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HTC Sensation Review

HTC Sensation 4G 9

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Camera and Multimedia:

An 8MP camera with dual LED flash sits pretty on the rear side of the HTC Sensation. The interface of the camera is HTC’s standard, with a few more special effects and tweaks under the hood.

Camera interface - HTC Sensation Review
Camera interface - HTC Sensation Review
Camera interface - HTC Sensation Review
Camera interface - HTC Sensation Review
Camera interface - HTC Sensation Review
Camera interface - HTC Sensation Review

Camera interface


Both photo and video exhibit good amounts of detail in well-lit conditions, with quick touch to focus and very speedy picture taking. While not the best in terms of picture quality, it is one of the fastest, if not the fastest autofocus snappers to shoot. Both landscapes and macro shots deliver good detail, colours are well reproduced and photos taken on the device are comfortably printable at 6x4 or 7x5. For occasions when the camera struggles with high contrast backlit shots, the ‘backlight’ scene mode is fantastic at evening out exposure, while the ability to switch off autofocus enables easy re-framing of shots once focus is set by touch, great for macro shooting. Indoor shots naturally suffer from more noise, though the dual LED flash does a good job of countering this. You can also set exposure, contrast and saturation amongst other things, and there are a host of HTC's trademark special effects. A point to note, the default capture mode is 8MP wide, for pictures you will want to print, uncheck the "wide" toggle in settings to provide a more standard aspect ratio.

Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review

Outdoor samples shot with the HTC Sensation


Off - Samples with Backlight mode - HTC Sensation Review
On - Samples with Backlight mode - HTC Sensation Review
Off - Samples with Backlight mode - HTC Sensation Review
On - Samples with Backlight mode - HTC Sensation Review

Off

On

Off

On

Samples with Backlight mode


Strong - Indoor samples - HTC Sensation Review
Medium - Indoor samples - HTC Sensation Review
Low light - Indoor samples - HTC Sensation Review
Low light with flash - Indoor samples - HTC Sensation Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

Low light with flash

Indoor samples


The video camera records 1080p video and output sits among the top end of HD capture from a phone, especially outdoors. Unfortunately, there's no auto-focus once recording has started though. As with photos, the LEDs can be used to illuminate indoor scenarios and tend to do the job pretty well. Frame rates being for the most part smooth.

HTC Sensation Sample Video 1:



HTC Sensation Sample Video 2:




Music playback
is through HTC's music app which delivers a very standard UI , though the overall music experience is great. The audio jack is in a convenient location and the microSD card slot gives you up to 32GB storage, with an 8GB card in the box. Sound quality is exceptionally good thanks to SRS on board.

The music player of the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
The music player of the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review
The music player of the HTC Sensation - HTC Sensation Review

The music player of the HTC Sensation


As for video playback, with the 16:9 aspect ratio, video fits very well on the screen and HD video plays back without a hitch. It needs to be encoded in MP4 format to play on the native player, though 3rd party apps such as Rockplayer play back other formats smoothly. The device is also comfortable to hold in landscape for extended periods, so is easy to recommend as a PMP.

The gallery is HTC's standard gridded system, with some cool perks such as wireless network printing as well. Interaction with images is very predictable with pinch to zoom being silky smooth and images rendering instantly while looking great on the screen.


Internet, Connectivity and Software:

Web browsing on the HTC Sensation is superb. Thanks to the screen resolution, text is legible and crisp from the page overview, and pinching to zoom is quick and smooth. Pages load up very fast and Flash video plays back smoothly. Text reflows to fit the display, which does stagger the process of zooming slightly. That said, it makes the reading experience more enjoyable.

As far as connectivity goes, you’ve got quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G along with Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA functionality as well as an FM radio.

The GPS was extremely quick, finding our location almost instantaneously on first boot.

HDMI connectivity comes in the form of the MHL port, enabling HD content to be outputted via the microUSB port to a compatible HD TV. With compatible devices, this will simultaneously export visuals and charge your handset, while non-compatible devices will only export visuals.

HTC offers a mix of new and old applications in its Sensation, including:

  • Connected Media (DLNA)
  • Flashlight
  • Friend Stream (Aggregates Twitter and Facebook updates)
  • HTC Hub (Downloadable personalizations)
  • HTC Likes (Suggested applications)
  • Mirror
  • Music
  • News (RSS)
  • Peep (Twitter)
  • Polaris Office (free version)
  • Soundhound (free version)
  • Stocks
  • Teeter (game)
  • Watch
  • Weather

Preinstalled applications - HTC Sensation Review
Preinstalled applications - HTC Sensation Review
Preinstalled applications - HTC Sensation Review

Preinstalled applications


The latest noteworthy addition to the HTC Sense app arsenal is Watch. This is a streaming video service that enables buying and renting of movies and episodes of your favourite TV shows. Movies cost £3.49 to rent or £9.99 to buy, while episodes are bought at £1.49 each.

