HTC Sensation vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Sensation both have feature-packed camera interfaces and very fast shot-to-shot times. The icons on the Galaxy S II are a tad larger and thus easier to press, but still the camera interface is kept minimalistic and pretty. The HTC Sensation, on the other hand, is more functional, offering a rich, visualized range of color effects to apply with the touch of a button, whereas the Galaxy S II strength is more scene modes, if anyone bothers with those before snapping a picture with their smaprtphones.
The camera lens on the Samsung Galaxy S II has a much wider field of view than the one on the HTC Sensation; it fits more scene in the frame, especially when the phones are held in portrait mode. Both handsets capture enough details, but the pictures from the HTC Sensation have more contrast applied to them, and thus look sharper and with punchier colors than the ones from the Samsung Galaxy S II, which, in their turn, are colder than the real deal.
If we get out of the bright sun, though, the software running the HTC Sensation’s camera starts to aggressively clear up the noise and oversharpen the photo, which takes its toll on some fine detail. Besides the more natural looks, the Samsung Galaxy S II also gets more pictures with wide dynamic range right. Moreover, it seems that the HTC Sensation’s software algorithms are always hard at work trying to sharpen this element or blur that background, with often mixed, unnatural results.
Moreover, the Sensation sports live tap-to-focus while filming, similar to the iPhone 4, which is quite a handy feature, and works when capturing 1080p videos, too. It sports autofocus only before you’ve started filming, so the tap-to-focus feat while shooting a video actually becomes very useful.
Videos captured with the Samsung Galaxy S II run slightly smoother. However, the ability to use tap-to-focus and digital zoom while shooting in Full HD 1080p with the HTC Sensation might offset the Galaxy S II's advantages for certain users.
Finally, the HTC Sensation's video seems sharper than what the Galaxy S II offers, which is fine in our books, although some may find it a bit too much..
HTC Sensation Sample Video:
Samsung Galaxy S II Sample Video:
HTC Sensation Indoor Sample Video:
Samsung Galaxy S II Indoor Sample Video:
When it comes to playing video, the Samsung Galaxy S II is the clear leader, with hardwired support for most major codecs up to Full HD 1080p definition, and due to the sheer vivid brilliance of the Super AMOLED Plus display for watching movies. The Sensation plays 1080p MPEG-4 files with no issues, but for high-definition DivX/Xvid files, or the popular .MKV format you will have to hit Android Market. Full HD 1080P Divx/Xvid files are not even been indexed as playable in the All Videos section of the Gallery, and HD 720p ones are hit-or-miss.
The default HTC video player has some SRS surround sound perks in loudspeaker mode, which deepen the base a bit, but in terms of functionality it can’t match the excellent player on the Galaxy S II, which has been born with video playback in mind, and won’t make you look for alternatives in Android Market, except if you want to loop something.
When music playback is concerned, the Samsung Galaxy S II also has the upper hand, with its native support for the lossless FLAC format, and less wimpy speaker. The surround sound mode on the HTC Sensation can be used in speaker mode as well, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S II, which only allows its mock 5.1 channel surround when the supplied handset is plugged in. The Galaxy S II, however, lets you apply equalizer presets while listening through the speaker, whereas on the HTC Sensation they only work in headset mode.
1. kae (unregistered)
Both of them are very good phones but what about the SAR levels. Which one is lower?
2. Cyborg (unregistered)
alas! no mention of iPhone 4. lol
6. Sevule (unregistered)
Alas Cyborg you are wrong.
"and you can swipe to the respective app in charge directly from the lock screen itself, similar to what Apple will offer in its fall iOS 5 collection." Now I see why there are allegations that Phonearena is paid by Apple to promote their products. Pray tell what the relationship is between a feature available now in android and what would be available in ios 4/5 months from now? And what is the relevance of mentioning this unavailable ios feature in an article comparing the 2 top android phones(that have the feature)???
7. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
LOL i know its like they cant write an article without the word apple in it...they will mention apple regardless if its relevant in which this case its not. also iphonearena did not make a big fuss about accessing notifications such as messages and miss calls directly from the lockscreen on the galaxy s2 but now that iphone will get it in like 4/5 months time its all of a sudden a big deal..would not be surprised if there job is to promote apple and its products.
17. medalaster1 (unregistered)
Guys guys know something the original apple iphone in 2007 was a revolution that everyone on earth wanted to get their hands on, back then android didn't even exist,its a legend and phone arena is really fans of what had happened in 2007 and android only matches ios from froyo or eclair may be, before that android had no chance and hundreds of android devices come out every year both Samsung, htc and others release hundreds of android mobiles before you are proud of your android device their will be an another android device with better specs and great benchmark scores, but iphone comes only onse a year and still the comparators try to keep up with hundreds of models
41. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
yes it was revolution back in 2007 and cant argue with you there and yes android probz would not exist in the way it is now but would have existed in some form but this is 2011 and apple is no longer and has not been for a while ''revolutionary'' as you like to say. have you seen ios5 lol you call the a revolution or is it kust catching up to android who has had most of those features for a AGES. yes android has plenty of hardware, it gives people CHOICE. with apple you have no choice, if you want ios and the latest hardware you have to get iphone 4 whether you like the design or not. but to be honest the iphone is one of the best looking handset if not the best lol thats why i got the iphone 4 for its look. you cannot say giving consumers a choice is a negative.
38. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
and just for reference, there has been an app on the market for months now that adds shortcuts to your lock screen.
Also, beautiful widgets has had the weather changing background for like what.. a year or 2 now.
give me power, battery life, viewing beauty, and extra connectivity over some use of tin and a highly animated overlay.
3. protozeloz (Posts: 5387; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
glad to see this kinds of comparisons between phones, its really nice for a change... keep it up :D
4. Winny (unregistered)
Amazing comparison... Really cool..
Thanks to phonearena !!!
5. uzair (unregistered)
hey i wanted to ask you guys that if i download some other offline maps on galaxy s 2 would i be able to use as we can use it on sensation
8. AndroidTroll (Posts: 359; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)
Great article that will be very helpful for many. I wish writers would pay more attention to storage read/write speeds. I want to know what class microsd card the Sensation ships with? I would imagine it would have to have a 6 in order to do 1080p video.
9. WirelessCon (Posts: 309; Member since: 11 May 2010)
Phonearena needs more of these Arena Versus comparisons.
10. Johnabis (Posts: 57; Member since: 17 Feb 2011)
where is your Evo 3D review? about 6 other sites has there review up already.
11. RushFan2112 (unregistered)
Will both phones have Swype capability? The current Galaxy S does and I imagine the Galaxy S II also does (can you confirm?)
15. ph00ny (Posts: 668; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I can confirm that swype is included in GS II
12. MIP (unregistered)
This comparison, though extensive, overcomplicates the matter; I think the choice is easier than that:
13. Piotrek007 (Posts: 94; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)
GSM Arena also put new comparing between those two ! Its awesome !
14. jroc74 (Posts: 5274; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
2 days of light use is nice for the Sensation.....it will get overshadowed by the 62 hours of light use in the GS2 tho.
16. jroc74 (Posts: 5274; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Like I mentioned in another article, the rated talk times give a good indication of overall battery life.
The Sensation having 2 hours less talk time than the GS2...for some reason battery life isnt one of HTC's strong points.
And I'm a function over form guy.....thats why I would pick Android again any day over other phones in the market...
18. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)
Nice comparison i like!! i may get the sensation for a bit untill the sgs2 comes out then move up!!
19. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 407; Member since: 24 May 2011)
i cudnt choose the winner until he said hat galaxy s2 was like a bmw z4 and sensation was more of merc e-class......im going for the sportier one..
20. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3050; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
I can see phonearena start having to do what phonedog does in all their videos. Instead of promoting best buy phonearena will promote apple.
21. T-imm (unregistered)
The text reflow can be adjusted in the browser's settings...
31. Junior in Jamaica (unregistered)
I wondered because the text on the Samsung looked way too small to be useful.
But it is worth noting the Sensation does it out the box without need for tweaking so it still has the upper hand there. But good to note.
39. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
well i would not call it tweaking if its part of the phone. its the same as changing screen brightness but i know what you mean, that not everyone will know but once you go in the setting you cannot miss it to be honest. hopefully they bring automatic text reflow in an update.
22. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
Give it time and Motorola photon will slam the sgs2
24. Allday28 (Posts: 275; Member since: 19 Nov 2010)
Motorola phones are s**tty and laggy. Trust me i know I have one.
27. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)
yea the best android phones i have used are htc and samsung.. motorolas tend to be slow and glichy alot
28. jroc74 (Posts: 5274; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Change the launcher and lock screen and my Droid X before GB would disagree. My Droid X with GB definitely disagrees, even with stock launcher and lock screen.
My Droid 1 with Froyo would disagree also, also after changing the stock launcher.
That said, I think the GS2 will be the phone to beat. With some Motorola phone being a close 2nd, just like last year.
30. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
None of you havent even tried its new and improved UI so why all the hate and Bull sh_t
40. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
@luis_lopez_351 agree with you but thats the idea motorola have given people with motoblur., you cant really fault there hardware. its the same with samsung and how people say they never update there when infact they release update quicker than others in the UK. galaxy s or already has gingerbread where as phones such as desire still dont. they have already released 3 updates for the s2 but just like moto have given the impression of being laggy, samsung have the same problem with people thinking they dont support new updates. i think its a problem with the US carriers to be honest.
45. bucky (Posts: 1909; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
I sold my atrix and it wasnt that bad if you are coming from an iphone. I come from nexus 1/desire/desire z/hd2 and the locked bootloader coupled with motoblur brutal. Its almost like they want it suck.
