Screen and Entertainment
The Sensation is a larger phone than the earlier Desire and more closely resembles the later Desire HD. The Sensation features a spacious 4.3″ Super LCD screen that offers all of the right credentials to make this an ideal phone for all forms of visual entertainment. This is also one of the first smartphones to come with a qHD resolution offering much higher picture quality than earlier WVGA devices.
The screen is made from Gorilla Glass for added protection and supports multitouch input. There are also an accelerometer and a gyroscopic sensor providing you with some interesting physical controls for games and apps on the Sensation, and also allowing you to rotate the interface with ease between portrait and landscape.
The Sensation comes with an excellent media player with good support for music and video and the phone also supports the playback of HD video content. Streaming video content is supported from websites like YouTube and with fast data connections you can enjoy these videos without too many interruptions. You can also enjoy video content from the Sensation on a larger screen thanks to the support for DLNA Wi-Fi and the inclusion of an MHL AV link.
The phone also comes with good support for music playback and includes an FM radio. A standard headphone socket allows you to listen to music or watch videos on public transport without annoying fellow commuters. The phone can provide you with up to 32GB of storage space for media and other content with 8GB included with the phone.
The Sensation features an excellent 8 megapixel camera which comes with a dual LED flash, touch focus, face detection and features like geo-tagging. This is also one of the first phone cameras to come with 1080p video recording support so that you can record your own HD videos with ease. You can upload these to share with friends online, along with any photos taken on the Sensation, with services such as Facebook and Picasa.
The camera also features a new Instant Capture feature that ensures there is no delay between pressing the button and capturing the image. There are many times using older phone cameras when there is a perfect moment that you wish to capture in photographic form only for this moment to have passed by the time the shutter has done its job. Because of this, unless it was a posed photo, you never end up with the image you desired but a blurry and confused image. This new Instant Capture feature ensures that you get the image that you want, when you want it, by removing the delay between the button press and the image capture.
OS and Messaging
The Sensation runs on Android Gingerbread and also features an updated version of the HTC Sense interface. With HTC Sense you are provided with excellent threaded SMS and email support as well as integration for social networks such as Facebook. Sense also provides you with Friend Stream which can combine all of your social networking accounts into one easy to use system, providing you with updates from friends and contacts on all of your social networking sites.
In conjunction with the camera on the Sensation you can also easily share photos and videos with these friends. You can share pictures and videos to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and even upload your own videos to YouTube.
Connectivity and Online Features
Because of the excellent 3G and Wi-Fi on offer you can make use of these excellent messaging features as well as all of the other online features of the Sensation. The web browser on the Sensation now provides a much more enjoyable web browsing experience with multi-window browsing and smoother video playback thanks to the latest Adobe Flash support. There is also a quick lookup tool to send you straight to Wikipedia or YouTube to find an article or video about something of interest that you may have stumbled across.
The Sensation comes with Google Search to help you find what you are looking for online, and also comes with other Google features like Gmail and YouTube support. You can also chat on instant messaging clients such as Google Talk, Facebook Chat and many other IM apps available from Android Market.
The Sensation is one of the most powerful smartphones released by HTC to date in terms of hardware. This is the first dual core phone from HTC and they have bucked the initial trend of dual core 1GHz processors and gone straight to a speedier 1.2GHz processor for their debut dual core. This provides far greater speed and efficiency over the earlier wave of dual core smartphones such as the LG Optimus 2X and Motorola Atrix.
The Sensation comes with 768MB RAM to complement this which doe provide plenty of memory to handle all apps and features with ease, although it is less than the 1GB RAM found on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S2. The Sensation also features Adreno graphics acceleration making it more than capable of handling the most intensive videos and apps that are on offer.
The Sensation is the first dual core phone from HTC and the most highly powered Sense powered smartphone yet released. If you have ever enjoyed using an HTC phone, like the earlier Desire or Legend handsets, then you will enjoy the Sensation as it provides the best that the Taiwanese manufacturer has to offer.
Principle highlights include the phenomenal qHD Super LCD screen that gives an unsurpassed level of picture quality for all of the intensive and visual features you would expect from a modern high end smartphone. The updated Google OS and Sense interface also introduce some nice new additions to web browsing and social networking and the Sensation features one of the best phone cameras on offer thanks to its 1080p video recording and Instant Capture feature.
Editor’s Note: This review is made possible through a special arrangement with the premium UK mobile phone contracts site.