The video streaming service Watch - HTC Sensation Review
The video streaming service Watch - HTC Sensation Review
The video streaming service Watch - HTC Sensation Review
The video streaming service Watch - HTC Sensation Review

The video streaming service Watch



72 Comments
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posted on 01 Jun 2011, 09:36 2

1. desire (unregistered)


so it means it's better than galaxy s2 for the normal consumers and the masses...!!

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 09:58 4

2. snowgator (Posts: 3599; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


I don't think so. I think the review just means the Galaxy S2 and Sensation are dead even- the screen is better for viewing and at angles and benchmarks a little better on the S2, the build more solid and the UI more polished for the HTC. Cannot go wrong with either handset. Very happy for T-Mobile consumers. Hoping AT&T and Verizon grab a similar handset for them. (Sprint, you already have the EVO 3D. No fair grabing another one.)

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 03:20

40. Evolution (unregistered)


If anything, I got from the review that the Samsung galaxy S2 has a slightly faster processor (according to benchmark scores) and better display and viewing angles and its bootloader is unlocked for installing custom ROMS. Not sure how you came to that conclusion.. ?

Seems like hardware & specs-wise Samsung galaxy S2 is more powerful, but the Sense 3.0 User Interface is more complete than Touchwiz.

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 07:12 1

42. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


real world performance is negligable. though if your a benchmark guy, the SGS2 cant be beat right now.
the SGS2 wins in
screen
performance tests
battery
customization/rooting
camera software.

since thats just about every major category. lol. the sensation is by no means a slouch though nor a bad phone in any category, the SGS2 is just that far ahead in tech. The old dual core snapdragon is a generation behind the dual core exynos in archetecture design which is why its so poor on battery and not as powerful.

And PA, Why the hell do you keep trying to throw an iphone into every article? If android is not for a reader, they probably wouldnt be reading this article anyways. Seriously..

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 13:09

48. LionStone (Posts: 752; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


I agree, so lame...this being a review for the hTc Sensation..."but if you don't want this great phone, how 'bout an ip?!"

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 14:16

51. TyDeL (unregistered)


Haha, the Iphone remark at the end of every review always makes me laugh.

"btw, after you just read through an exhaustive, 5 page, in-depth review of this Android phone, there's always the Iphone!"

Really, if you want an Iphone, you're not going to be bothered reading about Android phones, you're not even going to be reading reviews, you're going to blindly take the one option that Apple feeds you.

posted on 30 Jul 2011, 18:40

72. ladyhaly (Posts: 106; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


If you look into another article with a blind test done by PhoneArena in order to pit the devices' picture quality output against each other, you would know that you are wrong and that the Samsung Galaxy S II has the worst camera among all the high-end phones as of today as I'm typing this.

And no, that's not every category. You forgot the User Interface. If I was after a benchmarks and speed, I'd go for the Galaxy S II but I'm actually after an intuitive device that would bend towards my will and do the things I want to do. Out of the box, that is.

Unfortunately, Samsung isn't it. And oh, I also hate how Samsung uses plastic and how it makes the device light. Some people may like light devices--- I prefer devices with a more solid feel to them. Something that would feel premium in my hand. Something that won't go off and slip from my fingers because it's so light like a feather.

Basically, it all comes down to personal preference.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 09:59

3. Your name here (unregistered)


I am so gonna get this phone!... I get excited only looking at it.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 10:02

4. seeds (Posts: 48; Member since: 13 Apr 2011)


what about bootloader ?
locked or not ?
up there just said unlocled for sammy

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 03:27

41. Evolution (unregistered)


The bootloader is locked on this device.

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 14:20

52. TyDeL (unregistered)


Now that HTC is changing their stance on bootloaders, does anyone know if they plan to unlock future sales of the Sensation anytime soon? Or is this phone just doomed to have a locked bootloader forever?

posted on 30 Jul 2011, 16:07

71. Calvin (unregistered)


im sure this has been answered by now. But yes in fact i think most of the ones coming out of the box now should be unlocked and the other ones should be unlocked through an update.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 10:15 9

5. AndroidTroll (Posts: 359; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)


This was a great review until it mentioned the iPhone 4 at the end. Seriously PA wtf!?! I swear they get paid by Apple everytime they mention it in a phone review. It is just so random and irrelevent how they manage to throw it in at the end of every Android phone review. To PA: no one who is reading this review of the Sensation gives a flying fuck about iPhone 4!

