The HTC Sensation arrives to challenge the Samsung Galaxy S II.
It has barely been a couple of weeks since we pronounced the Samsung Galaxy S II the king of Android Smartphones and we already have a challenger in the form of HTC Sensation. Like the Galaxy S II, this Superphone has a big screen with all the latest high-end technology crammed into it but can it displace Samsung’s baby from the top spot? That’s what we are here to find out.
Since the HTC Sensation is a direct challenger to the Samsung Galaxy S II, I though I’d start the review by giving you a quick comparison between the two before we get into the full review:
||Samsung Galaxy S II
||Android 2.3.3 + SenseUI 3.0
||Android 2.3.3 + TouchWiz UI 4.0
||Dual Core 1.2GHz
||Dual Core 1.2GHz
||1GB + 8GB MicroSD Card included
||16GB/32GB Internal + MicroSD slot
||4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus
||540×960 pixels qHD
||480×800 pixels WVGA
||8MP with LED Flash
Video recording: 1080p
|8MP with LED Flash + 2MP Front Facing
Video recording: 720p
||126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm
||125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm
Unlike HTC’s traditional white box design, the Sensation comes in a black box giving you the idea to expect something different. Sadly, there isn’t anything that is different other than the color of the box and inside you still find the same USB cable, a charging plug and a headset with media and call controls that are found in other HTC phones.
The HTC Sensation looks very much like a bigger version of the Desire S with it’s unibody design and impeccable form and finish. The unit reeks of quality and the premium finish has to be held to be appreciated. However, with the measurement of 126.1mm x 65.4mm x 11.3mm and weighing 148grams, the Sensation feels quite a bit big and heavy in your hands compared to the Samsung Galaxy S II which, as you can see from the table above, is quite a bit thinner and lighter.
Previous HTC phones with Unibody designs had the lower part of their back snap out to reveal the battery and the SIM card but on the Sensation, the entire back comes out giving the phone an exposed look. While that looks pretty cool to a geek like me, I could easily see the average Joe getting a bit intimidated. One problem this design creates is that the sharp edges of the screen can be felt if you glide your finger along the screen boundaries.
Like the Desire S, the HTC Sensation has a volume rocker along with a USB port on the left while a 3.5mm audio connector and power button sit on top. The front has the gigantic 4.3” screen with four touch buttons below it and the ear-piece with an LED inside it. Because of the large size of the device, it becomes a bit inconvenient to move between the top power button and the bottom four buttons on the HTC Sensation. I have big hands but I found myself sliding them continuously to move from the bottom to the top of the device. Finally, the back has the 8MP camera with dual LED flash. Sadly, there is no cover on the camera and I can easily see it collecting dust over time.
|Smartphone (OS Version)
|Samsung Galaxy S II (Android 2.3.3)
|Google Nexus One (Android 2.2)
|HTC Desire S (Android 2.3.3)
|Apple iPhone 4 (iOS 4.2)
I repeated the tests a couple of times but the results were pretty much the same- a bit unusual. The dual core 1.2GHz CPU on the HTC Sensation should provide faster results than what it is posting. Going by the benchmark numbers alone, the Samsung Galaxy S II would appear to be a lot faster than the Sensation, however, the Sensation is no slouch in any way and feels pretty zippy for everyday use so I’m not sure what is going on here.