Guest Post: HTC Sensation review.

John Thompson, blogger at Zath, the UK tech blog has reviewed the HTC Sensation for us and here are his thoughts:

The recently released HTC Sensation, dubbed a ‘multimedia superphone’, is probably the biggest iPhone competitor on the market right now, with impressive specs which include a 4.3-inch HD display and dual core processor. Running Google’s latest version of Android with HTC Sense 3.0, it’s certainly a tempting choice for many people not wishing to buy an iOS device at the moment. But how does it stack up against other Android phones available to buy, including our old favourite the HTC Desire? Let’s find out!

HTC has gone all out on the Sensation to make it look absolutely perfect. Whereas most phones with large screens feel unnaturally big in your hand, HTC has done a great job of making the device feel sturdy yet comfortable to hold. The exterior is under 5 inches tall and less than half an inch thin, with buttons placed underneath the gorgeous, glass contoured display.

Everything inside the Sensation is powered by the 1.2GHz dual core processor and this, coupled with 768MB of RAM, makes it one of the fastest available phones on the market.

Above the display there is a speaker grille, placed next to the front facing VGA camera which can be used for video calling through applications such as Fring for Android. At the back you’ll find an 8 megapixel camera with a dual flash, situated next to the rear hi-fi speaker. I ran a number of tests on the 8 megapixel camera whilst I was out and about and the results, for a smartphone, were pretty impressive.

The Sensation is running HTC’s new Sense 3.0 software on top of Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread, and it carries a lot of changes over previous versions of the software which are noticeable from the moment you turn on your phone.

The screen can be unlocked by pulling a ring up from the bottom of the screen to the middle, but if you would rather just access your phone for one application, to quickly check your messages for example, you can drag one of four icons into the ring to unlock your phone into that application.

The lockscreen itself can also be customised with one of six options. You can set a wallpaper, choose to display a photo album, view your friend stream, show the weather, display stocks or show a clock. All of the icons at the bottom of the display have notification badges so that you immediately know if you have a new message, email or missed call.

Another new feature in Sense 3.0 is Scenes. Using Scenes, you can set up your various home screens with whatever you’d like and then save them as a scene. Using this, you can set up a number of different scenes for your phone and switch them for when you’re at work, home, or wherever else you’d like a scene. It’s a really useful feature and helps customise your experience depending on where you are and what you’re doing.

There’s no doubt that the HTC Sensation is one of the most powerful Android phones available. HTC’s software looks much better than the TouchWiz UI which runs on the Samsung Galaxy S II and provides users with more eye candy than they could dream of.

If you want to buy the HTC Sensation for yourself, it’s available on a pay monthly deal from Three for £37 a month on the One Plan, which offers all you can eat  data, 5000 texts and 2000 any network minutes. Although you wouldn’t be able to beat that on any other network, if you’d like to buy the HTC Sensation on PAYG, you can grab it for £449.99.



29 Responses to Guest Post: HTC Sensation review.
  1. Moderator

    @Davis – What bugs have you experienced?

  2. Davis

    hi! why there is so much bugs on ICS updete? there will be fix update?

  3. Adam

    and please take out that Three theme with update. i’m talking about that one when i am switching phone off or on.
    it’s really annoying

  4. Moderator

    @Adam – we don’t have any dates yet but we’ll update when we do :-)

  5. Adam

    Hi. when there will be ICS update for HTC sensation?

  6. Moderator: Johanna

    @Davis – We’ve had no news on an update from HTC yet, but when we do we’ll test and push out to Sensation owners.

  7. Davis

    when there will be new update for HTC sensation? or ice cream sandwich update?

  8. Moderator: Sedge

    @ LM – We can’t confirm whether we’re ranging this phone at the moment but keep your eyes pealed on the blog, as soon as we can confirm whether we’re ranging we’ll post an update :)

  9. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Mark Hodson – We’ll confirm whether we’re ranging that phone as soon as we can :)

  10. mark hodson

    Hi, really like what I hear about the Sensation. Will 3 be offering the Sensation XE soon ?

  11. L M

    When are you going to bring out the HTC sensation with Beat headphones???

  12. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Davis – It shouldn’t be much longer now, you’ll just need to keep checked.

  13. Davis

    oh comon’, there is an info about update 2.3.4, but when i am checking on phone- nothing!!!! when can i get it????

  14. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Ras – We can’t confirm whether we’re ranging that phone at the moment I’m afraid.

  15. RAS

    hi everyone

    is the htc sensation xe coming to three?

    thank you.

