- Page 1HTC Sensation XE
- Page 2 Android Gingerbread and HTC Sense 3.0
- Page 3 Screen, Touchscreen and Browsing
- Page 4 Video Playback and Camera
- Page 5 Beats Audio and iBeats Earphones, Battery Life and Verdict
The HTC Sensation XE has a 4.3in screen. This year, the size has become something of a standard for top-tier Android phones, used in the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S, a handful of HTC phones and the Motorola Atrix 2.
We still believe many people will find this size a little too large. Apple hasn’t kept the iPhone’s screen at 3.5in for five generations for no reason, after all. If you’re moving up from a smaller device, do try and get your fingers around a phone of similar size before ordering.
If you can stomach the 126mm by 65mm dimensions, the screen is excellent in some respects. Its 540×960 pixel resolution doesn’t offer a pixel density to rival the iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy Nexus – it has 256dpi, where they have 326dpi and 316dpi – but it’s sharp enough for the difference to be inconsequential to most eyes. Text appears pin-sharp, and is even readable when you’re zoomed out within the browser, to an extent most people would never hope to read at.
The quality of the S-LCD panel isn’t perfect, though. It’s bright enough, but there’s some colour shift when viewed from an angle, turning greens into a yellow looking shade and – a cardinal sin – robbing the TrustedReviews orange of its vibrancy. The luminescence of the backlight becomes quite visible from this position too, reducing contrast.
The Sensation XE’s capacitive touchscreen is responsive, and feels great on your finger thanks to the hard glass surface layer. Decent touchscreens are virtually a given for all but budget phones these days, although without one, a touch phone is sunk. It supports four simultaneous points of touch, which isn’t all that impressive when some manage 10, but it’s enough for any Android uses we’ve come across.
Multi-touch zooming within the browser feels just as good as it usually does, and HTC Sense employs its own gestures too. It lets you use the pinch gesture on a home screen to zoom out, making all seven visible.
Adobe Flash support is currently up to version 11 in Android Gingerbread, giving you access to rich web content and Flash games. iOS and Windows Phone still don’t offer Flash support, giving the XE an upper hand over the iPhone 4S and HTC Titan. However, Adobe recently announced its plans to wind down support for mobile Flash, so the end of the road is near for this feature. We don’t imagine it’ll disappear, but it won’t get any more updates.