HTC Sensation XL Android phone

HTC Sensation XL review: Is a 4.7in screen too big for a smartphone? HTC is bravely attempting to find out

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews (7)
  • Buy Now 6
HTC Sensation XL
  • HTC Sensation XL
  • HTC Sensation XL
  • HTC Sensation XL
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5
  • User Rating

    3.00 / 5 (of 7 Reviews)

Pros

  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Beats Audio and included Beats headphones
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • No expandable memory
  • Lower resolution screen than competitors
  • Exclusive to Vodafone

Bottom Line

The HTC Sensation XL is one of the best Android phones of the year. The lack of expandable memory is an issue, but if you can get your head around this, you're left with a phone that has excellent build quality, a huge screen and good battery life. The included Beats headphones only sweeten the deal.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)
  • Buy now (Selling at 6 stores)

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HTC Sensation XL: Software and performance

The HTC Sensation XL runs the Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' operating system, but its HTC's Sense UI overlay that's the real star of the show. The latest version is Sense 3.5 and once again HTC has added some minor features, mostly centered around the look and feel.

You can remove home screens on the HTC Sensation XL if you don't use them (there are seven by default) and the lock screen comes with four customisable shortcuts, along with the ability to chose clock, stocks, weather, friend stream or a photo album to display in the centre of the screen. The Sensation XL also makes use of a 3D rotating effect when scrolling between home screens, and has an updated weather app with new animations and sounds: thankfully, the latter can be turned off. Existing Sense features like your eight most recently opened applications, quick settings toggles and a link to all phone settings all remain at the top of the notifications panel.

HTC has also added some enhancements to the camera app: you can now snap images with face recognition and burst mode. You can also use live effects to see the effect on the screen before the photo is taken. The camera itself has been upgraded compared to previous HTC models: it has a backside-illuminated sensor that promises better low light photos. We found the dual-LED flash washed out many of our photos, but colour reproduction is a highlight. The camera app starts almost instantly and is quick to snap successive photos. It also doubles as a 720p video recorder.

The HTC Sensation XL may only have a single-core, 1.5GHz processor but performance is excellent: the XL is a fast and slick phone and the software is responsive. As it's a Sense 3.5 Android phone, the HTC Sensation XL will also work with the company's new HTC Sync software. It's now compatible with Macs for the first time and will sync music playlists from iTunes, along with your contacts, calendar, photos, documents, videos and Web browser bookmarks.

HTC Sensation XL: Battery life and availability

The HTC Sensation XL's single-core processor seems to have done wonders for its battery life. Its one of the best performing Android phones in this area: the phone easily lasts a full day and will often stretch into a day and a half with light use. Considering the battery is powering a 4.7in screen, this is a very impressive result.

The HTC Sensation XL is available exclusively through Vodafone for $5 on Vodafone's $59 cap over 24 months (totalling $64 per month), or for $0 on Vodafone's $85 Infinite cap over 24 months.

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Jermaine William

1

HTC wants to find out if 4.7 inches is to big for a smart phone. I think not however why on earth would you make such a device, obviously you want people to listen to music,watch movies etc, but you limit them in terms of external storage and ram in addition to putting a single core processor.I love HTC but you guys need to do better than that and to think I sold my previous phone to buy this without looking at the specifications was just waiting for a big screen. Disappointed in you HTC.

Tim

2

I totally disagree, If you bought this phone before checking it's specification, it is your fault, depending on what you use it for, i think it's a winner, I have an ipod touch that I use for music, You should be thinking of doing the same. Best Phone on the market.

bjn

3

tim your comments border on the ridiculous two devices in your pockets is too much hence why apple invented the iphone you nong jermaine is right more thought should have gone into this phone and noone likes itunes unless you like being ripped off so get with the times tim and put your music with your phone calls and stop sounding like an eighty year old man

mick

4

worst phone ever, screen stuffed up in two weeks, vodaphone replaced it with new one, turned itself off in middle of phone calls. Vodaphone replaced it, same problem turning itself off middle phone call. Never again, now have Samsung Galaxy express, no problems.

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Jamila

3.0

1

Pros
Quality headphones
Cons
Battery life, camera
• • •

Most phone features were pretty okay for me with the calls, messages etc. The camera however was a disappointment personally. The front camera isn't as good and if you wanted to use this phone for concerts, most of the lights from the stage are emphasised therefore blocking the people on stage. Photos at concerts again are mostly light and you have to keep still to get a good photo otherwise you get a blur, which is pretty hard to do when you're squished among thousands of people. Sound quality of videos were alright though. Most of the battery life is taken from the screen itself, I found. It's an ok phone, but I'd rather something else personally.

Shirley

2.5

2

Pros
Great Features
Cons
Fragile Screen
• • •

The screen is fragile compared to other large screen phones. If your clumsy, this phone's screen will shatter badly, a 300 dollar fee to fix.

petet

4.0

3

Pros
not jermaine
Cons
• • •

Not very smart jermaine.... why would u buy anything without looking at tye specs?!??

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