HTC Sense 4.0 hands-on

HTC Sense 4.0 hands-on
Through its evolution, HTC continues to be one of the main players in the Android space that constantly dishes up one of the best customized experiences out there. Now that the cats have been let out of the bag, we bet that many of you are dying to know exactly how the new HTC Sense 4.0 experience stacks up now that it’s running on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

So what can we say about it overall? Well, it undoubtedly remains faithful to the presentation and design language of previous Sense versions, but from what we can gather so far, the improvements with it are found mostly in its functionality. Let’s start with the lock screen, which has been untouched seeing we’re greeted with the useful quick function of launching specific apps. Simply, it’s accomplished by dropping the specific icon into the ring – so yeah nothing new there per se.

Wth the homescreen, it’s laid in panels and again employs that neat 3D effect when navigating between them. Interestingly though, Sense 4.0 forgoes having the usual set of Android on-screen buttons integrated with the stock ICS interface, but rather, it seems as though devices will be sporting separate ones. Overall, there aren’t any dramatic changes found with the look of the homescreen, but we’re irked to find that the 3D carousel animation has been removed entirely – you know, the one that comes up when you swipe very quickly.

Placing our attention on some of its core organizer apps, like the calendar and contacts, there isn’t a whole lot different with its appearance on the surface, but there is a new animation as we swipe between the tabs. Furthermore, with the calendar, there are pinch gestures in use that enable us to expand/minimize specific appointments.

Above all, the camera app with Sense 4.0 has been overhauled by essentially simplifying things. Rather than having separate ones for taking photos and videos, the two have been integrated to one as the right edge houses the shutter and video capture buttons. Of course, there are a ton of scene and shooting modes to appease even the most hardened photo buffs out there, but its most outstanding new feature, which we’ve seen in play with the HTC One X for AT&T, is the fact that it can shoot a consecutive set of photos by holding down the shutter key. Once they’re taken, we jump into preview mode that displays the entire set of shots taken, and from there, it asks us to select the “best shot” out of the bunch. Once we make a selection, we're given the option of deleing the other photos – to cut down on memory consumption naturally. Additionally, we can snap photos while simultaneously while shooting full 1080p videos.

Well, there are still more things found with the new interface, but don’t forget to check out our video hands-on below to see it all in action. To put in perspective, there’s plenty to like about HTC Sense 4.0 thus far, and we’ll surely check it out more in depth once devices are launched.



1. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

The new sense 4.0 is the best skin avaliable as always i love it. It kills touchwhiz and motoblur.

3. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

for the ICS skins i think the optimus ui is the best so far. no bloat, just improvements.

9. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Optimus and touchwiz are to cartoonish for me and motblur to mechanical sense however is really natural elegant and simple. Its the standard for all skins.

2. bvalde09

Posts: 191; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

At first glancedoesnt seen that much, But when look into it seems pretty nice. They did a good job toward it but I would say it is not a must have phone for me

4. joseg81

Posts: 204; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

sadly it looks nothing like ICS to me. does anybody agree?

11. Rayzin

Posts: 83; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Well that's the fun thing about Android isn't it? This may be a stock phone with sense but you can make it look and feel however you want at any second can't you? That's what I love most about android, customization to the nth degree.

12. bayhuy

Posts: 320; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

No. ICS is NOT a theme. You think HOLO=ICS. Wrong.

13. joseg81

Posts: 204; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

what i meant is i was expecting more but i think it barely differs from my amaze i have now. mayb a lil more cleaned up and running smoother but i was thinking they'd give it facelift the way they did with the devices. no hate just i was expecting more. and i understand that sense is a skin, honestly if u don't know that by now u must be living under a rock. i have owned 6 different android devices. love them all and will always go with HTC. i also customize mine to no end...right now i'm running go launcher ex on my htc amaze.

15. Rayzin

Posts: 83; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Well in that case I agree completely. It doesn't look like sense has changed much. It would have been cool if they went in a whole new direction but it still looks much smoother atleast then before.

16. Mario1017

Posts: 336; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

so whats this "more" you where expecting? what did you want? and you have only seen a few of the apps...not evrrything

18. joseg81

Posts: 204; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

what the hell u getting ur panties in a bunch over? it looks the same and hasn't changed much. "but i was thinking they'd give it facelift the way they did with the devices." read my entire comment before you bitch or do i have to draw u a picture of what i was expecting? this article is about sense not apps. i was commenting on sense. apps n sense are 2 different things. i don't have to see the apps to know what this version of sense looks like.

21. Mario1017

Posts: 336; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

Im the one getting my panties in a bunch? i asked you a simple question, what where you expecting. And yes you have to see the apps because sense is the apps and how they look and work. if you didnt see any apps you would be looking at the home screen, lockscreen, and nothing else. dont be so dumb. And what the f**k would the point of reading your comment again do? And I guess you do have to draw me a picture of what i was expecting, that was my only comment and all you could reply back was how im bitching and telling me to read your comment again...really?

5. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Good video PA,im certainly considering this as my next phone. We received a notice in work for this phone becoming available for us to sell so hopefully ill have my hands on a demo model soon!!

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 31328; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The most Impressive feature is multitasking so far. The rest is ok,it's a pretty phone though. Still gotta see the gs3,and iPhone 5 before I decide.

7. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

have to admit have never liked sense but this looks quite good...anyone that complains it doesnt look like ics well guess what its not suppose to look like ics...ics stock itself is just a launcher in it self..its all but the work done under the hood like hw accelaration,battery effieciency etc that really counts in ics.

8. danwatson

Posts: 117; Member since: Jan 03, 2012

Other than the dock, it's not bad.

10. Rayzin

Posts: 83; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I love how people test these phones like someone on crack using it. I know why they test it like that but it's just funny to see them so frantic with their fingers and making all kinds of accidental button presses. USE IT NORMALLY!

14. beatsandmelody

Posts: 109; Member since: Nov 01, 2011

"but we’re irked to find that the 3D carousel animation has been removed entirely" Sweet, I'm glad it's gone. Of course, I'll be going with full AOSP as soon as it's stable....

17. Cwebb

Posts: 501; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

For the short amount of time I was using the horrid default launcher, I hated it. It was way too sensative and didn't accomplish anything. And for the 3D its as good as it will get until the actual camera/3D/wimax stuff from the official update

20. Profit-1989

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Does Anyone Know Whether the HTC One X Have Or Support Arabic Language?

22. A.aoudi

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

Sense has always made SENSE.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

I would really like to see the webpage browsing experience. I have noticed that every single reviewer on multiple websites only slide through homescreens. Are they not allowed to do anything else?

24. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

if i'm not mistaken, the browser is a stock android browser, but with a different launcher icon.. so i guess it will be the same as those running stock ICS browser..

25. samshenton13

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 05, 2011

When is this coming to HTC Sensation

26. richardyarrell2011

Posts: 510; Member since: Mar 16, 2011

Great looking device made by HTC looks like they really got serious with design and sense 4.0. I love my Galaxy Nexus it's the BEST stock experience on any device on the market but this is looking VERY CLEAN from HTC. Let's see what SAMSUNG has for us in the next few month's I'm sure we will see the GALAXY S3 as well as possibly another GALAXY NOTE 2 arriving all to Verizon by July 2012...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.