HTC Sensation Review

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HTC – The brand which has transited to one of the biggest Android Manufacturer from being an unknown mobile manufacturer launches a Smartphone literally living up to its name. It has burst right upon the scene where the hip starts, the Dual Core with an Android Sensation literally. HTC’s flagship device – HTC Sensation promises to leave no cutting edge technology compromised. Sensation comes bundled with all Back to the Future technology including powerfully build camera and one of the best chipset out in the market, the Snapdragon chip and the most awaited HTC Sense Build 3.0. HTC Sensation beats homeboy EVO 3D and Moto’s Droid X2 in the launch run, Sensation becomes the world’s first 4.3-inch Smartphone with irresistible qHD resolution, while also serves as the debut phone for the HTC Sense 3.0 and the Watch movie streaming service.

HTC surely has a flair for ‘biggie’ devices such as the HTC Desire HD and HTC Incredible S and now it has gone a step forward by bringing in the giant 4.3-inch Sensation. Launched in the prime Dual-Core season in the month of May, it has hit the UK and US market in full force and devouring most HTC lovers and Android fans alike.

DESIGN & BUILD

As is the HTC build quality, the Sensation comes with curved edges and a tri-tone grey arrangement with top and bottom sections being patches of soft plastic while the middle part is a strongly build Aluminum frame with little flashes of chrome making it twinkle like a diamond.

The Sensation comes with a 4.3” Gorilla glass protected S-LCD screen. It seems concave because the edge of the screen curve upwards but most of the surface of the display is perfectly flat. The viewing angles are less than perfect, but brightness and color rendering are good which balances out the viewing angle issue.

The dimensions are 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm and weighs 148 g it is considerably heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S II but considering the Aluminum-Plastic casing it matches up theS IIhere.

The back of the Sensation features the 8MP camera and the dual-LED flash right next to it. The area around the camera protrudes slightly and the camera lens is set quite deep, giving it very good protection against scratches and fingerprints.

HARDWARE/CAMERA

The phone packs in a heavenly Snapdragon Qualcomm 1.2 GHz processor with Adreno 220 GPU which makes Sensation a breeze with multi-tasking for which Android stands out and also with High Power Gaming. All the Gameloft games and other HD games work flawlessly on the device just out of the box.

The Sensation launched in US is a LTE/4G Edition and so it has a 1520mAh battery though comparatively low for a dual-core processor but some tweak and coding will just be fixing it out. Sensation lags behind other smartphones including the Nexus S due to missing feature of NFC chip which after full implementation will march among the market.

Sensation brings in an 8MP autofocus, dual LED flash camera which will quench Photo enthusiastic to the hilt. HTC has reduced the gap or the lag between the photo capture, a welcome gesture from the whole Smartphone community. As ever, they look better on the phone’s screen than when blown up on a computer. The camera app also packs in loads of scene modes and other tweaking tools, with touch to focus (which also works during video) being probably the most useful extra.

Video recording on the Sensation is simply effortless. It can capture frames of glorious 1080p and also can be used to capture 1080p video which rivals most of the pocket camcorders. There’s a fluidity to the Sensation’s output that’s rare to find. There is a bit of tearing and resolution loss in fast movement but it’s still more than usable.

 SOFTWARE

Sensation comes preloaded with Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 with an upgrade already on the cards. The most awaited piece of ingenuity is Sense 3.0. Sense UI has a growing community of faithful followers which won’t be disappointed with this iteration.

The ring lockscreen is by far and away the biggest and handiest improvement in the latest Sense. It now offers four customizable app shortcuts, which can be dragged into a so-called activation ring and thereby unlock the phone straight into the app. Above the shortcuts, Sense brings animated weather animations signifying the current weather, or stock updates, or a floating array of your pictures, which too can be dragged into that ring for a closer look. By this concept, Sense modifies the previously not much used Lockscreen to a much used dynamic part of user interface. Navigation between homescreens is executed with a three-dimensional animation which is just a sight as the CRT animation.

The music output and the speaker is much an improvement over the previous HTC devices and the Music app will play all formats like aac, amr, ogg, m4a, mid, mp3, wav, wav. SRS virtual surround sound enhancements plugged into the phone make a tangible difference by widening the sound stage and creating a more personal feel to whatever you’re listening to. For a Smartphone that aspires to rope-in customers with top tier multimedia performance, getting audio right is a big deal and the Sensation thankfully delivers.

Lastly, all Android geek’s need the Quadrant benchmarks. So here we go,

Running through the usual tests, the Sensation scores a whooping 2046 just out of the box. Though behind the S II in terms of benchmark, it clashes the sturdy sword of Snapdragon in terms of 3D graphics with the Exynos shield ofS IIwith equal might. Linpack typically gave us around 46MFLOPS, matching the Galaxy S II. Other graphical tests were limited to a 60fps cap, 58fps in Neocore and 42fps in Nenamark. Needless to say, the full power of that Adreno 220 GPU will need some nice and HD games to push it to its limits in the coming future.

The device is a part of a new generation of HTC phones that have a signed bootloader. As a consequence, the phones have not been rootable, thus denying users administrative rights to their own phones. Due to overwhelming customer feedback, HTC has called off the locking bootloader concept by introducing HTC-Dev, a website through which users will be able to unlock bootloaders and customize the Android way.

So by wrapping up the review, HTC Sensation comes with a future-proof Processor, hardware, software and much more stuff which will draw your breath. Shortcomings of NFC and the still-yet-to-be-solved issue of famous Death Grip remains! Still the HTC Sensation has enough to give out-of-the-box. Overall it still loses to S II on some ‘benchmarked’ places but has enough looks for which any Android user will kill to have. HTC Sensation will remain a Sensation in the coming future with guaranteed updates from Google Android and a dedicated XDA forum. What more ya need eh! :D

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