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Sensation. From HTC.

The Sensation is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with Adreno 220 graphics. The Sensation is set to spark off a whole new battle amongst dual-core powered devices in the market. The phone will take on Samsung Galaxy S2, LG Optimus 2X and other forthcoming dual-core smartphones.

tech reviews Updated: Aug 23, 2011 11:25 IST

HTC entered into the world of dual-core smartphones with HTC Sensation. The Sensation is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with Adreno 220 graphics. The Sensation is set to spark off a whole new battle amongst dual-core powered devices in the market. The phone will take on Samsung Galaxy S2, LG Optimus 2X and other forthcoming dual-core smartphones.



Hardware

HTC Sensation feels great in your hands. The 4.3-inch smartphone looks much better than other HTC smartphones and is a bit thinner too. The smartphone is 6mm tall and only 11.3mm wide. There's a highly noticable volume control button on the left side with the power button and headphone jacks right at the top. At the rear you can spot a shiny 8 megapixel camera with auto-focus. There's also a dual LED flash that is quite powerful enough to be used as a torch and the loudspeaker at the back. The aluminium frame surrounding the Sensation gives it a much better look than most of Samsung's plastic bodied phones. Sensation's hardware is a sign of how HTC keeps a certain amount of design-level consistency on all its phones as far as hardware is concerned.



Display

The Sensation sports a Super LCD screen with a resolution of 960 x 540. The qHD display isn't as magical as it sounds. However the high resolution, as compared to Samsung's S-LCD screens, is an added advantage while browsing the web. You can view websites without having to skew the pages. It also helps with viewing videos in a true 16:9 screen ratio. With so much fancy technology that goes into the display, the Sensation still scores very less points when it comes to outdoor usage. The display isn't as good as the one you see indoors. At this point you wonder if HTC could have used a Super AMOLED display instead.



Battery Life

Almost every Android user is concerned about the battery life on their devices. Most users complain they cannot use the phone without staying close to a charging station. HTC Sensation includes a 1520mAh battery which provides quite a decent backup. How long the battery would last totally depends on the usage. The battery can last as long as a day if you use it to check your e-mail a couple of times, a little web browsing over WiFi, a few games and a phone call or two. The battery performed much better than the one on Samsung Nexus S and HTC Incredible S.



HTC Sensation


Camera

The Sensation includes a 8 megapixel camera with HTC's proprietary Instant Capture functionality. The feature empowers the phone to reduce the lag that may exist when the user taps to click a photo and the camera actually taking the snap. It does work pretty well. The large resolution display allows the camera application to display the last taken photo as well as basic settings to activate/deactivate flash, modify exposure etc. without affecting the camera preview. The images it produces are sharp and look great thanks to the built-in auto enhance feature. This lets the camera application decide when to add the noise blur effect to create a better looking image. If you're looking to get rid of that point-and-shoot camera you always carry around for short trips, the Sensation might be your choice of phone. There's also a front facing VGA camera to make video calls. Video recording on the Sensation is a breeze. The camera can capture 1080p full HD video at 30 fps (frames per second). Thanks to the dual-core processor, videos recorded on the Sensation appear very smooth even while recording objects in motion.



Software

The Sensation runs on Android 2.3.3 which is tweaked by HTC for user interface. HTC won't let you root your phone to use a custom ROM but you can download app launchers from the Android Market to customize the look and feel. Sensation includes HTC's latest version of it's Sense UI, Sense 3.0. The user interface is smooth and very responsive. The user interface is hand crafted for ease of use. Someone with absolutely no smartphone experience can get used to Sensation's UI in no time. Although there are a few kinks that remain to be ironed out. I'm sure these would be quickly removed in upcoming Sense updates. The phone supports both USB and wireless tethering by default.



Performance

The Sensation is a sensational performer. Powered by a 1.2GHz dual core processor, the phone will hardly give you any excuse to take your eyes off while you wait for an application to load. Browsing the web on the Sensation is a pleasure. No matter how everyone keeps cribbing about Flash every now and then, you'll find embedded Flash videos load in a jiffy. Playing 720p videos is no problem for this phone but it does tend to choke a little while playing a 1080p Flash video. If you compare application launch time on the Sensation with that on Samsung Nexus S, you'll notice the obvious advantage of having an extra core in your processor. The phone, thanks to Android, is pretty stable. However there are a few downsides to the phone. The infamous 'death grip' issue with the WiFi radio works against the phone. It isn't too much of a problem on a home network where you can adjust your WiFi router accordingly but it does tend to become irritating while using public or office WiFi networks.



Verdict

The HTC Sensation is a great smartphone. The dual-core monster is an excellent performer. The slick Sense 3.0 user interface is very comfortable for newbies. It includes a boatload of features packed right into the phone. the Sensation also scores in terms of overall looks that the phone sports. The phone's battery performance is worth mentioning again. It does give a solid competition to other dual-core powered Android devices in the market today. While every smartphone has it's own set of downsides, the Sensation does under perform if you consider benchmark results with the Samsung Galaxy S2. It may be primarily due to the two Scorpion cores that the Sensation's processor holds, however it won't still appear significant to a casual smartphone user. Then the WiFi radio death-grip issues also add insult to injury. It does make taking an important business call on Skype a risky affair. Overall the Sensation is a great phone. With a price tag of Rs. 29,499 it may seem a little overpriced for now but it's powerful set of features make it worth the money.