HTC Sensation review

HTC's latest high-end Android phone

HTC's Android-based Sensation smartphone.

HTC's Android-based Sensation smartphone.

The HTC Sensation is a high-end Android smartphone equipped with a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen.

It's equipped with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and runs the latest version of Google's Android operating system — 2.3 or "Gingerbread." It also runs HTC's Sense UI overlay.

A highlight is the construction of its body, which is made from a single piece of aluminium. It's similar to the design of several other HTC Android phones, including the HTC Desire, the Desire HD and the Legend.

The large display has a qHD resolution — its 540x960-pixel resolution means it's a 'quarter HD'.

Compared to the display on Samsung's Galaxy S II it offers crisper text, but it is not as vibrant.

Version 3.0 of the Sense overlay is impressive and includes a number of new features, such as a new lock screen that can be customised to let a user access an app straight after unlocking the handset.

It also includes a 3D effect when scrolling between home screens, and an updated weather app with new animations and sounds

The Sense UI's slick animations and flashy menus do give the Sensation an edge over other Android phones, and we think Sense is particularly good for first-time Android users or people who haven't used a smartphone before.

The HTC Sensation has an excellent Web browser. It supports Flash video and multitouch zooming, and it loads and renders pages quickly and smoothly. The Sensation also handles media efficiently; we loaded a 720p HD AVI file onto our microSD card, and played back the file without any issues.

The phone has an 8-megapixel camera with a dual LED flash and a front-facing VGA camera for video calling. The rear camera also doubles as a Full HD (1080p) video recorder.

Battery life on the HTC Sensation is much improved compared to the Desire HD, but users will still need to charge the phone every night on most occasions. We managed around 12 hours during moderate use, though we recommend turning off e-mail, Facebook and Twitter updates to significantly boost this result.

Telstra sells the HTC Sensation for $0 upfront on its $79 freedom connect plan over 24 months. The plan includes $800 worth of calls, unlimited SMS and MessageBank, and 2GB of data per month. The HTC Sensation is also available on Telstra's $59 business mobile maximiser Plan and will be sold outright for $792.

Original review: Ross Catanzariti, PC World Australia.

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