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 10:20 3

6. xenover (Posts: 174; Member since: 27 May 2011)


iPhone 4 is nothing in comparison to any dual-core device.
I think your right that phonearena gets paid everytime they say "iPhone 4"

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 14:14 1

20. iwebdroidberry7 (Posts: 230; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


So what do people buy if the don't want an Android phone? You understand that everyone does not want an Android device right?

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 14:23 5

21. jrocka01 (Posts: 19; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


If they're not interested in an Android device then why the hell are they reading the review for one? Everyone who doesn't live under a rock knows what the iPhone 4 is. There's no point in mentioning it in an Android review. Did they list alternatives(Android, WM7, etc.) in the iPhone review?

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 14:33 3

23. jrocka01 (Posts: 19; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


All they mention in the i4 review is screen size differences.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 15:45 5

26. iwebdroidberry7 (Posts: 230; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


Yeah they do mention android in iPhone reviews. Go read the 1st paragraph of the Verizon iPhone review.

"If they're not interested in an Android device then why the hell are they reading the review for one?"

Thats what reviews are for. To show consumers the products so they don't have to go out and buy something they don't want. If someone reads the review and decides they don't like android then its helpful to list alternatives. And they did mention other Android phones as alternatives

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 22:13 1

34. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)


You speak truth. Let's see how many thumbs up you get.

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 09:24

43. jrocka01 (Posts: 19; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


I read the one for AT&T and I edited my statement. You said:

So what do people buy if the don't want an Android phone?

If you don't want an Android phone why bother reading the review for one? I never wanted and Iphone, which is why I didn't know every detail of the review. Should have checked before I posted though.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 23:05 2

38. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


its windows PHONE 7... and why do u people get so upset they mentioned the iphone? did it hurt u in some way?

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 09:28 2

44. jrocka01 (Posts: 19; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


Don't think anyone's THAT upset. It's just annoying sometimes how everyone is so smitten with Apple products and just overlook their shortcomings. I rarely hear mention of the lack of SD slot in Apple devices. Some of these review #s seem biased. How does the Sensation only get a 9, really?

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 10:27 3

7. john (unregistered)


apple brainwashed him to like apple product till dead, wake up pa

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 10:39 5

8. jeck77 (Posts: 25; Member since: 09 Dec 2010)


Seriously, grow up people. This is a phone blog, and he's giving comparisons. He mentions the iPhone 4, but doesn't say anything about it to attempt to sway anyone towards that direction. All of you are so quick to jump on the, "He's an Apple fanboy!" bandwagon, that none of you stop and attempt to use your brains. Trying to look cool on the internet doesn't make you cool in real life, it just makes you that much more pathetic.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 11:07 7

11. AndroidTroll (Posts: 359; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)


I have used my brain and it concluded that the iPhone 4 should not be mentioned in this review because it is a single core, small screen, non 4G, non Android, last year's tech POS device that is completely out of its realm when compared to the Sensation!!

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 14:13 4

19. iwebdroidberry7 (Posts: 230; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


How DARE you speak with any logic at all on PhoneArena?!!!

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 14:26 2

22. jrocka01 (Posts: 19; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


That's a load of S%^T!!! There are no comparisons in the iPhone 4 review.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 14:37

24. jrocka01 (Posts: 19; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


The i4 review does compare screen sizes. And jeck77, chill out dude. Like you said it's a phone blog. Insults aren't necessary.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 18:11 2

33. jeck77 (Posts: 25; Member since: 09 Dec 2010)


Everyone has opinions, and are entitled to them. My thing is that people want so bad to look cool on the internet, that they will jump all over someone who even mentions anything in regards to the iPhone. I've owned every smartphone platform out there (other than Win7) and I've owned countless Android phones, and a currently have an iPhone 4 on Verizon. Android has many advantages and disadvantages, as does the iPhone. Guess that means I'm being paid by Apple since I just made a comparison too.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 22:14

35. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)


Much agreed. The slightest mention of the iPhone means you're a mindless Apple sheep. Seriously?

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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, Dual-core, 1200 MHz, Scorpion processor
0.75 GB 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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