Using the GS2 now and it has no faults-not even battery.
25. sgogeta4 (Posts: 393; Member since: 02 Feb 2011)
If you're going to make such a useless comment, at least post your reasoning so that you don't look like a complete tool.
26. root (unregistered)
Been owning both,sgs2 is the one to get.
I cashed the sensation though so in 6 months time its bye bye and hello new nexus ( I hope) . And 6 months after that time to chose from sgs3 and newest HTC hehe.
The cycle of androids continues ;)
29. LXH (unregistered)
the biggest difference between sensation and galaxySII is the resolution
qHD vs WVGA :D
46. bucky (Posts: 1909; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
qhd isnt that great...super amoled is a definite improvement.
47. jroc74 (Posts: 5274; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Even tho I do like Moto phones the best and all the new ones seem to have qHD...if I had to choose a screen right now it would be Super Amoled +.
Samsung learned from complaints last year about their Amoled screens and made adjustments to the new ones this year.
32. ahmedra2ol (Posts: 27; Member since: 01 Mar 2011)
Sure SGS2 yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh :D :D
33. don (unregistered)
i know that the OS can be upgraded in htc & samsung phones. BUt can the UI also be upgraded? is it usually free?
34. pranavmrane (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Jun 2011)
i know that OS is upgradeable on Samsung & HTC phones. is UI also upgradeable? does it cost some amount?
36. oddmanout (Posts: 441; Member since: 22 May 2009)
Don't worry bro. Updates never cost money. Aside from android being free and open source, the main reason for updates is to improve the functionality/performance of a phone. A good carrier and manufacturer will do there best to keep their products up to date with the latest version of software to please there buyers and attract more customers.
35. oddmanout (Posts: 441; Member since: 22 May 2009)
You mentioned in the video that HTC Sense couldn't aggregate facebook functions without jumping in the map but you can. All you had to do was scroll to the different icons on the bottom of the contacts page and you can see wall posts, pictures, and other information just as you can on the SGS II.
37. Funmap (unregistered)
I was always wondering where you are best, and now are finally know it :-)
43. TyDeL (unregistered)
I've been beating myself up over this decision for weeks now. This comparison hasn't helped much. ;)
I much rather prefer the heavier, aluminum form factor and higher res screen of the Sensation. HTC also has a better track record as a cell phone company. But seems like the SGS2 is better where it really counts with faster download speeds, faster processor, noise canceling microphone and better battery life.
If HTC doesn't hurry up with an unlocking bootloader solution, this will make my decision really easy though.
44. Pissed (unregistered)
Why the HELL did t-mobile have to go and put the crappiest software! TELENAV on a phone that was coming with TOM TOM enabled HTC Locations! I wonder what other sense 3.0 goodies we wont get because t-mobile is to dense to realize which phones are their best....see article on "exibit" being the marketing focus for summer! Redicuous
49. tmcr (unregistered)
Aluminum would make the phone heavier, and would therefore generate more impact upon dropping it to the ground. The result would be a broken phone in just a number of drops. Aside from that, the extraction of aluminum as raw materials creates more negative impacts to the environment. Is it worth destroying mountains of ecological areas for aluminum just to produce a so-called premium build material phone that easily breaks?
And one more thing: Death grip. HTC and iPhone4 has it. Both use aluminum.
50. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3050; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
I'm amazed by how narrow the EVO 3D and Sensation are. The EVO, Thunderbolt, Desire HD, Inspire are all much wider screens. I wonder if it is because of the qhd pixels or a new trend for HTC. HTC has always been known for their large and wide displays. The SGS2 looks much larger as far as screen size goes.
Still, this could make the phone easier to handle.
51. HTC needs displays (unregistered)
I'm almost certain that if HTC could come out with better displays, they would kill the other android devices. The only clear advantage Samsung has here is its display. Granted it's a big one. I just don't understand how one can compare Sense UI to TouchWiz....
52. guest89 (unregistered)
htc build quality and sense software with samsungs SAMOLED+ screen, innards such as camera and speaker would be the perfect device for me.
53. bucky (Posts: 1909; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
that soft finish htc have on their phones actually comes off with the slightest knick. I have the sgs2 and the plastic holds off scratches better than my old desire z
54. DG (unregistered)
The GS2 can reflow text if zoomed in then you double tap the text I wonder if iphonearena even know how to use the phones they review :-(
55. 3RingBinder (unregistered)
Great comparison and just in time. Thanks,
56. still confused (unregistered)
Which phone would be hands down to buy
58. Apple (unregistered)
What the f**k android ? it willnot lasts
59. lubbalots (unregistered)
Comparing the same OS with the same OS but different skin. Pathetic!
60. calleighL (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Aug 2011)
gyro bowl in stores
thanks for the comments, i'm also in the midst of getting either of these phones.
61. bob (unregistered)
What's an iPhone?