If phones could be assigned a gender I’d say HTC Sensation XE is the Angelina Jolie of the mobile phone industry. You know you have got something special the moment you lay your eyes on the black box encasing Sensation XE.
HTC Sensation XE with audio Beats includes a monster iBeats headset introduced by the musician Dr Dre. With competition flaring up between the top notch smartphones adding a branded accessory to its name just might do the trick for HTC. The package neatly accommodates a set of operation manuals, charger, data cable, 8GB microSD card and a comfortable pouch for holding ear plugs which come in 4 different sized pairs.
Sensation XE is one beautifully designed and sophisticated piece of machinery. Although dimensions are the same as those of Sensation this one weighs slightly more. The backside has a rubbery finish intermitted by an aluminum band with the HTC logo embossed on it. The top right side has the camera and a dual LED flash while the bottom is imprinted by the red beats logo adding a little color to spark things up a bit.
Screen and Display:
The front is almost entirely taken up by the gorilla –glass scratch resistant 4.3 inches screen like Sensation before it. The bottom has four touch buttons home, menu, back and search with some of them being multi-functional. The capacitive touch screen has the same resolution at 960 x 540 pixels with adequate brightness and contrast. Although viewing angles are still not as good as the super AMOLED Galaxy S II screen!
Sensation XE has seven screens with a long list of customization options. In addition to the home screen the screens display friends stream, music playing, contacts, weather forecasts, movies and an entire space devoted to widgets of your choice.
Even the lockscreen has six exciting options including displaying your pictures in action, weather and your favorite clock from a variety of exceptionally cool HTC clocks.
Sensation XE has better speed than the Sensation at 1.5 GHz albeit the same dual core snap dragon processor. It has Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) which is a fantastic OS. Those who have a knack for games would revel in the sharp graphics and blazing speed.
The only downside is that ice cream sandwich is already out and its competitor Galaxy Nexus will be carrying it while those having XE will have to wait for their update. The silver lining however is that it will eventually come to them!
There is a host of applications present including latest versions of facebook and twitter. Social networking has been so deeply integrated with the rest of the features in the phone that you will have your calendar showing your friend’s birthday!
You have Adobe Reader and Polaris office for handling your PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Although editing options vary due to versions of the files supported. You can use gmail to attach files of any sort and send them.
Then you have a You Tube widget, flash light with three levels of brightness, Google maps and HTC locations. It also has an e-reader which comes preloaded with eight timeless classics like Jane Eyre and Alice in Wonderland. You can buy books through your adobe id or Kobo. The watch application allows you to buy and even rent movies. Three trailers of movies like Green Hornet and Just Go with It come pre-loaded. Watching them on Sensation XE is a tantalizing experience and makes you realize the magic of a true HD screen! FM Radio lets you save your favorite channel and obviously no one can afford to leave out the angry birds. Voice search allows you to give commands through speech but do not make the mistake of comparing it to Siri, Apple’s personal assistant which is light years ahead of the very basic voice recognition tool in XE.
Call reception and Messaging:
A little problem here would be with the antenna which is located beneath the cover giving rise to death grip issues. In places where signals are strong it might not cause much disturbance but in low signal areas if you hold the phone at its lower end too tightly you might drop your call.
The QWERTY virtual keyboard is used for messaging but the interesting thing is that you get the option of dictating your message by speaking into the phone instead of typing it. Fabulous if you ask me!
The beats ear phones offer a taste of pure music to those who know their music well. The remote attached can be used to forward or rewind and play. Sound quality is excellent and the speakers are the loudest you might have heard on a smartphone.
There is a VGA camera at the front for video chats and an 8 mp camera for taking pictures. It records 1080p video @ 30fps. The dual –LED flash helps in taking pictures or recording a movie during the night and I don’t think a phone was ever able to take a better picture in the dark than the XE thanks to the dual LED flash.
There is a long list of options to select from depending on what you like for e.g. white balance, scenes, self timer etc. Other features like auto-focus, instant capture. Geo tagging and face recognition are also present. You can just take pictures and upload them via picasa or facebook or even youtube directly from your phone!
Battery and Memory:
In addition to the 8GB memory card that comes with it you can expand the memory upto 32 GB! It has a standard Li-Ion battery; 1730 mAh which is bigger than that of Sensation. Stand-by Up to 310 h (2G) / Up to 540 h (3G) and Talk time Up to 9 h 16 min (2G) / Up to 7 h 20 min (3G)
If you have the dough for it I’d say go for it. It is like a small computer on the go that you can use for making calls, doesn’t get better than that!