Android Smartphone Review: HTC Sensation, Dual Core Sense

First Thoughts

The HTC Sensation, all I heard about for months, a great power phone by HTC for T-Mobile. I always hold back on what I think a phone could be like til I see it, I don't like guessing is what I mean to say. I just want to hold it and report about it, but I did a little guessing on this one just because HTC can pull it off and it just seemed nice.

The Looks

It is decently thin and looks very clean, and smooth. It is a unibody back, once you take the rear cover off you are exposed to a bit more of the phone than you would think, normally its just a plate but this time it is a big hulking back, almost like a cover that you slide the device into, but not. The bluish grey and black really compliment each other on this one, I quite like the design. The black looks like it is split into three sections of color that blends quite well.

The Hardware/Screen

A Dual core Qualcomm MSM 8260 chip is in this one and it is 1.2ghz, very similar to the HTC Evo 3D, they are essentially the same phone on different carriers. It comes with 768 MB of RAM which is pretty awesome, it also supports up to 32 gb of SD card as well. That really gives you the power and space needed to run a great phone.

You get a 4.3 inch S-LCD screen that supports 540 x 960 pixels, the picture is of course very clear and quite crisp, I never had any issues reading anything or looking up images and knowing what it was.

The Battery

You get a 1520 mAh battery, it is not a whole lot but it is all required by the phone to deliver juice to this power house. So much power in such a little device, I sometimes feel like this is barely enough and would love to see a phone like this running on a great big powerful battery just to test it out. I get 6 - 8 hours usually, being a power user that is pretty awesome.

The Operating System/Software

Android 2.3 Gingerbread is baked into the device, to add a little built HTC sprinkled in their own pieces by adding the updated sense UI which is actually quite nice, not the best thing ever, but quite nice compared to sense that appears on the Evo or any older HTC devices for that matter. There are quite a few new touches that are quite nice.

The Keyboard

There isn't a physical keyboard, you get the HTC keyboard which isn't bad now that they have enabled tracing (which is basically swype). Swype is also on this phone, they both work great. Without tracing, the HTC keyboard isn't usable by me, so I am glad they added it.

The Browsing, Camera and Video

Browsing is pretty standard android browsing, of course every iteration of Android makes the browser faster and work better and this is no different, 2.3 has upped the speeds again and it supports more things of course.

The rear camera is an 8 mp with dual LED flash, it also supports 1080p video recording from the rear. Might I note that this camera is supposed to be the fastest picture-taking on a phone, it takes the picture when you press the button, not a second after. Photographers know that the second counts. The front camera is VGA which is perfect for video chat.

The Call/Data Quality

T-Mobile is good in my area so calls are quite nice, data isn't bad either, I am tethering wifi to write this article now, also did a few Google Hangouts with the laptop tethered and they worked amazingly! Faux 4G on T-Mobile is becoming a better thing by the month, I am supposed to be seeing very good speeds here in Utah soon, up to 42 mbps which really excites me.

Summary

Pros:

  • The screen is QHD (S-LCD)
  • Rear camera is 8 mp
  • 1080 pHD Video
  • Dual core 1.2ghz

Cons:

  • Not true LTE 4G
  • Sense is surely better, but I could deal with it not being there at all

Conclusions & Final Thoughts

I like this phone quite a bit, definitely one of the better ones I have had from T-Mobile, and it ranks up there with the best phones I have had for review units, again I wish every phone was stock android but I take them for what they are. This one is a must have for anyone upgrading or getting a new account on T-Mobile, it has the power and speed you want and will get upgrades more and more, not only that, but the hacker community supports it to. Not that we condone it, but I know some like this!

Images

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About the Author
I have had many different phones over the years and rooted them all. I write mainly write reviews about phones for the site but at times I also write about apps. I became interested in Android after the Droid 1 came out but have since used the G1, Evo 4g, and Nexus S as my own. I was one of the lucky few who bought a touchpad as well, it is now running android.