HTC Sensation vs. Samsung Galaxy S II: Smartphone showdown

Which is the better smartphone – HTC's Sensation or Samsung's Galaxy S II?

2011 is set to be the year of the dual-core powered Android phone and two of the biggest upcoming releases in Australia are the Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Sensation.

Read our detailed previews of the Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Sensation, and check out our roundup of the best upcoming smartphones in 2011.

Both of these Android phones have similar specifications — the HTC Sensation sports a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 4.3in qHD display, an 8-megapixel camera and wraps it in a unibody aluminium design.

The Samsung Galaxy S II on the other hand also has a 4.3in display, but uses Super AMOLED Plus display technology. It matches the Sensation's 8-megapixel camera and 1080p HD video recorder, but the Galaxy S II's most desirable feature is its design: the handset is just 8.49mm thick, making it thinner than the iPhone 4 and likely the thinnest smartphone in the world.

So how does the HTC Sensation compare against the Samsung Galaxy S II when it comes to specifications?

HTC Sensation vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Specifications

Feature HTC Sensation Samsung Galaxy S II Verdict?
Operating system (OS) Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Draw
Display size 4.3in 4.3in Draw
Display technology Capacitive S-LCD Capacitive Super AMOLED Plus Galaxy S II
Display resolution 540x960 pixels (qHD) 480x800 pixels HTC Sensation
Multitouch Yes Yes Draw
Camera 8 megapixels, dual-LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, image stabilisation, face detection 8 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, image stabilisation, face and smile detection Draw
FM radio Yes Yes Draw
GPS Yes Yes Draw
Internal memory 1GB 16GB or 32GB Galaxy S II
Expandable memory microSD card slot microSD card slot Draw
Dimensions 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3mm 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5mm Galaxy S II
Weight 148g 116g Galaxy S II
Application store Google Android Market Google Android Market Draw
Processor Qualcomm MSM 8260 dual-core (1.2GHz) ARM Cortex A9 dual-core (1.2GHz) Draw
3G networks HSDPA 900/1900/2100 HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 Galaxy S II
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n Galaxy S II
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP 3.0 with A2DP Draw
NFC (Near Field Communication) No Yes Galaxy S II
HDMI-out Yes (via MHL) Yes (via MHL) Draw
Quoted talk time Up to 6 hours 40 minutes Unknown Unknown
Quoted standby time Up to 400 hours Unknown Unknown
Adobe Flash support Yes Yes Draw

HTC Sensation vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Design

One of the most lauded features of the Sensation is HTC's unibody aluminium design, which has also been used on a number of HTC's other Android phones including the original Desire, the Desire HD, the Legend and the recently launched Incredible S. The HTC's unibody casing is constructed from a single piece of aluminium. If HTC's other Android phones are anything to go by, the Sensation will look and feel every bit a premium piece of industrial design, and the finish won't be easy to scratch or mark.

HTC Sensation The HTC Sensation Android phone uses a unibody aluminium design that is constructed from a single piece of aluminium.

The Samsung Galaxy S II on the other hand is an entirely different proposition. It is just 8.49mm thick, making it likely the thinnest smartphone in the world (at least until another competitor trumps it). The Samsung Galaxy S II has an attractive carbon-like finish on its rear battery cover, and although it is constructed from plastic rather than metal, it felt well built during our brief hands-on with the phone.

Samsung deserves a huge amount of credit for managing to make the Galaxy S II so thin, but we can't help but award the winner here to the HTC Sensation. Its aluminium unibody design means it will more than likely feel like a premium handset should. Although the Sensation is thicker than the Galaxy S II, the extra girth is a trade-off we would be willing to make for the durability of the unibody design.

Samsung Galaxy S II The Samsung Galaxy S II measures just 8.49mm thick, which makes it likely the thinnest smartphone in the world.

Tags gingerbreadhtc sensationGoogle Android phonesmobile phonessmartphonessamsung galaxy s ii

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide




HTC Sensation , I love the sense UI, and the design of htc sensation, the graphics. Samsung doesnt have much graphics on it, makes me feel its cheap



HTC Sensation! HTC Sense realy makes sense. Good design, great interface. And it looks drop dead stunning!
Samsung is always a whole lot of hardware without good software design. Also, even though I don't know why, Samsung always feels cheap.



HTC Sensation!!



As a phone-maker, Samsung makes nice hardware, but its phones are cheap-looking and the construction is flimsy and fragile, far from durable. I guess they do this on purpose, so that even if your hardware still works, you will still BUY NEW PHONE coz the outer shell of your old Samsung is already creaking, damaged, loose, broken, or cracked badly... nice ploy, Samsung, you old Devil !!

I prefer HTC Sensation. More durable, and more elegant, inside and outside... I just HOPE that it costs LESS THAN an SGS 2, coz SGS 2 costs $800 now. No way I will pay cash $800 for a stupid phone ;o



htc sensation :] the new and current htc sense doesn't compete with any other to me :)



HTC were the shiz but locking the bootloaders killed em.



galaxy s 2, no question.

Sense 3.0 looks great, I love the construction of the sensation, I'm intrigued by the new camera mode, and htc tends to get updates out faster, but the sensation is going to have the slowest dual core processor on the market, and the galaxy s will probably get better battery life.

also, I want NFC really badly for some reason, and I want my phone to have a hole for a cell phone charm :p

its true that touchwiz is kind of bad, but samsung is going to have a couple of things which look good. the video editor on the SG2 looks full featured/great (compared to the sensation, which only trims).

in any event, it doesn't really matter, I'm just going to run launcherpro anyway.



TouchWiz v4.0 looks better that v3 on the SGS, and the HTC Sense external functions (Locate, ring, block handset) are available on Samsung too (Samsung Dive).

Battery is better, and once in an invisble shield, the case is pretty secure. Both have Gorilla glass, so no bother there.

HTC Sense (on WinMo 6.5, HD2) rebuilds data tables and so a full calander opens showing Single events, and then 10-15 seconds later shows the recurring events.
Open the original calender on Windows - all there - so HTC are replcating OS functionality. Here's hoping SGS2 & Android w/ TW 4.0 will be better.

If not, root time!



It's got to be the S2 , I've looked at both played with the sensation at the Htc roadshow. It feels a lot bulkier than the S2 in the hand and for that reason including superior internal storage 16gb , much larger battery and amazing screen brightness. The S2 is superior in many aspects. I loved my Htc desire but am pleased I moved to the S2. Word to the wise.... Htc sort out your internal storage it's your major flaw. I know countless Htc users including myself, who have major issues downloading apps from Market place as the phone gets filled up to quickly. Most apps don't have the option to transfer to sd card and it's an absolute dream not having to worry about this with the S2. I rest my case.



Waiting with anticipation to replace my SGS1 with the SGS2 in the US. The first one was a nice phone, but it took forever to get android 2.2 release. This is my biggest complaint with Samsung - very slow to roll out sofware updates.



no questions, off course sensation!! samsung design is just crap.



If design is no. 1 for you, Sensation is the phone for you. Sensation (and HTC, for that matter) makes the BEST HARDWARE for smartphones, hands down.

Look at this:
1) Sensation has the good "sense" to put qHD and not WVGA, since qHD is the perfect resolution for media. Iphone is using a similar resolution, they call retina display.

2) Sensation uses DUAL LEDs, whereas the dumbos like Samsung (still emulating the beleaguered iphone 4) insist on single LED. Actually, you really NEED dual LEDs for night photos, and on a screen this HUGE, a single tiny LED is a joke.. a bad joke.

3) Sensation placed the dual LEDs on the left side, not right side (like Samsung Galaxy S2 did) of the camera. Whats this good for? A LOT. When you put the phone on its side to take a shot, the LEDs will end up on TOP (not UNDER) the camera, so your shots wont look over-exposed or under-lighted.

4) Sensation has its very own Locations -- which is more dependable than Google maps, since you can navigate OFF-LINE and calculate routes without using data!! previously, only OVI Maps has that. But since Nokia went over the hill with Symbian and WP7, buying Nokia just for the free maps is a losing proposition. Now that HTC has similar offline maps, I'd go for HTC.

5) Last but not least, Sensation includes "stereo sound recording" along with 1080p video. Wow. Why didnt anybody figure that one out EARLIER? Everybody is pumping up resolution, but not sound.. I guess they are not truly aficionados when it comes to videos.

If Sensation will price itself LOWER than SGS 2, then HTC may have another winner on their hands for 2011 !!!



HTC's 1GB of internal storage is a joke. Loading the most basic of Google apps plus caching and you will fill that up in no time. A lot of apps will not transfering to the SD card either.

aakarsh kabir


hey i just have one thing to say once ur sensation memory gets full and u r unable to download any more apps ull be screwd big time coz i have got information from tech experts that we'll not be able to move many aaps from phone to sd card just like old nokia. So either get ready to delete many of ur fav. apps coz apps on anaroid market are more in size. A simple game can take up 90mb so be ready for that . Here in case of samsung u have 16/32 gb option so no worries regarding that. Yeah iknow samsung does have plasticy bad body which will not be able to run in long run but beauty isn't everything sometimes brain too is important........deside wisely fellas or wait for wave 3 launching in 2012 with type,touch and nice built mettalic body.



In the past i have used HTC HD2, the phone was good, not the best, i am now using Samsung Galaxy S2, and i would say its pretty awesome, the people who are saying its cheap looking, you are buying the phone for yourself, not to show it off, and it looks pretty decent, and the weight of the mobile, you will hardly feel you are holding anything in your hand or in your pocket, so my clear winner is Samsung Galaxy S2.

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