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.

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Tags gingerbreadhtc sensationmobile phonesGoogle Android phonessmartphonessamsung galaxy s ii

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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