|The name HTC Sensation brings us back to the amazing smartphone that came out of HTC’s blocks and now with the HTC Sensation XE we have an even better phone with a keen eye or should we say ear for audio. HTC in collaboration with Beats by Dr Dre has launched this phone with a mission to win over the market niche who loves to get the best music out of their phones. HTC has thrown in a bigger battery and even added a better processor to this phone to make it the standout winner in the audio department. So, let’s find out if it is going to be the best audio smartphone we have ever seen.
There is a brushed aluminum strip that cuts across diagonally between two top notch soft-touch plastic. You will learn that this metal strip is actually a part of the unibody aluminum chassis and the curved recessed glass that goes over the 4.3 inch LCD screen will protect the screen from getting scratches. Turn the phone around and you will see the same 8MP camera that you had seen on the HTC Sensation 4G. It is positioned right next to the phone’s speaker and you will also see five dots that play their part in noise cancellation among other things. The volume rocker is placed together with the microUSB port on the left. Meanwhile on the top of the HTC Sensation XE you will find both the power key as well as the standard audio jack completing the buttons found around the phone. We liked how the buttons can be easily distinguished from the chassis and they all had good response too.
Out of the box, you get the HTC Sense 3.0 UI running seamlessly over the Anrdoid v2.3.4 Gingerbread and HTC still impresses with the amazing graphics and cool features HTC Sense offers every time. As always you are given seven home screens as well with the HTC Sensation XE, however it is not something that you can expand on. If you are still thinking about swiping between home screens in a straight line you are being left behind as with the HTC Sense 3.0 you spin them around until you get to the screen of your choice. If you are in the mood for some fun, just spin the screens real fast to see how your home screens look when spun around real fast. Widgets are aplenty and you have your usual list like the contacts, Google search, music and Friend Stream already installed for your convenience. Nevertheless, you can always delete any of them if you think you have a preferred widget in mind. Something new on this UI is the Android notification bar’s location. It is now below a scrollable list of recently opened apps. The lock screen has also seen some changes because now you would have to lift a ring to the middle of the screen to unlock. However, the choice of having four shortcuts which you can immediately access from the lock screen still remains and better yet, you can customize which app you would like to access from the lock screen.
Now of course we have to talk about the Beats Audio mode, the mode that sets this phone apart from its predecessor. This mode is a tailored sound profile that increases the overall volume and you get a whole new audio spectrum that Dr Dre thinks is best. It is a great mode to have as you get lower bass and even better treble making your music listening experience that much better. The in-ear headphones that come with the HTC Sensation XE are the best ever. Not only does it look cool with its red cable but you get Dr Dre’s sound signature thus getting some good music along the way.
On the front of the phone sits a majestic 4.3 inch LCD screen that has a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. Protected from scratch thanks to HTC’s design the screen on the HTC Sensation XE provides good brightness even when faced with the forces of the sun. The viewing angles are also terrific and text is crisp and sharp. Colors are also very rich and vivid. This is probable due to it being a Super LCD screen as colors are much well calibrated when compared to the Super AMOLED screens.
HTC Sensation XE has the same 8MP camera as its predecessor. Using the camera interface on this phone was a lot smoother as you would expect from a better CPU. Although the camera may lack Panorama mode but it has a plethora of effects you can apply before taking your photos or videos. Photos taken using this camera resulted in some dull colored pictures. However, there was much to love about how the phone was smart enough to deal with exposure and it also gives pretty good detail. On the video department, recording can be done at 1080p at a rate of 30fps, great numbers if you ask us. Videos turned out good with great attention for detail as well.
The browser onboard the HTC Sensation XE is brilliant, much like most HTC Android phones. The super powerful CPU gives some amazing page load times and this phone also offers support for Adobe Flash with great speeds too. Navigating across the page had no problems and the super fast text reflow is something to like as well. You get an array of connection option with the HTC Sensation XE like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, A-GPS and DLNA.
Remember those 5 rings that we saw earlier on the back of the phone, well they do their job well in cancelling background noise as our friends on the other end say our voice was super clear. The ear piece on the HTC Sensation XE is also good as we can hear our friends loud and clear. The super sized 1730mAh battery will get you through a day with average use and albeit having a bigger processor, there was no extra drain in battery life.
Pros and Cons
The camera could have been better and there is no support for FLAC format.
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