  16. andie

    I have been reading that other networks have released the android 2.3.4 update in the UK for the sensation any time frame on when 3 will he releasing it cheers

  17. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Priyanka – Sorry to hear you’ve had a poor experience with our CS team. If you have any other issues other than Skype, feel free to let us know & we’ll do what we can to help you. As for Skype on your HTC Wildfire, you’ll be able to use Skype if you head to Planet 3 and download the app from the Android market. Hope that works for you :)

  18. Priyanka

    hey guys i am 3 customer for last 4 years and recently i have contracted for another contract with 3 and have HTC wildfire phone and it has given me tremendous trouble.this phone is not compatible with skype plus the customer care team they are just redicilious. they argue with the customers i mean i had been facing problems for last 3 months i am giving them calls and calls but no body seem to be bothered.

  19. Moderator: Sedge

    @Clinton Semley – I’ve tried to take a look at your postcode to see what the issue is and if there’s any planned work but it doesn’t recognise your postcode. Could you just confirm your full postcode so I can check it out for you :)

  20. Clinton semley

    It doesn’t matter what mobile you have.were I live the 3 signal is red.never a full signal,and its been like this 4 years.ive complained many times and all I get is the same gossip me 3,that there sorting it out..what 4 years of sorting it..rubbish,the thing is though I like the network and put up with it..sorry 3 but how else am I going to get my point across…my next goal is to get everyone on 3 off 3,unless you sort it out go area BS22 [Removed my mod]

  21. NASS

    hummm is the HTC sensation better than iphone??

  22. Scott

    Just read the Zath review, there’s even less free memory than on the Desire and that’s a big problem. Have HTC not learned?

  23. Moderator: Johanna

    @ThaRobster – Did you click through and read the full review on Zath?

  24. ThaRobster

    @ Johanna:

    No, and that’s the point really, there is nothing in this review which tells me anything I don’t already know from reading HTC’s own marketing material, aside from the part about Scenes being a new feature, which as mentioned, is wrong.

    Maybe the reviewer was working to a very tight word limit, I don’t know, but I use reviews to inform myself of products I’m considering buying, and this review tells me no more than HTC’s own marketing. There is no depth or detail to the writing, which is why I questioned if the reviewer had actually used the product, but I concede that a very low word limit would have a similar effect. Either way, thus review does little to inform me about the product.

  25. Moderator: Johanna

    @TheRobster – I can assure you the phone was tested fully – take a look at the review on Zath, via the link. Have you used the Sensation?

  26. ThaRobster

    Poor review in my opinion. No useful comparison with a competing product (barring a very brief UI reference), even against the iPhone which is mentioned at the beginning, inaccuracies throughout, for instance, Scenes is not a new feature of Sense 3, since my Desire HD has it and quite frankly, there is nothing in this piece which suggests the reviewer has used the Sensation, or any other Android-based HTC product.

  27. Iain

    Unfortunately in the real world when you use one even for only a week or so you will realise what a poor phone it really is – like having to charge it for possibly 6 hours a day just for moderate use , a Bluetooth fault that requires the other person you are talking to via a handsfree headset to ask that you don’t ring them unless you are not handsfree, and an internet connection that needs the phone to be restarted or else it won’t connect . . . I could go on and on tbh

  28. JJ

    It’s a nice phone but the Samsung Galaxy S2 has better hardware (SAMOLED screen, more ram, faster processor, more storage space, a 3G radio which can handle faster speeds and a better front facing camera). It has an unlocked bootloader AND is cheaper @ £35/month on the one plan. The only thing this phone has that the Galaxy s2 doesn’t is the sense UI…. but I personally think it’s not worth paying more AND taking a hit on the hardware.

  29. FooFan73

    What a poor review and not at all balanced, with no mention at all of the Sensation’s woefully poor battery life
    My partner recently got a Sensation as the ’3′ Store staff member convinced her it was better than the Galaxy S2 (Which I own).
    Yes the Sensation feels better than the Galaxy S2 (The Galaxy S2 can feel plasticy) but the battery life is poor. I can play with my Galaxy S2 all day, using the phone, texting, apps and the occasional Google Latitude before the battery runs out, I can actually use mine as a smartphone.
    My partner’s Sensation on the other hand cannot be used as a smartphone. Even if she turns off regular updates from Twitter and Facebook and just has the phone in stand-by for texting she’s lucky if the phone lasts from 8:00am when she leaves for work until 6:00pm when she gets home. OK she maybe uses the phone for about1-2 hours a day making calls but it’s still a pathetic battery life, the Sensation drains the battery far too fast.
    Her handset gets a lot hotter than my Galaxy S2, especially near where the battery is. Reading other reviews it seems that this is the problem as when the battery gets hot from the Sensation’s big power demands the battery drains even faster.
    Maybe a future firmware update from HTC will solve this issue somewhat but for now my partner is left with a phone which she cannot do more with than her old SE W995 as she’s not able to use the smartphone features without the battery dying rapidly. After now doing research on HTC it seems battery life has always been HTC’s Achilles Heel
    Nice phone potentially with a good build quality but really, really poor battery life

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