Expert Review of HTC Sensation XE
HTC Sensation XE is a high-end flagship smartphone by the Taiwanese manufacturer of smartphones and tablets, HTC, which has Audio Beats surround sound with SRS technology. The successor of the most famous HTC Sensation, comes with a special Beats headset that is automatically detected by the phone. The phone also modifies the output so that the users get extraordinary sounds just the way they want. The super fast processor allows multi-tasking and helps in surfing the most visually rich websites at blazing speeds. The applications will instantly get start and switching between the applications has never been so easier before. The device is not the slimmest handset by the manufacturer but still with its robust built, it provides comfortable feel to hands. It comes with a size of 126.1mm x 65.4mm x 11.3 mm and holds 151 grams of weight. This handset bears very much resemblance to its earlier kinfolks, HTC titan and HTC Sensation, in terms of its hardware as well as internal features. This is the fastest Android smartphone of the world that is the extended edition of HTC Sensation and comes with Beats Audio support. It is a good looking device and has black casing with red and silver detailing. The devices is packed in a metal and rubber unibody design that together provides a premium feel and look and allows the handset to sit comfortably in hands. Since metal has also been used in the body cover of the device so it is pretty much heavier than its rivals such as Samsung Galaxy S II and Apple iPhone 4S. The dedicated hardware keys have chrome finish that helps in their unique identification on the get black body of the handset. It is the second smartphone by the company after HTC Sensation XL that has Beats Audio support and the headset too has built-in microphone and inline remote control that along with the SRS Beats Audio sound gives a perfect output and a far better sound that any normal universal headphone will provide. When this special headphone is plugged into the device, the default music player will automatically pops up with the option of switching on or off the Beats Audio. Apart from giving an unmatchable music experience to its users, this handset is also amazing in other aspects also, either in terms of the performance by the super strong processor or in terms of the very powerful 8 megapixels snapper that capture images with lightening fast speed instantly. This means that users do not have to wait for the camera to reload again they can take snapshots one after another without any space for time. In fact the browsing experience provided by this smartphone is unmemorable as you can open multiple windows at one time without affecting the speed of the processor and there is a quick look up tool also that will take the users directly to Wikipedia or YouTube. The latest flash support is capable of giving a smooth video playback. The external design of HTC Sensation XE is very attractive and the distinctively designed back cover makes it very easy for the users to pay a visit to the microSIM card slot along with the memory card slot and the battery. The company has given a very fine outlook to the earspeaker grill, the camera ring and the capacitive Android buttons by providing red touch to them. Even the logo of Beats Audio on the back also appears in red and this step makes the whole set cool and informal. The back cover of the device is done in two pieces of excellent quality soft-touch plastic that are separated diagonally by a mahogany colored brushed aluminum strip. This strip also protects the front display by providing curved recessed glass over it that prevents the screen from having any scratches when the face is down. The 360 degree view of the handset will disclose all the hidden functionalities along with the various supports that are pre-installed on this device. Starting from the front, there is a fully touch sensitive capacitive touchscreen with an HTC logo on the top along with red colored earspeaker grill and the front facing VGA camera. Below the display there are the usual four Android capacitive buttons for Home, Menu, Back and Search that respond even to the slightest touch and comes with extra functionality upon a long press – such as task switcher, virtual keyboard, voice search and so on. The front also has Gyro, G-Sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity and Ambient Light sensors that helps in locating the position of the device. Gyro sensor provides extra information regarding the dimensions of the orientation by tracking rotation or twist of the phone. G-Sensor works as an Accelerometer and measures the datalog lateral, force and longitudinal acceleration simultaneously. Digital Compass provides orientation to the smartphone with respect to Earth's magnetic field. Proximity Sensor detects the buildings, towers, cafes, etc. and the related POIs within a fixed parameters and that too without any physical contact. Ambient Light sensor automatically checks and adjusts the brightness of the display as per the ambiance. This results in the less usage of battery, hence saving the battery charge. Because of the light sensor you can easily see the screen in the bright sunlight and read what so ever is written over it. The right part of this smartphone has nothing, which means it is left untouched and bare with no hardware button on it. The left portion of it contains a long bar shaped volume rocker that helps in increasing or decreasing the tone of the now playing music file. This volume bar also helps in zoom in and out of an image. On the same portion at the bottom there is a microUSB port that is also treated as a charging point for the device. The power/lock button is placed on the top where its neighbour is a 3.5mm headphone jack that can also be treated as an A/V connector. The bottom has only a primary mouthpiece and a notch that helps in removing the back cover. At the back, the device holds a circular shaped slightly protruding camera of 8 megapixels sensor along with dual LED flash support and a speaker grill. Apart from the camera, there are five small dots that pierced the soft plastic of the back and are supplied for numerous microphone and noise cancellation purposes. Under the plastic and metal cover there is a dynamic battery residing along with a microSIM card and microSD card slots. As per the previously used technique, the back cover of this smartphone houses the antennas and with the removal of the cover, the phone loses all wireless connections.
User Interface and UI functionality
HTC Sensation XE is bestowed with a capacitive touchscreen of size 4.3 inches (diagonal width) that has an S-LCD display, which provides a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. The screen looks more vibrant, rich and crisp with the various color combinations made from 16M colors and the pixel density of 256 ppi makes the view sharp from each angle of the screen where the view seems to be life like. The device has HTC Sense UI v.3.6 on top of the Android platform that together creates wonder for the handset. The platform brings lots of applications and features at the doorstep of the users that can keep them always happy and busy. The UI imports loads of features to the smartphone that increases the usability of the handset and makes the dealing with the device more comfortable and handy. HTC Sensation XE is running on the latest Android v.4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich platform that provides access to more than 2,00,000 applications. Apart from this, it is powered by dual core 1.5GHz Scorpion processor that provides enough of power to the handset to run even the heavy applications very smoothly and uninterruptedly. It has Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon chipset along with Adreno 220 GPU that work in group to bring brightness to the screen and to increase the graphics performance of the device. The new UI brings a very unique face unlock feature that uses the face of the users to unlock the phone. The lockscreen too is very advanced and comes with four shortcuts and a ring at the bottom, which also can be used to unlock the screen by simply dragging the ring towards the center. One can also drag the given four shortcuts into the ring to unlock the screen and launch the respective application. Any four applications can be assigned to those shortcuts for unlocking the phone. There are six different pre-installed lockscreens in this smartphone where the default homescreen only shows the ring, four shortcuts, the time and the homescreen wallpaper. Apart from this, there is a Photo album lockscreen also that pop ups photos in 3D style from the gallery. The Friend Stream widget shows the latest updates and news from family and friends while the weather widget brings weather report in the cool animated form. There is a stock widget too that shows the various ups and downs in the stock market. At last, there is a Clock lockscreen that displays a huge clock showing the time. There are eleven clock widgets available at users' end. The UI provides seven homescreens but there is no add or delete option available, so all the widgets that are there on each homescreen will remain there as each widget has its own use. The Sense UI comes pre-loaded with HTC proprietary Scenes and has six customizable homescreen setups where each scene changes the set of widgets and wallpaper. Say you will get Work Scene in the Stock widget whereas the Social Scene offers a Twitter widget and they can be further customized. By holding down on a blank space on any of the homescreen will open up menu contents where you can choose your favorite content and can add it on any of the seven homescreens. The main menu has been split into three tabs, that are, Add to home, Display and Sound. In the Add to home tab there are various widgets, applications and shortcuts that can be placed on the homescreens. The Display tab gives a tailor made feature to the handset that suits the needs of the users with options to alter the skin, wallpaper, scene, and lock screen style of HTC Sensation XE. The Sound tab provides options to amend the notifications sounds, ringtones and set up alarms. The notification bar can be opened by sliding down from the top of the screen and it gives information on social media summaries, message and e-mail and above them there is a list of the recently opened applications. Long press of home button on the screen will brings up the latest Ice Cream Sandwich multi-tasking screen that shows all the now opened applications in a very neat and nice thumbnail design. Closing an application is very easy as you have to just sweep across the thumbnail horizontally and it will get closed automatically. Creating a folder is also very easy because now a drag and drop of one application over the other will create a new folder that contains both of them. Working with the HTC Sense UI along with Android ICS operating system creates a magic over the users and they will feel reluctant to switch from this combo to another one.
