back to article HTC Sensation dual core Android smartphone

HTC’s latest high-ender is the first dual core device from the Taiwanese company and offers a huge screen, improved 8Mp camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread and the latest HTC Sense user interface. The HTC Sensation is available from Vodafone only to begin with though, and the big red one isn’t saying for how long… HTC Sensation …


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  1. Piro Silver badge

    What do you have to do to get a higher score?

    Since the only complaints levelled were that you needed an adapter for HDMI, and that the battery life was OK, but incredible (always expected with smartphones now), then, what's holding it back?

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Not perfect

      Better battery life, better camera perhaps? did you miss the bit about occasional jerky video and better photos than before but still not perfect.

    2. tmTM

      The Galaxy S II

      THe HTC posts benchmark scores nearly 50% lower than the Samsung phone and lower than the LG and Motorola phones.

      So why buy the worst performing dual-core phone when there are three better alternatives already on the market?

      1. Will.

        FYI, Re: Benchmarks

        The Quadrat synthetic benchmarks run at the phone's native resolution and are resolution dependent. Therefore, a qHD screen at 540*960 is going to obviously have a lower score than a similarly spec'd phone running the same benchmark but only rendering 480*800.

        1. tmTM

          Better benchmarking is required

          It would be nice to see scores from other benchmark apps, as Quadrant is quite flawed for various reasons, scores from something like Smartbench 2011 might give more information.

          (If you check the average scores you'll notice the Sensation way behind all the rest of the competition ;-) )

    3. RegisterThis

      Release before your better competition?

      The issue here was a race to market and expectation setting. Samsung released their Galaxy SII first and it set the benchmark. HTC haven't done enough to meet or exceed those expectations which were set quite high. It beats the SII in 3 areas only: Resolution (at the expense of brightness), Build Quality (at the expense of size) and UI (Sense over Tocuhwiz). And with the exception of the UI which is arguably superior, the other pros are losses in other categories (resolution for colour etc.). After that it is all one-way traffic in the SII camp. My guess is that had HTC say just upped RAM to 1GB or added some proper solid state storage it would have gone a long way to meeting expectations. HTC made it too easy to be seen as 'Plain Jane' in the Android 'SuperPhone' race!

      1. Monty Burns


        And in MY opinion, Sense UI is irrelevant. I run SPB Shell 3D and so I really don' t give a monkeys about Sense or Touchwiz!

        Overall, a poor showing from HTC in my opinion.

        1. RegisterThis

          @Monty Burns

          "Overall, a poor showing from HTC in my opinion."

          Yeah - I was dissapointed too. Apparently they are releasing an NFC enabled one in Q3. Hopefully they will do a few tweaks to address some of criticisms. I don't care about the benchmarks as there is such a thing as 'enough' processing power and the benchmarks are skewed a bit by the higher resolution and running anything off an SD card as opposed to internal storage. (Besides the OLED also has its cons!)

          Just adding more RAM - and even just 8GB solid state storage for 'apps' and squeezing a bit more battery oomph in would convince me as I would prefer the better HTC build quality!

          Let's see what iPhone 5 turns out in the interim. Even WP 7 is starting to look interesting with Mango. Choice for consumers is always good ... less so for vendor groupies :-)

  2. EddieD

    Bootloader unlocked?

    As promised?

  3. Desk Jockey


    For those with more sense (no pun intended!) than money, you will see that Amazon has just dropped the price of the HTC Incredible S by £120 so it is now £380. Looks like the Sensation has taken the Tier 1 spot at £500. As far as I can tell, the Incredible is pretty much a single core version of the Sensation, making it a bargain buy. I suspect the battery life is better too.

    I honestly cannot see what the benefits are of dual core on a phone, but I will admit the phone looks lovely.

    1. Daf L

      Dual Core

      The guys at Android Central claimed that a dual core would not do a massive amount for performance but would help battery life due to the less power being needed.

      No idea if this is true or any real-world comparisons but this was the conversation they had before dual-core was in the wild.

      1. tmTM

        battery life

        From what I've heard the latest generation of smart phones need charging pretty much everyday, more if you play with it a fair bit.

        I don't think battery life is something any manufacturer can claim any more.

        Not like a few years ago when a charge a week was all that was required.

        1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

          Battery life

          The Galaxy S2 is happy to go 2, or even 3, days with an average usage profile. It's way better than the previous generation of smartphones.


          1. Monty Burns

            Agreed Geoff

            I am VERY impressed with my SGS2's battery performance.... way better than any smartphone i've used previously - and I'm "push" to 2 Exchange accounts.

    2. as2003

      dual core, smule core

      I still can't understand why people need more that 640k of memory

      1. Anonymous Coward

        1.2GHz, with 768MB of RAM, dual core... nuts...

        That is more than my laptop (single core 1.3GHz P-Mobile limited in software to 1GHz with 512MB) for crying out loud. That spec is usually more than enough for what I do with it under Debian/XFCE4. It sometimes starts struggling on powerpoints with crazy graphs, but otherwise it does the job with that spec.

        This is nuts... We are reliving the early 2000-es glory days when the PC specs were being upped the way addicts up the stakes at Las Vegas.

    3. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      Seems pricey

      O2 have the Galaxy S2 on PAYG for £399. Quite stunningly good value for money.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I can only find £479.99 for the Galaxy S2!

  4. Nathan 13

    Nice looking phone but..

    Why cant they leave the power/input on the bottom on the phone, so it can be used in cradles easily GRRRRR

    1. boatman


      The cradle for the sensation supports the phone in landscape not portrait.

      1. Steven Knox


        Clever design would eliminate any landscape/portrait restriction.

        The bottom-right corner of the device in portrait mode would be the bottom-left corner of the device in landscape mode (assuming clockwise rotation -- otherwise switch "left" and "right" in the preceding.)

        So that would be the logical position to place a power/input connection.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Pros and Cons..

    Ok so it's all good and as an extra it has a decent camera.. so what lets it down if it averages the same rating as the Desire S?

  6. Scott A. Brown
    Thumb Up

    I got myself one of these last week

    I had an HTC Magic for the past couple of years and by the end I was getting frustrated by the lags and waiting that seem to cripple the device after the upgrade to 2.1. Getting this Sensation has been great. It's nice to see what a modern version of Android can do, and it does it well - super smooth and functional. The HTC sense overlay is beautiful and the screen is super sharp. You cannot see individual pixels on it and it's making my PC screen look a little sad, if I'm honest.

    I know that the Samsung is out and better, but I wanted nice casing on my phone and after having held both, the HTC wins hands down for me. It's a better looking bit of kit too, in my opinion.

  7. Lottie


    While I like the idea of a dual core phone, surely it's a bit counter productive to then drop a power hungry UI over the top? I wonder what a single core -but without the 3rd party UI phone would do in comparrison to one with a fancy UI.

    Bit like making a car with a ferrari engine and a fancy looking cast iron bodyshell.

    1. James 63

      Single core, less bling = better battery

      I've almost doubled the battery life on my HTC Desire by moving to a custom rom. Not sure if it's a result of the Froyo -> GingerBread transition, or ditching Sense, but I can get two days of decent use from it now.

    2. blcollier

      re: Hamstrung

      I've got the original Desire, and I recently rooted and changed the ROM to one with a newer version of Sense - ported from devices like this one. Although not all the functionality is fully working yet - such as lock screen widgets - my old-school Desire handles it perfectly. Barely a stutter or slow-down in sight.

      You don't really need a dual-core phone to run the OS or the fancy UI stuff - it might help when it comes to graphically intense games. Though what I have read about dual-core phones suggests that because each core has less work to do, the overall power consumption is reduced.

      Though I haven't read any solid empirical evidence to back that up.

  8. ooops


    "through the lack of a dedicated HDMI slot", because no handset manufactured is daft enough to use a non-MHL connector on their handset, when a single slot can privide HDMI, USB charging, HDMI charging, and USBOTG etc all from the same point.

    Anyway, I'm off to buy the SGS s2.

  9. Tom Kelsall


    I can't believe you've reviewed the Sensation without a single substantive mention of the Samsung Galaxy SII. I have a Sensation and I'm very pleased with it; but there're quite a few things which the Sensation does less well than the Samsung and I was disappointed that your review seems to think that HTC's main competition is LG(!!!)

  10. Graham Lockley
    Thumb Up

    Decisions !

    I am due a new phone soon and this and the Sammy are favourites (along with the Xperia Arc still in the running if the price drops a little). I've tried both and TBH I'm probably going to get this. The Sammy has a great (samoled) screen but against it is the construction ( that plastic back feels awful and doesn't feel like it would last more than 12 months ),TouchWiz (yuk) and the killer.... it looks like an Appl£ design !!!

    Still undecided but the Sensation is favourite at the moment. Until I wake up tomorrow and ....... :)

  11. Steve Evans

    Battery battery battery!

    Why all this urge for more power, are all smart phones sold to Jeremy Clarkson?

    My Desire Z only has a little 800Mhz CPU, and it's fine. It works great, but I really wish the battery life was better.

    Unfortunately instead of trying to make a smart phone which could do a good two or three days of use (as was common with the old Nokia Symbian phones - RIP), everyone seems to be trying to out-bling each other and Apple with *cool* effects, and then having to beef up the CPU to make the new animations run smoothly! If you really want something to out do Apple, make a phone that can last 48 hours of real use! I wouldn't care if it was a bit thicker, or heavier. Not having to wonder where the next power socket is, and being able to just use my phone as a smart phone wherever I am, without having to do mental arithmetic about power consumption of the web browser/GPS vs how long it is before I get near a power source first, would be perfect!

  12. Rattus Rattus

    Looks nice

    Though I get the feeling the author doesn't really like HTC on principle.

    Phone looks impressive though, I wouldn't mind getting one if I ever need to replace my Nexus One. Provided, of course, that you can turn off Shit. Ah, sorry, I mean Sense.

  13. coppice

    People focus on the wrong things

    Satisfaction with a phone doesn't come from speed. It comes from having a reasonably low number of annoying qualities, and these are in the details.

    My Nexus S, for example, gets 1 out of 10 from me when I'm being generous. It currently sits in a draw at home. I thought I would be safe from the usual Samsung bugginess with a phone where they don't control the software, but I was wrong. Its ringer is so quiet you only hear incoming calls in a quiet room. Its touch screen is buggy, so if you do hear it ring you can't swipe and answer. You have to mess around with the side button to get the touch panel back into a working state, so you can them swipe and answer a call. A phone that can't do ordinary voice calls well has limited value, even if you bought it for all the fancy stuff.

    HTC are far from perfect, but their phones generally give you far fewer urges to take a hammer to them.

  14. Dave Fox

    Quadrant scores!

    Personal bugbear here, but Quadrant scores are worth less than this comment!

    They have absolutely no relation to real world performance, and given that it what benchmarks aspire to achieve, makes Quadrant an absolutely worthless benchmark.

    I'm sure that someone will pipe up that it's all we've got, but in the case of benchmarks, no benchmark definitely better than a flawed benchmark!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    @ Piro

    Agreed it's daft that most reviews on The Reg score in the 70-80's. Perhaps it the reviews of the the reviews that are putting off the staff writers from going out on a limb? ;-)

  16. Ku...

    performance is part of the deal but not the whole deal

    As has been mentioned by a couple of people, its about the user experience.

    I've played with other Android phones but what I like is not so much Android as Sense. So if I want an Android phone I want a HTC.

    It would be good if HTC allow you to turn off some of the graphic effects (like you can turn off Aero in Windows) if you want to reduce some of the overhead.

    Its not so much a Ferrari in a cast iron body but a full spec luxury car. HTC are trying to produce a smartphone which has *everything" loaded in there.

    I moved from HTC to iPhone 4 because I needed IOS for business. I am considering the Sensation as my actual phone and use the iPhone 4 simply for running the IOS apps

    For me the usability and "experience" of Sense is what makes a great phone. HTC have all the boxes ticked there for me.

  17. crigga84
    Thumb Down


    How many times can HTC make the same phone?

    1. tmTM

      Plenty more

      They've not even stuffed windows 7 or Meego on it yet, then they can change the case colour and then...............

  18. rasclaat

    letters and/or digits

    HTC would do well to invest a fraction of their R&D budget in support because as it stands they make excellent devices which (in the UK at least) may as well be delivered to the monkey house at London Zoo when they develop faults. I speak from bitterpersonal experience - they have had my Desire for two months now and after it came back without a battery and with the back very badly screwed on said they'd send me a Desire S to make amends, only to deliver a ghastly white original Desire which is bagged up ready to go back to them at the moment.

  19. intelink

    Vodafone have only 30 days exclusivity

    and I had mine last week.

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