HTC Sensation vs. Samsung Galaxy S II: Smartphone showdown

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

HTC Sensation vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Display

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

The Samsung Galaxy S II on the other hand has the same sized 4.3in display as the HTC Sensation, but uses Super AMOLED Plus screen technology. Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus is a refinement of the original Galaxy S' Super AMOLED technology and promises a clearer and brighter image, as well as better battery life. The Galaxy S II's screen has a resolution of 480x800.

The HTC Sensation's qHD SLCD display may sound impressive on paper, but the vibrancy and brightness of the Galaxy S II's Super AMOLED Plus screen is going to be tough to beat; especially if the regular Super AMOLED display of the original Samsung Galaxy S is anything to go by.

HTC Sensation vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Software

The HTC Sensation runs the latest 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android operating system. Version 2.3 of Android means the Sensation has a revamped keyboard, better copy and paste, improved power management, and a slicker user interface compared to previous versions of Google's mobile platform.

The Sensation also includes the latest version of HTC's Sense UI overlay, 3.0. New features include customisable lock screens, 3D transitions between screens, an improved weather app with more vibrant animations and a video-on-demand service called 'HTC Watch'.

HTC Sensation The HTC Sensation includes the latest version of HTC's Sense UI overlay, which includes customisable lock screens, 3D transitions between screens, and an improved weather app.

The Samsung Galaxy S II Android phone runs the 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android platform, and features Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 UI overlay. Samsung-exclusive features include Social Hub, Readers Hub, Game Hub and Music Hub, while enhanced corporate and security functions include the implementation of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, on-device encryption and Cisco's AnyConnect VPN client.

Although both of these smartphones run the Google’s Android 'Gingerbread' operating system, each has a different UI overlay that is intended to enhance the user experience. HTC's Sense seems a little more involved than but both look appealing in their own way and will more than likely come down to personal preference.

HTC Sensation vs. Samsung Galaxy S II: Other features

Neither the HTC Sensation or the Samsung Galaxy S II come with a HDMI-out port but both phones include something better: a new connection technology called Mobile High-definition Link (MHL). The on-board MHL technology uses the standard micro-USB port on each device for outputting 1080p HD video and audio via HDMI. You'll need an optional microUSB to HDMI MHL connector to enable this feature, but the beauty of MHL means it can also be used with a USB adapter, meaning both the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S II can utilise USB on-the-go functionality like the Nokia N8. Along with DLNA connectivity for wirelessly sharing media content, both the Sensation and the Galaxy S II are well equipped for multimedia sharing.

Samsung Galaxy S II The Samsung Galaxy S II comes with on-board MHL technology that uses the standard micro-USB port to output 1080p HD video and audio via HDMI

The HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S II also have very similar specifications in other areas. Both phones have 8-megapixel cameras with geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, and image stabilization, but the Sensation has a dual-LED flash compared to the Galaxy S II's single LED, and also boasts a feature called instant capture. According to HTC, the instant capture feature eliminates shutter lag; the moment you press the button is the same moment the photo is captured.

One feature the Samsung Galaxy S II may over the HTC Sensation is an integrated Near Field Communications (NFC) chip. NFC is a short-range wireless communication technology; the same used in many new credit cards, whereby the card can be simply swiped across a smartchip to make a purchase. This technology is rumoured to be an inclusion on the upcoming iPhone 5, but we've seen conflicting reports of its inclusion across the world. Samsung says it will ship two versions of the Galaxy S II, one with NFC and one without. The latter is what the company has started shipping in Europe, while the Korean version of the Galaxy S II includes the NFC chip. It is not yet known if the Australian version of the Galaxy S II will include NFC.

Another point worth noting is the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S II is a quad-band HSDPA phone, so it will work across all Australian networks including Telstra's Next G network. The HTC Sensation on the other hand is only a dual-band 900/2100 phone, so it will only work on the Optus and Vodafone networks in Australia. There may be a separate model that will work on Telstra's Next G network (which runs on the 850MHz 3G spectrum) but this is yet to be confirmed.

The HTC Sensation is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, has 768MB of RAM and comes with a microSD card slot for extra storage. It is expected to be available in Australia in the second half of 2011, though pricing and availability has yet to be announced.

The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, along with a microSD card slot for extra storage. It is likely to launch in Australia in May, and will be available through all Australian carriers — Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Pricing has yet to be announced.

What do you think about the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S II? Tell us in the comments below!

Tags gingerbreadhtc sensationGoogle Android phonesmobile phonessmartphonessamsung galaxy s ii

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide

35 Comments

Vishruth Madhav

1

Comments to the comparison table in the 1st page:

You seem to have missed out the USB-OTG and WIFI direct features on Samsung galaxy SII. I'm not sure whether HTC sensation has these 2 features.

