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HTC Sensaion - Apps, Battery and Verdict

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


Android being Android, the HTC Sensation can be bolstered with as many or few apps as you please and they can be plastered all over the phone's seven homescreens or kept neatly in little folders or even confined just to the app launcher menu – for those that really want to be able to see the picture they've chosen for their wallpaper.

HTC Sensation 11

However, we're growing more and more concerned, as the smartphone market continues to mature, that despite a huge volume of apps in the Android marketplace, the quality still pales in comparison to the Apple app store. Moreover, those that are good are difficult to find. The vast majority of basics are accounted for but a quick browse for some online banking apps, and several of the most popular games came up with nothing – there's still no paid for version of Angry Birds for instance.

Nonetheless, despite what many people would have you believe, apps are not the be all and end all and as such the Sensation is still a stonkingly feature-packed and capable smartphone.

Unfortunately, because of this, its 1520mAh battery does dwindle rather rapidly. With everything on and with a not overly hefty dose of mobile browsing and gaming, you'll run it dry well within a day. As ever, you can temper things considerably by turning 3G on only when needed, reducing the frequency of notifications, and keeping the screen brightness down. With an average usage pattern, though, we found that an overnight charge was needed every night.

HTC Sensation 6

On the plus side, thanks to those noise cancelling microphones, call quality is better than average so while your phone does still have juice, you'll enjoy using it.


The HTC Sensation is a frustrating device. Why? Because it comes so close to perfection but doesn't quite manage it. The high resolution screen is great but the quality of it lets it down a tad, some of the software tweaks are great but yet video support is poor, and while the performance is amazing, battery life isn't so much. Nonetheless, if battery life proves to be better once usage has settled down then the screen quality issue is certainly something we can overlook as the rest of the device is so delightful. It's beautifully made and styled, it's incredibly fast, the camera's good, and call quality isn't half bad either. All told, despite a few niggles, it's definitely up there with the best dual-core smartphones.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


April 14, 2011, 9:45 pm

Yay, comments are back :)

Liking the look of this phone, but I read elsewhere that Sense 3.0 won't be made available to earlier handsets? Apparently the single core hardware isn't up to it, but I find that hard to believe given how well SPB Shell 3D runs on these handsets.


April 15, 2011, 12:33 am

If I try to play the embedded YouTube vid I get 'This video is private'. Just me?


April 15, 2011, 1:20 am

Guys... it keeps on saying the youtube video is private??


April 15, 2011, 4:18 am

If, (as is strongly suspected), the iPhone 5 does not get released until Autumn / Christmas time, I can see Apple losing a lot of their customer base to HTC this summer. I have had various iPhones for 3 years now and am really impressed with Sense 3.0 and the hardware specs of the Sensation. I hope the UI is as intuitive as the promo clips portray because if so (and apart from the ridiculous names they give their phones), HTC has just won a soon to be ex-Apple customer this summer!

LED light FTW

April 15, 2011, 3:30 pm

Does this have an LED light?


April 18, 2011, 12:42 am

Need to fix the inverted comma's in the reviews... they seem fine in the comments...


April 18, 2011, 3:12 pm

Cheers guys, fixed now.


April 19, 2011, 12:55 am

This may be the first phone I've seen that actually looks worth upgrading to from a hardware perspective since getting my Desire over a year ago.

But I can't help thinking it'd still be better to wait until Ice Cream and iOS 5 hit before shelling out.

The Doctor

June 6, 2011, 8:39 pm

After having upgraded my personal phone to a Sensation from a Desire and being given a Galaxy 2S by my employer, it's been interesting to compare the two. Certainly, the Sensation can't match the contrast of the Galaxy's screen or its raw performance but, at the same time, the user experience of the Sensation is well ahead of the Galaxy. Maybe it's just a familiarity with Sense (my last two phones having been the Hero and the Desire) but it stills feels more intuitive and considered than Samsung's diabolical "TouchWiz" (God, I hate that name...)

The Sensation also feels much more substantial in the hand which is obviously a design decision since when removed from its shell, the HTC's innards are about the same thickness as the Samsung's.

Whichever one you pick, however, you'll still have something that is significantly faster and more versatile than an iPhone 4!


June 7, 2011, 7:51 pm

Re: Lack of HDMI, the MicroUSB Socket is an MHL (Mobile HighDefinition Link) socket. Get an adaptor and it'll convert the MicroUSB to HDMI! DONE! :)

Newer TV's will also even charge the phone off the HDMI!


Neil Richardson

June 7, 2011, 11:30 pm

Currently getting about a day and a half out of each charge and i'm going through the process of setting it up and loading it with apps. Battery life seems to get better as time goes. Currently using an app called Battery Indicator Pro. 28 hours since charged, 21% left.

Think the review might want to re-examine battery life after a few charge cycles.


June 8, 2011, 6:19 pm

You said is the video screen is superb and the view angles are good its produces good black levels, then why do you gave it a 7/10? i really don't get it

also the usability score need to be at least a 9 not an 8.

This is the best Smartphone on the market in my opinion, price is a bit high but why better than iphone 4 price.

this phone is at least 9/10. Lower than that is considered a biased review.


July 1, 2011, 11:54 pm

Stuffed between Samsung & Motorola the HTC does exactly what it was designed to do. Good review.... job well done!


August 2, 2011, 1:14 am

As an HTC Sensation owner, I will broadly agree with the review. One little omission though-downloaded music sound quality. I have a pair of £300+ Grado SR325i headphones and listened to some uncompressed WMA files. The result? STUNNING! Best I've ever heard from any portable device including iPods etc. And the inbuilt amp is powerful enough to drive those Grados without a problem. It would be nice if somebody could come up with an extended battery pack incorporating a headphone amp though-light the blue touch paper and stand well back!


August 5, 2011, 7:27 am

I have an iPhone as my personal phone & have just switched to a HTC Sensation from a Blackberry for my work phone...am really liking it so far (obviously anything is an improvement from the Blackberry!) battery life is a big downer tho! I look forward to learning more about this phone ,btw, there's also a fans site http://www.htcsensationforum.com for the phone, take care.


October 30, 2013, 1:48 am

Been using tge sensation for 1.5 years and battery life is a big issue on it. When it was new it would last me 3/4 of a day witout charging but now it barely gives me 3 hours. Also disappointed in the browser it shuts down abnormally most of the time and every time i exit the browser the phone goes into a loop with the white HTC screen. Also each loop sucks up upto 10% of baterry life. It does have a great camera and music player . Overall i am quite disappointed and am contemplating switching to an iphone 5s.

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