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HTC Sensation 4G Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Interface and Functionality:

HTC Sense 3.0 isn’t anything revolutionary, instead offering multiple improvements, not least of all in the form of an entirely redrawn UI and an intelligent lock screen. We have to hand it to HTC: it’s only been a few months since its last UI update, and already we’re seeing another. This approach of incrementally updating coupled with HTC’s recent announcement that it will unlock its bootloaders in response to pressure from users has left their brand image looking pretty fantastic right about now.

The redrawn UI sits on top of Gingerbread and carries the premium feel from the construction across to the interface. From a design perspective, HTC Sense 3.0 is so considered, elegant and cohesive, that it’s on another level to any custom UI we’ve seen. Each widget now has a silky smooth 3D transition when swiping the homescreen, so the layers of the widget subtly separate. Widgets are pin sharp and there are some really attractive new ones, such as the photo grid (gallery) widget, a huge improvement over the static photo-frame. If you're liking the idea of renting movies on the fly, the Watch widget, gives you quick access to HTC’s movie rental service. The 7 homescreens are also now on a revolving carousel system, so the last leads straight back to the first, and all with some rather slick SPB like carousel visuals in the process.

The HTC Sensation 4G runs HTC Sense 3.0 on top of Gingerbread  - Customizing - HTC Sensation 4G Review
The HTC Sensation 4G runs HTC Sense 3.0 on top of Gingerbread  - Customizing - HTC Sensation 4G Review
The HTC Sensation 4G runs HTC Sense 3.0 on top of Gingerbread  - Customizing - HTC Sensation 4G Review
The HTC Sensation 4G runs HTC Sense 3.0 on top of Gingerbread  - Customizing - HTC Sensation 4G Review

The HTC Sensation 4G runs HTC Sense 3.0 on top of Gingerbread

Customizing - HTC Sensation 4G Review
Customizing - HTC Sensation 4G Review
Customizing - HTC Sensation 4G Review
Customizing - HTC Sensation 4G Review

Customizing


The lock screen is also a definite improvement, with a ring in the bottom of the screen and four application icons just above. Drag a shortcut down into the ring and you will unlock your phone straight in that application, or just drag the ring up to unlock where you left off. There are also personalization’s you can apply to your lock screen, the most obvious being selecting your shortcut applications, or going further and selecting your lock screen background. Your options are:

  • standard wallpaper
  • photo album
  • friend stream (in which you can drag an update into the ring to open that up)
  • weather
  • stocks
  • clock

The lock screen - HTC Sensation 4G Review
The lock screen - HTC Sensation 4G Review
The lock screen - HTC Sensation 4G Review

The lock screen


Suffice to say, similar lock screens can be installed by 3rd party means, but that’s the beauty of HTC Sense, as it matures it aggregates a number of awesome features into one complete experience, fresh out of the box.

Aspects that were overhauled in HTC Sense 2.1 haven’t seen any real changes, but suffice to say, operate smoothly with a staggered app drawer and quick settings and recent application shortcuts in the pull-down notifications tab.

App drawer of the HTC Sensation 4G - HTC Sensation 4G Review
App drawer of the HTC Sensation 4G - HTC Sensation 4G Review
App drawer of the HTC Sensation 4G - HTC Sensation 4G Review

App drawer of the HTC Sensation 4G


The overall impression is one of seamless fluidity. Thanks to the 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon chipset, there isn’t slowdown or lag, and while loading times are occasionally found when widgets need to refresh, even these are minimal. The interface of the HTC Sensation 4G therefore offers more than just Android, expanding functionality and ease of use out of the box thanks to Sense 3.0.

21 Comments
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posted on 07 Jun 2011, 08:06

1. rtimi26 (Posts: 41; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)


Okay I giv up, how does the htc beat the SGS II, I'm not following phonearena if their reviews are biased

posted on 12 Jun 2011, 04:59

11. yeahone (unregistered)


actually it doesn't SGS2 beats htc sensation in terms of everything. And HTC sensation even have 'death grip'!

posted on 13 Jun 2011, 23:30 2

12. INformant (unregistered)


DEATH GRIP MORONS!!!! Their is not death grip with the sensation if you watch the video he holds it in a way that is rediculous, you can do the same thing with a G2 and even some of the evo variants....and it did not even affect calls it was a wifi thing....no death grip just a jealous Ifanboy

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 12:37

16. medalaster1 (unregistered)


Not only sgs2 even the optimus 2x is more superior than the sensation i would say this is a biased review the phonearena is all about htc and apple

posted on 07 Jun 2011, 08:40

2. cyborg (unregistered)


It's funny how the cons of the Sensation have been addressed by SGS2 in a review last month and yet both have the same score. Oh, well phonearena.

posted on 07 Jun 2011, 08:50 3

3. cyborg (unregistered)


Hands down to PA for not mentioning iphone at the end of this review. Good job. That wasn't so difficult was it?

posted on 07 Jun 2011, 08:52 3

4. lazarus101 (unregistered)


Sense UI and a better build quality and screen resolution have compensated these cons.

