HTC Sensation – an initial thoughts review

If you were asked to pick out the Sensation mobile phone from a collection of HTC’s top devices, the probability of failure is highly likely to override your sense of judgement. The device looks incredibly similar to the Desire HD, along with arriving with a set of top class specifications and a refreshed HTC Sense user interface, with some ambitious new apps. The Sensation looks great, with little touches that go a long way to improve its usability. HTC’s Sensation’s screen is actually slightly embedded, which not only appears to be the work of a quality watch maker and gives the finger a clear boundary on its touchscreen.

Some of the apps, like ‘Cruiser’, are intriguing but many are based on ridiculous content and seem to crash instantaneously. The display quality on the Sensation is fantastic, with a crisp distinct ability that we have come to expect from HTC’s premier devices with its competitive resolution. The touch screen system as a whole is delicate and yet brilliantly responsive; we have tried to catch it out by moving across the screen rapidly and in opposite directions but to no avail.

One of the key features for this device is the ‘Watch’ app, which is a video store that promises users the ability to download movies and TV shows at their leisure. Whilst HTC provides many of its own apps with varying levels of practicality, they have big aspirations for the Watch app. Although it lacks music downloads, where it won’t necessarily be competing directly with iTunes, but rather creating an alternative way in which users can download and share videos. One Mobile Ring has learned the Sensation will not be able to share such media with non-HTC devices, but with so much popularity, we don’t think customers won’t be complaining too much.

Unsurprisingly, we have another device that looks, feels and works just like the Desire S. It may very well have a dual core processor but at the moment the phone isn’t utilising it and it doesn’t seem any faster than any of its predecessors. A similar argument could be made when discussing ‘quad core’ computers, as there really aren’t many multi-thread applications that use all four cores on a PC. The likelihood is that most of the common applications will still only use the one core, although it might be the case that games and applications in the future will take into account the ability to use the processor effectively – where it just seems to weigh the phone down unnecessarily at current time.

The new and improved HTC Sense 3 UI seems mostly unchanged, only with a noticeably improved weather app that has been seen on the HTC Flyer tablet. The widgets are very limited, and the personalise feature did not work at all, but the device we have is a prototype and therefore unlikely to represent the finished product.

One Mobile Ring believes many people are genuinely excited by this phone, whether the processor works or not effectively. The promise of streaming and sharing videos, the screen quality and multitude of ‘in house’ apps builds a massive sense of expectation. We have to admire HTC’s accomplishments, as they seem to keep their customers happy and always wanting more. The excitement and anticipation surrounding this handset alone should ensure that this is one of HTC’s most successful handsets to date.

– B

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