HTC Sensation XL


A slim and affordable smartphone

Until some years ago HTC was relatively unknown in the sea of smartphone producers. Then the company began creating devices which gradually became people’s favorites, right behind Apple’s and Samsung’s smartphones. The Desire model, for instance, was meant as a serious opponent for the iPhone. With today’s technology developing even faster, will HTC remain on the list of best sold smartphones? We took the company’s new Sensation XL version for a spin. Below you’ll find our review on the matter.

4.7″ Super LCD display

At first look, the HTC Sensation XL has a body which is similar to the HTC Titan. The side bezel is narrow and the thin space above the screen makes the device shorter than Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. Not only is the product shorter, it is also slimmer with its 0.4″. The rounded corners made the smartphone more comfortable to grip than others in its class. If you have large hands, the Sensation XL will fit them perfectly. We were quite disappointed to see that this smartphone didn’t feature the usual soft-touch plastic found on HTC devices: the rear was made of an aluminum plate which was very slippery during tests performed by our team.

Fortunately the product didn’t tip over when we used it with one hand, thanks to an even weight distribution on both of its ends. The display, a large 4.7″ Super LCD, was fast, graphically impressive and crisp, although it didn’t feature a QHD resolution. The screen’s ~200ppi density made text look somewhat jagged, but overall we were pleased with the display, especially since it was visible in direct sunlight, had such rich colors and also great viewing angles in tests.HTC-Sensation-XL

Powered by Android 2.3

The device doesn’t offer a lot of buttons, but the volume and power/lock keys are difficult to feel and press. In terms of ports, the HTC Sensation XL only sports a 3.5mm headphone jack and a miniUSB slot. The rear of the smartphone sported an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash which delivered some of the worst photos and videos we ever saw on any smartphone: color reproduction was inaccurate, there were lots of noises and unfocused spots.

As for operating system, this phone uses Android 2.3 which features the newest HTC Sense 3.5. These two gave a superb performance which was further enhanced with the help of a single-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S2 processor. The UI ran with excellent speed, smoothly and used fewer resources than previous versions. It also came with full access to Android Market’s included apps. We experienced some lagging when multitasking, but not so much as to annoy us. Writing messages on the spacious keyboard was a real treat and the product offered us the possibility to have threaded conversations displayed.

1.5GHz Snapdragon S2 processor

The new Sensation XL provided us with a generous 4GB of ROM for installing apps and 8GB of internal memory. Now this will come as a surprise, but there’s no microSD card slot for expansion purposes. However the company will, in the near future, have an additional 5GB of cloud storage.

The multitude of apps on this smartphone will certainly keep you entertained for a good chunk of time, some of the best ones being Reader, Evernote and Tango.

Medium battery life

The browser, though a little slow, is great to use on the device’s large screen, because Internet pages look so much better than on smaller displays.

The battery offered 7 hours of talk time battery life in 3G mode and 460 hours of standby in test.

To make up for its weaker points, the Sensation XL had excellent voice quality when we called or were called. Also, the integrated noise-canceling microphones did an excellent job.

Review conclusion

We will end our review by saying that the HTC Sensation XL is a slim and affordable smartphone, with good performance.

Technical specifications

Form factorSlab
Screen Dimensions (diagonal)4.7 inches
Display technologySuper LCD
Definition(Y)800 px
Definition(X)480 px
Touch screen typeCapacitive
Height5.22 inches
Width2.78 inches
Total weight0.36 pounds
Thickness0.39 inches
Primary camera orientationPortrait
GSM frequencies supported1900, 1800, 900, 850
UMTS frequencies supported900, 2100, 850
UMTS / HSPAIncluded
WWAN data standards supportedUMTS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSDPA, GPRS
Wi-Fi support802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b
RAM Dimensions768 MB
Brand / familySnapdragon
Clock speed1.5 GHz
Media streamingDLNA
Bluetooth versionBluetooth 3.0
ExternalNot included
Front Camera specifications
Definition1.3 megapixels
Rear Camera specifications
Definition8 megapixels
Data storage
Internal Dimensions16 GB
Video Definition1080×720 pixel, 720p
FlashDual LED
Available Operating SystemsAndroid 2.3
SkinHTC Sense
Other portsMicro USB
Headphone jack3.5mm
Battery1600 mAh
Use time410 min
Light sensorsCompass (Magnetometer), Proximity, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Accelerometer