HTC Sensation XE


A new phone powered by Android

HTC and its smartphones are some of the best sellers today. The first HTC Sensation made quite a splash when it was officially launched earlier this year. In fact it proved to be so successful, that the company thought of improving the model and releasing it under a new name, Sensation XE, and a new description: Beats Audio handset. Should you get yourself this product or stick to the original Sensation? We tested the smartphone and this review is what we think.

The same external design

As far as looks go, the HTC Sensation XE looks identical to the first Sensation model, down to even the dimensions: 126.1mm x 65.4mm x 11.3mm. The weight, on the other hand, is a bit different: 151g. Overall the smartphone looks minimalistic when compared to, let’s say, the Samsung Galaxy S or iPhone 4S. The most striking differences between this version and the original Sensation are the black and red color scheme, the big, bold Beats logo on the rear and the camera’s lens which has a red ring around it. The casing is an unibody one and the back panel is rubberized, which means that the device won’t fall out of your hands the second you pick it up to use it. All the delicate parts of the Sensation XE smartphone are protected by the same back panel.HTC-Sensation-XE

4.3″ Super LCD display

The screen of the Sensation XE measures the same 4.3″ Super LCD with 540 x 960 pixels; during our tests these were great for surfing the Internet and watching movies, among other things. A big plus for the display was the concave design that did a brilliant job of protecting it from scratches and fingerprints. Still, image quality paled in comparison to displays found on iPhones or the Samsung Galaxy S2. The glass the screen is made of comes with ultra-accurate input.

The HTC Sensation XE has, in terms of processor, a 1.5GHz dual-core version. By running this processor, the smartphone didn’t deliver lags and navigation went smoothly on the review time. Running many apps, browsing the Internet and writing text messages weren’t at all problematic.

Sense 3.0 included

Like the original HTC Sensation, this updated edition is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread with Sense 3.0. The OS makes the smartphone feature video calling using a combination of Google Talk and the phone’s front-facing camera. The interface is unique to this device and sports many widgets and apps to play with. The Sense 3.0 is, in our opinion, one of the most good-looking skins out of what’s available today. But that’s not all we liked about the interface; we were very delighted with a pull-down notification bar that enabled us to view running apps and monitor our phone’s RAM. Not to mention that we simply loved a widget called Stream, because it pulled updates from our Facebook and Twitter accounts into one easy-to-digest flow of data. From among pre-installed applications our favorites were the following: HTC Locations and HTC Watch.

8-megapixel camera

The Sensation XE also ships with an 8-megapixel camera, which is the same as the one integrated on the original Sensation. Results were good, with more than enough details, exposure and beautiful colors. Videos also looked impressive and the smartphone gave us the possibility, during tests, to stream home movies to our HDTV via DLNA capability.

In the connectivity department, the device is compatible with 2G and 3G networks and offers support for 3.0 Bluetooth and Wi-Fi b/g/n. The 1,730 mAh cell battery struggled to get through a day of moderately heavy use, a not impressive battery life.

Review conclusion

Simply put, the review conclusion is that the HTC Sensation XE is a good buy and will certainly rival with Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus.

Technical specifications

Official release date2011, September
Phone actual statusAvailable. Release date 2011, October
General specifications2G NetworkGSM 850 MHZ / 900 MHZ / 1800 MHZ / 1900 MHZ
3G NetworkHSDPA 900 / 2100
HSDPA 900 / 1700 / 2100
DimensionsExternal dimensions126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm
Total weight151 g
FeaturesOSAndroid OS, v2.3.4 (Gingerbread)
PROCESSOR1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 220 GPU, Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon
ScreenTypeS-LCD capacitive touch screen, 16M Available Colours
Multi-touch input method
Dimensions540 x 960 pixels, 4.3 inches (~256 ppi pixel density)
Proximity Light sensor for auto shut down
Accelerometer Light sensor for UI auto-rotate
HTC Sense UI
Touch-sensitive controls
Gyro Light sensor
SoundAlert characteristicsVibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
3.5mm jackIncluded
MemoryPhone bookPractically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Internal4 GB (1 GB user available), 768 MB RAM
Memory card slotmicroSD card, up to 32GB,
Call recordsPractically unlimited
DataGPRSUp to 80 kbps
3GHSDPA, 14.4 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
EDGEUp to 236.8 kbps
BluetoothIncluded, v3.0 with A2DP
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
USBIncluded, microUSB (MHL) v2.0
Infrared portNot included
Camera specificationsPrimary camera8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash,
VideoIncluded, 1980×1080 pixel, [email protected], stereo sound recording,
FeaturesGeo-tagging, touch-focus, image stabilization, face detection, instant capture
SecondaryIncluded, VGA
Internet BrowserWAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
MessagingSMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email
RadioStereo FM radio with RDS
GPSIncluded, with A-GPS support
JavaIncluded, via Java MIDP emulator
Beats Audio
Available ColoursBlack
Google Search, Maps, Gmail
YouTube, Google Talk, Picasa included
XviD/MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
Time management organizer
Digital compass
MP3/AAC+/WAV/WMA player
Document viewer
SNS included
Voice memo/dial/commands
Predictive text input
Stand-by timeUp to 310 h (2G) / Up to 540 h (3G)
Estimated talk timeUp to 9 h 16 min (2G) / Up to 7 h 20 min (3G)
BatteryStandard battery, Li-Ion 1730 mAh