HTC Sensation Review (First Impressions)

Jonathan Morris
May 24, 2011

HTC has finally entered the dual-core smartphone race with the launch of the HTC Sensation. With three other models already fighting it out, it won’t be an easy battle to win.

We’ve taken delivery of our review model and will be getting to work on the review in the coming days. For now here are some hands-on pictures, including shots of how the phone and rear cover fit together, as well as some stats to help you make a comparison between the other dual-core devices.

Finally, there’s a speed test with Neocore (1.2GHz, dual-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon) against the LG Optimus 2X (1GHz, dual-core, NVIDIA Tegra 2) and the Motorola ATRIX (also 1GHz, dual-core, NVIDIA Tegra 2) but with rather odd results. The HTC Sensation wasn’t able to match the speed of the 2X, which also came out far ahead of the ATRIX.

We’ve since discovered that the app doesn’t fully test the new features of the HTC’s Adreno 220 graphics co-processor, and can produce weird results with devices using a NVIDIA Tegra 2 core. So, for now, we’d say to ignore the Neocore results.

The HTC Sensation uses the same qHD-resolution display as the Motorola ATRIX (540×960 pixels) but uses a standard Super-LCD display, as against the PenTile Matrix used by Motorola. This means you get sharper text and more solid colours, although there was a reason why Motorola opted for its screen; reduced power consumption.

In addition to the Motorola screen having the potential to draw less power for a similar brightness level, the Motorola also comes with a 1,930mAh battery. The HTC Sensation has a 1,520mAh battery – just 20mAh more than most smartphones competing at the top level.

However, HTC has one thing none of the other dual-core devices offer; HTC Sense, which is now on version 3.0. This includes 3D panels and the ability to launch apps from the lock screen, as well as select custom lockscreens so you can show a photo album, friend stream, weather, stocks or clock. There’s also a new app called Watch, which allows HTC to sell and rent movies to users.

So, just when you thought it might be easy to pick a winner from the new crop of dual-core phones, you now have some real tough decisions to make!!

In order to assist a bit, we’ve produced a comparison table so you can see how each model differs. Depending on your priorities, this data might make making up your mind a little easier.

We’ve highlighted anything that stands out as being particularly unique or special, but all of the stats are impressive.

Optimus 2X
Galaxy S II
Dimensions: 126.1×65.4×11.3mm 117.8×63.5x11mm 123.9×63.2×10.9mm 125.3×66.1×8.5mm
Weight: 148g 135g 139g 116g
Screen size: 4.3-inches 4-inches 4-inches 4.3-inches
Screen: 540×960 pixels 540×960 pixels 480×800 pixels 480×800 pixels
Frequencies: 2G: Quad-Band
3G: Dual-Band
2G: Quad-Band
3G: Quad-Band
2G: Quad-Band
3G: Tri-Band
2G: Quad-Band
3G: Tri-Band
HSPA: 14.4Mbps DL
5.76Mbps UL
14.4Mbps DL
2Mbps UL
10.2Mbps DL
5.76Mbps UL
10.2Mbps DL
5.76Mbps UL
Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n + DLNA 802.11b/g/n + DLNA 802.11b/g/n + DLNA 802.11b/g/n + DLNA
Android OS: Android 2.3 Android 2.2 (w/update to 2.3) Android 2.2 (w/update to 2.3) Android 2.3
Processor: Qualcomm 1.2GHz, Adreno 220 GPU NVIDIA Tegra 2, 1GHz, GeForce GPU NVIDIA Tegra 2, 1GHz, GeForce GPU Samsung S5PV310 Exynos 4210, 1.2GHz
RAM: 768MB 1GB 512MB 1GB
App storage: 1GB 2GB 1.5GB 2GB
Media storage: Upto 32GB (microSDHC) 10GB + upto 32GB (microSDHC) 8GB + upto 32GB (microSDHC) 16 or 32GB internal + upto 32GB (microSDHC)
Camera (still): 8MP autofocus rear, 0.3MP front 5MP autofocus rear, 0.3MP front 8MP autofocus rear, 1.3MP front 8MP autofocus rear, 2MP front
Camera (video): 720p 30fps & 1080p 30fps 720p 30fps (1080p future update) 720p 30fps & 1080p 24fps 720p 30fps & 1080p 30fps
Camera flash: Dual LED Dual LED Single LED Single LED
Connectivity: MHL link (combined Micro-USB + HDMI) Micro-USB + HDMI & USB On-The-Go via Webtop mode Micro-USB + HDMI MHL link (combined Micro-USB + HDMI) & USB On-The-Go
Bluetooth: V3 V2.1 + EDR V2.1 + EDR V3 + High Speed
Battery: 1,520mAh 1,930mAh 1,500mAh 1,650mAh
Other: HTC Sense V3 MotoBLUR + Webtop option to connect to LapDock & Multimedia dock Glass display, Gestures TouchWiz UI V4


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