HTC Sensation Android phone

HTC Sensation review: A powerful beast wrapped in a sturdy, aluminium shell

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  • User Reviews (7)
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HTC Sensation
  • HTC Sensation
  • HTC Sensation
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.00 / 5 (of 7 Reviews)


  • Premium unibody design
  • qHD display
  • Slick Android and Sense software


  • Battery life
  • Doesn't feel as snappy as other dual-core phones
  • Slow camera

Bottom Line

The HTC Sensation combines a large, qHD display with an excellent unibody aluminium design. It may not feel as snappy as other dual-core Android phones, nor offer anything hugely new or innovative over previous HTC models, but it remains a great smartphone.

Would you buy this?

Joining the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Motorola Atrix and the LG Optimus 2X, the latest dual-core powered Android smartphone is the HTC Sensation. The Sensation has a 4.3in qHD-resolution display, the latest version of HTC's Sense user interface, and a sturdy, aluminium unibody casing.

Read our detailed preview of the HTC Sensation and check out our HTC Sensation vs Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone showdown.

HTC Sensation: Unibody design

One of the highlights of the Sensation is HTC's unibody aluminium design, which has 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 and Desire S phones. The HTC Sensation's unibody casing is constructed from a single piece of aluminium and it does feel very well put together. There are no noticeable creaks or rattles, and it feels like a product of quality craftsmanship.

The HTC Sensation's battery cover feels a little awkward to remove — taking it off feels as though you are snapping the phone into two separate pieces. The battery cover consists of almost the entire shell of the handset, with the screen and the body of the phone completing the shell. The actual phone and screen part itself is quite thin — it's almost exactly the same thickness as the Samsung Galaxy S II. The Sensation has a thicker design than most of its competitors, but the extra girth is a trade-off we think many users would be willing to make for the added durability of the unibody design. The impressive build quality really does make the HTC Sensation feel like a premium device should.

The HTC Sensation includes four touch-sensitive shortcut buttons below the display (home, menu, back, and search) and the keys are backlit and responsive. It's a shame there is no physical shutter button, as it's hard to keep the Sensation still when taking a photo with the on-screen shutter key.

HTC Sensation: qHD display

The HTC Sensation has a 4.3in super LCD (SLCD) display. The big draw card here is the resolution — the Sensation's 540x960-pixel resolution makes it a quarter HD (qHD) screen. In general, the higher the resolution the better, as it increases the pixels per inch on the display. The Sensation's qHD screen means you see more of a website at once, and it is great for video playback and mobile gaming.

In a side-by-side comparison, we immediately noticed that the HTC Sensation displays crisper text, and more natural looking colours than the Samsung Galaxy S II. The crisper text is most evident when zoomed out in a web page; it's here that the HTC Sensation really shines. However, its SLCD screen simply can't match the vibrancy, brightness, and viewing angles of the Galaxy S II's Super AMOLED Plus display. The Sensation is also hard to see in direct sunlight. It's a great screen in its own right, but it's beaten by the Galaxy S II.

The glossy surface of the HTC Sensation's display is something we don't like. The surface seems extra glossy but doesn't feel as smooth to slide your finger across as most other Android phones we've tested. On a positive note, we do like how the edges of the glass curve upward toward the edge of the screen — this means the screen doesn't actually come into contact with surfaces when the phone is placed face down on a desk or table.

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Read more on these topics: htc sensation, htc, mobile phones, smartphones



Great review. Just need to correct the typo in your headline. "Study" should be "Sturdy."

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Quiet Brilliant
a bit big
• • •

I have 2 HTC smartphone. One is HTC Sensation, another is Incredible S. HTC Sensation is awesome nad it works great for me. i got no complaint at all except that the 4.3” screen is a bit big for me to hold.




speaking your texts and emails, the screen (when not in the sun)
Low Bluetooth & wireless signals are deal breakers
• • •

This phone really has some deal breaking issues. There are definately issues with the wifi and with the bluetooth.

Phone #1:

random reboots, Super short battery life, would not stay connected to wifi reliably, poor batter life and it died in less than 24 hours and could not be turned on again. The battery meter just kept dropping even though it was plugged in and the charger and cable were good.

Phone #2:

WIFI: While NOT holding the Sensation in my hnad….The signal is always about 10dBm below my laptop and iPhone when in the same location. Installing a wifi finder reveals that access points are present one moment and gone the next unless they have the strongest signal. The iPhone and the PC see 10+ access points and the Sensation can only see two of the three in my house. If you install a signal analyzer it reveals that the Sensation shows the signal varying wildly while the PC and iPhone show a steady signal.

BLUETOOTH: While playing audio the signal fades and the music skips unless the Sensation is within 2 feet of my Motorol S9 headset. if I put it in a sweathshirt pocket I get skips. If I put the sensation on my pants pocket the audio cuts out 50% of the time.

Other issues: short battery life, stalls, browser hangs, phone search results put web results at the top of the list and contacts and music at the bottom of the list off of the screen making the user think that it is not searching contacts (what happened to ranking the results and displaying the highest ranked and closest matched?), song somtimes changes when unlocking phone, VM notification still displayed when there are no messages, hard to sync music automatically and most third party sync software doesn't sync play counts or ratings, bluethooth integration with built in music player is poor, you have to tell the music player to use bluetooth each time... even if the bluetooth headset isn't already connected. Compared to the iPhone, the navigation is inconsistent. Sometimes you navigate back with the back button, sometimes it's in the software.

I think I'll go back to the iPhone, it is not as flexible as the Android OS, but it executes it's core functions flawlessy. The Android OS, or maybe the Sense overlay doesn't seem ready for prime time.




• • •

android device will be more popular in future, because it is open source.

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