back to article HTC Sensation XL

Following on the Sensation XE, HTC’s other Beats Audio-enabled handset is certainly bigger, but it comes out looking the weaker of the two in almost every criteria except size. HTC Sensation XL Android smartphone Beat dis: HTC's Sensation XL Android smartphone With a 4.7in display, the Sensation XL is the last stop before …


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  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Bloatware Apps.

    I see this as a mega fail IF like the other HTC Sensation models there are lots of bloatwear apps that can't be removed unless you root it.

    I'm not talking about those added by a carrier. These are in a carrier free unlocked phone.

    Faceblock, Twatter and many others can't be removed unless you root the device which automatically invaidated the warranty.

    The phone bit of the UI is also crap. at least 50% of the time when you hang up a call, it hangs up all well and good but then it automatically redials the number.

    My HTC Senastion is being sold on ebay this week. I might get £50 for it.

    This is easily the worst 'smartphone' I have ever used.

    1. Sartori

      Strange, I have a HTC Desire, not a Sensation, but I know several friends who got one and they have had no issues whatsoever. I'd be happy to give you £50 for it and do what most sensible people do with a faulty phone and return it to HTC under warranty. I haven't noticed if their phones came preinstalled with any apps though if it's just stuff like Facebook and Twitter and I didn't want them I suspect I'd just not use them until such time as I wanted to change the ROM (usually about 24 hours after getting the phone in my case).

      As much as the bigger screen of the XL is tempting the XE is far more likely to be the replacement for my Desire when my contract is up in May. Though that depends on what else comes out between now and then.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      I don't like Sense either

      I have an HTC desire and there is a lot of crapware on there. My own opinion is that if I absolutely wanted Facebook or some crappy Twitter client then I could install it from the market. The phone should restrain itself to the basic apps and no further. Or at least refrain from baking crapware into the firmware so it wastes storage and cannot be removed. Even Sense should be optional, as in if I don't use it then don't waste space holding it.

      The sense UI in general is okay but I cannot stand the phone app. It's far too easy to dial numbers by accident, or hang up by accident. Simple example - I hit hangup, slide the phone back in my shirt pocket and discover I've gone and rung someone by accident because the app reverts to show a list of recent numbers which it calls with one tap. Or I'm fiddling with the phone and mid-tap the incoming call screen replaces what I was on and my tap ends up hanging up on the call. It's very annoying.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      You sir are a fool...

      "there are lots of bloatwear apps"

      They just sit there and don't do anything, don't give them credentials and turn off their sync. Easy.

      "The phone bit of the UI is also crap. at least 50% of the time when you hang up a call, it hangs up all well and good but then it automatically redials the number."

      This is because your pudgy fingers keep clicking on the screen, the end call button swiftly changes to a dial button, so if you keep stabbing at the same screen zone YOU will cause it to redial as the button changes. Solution, hit once and actually wait for it to complete the call teardown rather than repeatedly poking the screen.

      "My HTC Senastion is being sold on ebay this week. I might get £50 for it."

      That would be a stupid thing to do, you'd get more than £50 sending it to a recycler.

      I have an HTC Sensation and it the genuinely the BEST phone I have ever owned, simply a great piece of kit. I like HTC Sense, it has many useful and helpful additions to the stock Android IMHO. Perhaps it's a bit marmite...

      1. ChrisC

        "Solution, hit once and actually wait for it to complete the call teardown rather than repeatedly poking the screen."

        That's more of a workaround. The correct solution would be to redesign the UI so that undesirable actions can't occur as the result of double-tapping the screen during a UI state change.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          It's unavoidable...

          ... with touchscreens, if you tap multiple times in one place whilst an action is in progress then when the action finishes SOMETHING to touch will be there and receive the excess taps... it just happens that on some HTC Android phones it is the call button, but it could be anything.

          Unless you suspend touch input whilst an action is executed then you'll be stuck with the problem of unintended tapping on things if you are an impatient screen stabber.

          1. ChrisC

            It's not unavoidable if you require a distinctly different user input - e.g. a swipe - before the original target area is re-enabled for a single-tap action, or if your UI design leaves that area of the screen unused in the next UI state.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ditch HTC-nonsense, supply an open bootloader, and start to publish the source to device-specific code on release-day and I'll consider the product.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How kind of you

      to consider a product if it meets your unrealistic expectations.

      I can only assume you own nothing, because nothing could live up to your deluded wishes. Do you have the source code for your set top box, remote control, cable TV of course you don't. So you don't own those trhings.

      Go listen to your valve radio

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Of course I've got the source

        My STB/satellite receiver/PVR/ and the programmable remote all run on free and open software. As do all the integrated extras for which I can not even find commercial alternatives for unless I'm willing to maintain a different platform for each individual service.

  3. Alex Rose

    Why so large

    I'm looking to replace my HTC Desire in a couple of months and have been looking around - however all the phones I see with a decent bit of oomph (the official measure of a phone's power!) are huge.

    When I got the Desire I thought it was a bit big and I prefer the size of my mother-in-law's Wildfire. Most of the phones I see now are 0.5 - 1 cm wider and/or taller.