HTC Sensation XE is a complete multimedia handset that comes loaded with Beats Audio support with SRS surround sound feature that creates a spell bound in the nearby atmosphere. This handset is fully filled with lots of amazing multimedia functions and features that can keep the users dipped into the stream of music 24 x 7 without getting bored. The default music player provides many options to play the audio file according to the selected album, playlists, genres, all songs or composers. Swiping sideways will change the currently played song either in forward direction or in the backward depending upon the direction in which the user is swiping. The device supports DLNA for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to the DLNA compatible TV or computer. The music player supports .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav and .wma (Windows Media Audio 9) audio formats for music playback whereas .amr format is supported for recording an aural file. Video recording is also supported by this handset and the various video formats that provides a back up for video playback are .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 9), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3) and .xvid (MP4 ASP and MP3) while for recording a video file .3gp format is supported by the default video player. The phone supports 3.5mm universal headphone jack that can also be used to attach woofers or speakers to the smartphone and the headset works as an antenna for the stereo FM radio that comes with RDS technology. RDS feature automatically displays the name of the radio station to which a user is tuned into. The headset that comes with the device has built-in microphone and inline remote control that along with the SRS Beats Audio sound gives a perfect output and a far better sound that any normal universal headphone will made available. The users can also play their multimedia files on the big screen of a DLNA compatible TV to enjoy and to have fun.
Pictures and Video quality
HTC Sensation XE comes with an 8 megapixels auto focus shooter with dual LED flash support that enables the users to take snapshots even when the ambiance is dark or have dim light. Apart from being auto focused this camera has other features too that are Geo-tagging, touch-focus, image stabilization, face detection and instant capture and these features make the photography experience full of fun and entertainment. This snapper captures images with a resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels and can also do recording of video files with a size of 1080p by taking 30 frames per second. The video recorder has stereo sound recording that makes the video clip more audible and clear. Apart from a primary shooter there is a secondary camera too in front that has 1.3 megapixels sensor with VGA technology. This front camera can shoot self portarits and can also play a vital role in allowing the users to have live video chats with family and friends.
HTC Sensation XE provides support to Internet connections through GPRS of class 12 with a speed of up to 80kbps, EDGE of class 12 with a speed of up to 236.8kbps, 3G at an HSPA+ speed, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Wi-Fi hotspot via WLAN network. This smartphone has pre-installed WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML and Adobe Flash browsers that makes the web browsing experience full of fun and entertainment. Toggling between the various web pages is as easy as moving from one song to another. The browser allows the users to open more than one windows at a time and to simultaneously work on those windows. The users can have connectivity with the nearby devices also via Bluetooth v.3.0 with A2DP, microUSB (MHL) v.2.0 port and DLNA that transfers data from one device to another at an instant fast speed. The browser also supports text reflow and double tap zooming that helps in reading even the extremely longer text with ease. The YouTube videos of 720p size also run extremely well on this browser.
Internal and External Memory
HTC Sensation XE is filled with an internal storage capacity of 4GB, where only 1GB is available for the users, along with 768MB storage for RAM. This device provides supports to a microSD card slot that helps in increasing the external memory up to 32GB of the device. The users can store a huge amount of data in the device, which include messages, e-mails, phone book entries, multimedia files and lots more.
Applications and Gaming
HTC Sensation XE is a complete set of applications and features that can easily entertain the users with its unique and special features. One can play various types of games on the wide screen of this smartphone as this device supports Java via Java MIDP emulator. There are plenty of applications available in the Android market and in the HTC Hub too that can be downloaded easily and run on this mobile phone. Google applications like Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Talk, Picasa integration and many more are pre-installed on this power booster.
HTC Sensation XE is backed by a very strong and powerful standard Li-Ion 1,730 mAh battery that is capable of keeping the device alive for a talk time up to 9 hours 16 minutes on 2G and up to 7 hours 20 minutes on 3G network. This power house also provides a standby time up to 310 hours on 2G and up to 540 hours on 3G. You can also play multimedia files on this device for long time without the fear of any battery drainage.
HTC Sensation XE offers connectivity through GSM networks only for 2G and 3G bands at a frequency of 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz for 2G and 900 / 2100 MHz and 900 / 1700 / 2100 MHz for 3G. The data transferring speed via 3G is very fast that provides an HSDPA downloading speed of 14.4 Mbps and an HSUPA uploading speed of 5.76 Mbps.
HTC Sensation XE is the flagship smartphone by HTC that belongs to a high end class of price and is blessed with HTC Sense UI on top of Android ICS platform. Though it is a very amazing piece of gadget that has many features to drop the jaw of the customers but still there are many handsets available in the market that can easily give a tough time to HTC Sensation XE and some of those smartphones are Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, HTC One XL, Apple iPhone 4S, Nokia 900, Nokia Lumia 800 and more. The main attraction of this smartphone is its 8 megapixels shooter and the unique customizable lockscreen.