HTC Sensation review

£499
Price when reviewed

HTC isn’t shy when it comes to naming its phones, with the Hero, Desire, Legend and Incredible now joined by the equally bombastic Sensation. This confidence works when the phone displays a level of quality to match the name, but the Samsung Galaxy S II has raised the bar for Android phones. HTC’s new flagship has some serious catching up to do.

Sense 3

The Sensation gets off to a good start, partnering Android 2.3 with the Sense 3 interface, as seen on HTC’s Flyer tablet. The most obvious enhancement is an overhaul to the lock screen: gone is the swiping bar, replaced by a metal-effect ring that peeks out from the bottom of the screen. Pull the ring upwards and the phone unlocks with a slick, spinning animation.

HTC Sensation

There’s space for four user-defined app icons on the lock screen, and dragging one into the ring will unlock the phone directly into the app. The lock screen now supports widgets, too, with Friend Stream, weather information, basic music controls and several others available. Alas, they can’t be dragged for direct opening in the same way.

Other changes are subtle. Scrolling between home screens uses a 3D animation, the Connected Media app allows for DLNA connectivity, and the notification bar shows memory usage and can kill persistent apps.

The rest remains the same, which means some widgets and apps are beginning to look a little long in the tooth. Friend Stream and Peep have barely changed from previous incarnations, and they’re best replaced by alternatives from the Android Market. And the Galaxy S II outstrips the Sensation in some areas, particularly its Kies Air wireless syncing tool.

HTC Sensation

Screen

The other obvious difference is the screen. The Sensation’s 4.3in diagonal is the same as the Samsung, but with a sharper 540 x 960 resolution. The 16:9 aspect ratio is better for media than the 15:9 screen of the Samsung, as images don’t need to be resized to fit the panel, but it makes for awkward stretching in apps designed for standard 480 x 800 screens.

Details

Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £25.00
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider Vodafone

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 8hrs
Standby, quoted 14 days

Physical

Dimensions 65 x 11 x 126mm (WDH)
Weight 148g
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard On-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 768MB
ROM size 1,024MB
Camera megapixel rating 8.0mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 4.3in
Resolution 540 x 960
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Android

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