HTC launches an Android Sensation XE
Sensation XE, HTC’s latest and greatest lives up to its name gets most things like looks, clear screen and good camera right.Updated: Dec 23, 2011 13:00 IST
HTC’s flagship phone, Sensation, which launched a couple of months ago, did a lot of things very well; but it was eventually let down by battery life that verged on poor.
The newly launched Sensation XE that runs Google Android v2.3 Gingerbread corrects these flaws with conviction.
One of the biggest features in this phone is the result of a $300 million deal inked earlier this year by premium audio brand, Beats by Dr Dre, and HTC.
Essentially, the Sensation XE comes with a pair of red coloured in-ear Beats earphones and specially-tuned software to enhance audio quality.
The XE is a very good-looking phone that’s well sized and comfortable to hold. Its unibody aluminium construction imparts not just flair but sturdiness too.
The phone is available in both black and white colour options, and there are red accents for the speaker grille, touch-sensitive buttons and camera lens. Compared to the original Sensation, there are no physical changes to the XE.
Internally however, HTC has ramped up the dual-core processor to 1.5GHz and the battery now clocks in at 1730mAh almost 15 per cent more powerful than the original.
The rest of the features remain the same: there’s a 4.3-inch, 960x540-pixel touchscreen, 768MB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, Wi-Fi, 3G HSDPA and Bluetooth 3.0. These specifications are currently amongst the best you can get in any mobile phone.
Using the Sensation XE is, simply put, a pleasure. The supplied Beats earphones are very impressive and reproduce audio capably. When the Beats audio enhancement feature is enabled in the device’s music player, sounds are well rounded with good bass, treble and mid-range.
Spatial imaging is detailed too close your eyes and you’ll be able to picture how far each instrument is playing from you and from what direction the sound is originating.
We can’t say enough about the 8-megapixel camera either. With the exception of the newly-launched iPhone 4S that we haven’t tested yet, this is easily the best phone camera out there. Images are detailed even in low light, with accurate colours and minimal noise.
The 1.5GHz processor also makes light work of image enhancement apps like RetroCamera or Vignette. Video recording at full HD is sharp too. The dual-LED flash, which also doubles as a flashlight, is luminous with a wide firing range. Put it on in a dark room and it’ll light up the entire place.
The one thing the Sensation XE doesn’t have is the latest Sense 3.5 user interface that’s available in other HTC devices like the Explorer and Rhyme. However, in our opinion, Sense 3.0 in this phone makes the cut all right.
Additionally, HTC has also announced that the XE will receive Android’s hot-from-the-oven v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in early 2012. This will make an already good phone even better.
Finally, battery life for a phone of this calibre is good. The XE will easily last you through the day under heavy usage. If you decide to be frugal, you can even eke out 1.5-2 days from a single charge.
Available at the street price of approximately Rs 32,600, you can’t go wrong with the HTC Sensation XE even if you try. Some might still prefer Samsung’s Galaxy S2 for its high-quality AMOLED screen, but the XE makes up for that in all other areas.
With top-notch looks and build quality, an eye-catching interface, powerful hardware and a great camera, this is one of the best Android mobile phones that money can buy.
First Published: Dec 23, 2011 12:27 IST