    Looks like I'll have to put up with the wife's "I told you so's" and get a bloody iPhone!

    Thanks for nothing HTC/Samsung/Motorola.

    1. CraigRoberts

      Been looking for a new phone since my 3GS contract ran out in November... Decided to drop off the Apple Wagon and try out a 'Droid. Not sure why they're all assuming we all want bigger screens though - I need something I can leave in my jeans pocket when I sit down rather than having to plonk it on the bar in a puddle of lager... :\

      After a look and comparison in the local Phone Shop I've pretty much settled on an eBay bought HTC Desire S; they seem similar in size to the 3GS.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My pocket...

        ... comfortably holds a Sensation.

        Unless you wear very tight jeans or are a midget I fail to see how any phone doesn't fit a pocket.

    2. johnnytruant

      you could try

      The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray.

      Slimline, lightweight and powerful enough (for me, ymmv). Also has a camera superior to almost anything on the market.

  4. JDX Gold badge

    Question about HD recording

    Does 1080 recording really offer an improvement when recorded from a mobile phone with a (relatively) crappy camera... I never tried it so serious answers please. Do the extra pixels help?


    @Alex Rose: Why so large

    My wife has a Wildfire S = smallish screen but quite zippy (for her). Generally speaking (in almost all areas) more oomph is required to drive larger devices (cars; planes; people..). Thus devices (see prev) with more oomph are larger...Smaller phones (so mnfrs think) == not heavy users == more oomph not required - simples tch.

    Last time I looked, iPhones looked quite large compared to Wildfire S and Desire and as 0.5 to 1 cm size diff seems a big deal to you - iPhone may well be too big. It also only comes with 1 speed of oomph per fixed screen size....(largish screen) so probably fails there also.

    Disclaimer: I own a brick (aka Nokia 9500 Communicator); son is on second iPhone (which seems to be permanently out of juice) and wife on Wildfire S which she is delighted with......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hah - you caught yourself out in your disclaimer, iPhones never run out of power - you must have mistaken it for an Android phone with an apple stuck on the back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The thing is most iPhones run out of power because people use them so much.

        Whereas Android phones run out of power even if people are not using them.

        (I'm not saying the batteries are better in iPhones, just that android multitasking is a killer for their batteries)

    2. Alex Rose

      @Jean Le PHARMACIEN

      iPhone 4 is slightly smaller than the Desire. I don't have a problem staying with something the size of the Desire but everything "top of the range" in the Android world seems to have decided that you have to go bigger.

      I understand the idea that bigger sometimes requires more oomph but looking at the iPhone 4S I think it can be demostrated that more oomph does not necessarily have to mean bigger. Sure your tolerances have to be better, you have to buy higher price components and employ better designers but money is not really a problem, Apple have shown that people are willing to pay more money for the right product - it appears Android manufacturers just aren't willing to eat into their margins to produce phones to the size/power/quality that Apple are putting out.

      And 1cm width over a 12cm phone is an extra 12 square cm - and also the difference between comfortably reaching the whole screen with my thumb and having to jiggle the phone around or go to 2 handed use.

      I can't believe that I now sound like a bloody Apple shill!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you want

    a pure Android experience buy a Galaxy Nexus and stop moaning about other OEMs taking a different tack.

    1. h3

      re : AC 10:20

      One device

      What people want is pure Android with a choice of hardware specs.

      Fortunately this might do something to help the situation and stop manufacturers from breaking and slowing down everything.

      (Compete on hardware not software they have proved time and time again they suck at software).

  7. tmTM


    The processor change from the dual-core unit to an overclocked single core unit from 2010??

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A minor update

    to the Desire HD software would have sufficed. Very similar internals and a slightly larger screen are not justifications for upgrading. If HTC just updated their phones they would have have more longevity and probably returned in loyalty from customers.

    As it stands, I run the Sensation XL ROM on my Desire HD now and it performs just fine with the option to turn off that horrible Beats and use the other equalizers (which i don't) through my Shures.

  9. a33a

    Sensation XL?

    Having checked the specifications, it has EXACTLY the same Chipset/Processor as the DHD's MSM8255; same RAM amount -768MB and the same Camera - probably the same sensor (but I can't find the part no. anywhere).

    Sensation XL, nope its a Desire HD XL with a factory overclocked processor; Front facing Camera... oh and a beastier screen. All available (with the exception of the latter two) with a nice looking optimised custom Sense 3.5 ROM (or better yet vanilla CyanogenMod 7 if that's your thing.)

    HTC should have done better and loaded this thing with a bit more power.

  10. eddiewrenn

    a) your reviews in mobile are well lacklustre :(

    b) I love, or have loved, HTC for many years, and for a time you would have had to prise the HTC H2 out of my dead hands. But HTC fail, absolutely fail, to innovate, and I have temporarily switched to the Samsung S2. Why? Because I waited for the Sensation XL and... wtf? 16GB memory max? That's pathetic, with no micro SD slot. Maybe WP7 can't handle external cards, but that's no excuse to just take that model (the HTC Titan), slap Android on it, and say "Finished!!". HTC lost a customer by doing that........

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