Another important difference that should be compared in the overall table should be the UI. HTC with Sense UI and Samsung with TouchWiz. I believe the HTC sense UI beats Samsung TouchWiz hands-down. Infact I think Samsung TouchWiz is crappy.

glenn willis

2

i own a desire but i have held one of these phones and as thin as the samsung is i still think they cant match the look of qaulity htc always inevitably offers!

HAwkwing

3

I think the samsung is to thin.... 8.5mm and a plastic cover just makes it feel fragile......

Wouter

4

I wanna hold both in my hand first but htc is my number 1 choice

HtCrUl3z

5

I think the Htc Sensation is an amazing phone but Samsung Galaxy s 2 looks ok as well........But i still prefer Htc sensation :}

Saket Kale

6

I think the major weak points with HTC sensation are 1GB internal memory and also no NFC, but it looks way better then the s2, the aluminium unibody looks way way better.

Matt

7

I'm confused, in your comparison, HTC only trumps Galaxy in One item - the resolution, and yet you give it the winner because of how it looks, even though its bigger and heavier. Weird logic.

Perhaps if you tested dropping the phones and confirmed one stood up more then the other this would make sense. Though you should have really said the SII comes out on top, but we still prefer the HTC.

I have an iphone at present, but are looking at other options.

Luke

8

Matt - Think you're confused because this article doesn't award a winner, it just states how the phones line up. They both look great to me but I'm leaning towards the HTC because of the cheaper price here and also durability - I'm a bit of a clutz.

Rusty

9

Some of your awards are just ridiculous - who the hell uses 802.11a ? How is that a win for the Galaxy? And how can you say that the Galaxy wins just because it has HSDPA 850-900 over the Sensation, it's no guarantee of reception at all. Also, as previously stated there is conveniently no U.I. comparison which is easily one of the most important features of one of these phones. Very poor "showdown".

brum

10

Quad-band isn't everything but it seems to be becoming more prevalent. Choice is a good thing. I prefer HTC build quality/interface.

LK

11

Samsung's will come with Swype, but I don't think that HTC's does.

Ross Catanzariti

12

Correct, the Galaxy S II comes with Swype, the Sensation does not. Though Swype is easily to download :-)

KP

13

Hands down to Samsung Galaxy S II ! I' ve own a HTC Desire.Weighed like a brick! Not safe at all. I own a Galaxy S II now, it' s sleek & thin. The internet speed is really fast. Let' s just say, none of these phones are built LIFEPROOF, that' s only for the Motorola Defy. Overall, Samsung is way better than HTC!

djamel laanani

14

i am an iphone user, and i would like to switch to weather HTC or SII! because of the important features that android has got in mobile phones such as FLASH PLAYER whereas iphone has't got it, but what worry's me is the AFTER SALE! with iphone if anything happens you just walk-into APP STORE and they sort the problem out for you, but i can't see this is happening with both HTC and SAMSUNG!

Josh

15

From Italy, You forgot the unique features that comes with HTC Sensation:

HSPA/WCDMA:Europa/Asia-Pacífico/T-Mobile US: 900/AWS/2100 MHz

I can switch from Europe and Tmobile USA (of course I have a contract also with Tmobile) and use HSPA in 3G.

Only Nexus S offered this features before

luis

16

Does thinner/slimmer means shorter battery life?

haritog

17

in the end the samsung will have the bettery battery life than the HTC.. wait
i manage to average 16 hours of battery on my HTC incredible S with constant use. note
ALL my settings are maxed out. screen brightness is maximum, GPS is on (as i use it) i'm constantly on facebook/twitter/G+ and whatsapp aswell..
i tried doing the same thing with both the galaxy S and S2.. and i merely got about 6 hours, 9 hours once

SIMNYC

18

I have changed from iPhone 3g to HTC Sensation. I miss my iPhone but I think I will be happy with the HTC except the battery life is BAD.

Luke

19

I work for a phone company, I get to use all the latest phones quite often.

Samsung have never made attractive phones, but are normally one step ahead.

If you look into it much, you'll notice Samsung make alot of parts for alot of other companies, therefore I fail to understand how other companies could better there phones?

Oh they look nicer.

Wow cos the girl or guy sitting next to you cares how pretty your phone is when the other 50 around you also have the same phone.

WTF<

Samsung Galaxy 2 crushes them all.

