.

The screen is also rather impressive at 4.3in, with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a very sharp 540x960 resolution. The LCD is bright, although it does lose a little in terms of contrast when compared to an AMOLED screen.

 

 

 

 

Dual power?

The big drawcard of the Sensation is its dual core processor, which is a Qualcomm MSM8260 running at 1.2GHz. It’s been teamed up with the Adreno 220 GPU and 768MB of RAM. There’s only 1GB of onboard memory, with HTC shipping an 8GB microSD card with the unit. This makes for a very zippy device in real world testing – games run smoothly, web browsing is fast and fluid and the overall feel is of a very slick device.

The actual figures offer a slightly different story however. While the ABC homepage loaded in 4.6 seconds, the SunSpider test took 6.354 seconds (longer than the Motorola Atrix) and Quadrant benchmarking tests offer a surprisingly low score of 1,924. It’s a strange result because it doesn’t match the actual feel of using the phone.

Looking at some other features, the Sensation has an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p recording for video at 30fps. The dual-LED flash is super bright and we were able to get detailed shots in all lighting conditions.

The battery also proved remarkably resilient, with a little under 50% still available after our 24 hour testing scenario.

The sense in Sensation

What does stand out in the Sensation is the Sense 3 UI. HTC’s proprietary interface has long been admired as a gold standard in Android overlays and version 3 manages to improve upon this.

The lock screen now features a metallic look ring rather than a swipe bar – you move the ring to unlock the phone. However, there’s also room for four user-configurable app icons on the lock screen – drag the icon into the ring and the phone unlocks directly into that app. It’s a great feature for quick access to applications such as mail, messaging, the camera or even plain old dialing functionality for the old school.  You can also set a widget such as Friend Stream or Weather to be active on the lock screen.

Sense 3 also features some more subtle changes such as DLNA connectivity via the Connected Media app and 3D animated scrolling between home screens, without changing any of the popular functionality such as helicopter view.

Overall, while the hardware seems to pack less of a punch than one would expect, the experience of using the HTC Sensation is still a very positive one, largely thanks to the Sense UI. Pricing wise, the Sensation is on Telstra for $0 on the $79 plan, or outright for $792. This makes it a little cheaper than the launch RRP of our A-Listed Samsung Galaxy SII.

Ultimately, choosing the Sensation over any other dual-core phone will be a personal choice, with Sense and screen being a major drawcard for many users. 

Source: Copyright © PC & Tech Authority. All rights reserved.

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See more about:  htc  |  sensation  |  android  |  sense  |  smartphone  |  gingerbread  |  review  |  phones  |  mobilecomputing
 
 

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Comments: 3
chooky78
12 August 2011
A 43 inch screen! How the hell am I meant to fit that in my pocket??


Comment made about the PC & Tech Authority article:
Reviewed: HTC Sensation dual-core smartphone?
In the world of dual-core phones, the Australian market has already seen offerings from Motorola, LG and Samsung and now, finally, HTC has release its model, the much anticipated Sensation.

What do you think? Join the discussion.
dr_nic
15 August 2011
Sounds like you need some bigger pockets chook! Or perhaps we needed to move a decimal point. Let's go with the latter.
martyB
21 October 2011
Having used a HTC Desire HD the last 10 months, I was tempted to move to the Sensation just because of Sense UI. However, the Galaxy S2 is just better overall. It's UI is MUCH smoother than the Sensations, which is VERY disappointing for a unit with that much processing power.

As mentioned, it really comes down to personal preference, but for mine HTC hasn't improved its units as much as I hoped, despite how much I love Sense UI - the keyboard and its predictive text was fantastic.
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