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HTC Sensation Review

HTC Sensation 4G

Posted: , posted by Basil K.

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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 HTC Sensation has HTC Sense 3.0 on top of Gingerbread - HTC Sensation Review
The HTC Sensation has HTC Sense 3.0 on top of Gingerbread - HTC Sensation Review
The HTC Sensation has HTC Sense 3.0 on top of Gingerbread - HTC Sensation Review
The HTC Sensation has HTC Sense 3.0 on top of Gingerbread - HTC Sensation Review

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 widgets on the homescreen - HTC Sensation Review
The widgets on the homescreen - HTC Sensation Review
The widgets on the homescreen - HTC Sensation Review
The widgets on the homescreen - HTC Sensation Review

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 personalizations 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 of the HTC Sensation can be customized - HTC Sensation Review
The lock screen of the HTC Sensation can be customized - HTC Sensation Review
The lock screen of the HTC Sensation can be customized - HTC Sensation Review
The lock screen of the HTC Sensation can be customized - HTC Sensation Review

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.

Notifications - HTC Sensation Review
Quick settings - HTC Sensation Review

Notifications

Quick settings



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 therefore offers more than just Android, expanding functionality and ease of use out of the box thanks to Sense 3.0.

Of course, HTC's Sense 3.0 UI on top of Android delivers a fantastic messaging experience as well. When we couple the outstanding HTC QWERTY keyboard with the Sensation's giant 4.3" screen, it indeed makes for a compelling texting solution, when in landscape mode, that is. Email is as easy to set as it is on every other high-end Android smartphone out there - just input your username and password for the popular services, while custom accounts will require you to enter additional details. The Gmail app is of course very good, offering loads of options for its users.

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HTC Sensation 4G

HTC Sensation 4G

OS: Android 4.0.3 2.3.4 2.3
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
9Excellent
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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