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HTC Sensation Review

HTC Sensation 4G 9

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HTC Sensation Review
This is the area we've noticed most concern recently. With reports that benchmarks don't live up to those set by the Samsung Galaxy S II, we're happy to rest your mind at ease - the HTC Sensation's plenty fast. We didn't experience slowdown throughout our time with the handset.

Of the 750MB of RAM, our unit had 558MB user available and benchmarks see scores tipping in the Samsung Galaxy S II’s favour. Thanks to the unlocked bootloader, Samsung’s offering would also be easier for enthusiasts to root and install custom ROMs. Having said that, the practical side by side experience of tasks such as web browsing, phone usage and movie watching results in no difference in terms of speed, but we do prefer the user experience offered by HTC Sense.

With the most demanding part of the handset therefore, 1080p video capture and playback being pretty flawless, the tangible results speak well for the HTC Sensation’s power.

In-call quality on the HTC Sensation is very good indeed. With the length and shape of the phone, it feels comfortable and the speaker sits well against the ear, with sound emitted from it being clear and audible. When speaking on the device, the receiver on the other end reported clear, crisp audio quality and signal strength was average to good when compared with other handsets.

As far as battery goes, with an 8.25 hour talk time and 15 days standby, you can expect a day out of this handset with moderate usage. While this is an improvement over the HTC Desire HD, it’s definitely one of the handset’s weaker areas.


HTC strikes a fantastic balance in the HTC Sensation. It has the build quality design, the UI and the power under the hood to check all the boxes. The question everyone wants answered is: is it better than the Samsung Galaxy S II? To that we'd say, potentially, it could be better for you. With both being great bits of kit that really push the boat out in terms of power and usability, the HTC Sensation's Sense 3.0 UI feels more considered and complete than Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0. We also like the fact that the build feels considerably more solid, while the qHD screen manages to output sharper looking picture visuals. That said, many will still prefer the thinner form factor and punchier display of the Galaxy S II. It's safe to say that neither would be a disappoining choice, with these handsets being amongst the best on the market today.

Alternatively, if you want the wider aspect ratio of the HTC Sensation crossed with the sleekness of the Samsung Galaxy S II, Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc is another beautiful Android handset. If, however, Android isn't for you, the iPhone 4 presents an extremely polished experience as well, with a host of great apps to boot.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Baseband 10.42.9007.00U_10.11.9007.15_M
Build Number CL6633 release-keys

HTC Sensation Video Review:


  • Great aluminium construction
  • qHD Screen is very sharp
  • Sense 3.0 looks great


  • Could be bulky for some
  • Viewing angles could be better
  • Battery life could be longer
PhoneArena rating:
9 Excellent
User rating:
8 33 Reviews

  • Options

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: 3604; 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: 14604; 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
performance tests
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: 838; 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
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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