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!

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Tags gingerbreadhtc sensationmobile phonesGoogle Android phonessmartphonessamsung galaxy s ii

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide
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