Devik

20

I use HTC Sensation and my brother uses S2. I have compared them very thoroughly.
And sensation has SWYPE but they have their own name for it which is HTC Trace and it is more intuitive than Swype.
S2 beats Sensation in RAM(great), and some features that aren't much useful.Also it is a better media player.
But HTC Sensation beats S2 in Camera quality, UI(by a very large margin), Build quality and user- friendliness, Internet browsing, resolution.
Battery life is pretty equal.

gary

21

Htc Sensation is best..

Joshuave

22

Firstly, anyone that believes a motorola defy is scratch / drop proof is an idiot lol. I work in a phone shop and have seen lots of them come back scratched badly.
I love the HTC sense UI and an not a fan of the Samsung UI however the main gripe I have with the HTC sensation is the screen design. It dips in which sounds good until you try to put a much needed screen protector on. It's virtually impossible to put one on without a horrible bubble effect around the outside of the screen caused by the screen dipping in.

ROY FADEL

23

HTC SENSATION IS THE BEST SMARTPHONE ON THE MARKET OUT DOES ANY OTHER SMARTPHONE

TRICKY

24

I'm a HTC FAN FOR SURE BUT WHICH PHONE IS BETTER IS A MATTER OF USER PERSPECTIVE. ALL SMART PHONES NOW HAVE SH*T HOT FEATURES COMPARED TO YEARS GONE BY SO WHICH EVER YOU CHOOSE YOUR VIRTUALLY GUARANTEED A SATISFYING EXPERIENCE. IF YOUR GOING TO BE DRAWN INTO A 'MINES BETTER THAN YOURS' CONTEST THAN AT SOME POINT YOUR GOING TO LOSE. ENJOY WHAT YOU HAVE AND KEEP ADROID ALIVE.

DudeMan

25

"Quietly brilliant" - need I say more? My last Samsung found it's way onto Facebook, after I burnt it and smashed it to pieces with a hammer. I would never recommend Samsung phones to anybody! I bet the Galaxy S II falls apart after six months of solid usage, whereas the Sensation plugs on for over three years! HTC durability just can't be beaten, I just recently upgraded from an HTC TyTNII - which I used solidly for over four years!!!

troy

26

i have a htc sensation, i like it but the service is bad. not sure if its the phone i have or the area i live in. i was thinkin of getting a gallaxy seing as my friend has one and its service is better. the internet isnt feeling working with 2 bars and less of service. very annoying.not sure what to do but.

justin

27

my cousin has a samsung galaxy s2 and i have a htc legend but his is s**t therefore mine wins!
his has already crashed twice an wen u drop it the paint scratches eaisly unlike mine which is invinsibel!
take that mutha fuka!

J S DOMNIQUE

28

I have used both HTC sensation & Galaxy SII. While compare to HTC, I found some draw backs in Samsung. Firstly, while do the browsing the battery gets heated.. Secondly, weather widgets cannot updated automatically to the current locations.. Thirdly, Android Apps store is running slowly...Hopefully the next version of samsung will have the rectification of the above...

Luke

29

I just got the sensation, and coming from iPhone its definately a breath of fresh air.
As otehrs have mentioned though, the battery life is average, it doesnt seem to utilise its hardware like teh iPhones do. I cant say anything about the S2 though.

Is there any possibility to increase the battery life through software/firmware? Im loving the sensation, but battery definately needs to be fixed.

Roy Fadel

30

In relation to my first comment , I would like to say that the HTC Sensation is the worst smart phone on the market ... There's no compromising that Apple I Phone S is undoubtedly the best smart phone on the market.

nicky

31

Hi everyone, I hate my iphone 3gs at the moment. Im very uneducated with tech but enjoyed reading these posts. It seems most people feel that the htc is the better option. My question is do you guys feel that either of these phones is a good competitor for the iphone 3gs? and why? Is the iphone 3gs just overated because I def cant afford an iphone 4 and my dear hubby wont let me go on another contract as we are single salary so I have to buy one off ebay.

voda75

32

Ayone has experience with the n7000?

Think be a better choice. Your opinion is much appreciated

Jenn

33

My boyfriend has the galaxy and I have the sensation!!!! I hate his phone and I think he is mad he didn't get a sensation, my phone usually is faster then his and he seems to constantly have issue. It cracks me up cause his was more expensive and was supposed to be way better? NOT!!!!! Lol!!!!! HTC is a good phone i've had more then one and I love them!!!

Jenn

34

Oh I almost forgot my brother got a battery pack that he put on his sensation and it makes the phone a lot thicker but he has never had battery problems since and he is always on his sensation!!!!! I'm thinking about getting one for mine cause my battery dies all the time!!!!! It's just a lot thicker that's why I haven't yet!!!! :-)

Maplin

35

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page and at the moment this time I am browsing
this web page and reading very informative articles or reviews at this time.

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