The Sensation XE is the first of HTC's phones to tout Beats Audio technology, equipping the phone with 'studio quality sound'
Editor's Review of the Sensation XE
The HTC Sensation XE is an improved version of the original Sensation, which managed to impress in our hands-on review. It's also the first of HTC's phones to arrive equipped with Beats Audio technology, so does HTC's Beat acquisition really bring anything new to the table?
Design & Build
The Sensation XE is identical to the original Sensation in terms of design, except for a few additional red highlights to highlight its included Beats tech. Like the original, the phone's rounded chassis makes it comfortable to hold, despite it lacking the high-end feel of the iPhone 4S.
It's not its unibody design that'll first catch your eye, however - it'll be the handset's 4.3-inch qHD (540 x 960) S-LCD display. As we covered in our HTC Sensation Review, this screen certainly manages to impress - especially when watching HD movies or browsing the web. The only downside is the display's Super LCD technology, which looks a little washed out when compared to the Super AMOLED Plus screen of the Galaxy S2.
It's under the hood where things begin to get exciting with the Sensation XE. The phone packs an impressively quick 1.5GHz dual-core processor - compared to the Sensation's 1.2GHz effort - and the increased power has resulted in a blisteringly quick user interface, and one of the best browsing experiences we're yet to experience.
OS & Interface
Like the original HTC Sensation, the updated Sensation XE is running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS - with an update to Android 4.0 no doubt in the works. Although Sense 3.5 has been formally introduced, HTC's older Sense 3.0 overlay sits atop the phone's Android software - the same as found on the handset's few-month-old sibling.
We're huge fans of HTC's Sense software, and Sense 3.0 by no means disappoints. For example, you get HTC's fancy new lock-screen, which lets you fire open an app without unlocking the phone. We're also fans of HTC's FriendStream widget, which is much more intuitive than Sony Ericsson's and Samsung's offerings.
Multimedia & Storage
The HTC Sensation XE's selling point is undoubtedly its Beats Audio technology. and you won't be disappointed. The bundled iBeats in-ear headphones - which usually retail for around £80 - are the best we've seen, and heard, with any mobile phone. Dubstep fans - rejoice, as the earphones (when coupled with the phone's "bass boost" profile) make bass-heavy music sounds fantastic, and no matter how loud we turned up the volume, we noticed no distortion.
However, although HTC claims that Beats Audio delivers the music "the way the artist intended" - if you a fan of classical music, the Sensation XE may not be the phone for you.
The 8 megapixel camera that graced the original HTC Sensation remains unchanged, but that's by no means a bad thing. This snapper comes equipped with an LED flash, which manages to add ample light to lowly-lit surroundings to created detailed, and natural-looking photos.
The camera is also capable of recording 1080p HD video, which as you've probably guessed, is similarly impressive. Footage recorded looks smooth and vibrant, and looks absolutely gorgeous on the phone's 4.3-inch screen. Using the phone's DLNA capability, you can fire it off to your HD TV, too.
As we mentioned previously, browsing the web on the HTC Sensation XE is, well, phenomenal. The phone's fast HSDPA and WiFi connectivity, 1.5GHz dual-core processor and stunning 4.3-inch qHD screen make browsing the web pretty-much faultless. Pages loaded extremely fast, and looked absolutely fantastic on the well-sized display.
Battery life is another of the HTC Sensation XE's improvements. While the original Sensation packed a 1520mAh battery, the updated model boasts an upgraded 1730mAh effort. Although we didn't notice a massive improvement, the HTC Sensation XE managed to last over-a-day of fairly-heavy usage.
With the HTC Sensation XE, HTC has taken an excellent Android phone and made it even better. The included iBeats headphones make this one of the - if not the - best phone on the market for music fans, and its 1.5GHz dual-core processor makes it one of the most powerful. The only *slight* downside is the handset S-LCD display, so if you're more interested in screen-quality than music, you might want to check out the Samsung Galaxy S2.
HTC Sensation XE News
Most of the world beyond the comfortable, unified land of the iPhone belongs to the vast and fragmented kingdom of Google’s¬†Android¬†Operating System. It’s the world’s most popular OS, but is spread across a wide expanse of brands; HTC, Samsung, Motorola and Sony, to name a few). Furthermore, its open-source nature means that most manufacturers tweak [...]
HTC has announced that it has began rolling-out Ice Cream Sandwich to the HTC Sensation and Sensation XE. “As for timing, we‚??re in the early stages of rolling out Android 4.0 for the HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XE and upgrades will be more widely available in the next few weeks,” HTC’s global community manager, [...]
HTC Sensation XE handsets in Germany are starting to receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich,¬†HTCInside.de¬†is reporting. The German tech site said, excitedly (translated): “It’s time! Finally the wait is over! Effective immediately, the Android 4.0 update IceCream Sandwich, which also includes HTC Sense 3.6, the HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XE officially delivered! Our sensation [...]
The White HTC Sensation XE, which was recently outed by Clove, is now available to pre-order on pay monthly plans at Phones 4u. The retailer, which has given us our first official glimpse at the pearly-white model, is offering the White Sensation XE for free from £26 per month on a 24 month Vodafone tariff. [...]
HTC will be offering an early access preview of Ice Cream Sandwich to owners of the HTC Sensation and Sensation XE, the firm has announced, before the update’s scheduled roll-out which is expected to kick-off in March. The early Android 4.0 update will be available to a limited number of people across Europe, in a [...]
HTC has confirmed that Android 4.0 ICS will roll-out to its Sensation branded handsets ‘before the end of March’, although it’s not such news for Desire owners. In a post on its official Facebook page, the company said:¬†”HTC has been working hard to get its Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades ready, and we’re excited to announce [...]
HTC Sensation XE Specifications
126.1mm x 65.4mm x 11.3mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Type: Super LCD
Size: 4.3 inches
Resolution: 540 x 960
Interface: HTC Sense 3.0
External: microSD up to 36GB
Included: 16GB, 32GB microSD card
CPU: 1.5GHz Dual core
A-GPS with maps
Up to 14.4 Mbps download speed
Up to 5.76 Mbps upload speed
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
8.0 megapixel camera
Auto Focus and Dual LED Flash
1080p Video Recording
At 30 fps
Front facing camera with video calling
Battery Capacity: 1730 mAh
Talk Time: 550 minutes
Standby Time: 540 hours
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Playback: AAC, AMR, OGG, M4A, MID, MP3, WAV, WMA
Video supported formats
Playback: 3GP, MP4, WMV, AVI, XVID, H.263, H.264