HTC Sensation Review

My HTC Sensation
Three days ago, I bought an HTC Sensation. I’m very happy; here’s why.

The Story

I have been using an HTC Wildfire for the last few months, after having lost my HTC Desire in January. The Wildfire is a low-end Android handset that is great for light mobile users, but much too slow and annoying for someone like me, who wants to use the mobile for everything.

So, after having been pissed off by my slow phone enough to not want to take anymore,  I started shopping online. I was thinking about three handsets: the Samsung Nexus S (Google’s second phone, featuring NFC), the HTC Sensation (HTC’s new flagship phone), and the Samsung Galaxy S II (Samsung’s flagship phone).

After looking at the three online, I still couldn’t really decide. I needed to touch, swipe, pinch, and feel these phones for myself.

The Hardware

The first thing I noticed about the Sensation when looking at it in the store is that it’s very SEXY. I had just looked at the ugly yet powerful Galaxy S II, and the Sensation’s beauty struck me immediately. It’s very black, and the aluminum casing flows around the glass beautifully.

Also, the dual-core processor and nearly 1Gb of RAM make it ridiculously fast. One thing I don’t like though, is that the battery runs out quite quickly, even though I turn off Bluetooth and WiFi, have the screen brightness lowered, and my accounts auto-sync only every four hours.

Also, the dual-core awesomeness that is the Sensation’s Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon processor does have a drawback in that it gets a bit hot… I noticed when playing the graphics-intensive game “Contract Killer.”

The Software

With the newest (for phones) version of Android, Gingerbread 2.3 and version 3.0 of HTC Sense, the Sensation is also beautiful on the inside. Sense 3.0′s 3D transitions and animations are pure, lovely eye-candy, which invites me to play with the phone more than I normally would.

Android Task ManagerGingerbread’s updated notification screen and task manager are the brains behind the beauty. The task manager shows how much memory each task is using, and it allows me to kill them individually or all together.

Next to that, quick settings like Wifi, Bluetooth, and Mobile Hotspot are integrated into the new “Quick Settings” tab that I get by pulling down the notification bar. Not only is it convenient in that I don’t have to put the controls as widgets on my home screen, it also gives me a feeling of integrated-ness and maturity for the OS itself.

Conclusion

The HTC Sensation is a wonderful mobile. Gingerbread is a mature, open, and solid operating system, and HTC Sense 3.0 is gorgeous and handy.

The battery life leaves a bit to be… Desired… (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), but as it holds out most of the day with me using it pretty heavily, it’s not a deal-breaker. The heat thing…. meh, as long as it doesn’t melt or burn my fingers, I really don’t care. I just can’t wait until Nokia comes out with their Windows Phone 7 handset next year!

Update

 

About Brian

An American expat, Brian is a User Experience Designer, currently working for Group Innovation at Philips in Amsterdam. Full bio →

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