Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
HTC Sensation Android phone
HTC Sensation review: A powerful beast wrapped in a sturdy, aluminium shell
- Premium unibody design
- qHD display
- Slick Android and Sense software
- Battery life
- Doesn't feel as snappy as other dual-core phones
- Slow camera
The HTC Sensation combines a large, qHD display with an excellent unibody aluminium design. It may not feel as snappy as other dual-core Android phones, nor offer anything hugely new or innovative over previous HTC models, but it remains a great smartphone.
Price$ 792.00 (AUD)
Joining the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Motorola Atrix and the LG Optimus 2X, the latest dual-core powered Android smartphone is the HTC Sensation. The Sensation has a 4.3in qHD-resolution display, the latest version of HTC's Sense user interface, and a sturdy, aluminium unibody casing.
HTC Sensation: Unibody design
One of the highlights of the Sensation is HTC's unibody aluminium design, which has 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 and Desire S phones. The HTC Sensation's unibody casing is constructed from a single piece of aluminium and it does feel very well put together. There are no noticeable creaks or rattles, and it feels like a product of quality craftsmanship.
The HTC Sensation's battery cover feels a little awkward to remove — taking it off feels as though you are snapping the phone into two separate pieces. The battery cover consists of almost the entire shell of the handset, with the screen and the body of the phone completing the shell. The actual phone and screen part itself is quite thin — it's almost exactly the same thickness as the Samsung Galaxy S II. The Sensation has a thicker design than most of its competitors, but the extra girth is a trade-off we think many users would be willing to make for the added durability of the unibody design. The impressive build quality really does make the HTC Sensation feel like a premium device should.
The HTC Sensation includes four touch-sensitive shortcut buttons below the display (home, menu, back, and search) and the keys are backlit and responsive. It's a shame there is no physical shutter button, as it's hard to keep the Sensation still when taking a photo with the on-screen shutter key.
HTC Sensation: qHD display
The HTC Sensation has a 4.3in super LCD (SLCD) display. The big draw card here is the resolution — the Sensation's 540x960-pixel resolution makes it a quarter HD (qHD) screen. In general, the higher the resolution the better, as it increases the pixels per inch on the display. The Sensation's qHD screen means you see more of a website at once, and it is great for video playback and mobile gaming.
In a side-by-side comparison, we immediately noticed that the HTC Sensation displays crisper text, and more natural looking colours than the Samsung Galaxy S II. The crisper text is most evident when zoomed out in a web page; it's here that the HTC Sensation really shines. However, its SLCD screen simply can't match the vibrancy, brightness, and viewing angles of the Galaxy S II's Super AMOLED Plus display. The Sensation is also hard to see in direct sunlight. It's a great screen in its own right, but it's beaten by the Galaxy S II.
The glossy surface of the HTC Sensation's display is something we don't like. The surface seems extra glossy but doesn't feel as smooth to slide your finger across as most other Android phones we've tested. On a positive note, we do like how the edges of the glass curve upward toward the edge of the screen — this means the screen doesn't actually come into contact with surfaces when the phone is placed face down on a desk or table.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Android Q details leaked
- Oppo tease biometric and camera innovations ahead of MWC 2019
- LG V50 release date, price, specs and news rumours
- The new iPhone XS battery case works with the iPhone X, but don't expect perfection
- Fnatic and OnePlus announce global esports partnership
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies