HTC Sensation XL Review
We have a new camera interface in Sense 3.5 with almost instant shot-to-shot times. Features are similar to the ones before, and we also have the HDR and Panorama modes.
The Panorama mode is the quickest of all integrated solutions we've tried so far on Sony Ericsson and Samsung handsets, and beats even standalone apps in ease of use. You just pan left or right, following the dotted line on the screen that connects three circles where the phone takes a picture, and that's it – a Panorama stitch in less than ten seconds.
Considering its good resolution and the BSI sensor, we expected to see some of the better photos out there, but we actually see some of the worse. As you can see in our samples, often times there are unfocused spots, and color reproduction is very inaccurate, with heavy purple overcast in most photos. This problem is not as evident in low-contrast images (see the photo of the red building). We hope this is a software problem and it will be fixed with future update, but what we test is a retail unit that anyone can buy, so we can't be positive. Details are mediocre, and there is lots of noise even during the day. This was not the brightest day, but it still should have performed better.
indoor tests, there is no evidence of the purple “ghosting”, but the performance is mediocre again. Color reproduction is not accurate (yellowish), and so is the detail. The flash performs OK from the 2 meters (6.5 feet) the samples are taken from, but this image has lots of noise.
720p HD video is also not on par with the better phones nowadays. Detail is scarce, and the image is less fluid when you pit it against handsets with a frame rate of 30. The stereo microphones pick up lots of ambient noise, as with all Sensation handsets.
HTC Sensation XL Sample Video:
HTC Sensation XL Indoor Sample Video:
Its good features are the fact that it allows you to zoom or touch-to-focus while filming. A new add-on is the 2x Slow Motion mode, which results in cool slow-mo with 800х480 definition, and no sound recording.
HTC Sensation XL Slow Motion Sample Video:
The Music app has a new, more streamlined interface, with less clutter and more minimalistic buttons for feature access, compared to Sense 3.0. What we don’t have, however, are any new features but the Beats Audio sound profile, which pumps the decibels and emphasizes the bass and high trebles, bringing the signature Beats by Dre sound to your tunes. Let's not forget that this is a software effort, and the audio hardware is the same as in any other handset with this Snapdragon processor.
The best part of having of Beats Audio handset are, of course, the high-quality in-ear headphones that come with it, which are the best set we've seen bundled with a cell phone. They are the iBeats with HTC in-line control (prev/next and play/pause), and come in white in the HTC Sensation XL case. The loudspeaker outs a pretty rich sound, but with slight voice hissing when at full volume. Even maxed out, however, the volume is pretty average.
We have a more functional video player now, which, besides embedded DivX/Xvid HD video support, allows you to trim the clips directly from the interface, or turn on Beats Audio from there. We could even play an HD file in the Matroska .MKV container, which was fluid, but the player couldn’t run the sound as well.
1. Thomas5.3 (Posts: 37; Member since: 30 Oct 2011)
this design in combination with the rezound specs would be perfect for me.
2. u-suck-more (Posts: 529; Member since: 26 Aug 2011)
At first glance, the front of this phone looks like the LG Optimus Black white color
3. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
PROS: Good looking, Great Design, Better Screen Size............................
CONS: Everything else...................
4. buggerrer (Posts: 288; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)
how is the screen ? if you comare it to Super AMOLED plus ?
5. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
it's super lcd 800x480.. it's like an EVO 4G screen, streched to 4.7".
8. buggerrer (Posts: 288; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)
I know its a SLCD .. but many people said it got a gorgeous screen .. its like they developed the SLCD technology and made it brighter and more colorful like the Super AMOLED
9. mico85 (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
I really don´t understand this guys who reviewed the Htc Sensation Xl. How is it possible the with the given specs of the 8mp cam with betters lens and sensor be so awful at taking photos, even inferior to the 8mp cam of the Sensation Xe without the upgraded lens and sensor?!?
What´s even more mysterious, is that in any other review of the Htc Sensation Xl, all reviewers state that the camera is top notch, only the guys here in phonearena think otherwise. Just read the recent review from "Recombu" and is completely different from the one posted today from Phonearena with such negative aspects of the phone.
Can someone enlighten me? Wich reviews are right or wrong? Is it true that the Htc Sensation Xl camara is weaker than the one in Htc Sensation Xe?
Can anyone confirm Phonearena claims? Because I would like to have this phone, and if this is true, i may prefer swapping it for an Htc Sensation XE!!!
15. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
We have included full-size, untouched photos, straight from the XL's camera. We don't even add our watermark logo, so they are not edited in any way.
All samples are taken in "full auto" unless mentioned
Let you be the judge.
10. Galaxys2...R (Posts: 46; Member since: 04 Oct 2011)
I have played with this phone today for a while and depsite the screen resolution it really isnt that bad tbh and I am getting this phone over the XE version because I like the the big screen its nice.
