Street Price: Rs 29,600 (Flipkart.com; Letsbuy.com; Saholic.com)
Currently, dual-cores are ruling the
droid roost. LG started off early with its Optimus 2X, but the product
had many rough edges. On the other hand, Samsung did quite well with its
Galaxy S II (GS2). It defeated every other flagship in the raw-power department. Now, we have received a true challenger to the GS2 - the HTC
The unimpressive TouchWiz has been the Achilles heel of the GS2. On the other hand, HTC has been known for its expertise in UI customisation. If the company
manages to strike a balance between eye-candy and performance, this device can
dethrone the GS2 as the ruler of the Android kingdom.
Design And Build Quality
The phone comes with a detachable USB
charger, earphones, and an 8 GB memory card. The first thing to grab your
attention is its 4.3" screen, wrapped in well-crafted glass that's curved at the
edges. The gadget measures 4.96" (l) x 2.57" (w) x 0.44" (d),
and has been designed to highlight its dominant screen. Moreover, the chrome-finished earpiece that houses a notification light also stands out. As
usual, this droid sports four capacitive touch keys, namely Home, Options, Back,
and Search. Unlike the Incredible S, these keys don't rotate to match the
phone's orientation. However, I'm not complaining, as long as the keys are
The device's curved back panel is composed of aluminium and high-grade
matte plastic with a rubbery feel, which provides a comfortable grip. Overall, this 148-gramme device has a great
design and excellent build quality.
Under the hood is a dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU with an
GPU to keep it company. It features 768 MB of RAM, an 8 MP rear and VGA
front camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, a 3.5 mm jack, MHL-enabled micro-USB port, microSD card support up
to 32 GB, and a bunch of sensors.Display
The device's 4.3" S-LCD screen is
covered by Gorilla Glass
and has pixel dimensions of 540x960. It is
capable of producing rich colours and high contrast. The sunlight legibility is ok,
but the limited viewing angles are a big downer.UI And Applications
The Sensation runs on Android 2.3
with HTC's Sense 3.0
UI on top of it. Its unique lock screen features a ring and
four customisable shortcuts. Dragging the ring to the centre unlocks the phone, and you
can also drag the shortcuts into the ring to access their corresponding apps quickly.
The homescreen contains a typical HTC
watch and other widgets. Swiping through its seven panes
never gets boring, thanks to the super-smooth scrolling and plenty of eye
candy. An overview mode can be activated using
the pinch-to-zoom-out gesture or by tapping the Home
key. Out of the numerous widgets, the company's Weather
widget deserves a special mention for its excellent animation
and level of integration. It not only simulates the weather condition on
the screen in real-time, but also gives it depth with sound effects.
The notification bar doubles up as a task switcher. Moreover, it's tabbed and enables you to access frequently used features without having to go through the menu. Also present is a task
manager that comes in handy if you prefer not to have several apps running in the
The onboard browser features a minimalistic
interface, which helps utilise the entire screen for the web page. It can play
videos without any problems, but 1080p videos play like a slide show.
The GPS receiver didn't lock onto any satellites
for about 30 minutes, until I ran out of patience and turned on the A-GPS
The device can handle all the latest games
without any problem. However, I found the loading time to be more than that of the GS2.
Gangstar: Miami Vindication in action.
All in all, the phone handles multitasking
with ease, and manages to remain snappy all the time. Moreover, Sense 3.0 is
simply the best looking customisation I've ever seen on any Android. It's also
one of the few phones that can challenge the iOS
The music player features a neat interface and
is easy to navigate. You can jump to the next or previous track simply by using a
Sound quality through the earphones is
excellent, which can be enhanced further by activating the SRS
there are plenty of equalisers too. FM radio is present; it features a simple
interface and also supports RDS (Radio Data System)
, which allows you to receive extra information such as the song title, artiste, etc. Currently, it is supported by stations such as Radio Mirchi
Like many Androids, this phone doesn't have
a dedicated video player. However, clips can be played directly through the gallery. SRS
enhancement is available, but there's no support for subtitles. It can handle 720p short clips
without a problem. However, it cannot play movie-length 720p videos. Third-party apps solve this problem to some extent, but the frame rate remains
unacceptable. Moreover, there is no support for MKV videos.
The device is DLNA
-certified, which enables
users to stream content to compatible TVs and music systems. It also features an
that can be used to hook up HDTVs using an appropriate adapter.Camera
The onboard 8 MP camera comes with a dual-LED flash. Its interface is simple yet efficient. It sports a zoom slider
on the right side, while a virtual shutter, flash toggle, and other options can be
found on the left side.
The Camera UI.
The image quality is just ok by 8 MP
standards. The snapper fails to capture details - this could be because of the noise
reduction filter going overboard.
The phone is capable of recording 1080p
video at 30 fps. Unfortunately, these clips can only be saved in the 3GP format.
Being able to shoot 1080p videos is good, but it's hardly any improvement over
720p recording. The resulting clips contain a reasonable amount of detail, and
30 fps minimises the jelly effect
.Telephony And Messaging
app is your phonebook, and
takes care of every detail from the landline number to the Facebook
profile. It features multiple tabs for
displaying All Contacts
, and Call History
The call quality and signal reception was
very satisfactory throughout testing. Sound quality during the telecon
was also good on both sides.
The phone displays messages in threaded
fashion. While composing a message, you can copy and paste text. The
portrait keypad is ordinary, but the landscape one has gone through some good
customisation. Well-spaced keys and a relatively big 4.3" screen make it
one of the best virtual keyboards seen on a mobile phone.
The generic email client can handle
multiple accounts. It differentiates each account with colour coding, which
makes sorting of emails easy.Battery
The 1520 mAh battery managed to keep the
device up just for 5 hours under heavy use. Then again, this is true for every
dual-core Android. Hence, considering the screen size and CPU power, you can't
really blame the poor battery.Verdict
The Sensation is HTC's answer to Samsung's
flagship GS2. Quality-wise, this phone scores over its rival. Moreover, TouchWiz stands no chance against the Sense 3.0 UI.
On the other hand, its video player is not
up to the mark. In terms of raw power, I found the GS2 handled complex
games with more ease, thanks to the GS2's superior Mali 400MP
Thus, it boils down to a matter of personal
preference. If you want a well-built phone with a beautiful
interface, get the Sensation. Those interested in raw power and running
benchmarks should take Samsung's route.Features:
5/5Design And Build Quality:
4.5/5Value For Money: