Yesterday morning, we were able to get up close and personal with HTC’s newest superphone, the HTC Sensation, which was just launched two days ago. We got a personal demo from HTC’s product marketing manager, Mr. Sherman Lai, who also answered a lot of our burning questions about HTC and the HTC Sensation.
The HTC Sensation is the second 4.3-inch Android phone from HTC with the first one being the Desire HD which has a lot of fans itself. This one’s the souped up version of the Desire HD with a dual core 1.2GHZ Qualcomm processor, 4GB internal phone storage and a quarter hi-def 540 x 960 (16:9) screen resolution. Greater pixel density (sharper images) than the Desire HD’s 480 x 800 screen.
This phone looks sleek and light (148g) without feeling like you’re holding a dummy phone. The materials used here are pretty top notch. The display is made up of the tough Gorilla Glass with a contoured edge. If you look closely at the picture above, the bezel will protect the glass when laid face down on a table.
The back panel which is constructed from a unibody aluminum gives it a premium look and solid feel. It’s really tough as well. Sherman asked us to scratch a key onto it and we gladly obliged. It actually marked but it’s just some transfer that you can easily rub off. With the HTC Sensation, you don’t have to worry about getting a case for it or protecting it from scratches you might get when placed in your purse or pocket.
The 8 megapixel camera has dual LED flash and a surprisingly fast auto-focusing lens. It can also do 1080p HD video recording without any problems.
The HTC Sensation has a minimalist look with physical buttons only for the Power/Sleep and volume control. Just like the Desire HD, Desire S and Wildfire S, the Android buttons are made up of touch panels. The only ports you can see here is the audio jack and the MHL port which looks like a microUSB port for charging/data and HDMI out. Sadly, the MHL to HDMI cable adapter is going to be a separate purchase.
Come to think of it, it’s just like any other big Android device in the market right? Well not exactly. This if the first HTC phone that will have the gorgeous HTC Sense UI 3.0 which we probably won’t see in older phones. The only other device sporting the new HTC Sense is the HTC Flyer. HTC Sense 3.0 capitalizes on the Sensation’s dual-core processor to handle all those beautiful animations (widgets floating around at the lockscreen) and transitions.
HTC Sense 3.0 is not all about animations and transitions. It has a modified lockscreen that allows you to access basic features like calls, messages, camera, etc. without unlocking your phone. Just drag the icon on the circular area on the screen to activate it. You can also place widgets like stocks, Friendstream, or what have you for easy reference. Then there’s also HTC Watch which allows you to download videos from content providers. It sounds good on paper but I’m not too high on this one. Besides, HTC is not yet expecting content for HTC Watch to be available in the region until next year.
The HTC Sensation also has a docking mode where the layout turns into something where you can access commonly used features as if it’s a mini-tablet docked on your desk. While docked, the phone can also be charged and you can even turn it into a small, expensive digital frame. Hehehe. The dock is also sold separately by the way.
Here’s a short video demo of the HTC Sensation and its Sense UI 3.0. Apologies for the not-so-sharp video. Believe me, the HTC Sense 3.0 looks way more pretty than in this video.
Overall, the HTC Sensation looks like another champion phone from HTC. Premium design, gorgeous UI and powerful specs that can withstand future OS and HTC Sense UI upgrades. The only thing some people might want from it is the capability to support 4G networks. With HSPA+ and LTE looming in the future, those who are conscious on the speed of their mobile internet will be looking for this feature.
Then there’s the issue of pricing. At Php31,990, it costs a couple thousand more than its main rival, the Samsung Galaxy S2 and people may be tempted to go with the lower price. However, you might want to consider the HTC Sense experience that HTC prides itself from. The wealth of features, user experience and usability it brings are the real differentiators HTC phones have over other brands.
|HTC Sensation Specs:|
|Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Adreno 220 GPU|
|Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread), HTC Sense UI 3.0|
|4.3″ S-LCD display (540 x 960) 16M colors, Gorilla Glass display|
|Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps|
|Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP|
|8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash, 1080p @ 30fps video recording|
|TV-out (via MHL A/V link)|
|1GB internal storage with support for microSD (8GB included, up to 32GB)|
|1520maH Li-On battery|
|126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm|