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Camera and Multimedia:

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.

Both chipsets and 8MP camera sensors support 30fps Full HD 1080p video recording, so currently they are on top of the smartphone game in that respect. You can zoom in freely while recording Full HD 1080p video with the HTC Sensation, however, something that the Galaxy S II allows only in HD 720p mode. The Sensation also records stereo audio, which, while loud enough, is not very clean, most likely since the video gets recorded in the .3GP format, which is the worse choice, compared to the Galaxy S II .MP4 recording.

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. 

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