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.
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.
We will end our review by saying that the HTC Sensation XL is a slim and affordable smartphone, with good performance.
|Screen Dimensions (diagonal)||4.7 inches|
|Display technology||Super LCD|
|Touch screen type||Capacitive|
|Total weight||0.36 pounds|
|Primary camera orientation||Portrait|
|GSM frequencies supported||1900, 1800, 900, 850|
|UMTS frequencies supported||900, 2100, 850|
|UMTS / HSPA||Included|
|WWAN data standards supported||UMTS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSDPA, GPRS|
|Wi-Fi support||802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b|
|RAM Dimensions||768 MB|
|Brand / family||Snapdragon|
|Clock speed||1.5 GHz|
|Bluetooth version||Bluetooth 3.0|
|Front Camera specifications|
|Rear Camera specifications|
|Internal Dimensions||16 GB|
|Video Definition||1080×720 pixel, 720p|
|Available Operating Systems||Android 2.3|
|Other ports||Micro USB|
|Use time||410 min|
|Light sensors||Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Accelerometer|