HTC Sensation XE Android phone
HTC Sensation XE review: The original HTC Sensation gets a splash of red paint and an endorsement from Dr.Dre
- Black and red colour is attractive
- Included urBeats in-ear headphones
- Unibody aluminium design
- Not as snappy as we'd have liked
- Very little improvements over original
- Exclusive to Vodafone
The HTC Sensation XE is by no means a bad Android phone, but none of its features blew us away. We love the red and black design and the urBeats headphones are a nice inclusion, but average battery life and less than stellar performance detract from its appeal. Ultimately, the HTC Sensation XE is a very good smartphone but not a great one.
HTC Sensation XE: Software and performance
The HTC Sensation XE runs the 2.3 or "Gingerbread" version of Google's Android operating system, with the company's Sense UI overlay sits on top. Sense 3.0 gives the Sensation XE a new lock screen, which comes with four customisable shortcuts that can be dragged into the 'unlock ring' to unlock straight into an assigned app. The lock screen can also display photo albums, a friend stream, weather, stocks or the clock, along with missed call, e-mail, and SMS notifications (and album art when you are playing music). Annoyingly, you can't directly unlock straight into these apps unless you have them set as a lock screen shortcut. It's also rather off that the Sensation XE doesn't come with the latest 3.5 version of Sense.
With that being said, Sense UI's slick animations and flashy menus do give the Sensation XE an edge over other Android phones. We think Sense is particularly good for first-time Android users or people who haven't used a smartphone before. More advanced users, however, may find the eye candy a bit over-the-top and unneccessary.
The HTC Sensation has the same dual-core processor as the original Sensation but it's been overclocked to 1.5GHz (up from 1.2GHz). This results in slightly faster performance during day to day use, but there are still times when the Sense software seems like a resource hog. The Sensation XE is not a slow phone by any means, but it occasionally stutters when swiping through home screens or swiping to unlock the lock screen. Thankfully, the camera app now opens noticeably faster than the original Sensation — it takes just two seconds to start-up from the lock screen.
HTC Sensation XE: Battery life and availability
The HTC Sensation XE has a bigger battery than the original Sensation — 1730mAh compared with the 1520mAh. However, we didn't notice too much of a difference: the Sensation XE should get you through a full day with moderate use, but may drain before the end of the day if you use it excessively. The Sensation XE has 4GB of internal memory compared to the original's 1GB — however, only 1GB of it is user accessible.
The HTC Sensation XE is sold in Australia exclusively through Vodafone. It is available for $0 on Vodafone's $59 cap over 24 months.
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GGG Evaluation Team
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