11. mico85 (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
I like it too, very much, the build quality, best htc phone to date, with the Solo Beats Bundle, very nice, great screen for its size, but if phonearena claims about photo quality are reliable, thats very annoying for me, because I can overlook the fact that the resolution is low and dont have micro sd slot, but if the camera is weak too and video footage is mediocre compared with the Sensation XE, I really prefer the second, which is good looking too, do you understand my point of view " Galaxys2...R ?!?
12. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)
Where is the Titan review if you don't mind me asking? And with this and the Titan being almost the same, would you all please do a comparison video with them?
13. mico85 (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
Spec wise, Xl and Titan are the same, even more in the camera department, maybe Phonearena should explain why the review unit of the sensation xl, they claim in the review as a retail one, how on heart can produce so bad quality photos and video capture? Cos the photos are all washed out, full of noise, video also the same, and as Htc said when of the announcement of the Sensation Xl, that is was their best camera ever produced to date, so this seem all weird. Maybe phonearena messed up with the configuration of the camera, but the fact is that the results are worse than the one in Sensation XL based on the review of Phonearena!!! I don´t understand how and why can this be possible!!!
14. username (Posts: 25; Member since: 05 Nov 2011)
bring it stateside, and you got yourself a deal!
16. mico85 (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
Phonearena, I compared your review on the Sensation Xl with the one on Sensation Xl, and I must say now that some photos in the XE are worse than the one´s on Xl based in the two reviews you have made on both handsets, but I think Is a bold claim, saying the Xl cam is medicore, when I see poor results either in the XE review, and the 1080p footage of the XE is even jerkier than the one presented in the review of the XL. You claim in the Xe review that the camera could be better, when I see poor results either like the XL, even worse in some photos, and than when we come across the Xl review, you say Cam is mediocre, Video is medicore, you\'re overreacting. I urge you, to test another retail model, tune the configurations a bit, and take photos again, because i saw in other reviews with factual proof as well, that the quality is not the one presented in your reviews, is way better. Maybe the unit you tested has some sort of defect, I think you must me sure of your claims regarding the camera, because that can mislead many buyers who are eager to buy this new beautiful machine, I just want the truth, nothing more.
17. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
Instead of releasing a new phone every week with a slightly different feature, why not release them altogether in one package?
I mean in the last like 5 weeks there have been the;
1. HTC Amaze 4G - Great camera
2. HTC Sensation XE - Nice design and colours
3. HTC Sensation XL - Nice big screen and good looks
4. HTC Rhyme - Thunderbolt for the ladies
5. HTC Design 4G - Ok midranger which no one cares about
6. HTC Vivid - Nice video recording!
7. HTC Rezound- Great screen but played out design
If you guys pay attention you will notice that HTC is releasing their phones in only 2 form factors, like a Sensation 4G (Amaze, Sensation XE/XL) or like an EVO 3D (Rhyme, Design 4G, Vivid and Rezound.
I really don't see the need to release either the Rhyme, Design 4G, Vivid, or Sensation XL.
This thing is the exact same as the XE but more feminine, with a bigger screen but lowly single-core processor.
4.3'' is enough for anyone if you think about it it is 84% of the size of this screen (I calculated)
And WVGA? wtf they can release phones with 720p screens and this one is WVGA? They could have at least made it qHD.
This thing has a ppi of around 200 which is really poor for a hign-end handset.
On the good side this looks as if it can do photos pretty well, hurray!
18. bubble (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Nov 2011)
Check out my early review of this phone on my blog:
Lots of info and pictures :)
19. adzadz (Posts: 3; Member since: 08 Aug 2011)
I only just recently added this phone to my budding collection :)
The only things that I could add to this review (which is pretty spot on) is that some international markets are not getting the phone with the in-ear earbuds but Solo Beats by Dr. Dre, which is what I recieved - these are a completely different beast to the in-ear buds you guys reviewed. Also I was sure that I read somewhere that the Beats customisation was not just Software based - but was also mixed with hardware more deeply than the XE???
Overall I'm quite happy with the sounds produced - using it as more of a music/multimedia player while my GSII remains my main phone
21. chaki- (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Mar 2012)
Well, i wanna car that can cook, do laundry, do bl**jobs and etc..... Guys come on! Thats a phone. If you like it you buy it. I had nokia N8, Iphone 4, SE Vivaz and many others. For android i was excited and took the time to see everything thats on the market. Well at first wanted to byu a Samsung Galaxy S2, but there where countless software boundries that i didnt like. Always was some problem that occured. Yes the HTC Sens XL is not the best but hey they are like laptops, every month comes something new out. For pics i have digital camera, for video i have pc and for fun on the way i have the HTC. Playing games on big screen is superb. Watching TV stream, great. Listen to great music when do exercise, excellent! If i listen to all the reviwes i will never find something good. And probably never buy a smartphone.......
|Display||4.7 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (199 ppi) S-LCD|
Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM8255, Single core, 1500 MHz
768 MB RAM
|Size||5.20 x 2.78 x 0.39 inches|
(132 x 70.7 x 9.9 mm)
5.73 oz (162 g)
|Battery||1600 mAh, 11.83 hours talk time|