posted on 07 Jun 2011, 13:06 1

7. Dark4o90 (Posts: 205; Member since: 20 Feb 2011)


except for the battery life one day is not acceptable

posted on 07 Jun 2011, 09:18 1

5. Jeff (unregistered)


This 5 page review left out 1 important detail, how does it perform as a phone???
I have been hearing about death grip issues, and I want to know about reception and call quality, after all, this is still a PHONE!

posted on 08 Jun 2011, 03:39 2

8. lazarus101 (unregistered)


In-call quality on the HTC Sensation is very good indeed. With the length and shape of the phone, it feels comfortable and the speaker sits well against the ear, with sound emitted from it being clear and audible. When speaking on the device, the receiver on the other end reported clear, crisp audio quality and signal strength was average to good when compared with other handsets.

from the original HTC Sensation review (model sold in UK)
http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/HTC-Sensation-Re view_id2753/page/4

posted on 13 Jun 2011, 23:31 1

13. INformant (unregistered)


Their is not death grip with the sensation if you watch the video he holds it in a way that is rediculous, you can do the same thing with a G2 and even some of the evo variants....and it did not even affect calls it was a wifi thing....no death grip just a jealous Ifanboy

posted on 25 Sep 2011, 13:44

19. quesoesgrande (Posts: 217; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)


it does effect calls cause i have the sensation and i have to barely hold the phone at the bottom to get wi-fi calling cause my work has no reception
last i checked, wi-fi calling is still calling thus it effects calling

posted on 07 Jun 2011, 10:12

6. paul22 (unregistered)


Why cant your reviews include some benchmarks of WiFi speed vs range ?

posted on 08 Jun 2011, 17:19 1

9. 1harim (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Jun 2011)


Apple fans are under pressure :)

posted on 11 Jun 2011, 03:47 1

10. tombaker (unregistered)


The viewing angles on this phone are terrible, this must be a standard TN LCD, fast, high res, and poor off angle viewing. I will never use a TN monitor if given the choice.
Why bother, with so many AMOLED and IPS options to be had. I wish they did more analysis of how strong reception is between phones

posted on 16 Jun 2011, 13:05

14. Julian (unregistered)


I purchased my Sensation yesterday and have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. With the exception of the battery not being the best, and the screen's viewing angle, everything else seems to work great. I love the way it feels in your hand. You feel like you bought a expensive phone, not a cheap piece of plastic. I used to have the Atrix, which is a great phone, but between the Motoblur and the occasional "glitch", I thought I try a change and I'm happy I did.

There are plenty of choices out there, just got to find the one that meets YOUR needs.

posted on 19 Jun 2011, 12:53

15. toolie (unregistered)


I just bought the Sensation and so far love it. The only bad thing that I have noticed is the external speaker is horrible! Call quality is good and I got over 12 hours of battery life yesterday, which is great for a smart phone...at least for me. Keep in mind battery life fluctuates with usuage and heavy usage will have lower battery life. I just didn't want everyone to think 12 hours was an everyday occurrence. I used to have to charge my Galaxy S two times within an 8 hour period and call quality was horrible. So far no death grip issues either. This phone far outshines my last one, Samsung, and I have no regets. UI is also great. First HTC phone and have to say I am impressed with this smooth running phone with excellent speed.

posted on 11 Jul 2011, 11:47

17. davonte (unregistered)


stop saying "just because," goddammit!

posted on 22 Sep 2011, 16:16

18. gain1998 (Posts: 11; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


I find this phone pleasing to look at, I also find it to have many nice features and it really is a great phone. I don't understand why people would care about viewing angles, then again that's probably just me. Battery life isn't that much of a big deal for me (unless you're dead in between the hours of 7 to 2, then we have an issue). Basically it's a great phone, I'd get it but I want to hop on the Blackberry train, I know I must sound so idiotic for preferring a BB over an Android, but I want to have a firsthand experience.

posted on 26 Sep 2011, 18:16

20. Sean1337 (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Sep 2011)


I have owned both the G2X and now the Sensation. G2X was fast for sure, it benchmarked very high, but at least 2 of the games I wanted to play on it wouldnt even open( they both work flawlessly on the sensation). The camera app was stock android and buggy, on one occasion the phone froze entirely after taking a picture requiring a battery pull to get the phone working again. The phone was blocky and felt awful against my ear. A 300 point advantage in quadrant does not make the g2x a better device than the sensation, which in my opinion is the finest handset on tmobile by a decent margin as of right now.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 12:46

21. corleyman (Posts: 6; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)


Here it is a yr & a half later and I still love this phone. Lack of internal memory is OK b/c of my add-on 16-Gb microSD card. It does slow some when I need to clear program cache (easily done from settings), but otherwise the processor is fast & all works great! Especially the 4G. With WiFi off I'm getting 10 Gbps on the TMo HSPA network. But instead of TMo I enjoy unlimited talk/txt/data on a mobile network that pays me back! Check it at PenniesOverDollars.com

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HTC Sensation 4G

HTC Sensation 4G

OS: Android 4.0.3 2.3.4 2.3
view full specs
Display4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi) S-LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 MSM8260, Dual core, 1200 MHz, Scorpion processor
768 MB RAM
Size4.96 x 2.57 x 0.44 inches
(126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm)
5.22 oz  (148 g)
Battery1520 mAh, 8.25 hours talk time

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