Performance:

Voice quality in the ear piece of the HTC Sensation XE is pretty svelte - loud and clear, while thanks to the plethora of noise-canceling mics on the back the other party said our voice sounded very natural and background noise got almost completely filtered out.

The 1730mAh battery is good for 7 hours and twenty minutes of talk time with 3G turned on, which is more than the original Sensation, and 540 hours of standby. In our daily usage of the handset we didn't notice anything unusual about the battery drain, despite the pumped up processor frequency in comparison with the first Sensation.

Conclusion:

We say kudos to HTC for trying to diversify the Android lineup branching into specialized smartphones like the audio-oriented Sensation XE, an upgrade to one already excellent flagship.

However, we are not impressed by the minor improvements. As there is nothing new in the audio-centric hardware or the music player, the only improvements are the great in-ear headphones bundled with the phone, and the Beats Audio mode, which some will not use. Considering the price difference between the XE and the original Sensation, you buy the headphones full price.

So should you buy the Sensation XE? It depends on what you are looking for. If you want the trendy Beats branding, then yes. However, if the music quality is what you seek, the XE doesn't do anything unique - you can get any phone and pair it with high quality headphones of your choice.
If you want a high-end HTC phone, but don't care about the earbuds quality, or have some other expensive set lying around, you can get the standard HTC Sensation for less than the XE.

The iPhone 4S has excellent audio hardware, records 1080p video, and you'll have the wonders of the App Store at your disposal. For truly good music experience, however, you would have to get better in-ear headphones than what's supplied in its box.

Alternatively, if you insist on Android high-end with a big screen, you can look at the Samsung Galaxy S II, which has proven to be one of the best Android pieces of hardware, and is thin and light, with Super AMOLED Plus display.

Software version of the reviewed unit: 1.73.401.2



Pros

  • Comes with a high quality set of headphones
  • Very good background noise cancellation for outgoing calls
  • Both processor and battery capacity are upped compared to the original Sensation
  • Cool red highlights set the Sensation XE design apart
  • Stereo audio recording during 1080p HD video capture

Cons

  • Beats Audio isn't much else than a sound profile
  • The microphones are set on too sensitive while recording video
  • No FLAC format support
  • The picture quality from the 8MP camera could be better

PhoneArena Rating:

8.5

User Rating:

8.7
6 Reviews

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39 Comments

1. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

MEH...

2. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Agreed! I love HTC's UI and fast processing speeds but HATE their screens. You can tell just from the pictures the colors don't come through very bright. I don't think I'd buy any of HTC's phones right now, I'm still waiting for a slimmer and brighter phone with their great UI and hardware.

5. jacko unregistered

i have the sensation and the screen is very nice i find myself using the sensation more then i do my galaxy s II

17. Dark4o90

Posts: 205; Member since: Feb 20, 2011

can't agree super lcd is good enough and their displays look really good but when you campare them amoled it makes diff

3. tmcr7

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

What kind of a conclusion is that? The HTC Sensation XE comes with a more powerful processor, bigger battery, and better speakers, yet you say that the only difference is the high quality earphones? Come on!

8. Retro-touch unregistered

overclocked processor, the bigger battery was put to compensate for the higher clock speeds which would give poor battery life on its previous capacity, better speakers; wouldn't know unless I tried them. Hence the only difference is high quality earphones and better sound quality assuming the speakers are better.

16. Dark4o90

Posts: 205; Member since: Feb 20, 2011

i love my creative ep 630

40. htainlintha

Posts: 73; Member since: Mar 20, 2010

My friend please I use 2430mAH battery for this one plus 32Gb miniSD memory card my phone is totally perfect :). Can outlast any phone I think even driod razar Max LOL. You can get one here if you want to.http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/180828209187?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649#ht_1914wt_1139

4. buggerrer

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

Beats a total gimmick !!1!1

6. Epic09

Posts: 12; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

I might not like the iproducts much but I'll agree on one thing..they're one of the top tier companies when it comes to sound quality.

7. xenover

Posts: 174; Member since: May 27, 2011

Cons are stupid as hell. Phone on the other hands seems quite top notch.

9. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Couldn't they have put the 1730mAh battery in the Rezound too??

10. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Beats audio or whatever this gimmick can be called was ported to other phones. HTC made a bad decision. It's all about stupid software..they didn't use any new hardware for sound.

12. choupino

Posts: 69; Member since: May 28, 2011

jackhammeR... Do some research. This is not simply a software upgrade. "Ported to other phones"???? We should have a mute button for those people that spout stuff they have no knowledge of on PA. I mean really. HTC paid hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase the beats company. Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine(Interscope Record's CEO) made $351 Million off the deal alone... So you basically think that all of this was for some software and earbuds??? You can't really be that slow... Can you???

15. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

The only person who should read is YOU. dre dre beats was ported to HTC HD 2 and I think desire as well. And it's only software matter. Yes, that was about software and earbuds...you know why? because dre dre is a trademark and is well known in music industry...which dosen't mean that is good or best. You know what marketing is boy, do you? The only slow dude here is you again. Hug your precious htc and try convince yourself it's something more than a phone. Get a life dude!

11. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2255; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Another medicore upgrade from HTC... I have had a Thunderbolt. This is no different, besides Beats Audio, bigger battery, and faster processor and RAM. What makes this different from the HTC Rezound. Too much redunancy for Andorid phones now... If the Iphone 4 and Iphone 4S is no different, then the Thunderbolt is no different from the Rezound. Can HTC come out with one or two phones, instead of 10 of the same phones on multiple carriers. They have increased profits for this quarter, but they could improve their cost drastically by staying with one or two designs on multiple carriers. That is why Apple has the highest profitability of any smartphone manufacturer. They are using the KISS method. Cree

14. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2255; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Within 2009 to now...I have had BB Storm 9530, Droid 1, Thunderbolt, Bionic, and now iPhone 4 and not 4S. The top manufacturer's are only Samsung and Apple now. HTC is too gimmicky with their Sense 3.5 spin carousel OS. Too, too cheesy for me...The only phone that I want now is the Galaxy Nexus. The RAZR is nothing more than a Bionic. The Rezound is nothing more than an updated EVO3D without 3D and Beats Audio. HTC is now becoming a joke...No comparison to Samsung Galaxy lineup in terms of performance, display, and features. Cree

32. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

you do have a point, but didn't samsung pass apple as the highest grossing smartphone manufacturer this year? and part of the reason Android is an amazing alternative (not nessisarily better i'll agree) is because of how open it is. Android gave options when Apple said no. different strokes for different folks i think. it all depends on what you're into. we can't praise google for something then 2 years later backhand them for the same thing.. your agument is all valid but when it comes down to it there hasn't been a real gamechanger in the industry since the first iphone/android came out in like 2002/3

18. winsaki234

Posts: 63; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Phone arena suck! This reviewer is a iPhone fanboy

19. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

For God's sake! Why the choosed 3gp as a contender in 1080p shooting?????????? This is nuts!

20. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

*they, sorry

21. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Agreed. The galaxy s 2 is the phone to beat.

22. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

In only interested in the phones to use them on my galaxy

23. andrej040

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 05, 2011

the res. of gs2 is lower then sensations. so, how in the world can you say that the screen on galaxy s 2 is better then on sensations. its almost like to compare a dvd rip movie and x264 or 720p movie.

24. nameless1521

Posts: 17; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

Super Amoled Plus(SGS2) VS S-LCD(Sensation XE), my friend. Not about the resolution. Technically Super Amoled Plus is better than S-LCD. That's just a fact. If you are happy with S-LCD, then it's fine, but don't be angry about the fact. Besides, S-LCD is identical to Samsung's Super Clear LCD since S-LCD is a joint venture of sony&samsung and samsung uses this display for their low-end phones.

25. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Well...SA in not a great deal for everyone. I don't see anything spectacular is Super Amoleds. I remember that colors in Galaxy S were very annoying. I got N8 with Amoled and I had for a while C6-01 with Amoled CBD. One thing I can say for sure is that black color is amazingly..well, black. And very readable under the sunlight. I don't like too much oversaturated colors. The new gen of SA+ can be adjusted but still, I don't think it's far more superior than Nokias amoled cbd (compare them and you will see). S II has lower resolution, despite of it's more than 4 inches. Still, it has more than enough pixel density to use it comfy in day-to-day usage.

27. nameless1521

Posts: 17; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

There is no such Amoled CBD. It's manufactured by Samsung which owns OLED market(90%), so yeah Amoled display is basically identical to Samsung Super Amoled. Bad rumors about oversaturated colors? I can you my friend, most of recent high-tech TVs from any manufacturers have oversaturated colors. We should be glad that Sammy provides $1000 TV screens for small handsets. Besides, yet again it applies to so-called Amoled CBS, since they are same products from same manufacturer, Samsung. SA+ is even better. Blowing away most of disadvantages of OLED and maximize the pros of OLED. I don't think 800x480 is a problem. Since, there aren't many photos and apps availalbe for 960 x 540 comparing to 800x480, which is already used for many laptops and netbooks.

26. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

too bad it doesn't support FLAC. it's a music phone dammit!!!

28. som

Posts: 768; Member since: Nov 10, 2009

It look like Samsung display 4.3 S-AMOLED.

29. Pego71

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

What kind of a conclusion is that? More powerful battery, faster processor, improved audio and Technology Beats you say that the differences are minor whit sensation ...... tell lies!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Sensation XE
  • Display 4.3" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Storage 4 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1730 mAh(7.41h 3G talk time)

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