HTC Sensation: A Dual-Core, Video-Editing Smartphone Superstar (Updated: Hands-On)S

Don't want to pay 3D tax for HTC's Evo 3D? You'll be wanting the Sensation then, which is HTC's new worldwide flagship phone. With its sculptured, curved unibody aluminum body, it's also one of HTC's thinnest handsets at 11.54mm.

The main improvement here is the dual-core chip it runs on; a MSM 8260 clocked at 1.2GHz. That means it shoots video at 1080p, and also handles multi-threading (or, as much as Android Gingerbread allows it to.) RAM is listed at 768MB—the same as the last crop of phones HTC announced, such as the Desire S and Incredible S.

It may have a 4.3-inch screen like the Desire HD/Evo 4G, but the actual footprint is smaller, as they've cut down on the bezel and reworked the backplate, so it peels off the edges of the phone as well, exposing the bare glass of the phone. That aforementioned screen is a 16:9 Super LCD qHD display with a resolution of 540 x 960; all the better to see Sense 3.0's neat 3D-effect screen changes that replicate what you see on the Flyer tablet. It's actually the first phone to have a contoured glass screen—something that makes it stronger, claims HTC.

Another additional feature that Sense 3.0 has brought to the party is an improved lock screen that takes a leaf out of INQ Mobile's Cloud range of phones—you can launch a function or downloaded app from the lock screen, and depending on what live lock screen "wallpaper" you choose, even slide a photo, email, status update or stock stat down to the launch key, to open from that command. It'll shave seconds off your usage, and will be particularly helpful when needing to snap a quick photo.

HTC Sensation: A Dual-Core, Video-Editing Smartphone Superstar (Updated: Hands-On)

With all these battery-draining features being added—live lock screens, 3D weather and so on—you'll probably be wondering about the battery. It's a 1520mAh, which is better than previous models had, but HTC claims the dual-core chip will be able to handle everything better and not leave you at 4pm with a dead phone and no charger.

Speaking of photos, the 8MP camera has been vastly improved, able to quickly snap a photo from the second you press the button. It's not as fast as the iPhone 4's screen-shutter, but it's a lot better than previous HTC phones. Just like the iPhone 4 offers, the 1080p video can also be trimmed before uploading, and auto-focus has now been added to video. A forward-facing VGA camera finishes off the phone's snapping prowess.

The similarities between the Sensation and the Flyer tablet don't end there, either. You'll be able to buy and rent movies on the HTC Watch video store, including latest releases, but typically HTC was mum on the actual pricing of the flicks. They did confirm there'd be all manner of releases available, from the likes of Sony, Warner Bros, Disney, Fox, MGM...and so on.

It's highly-possible users would burn through their onboard storage of 4GB when downloading movies, so HTC's included an 8GB microSD card to help out.

On sale in May/June around the world, the 125.5 x 65.4 x 11.54mm-measuring Sensation will fit somewhere in the price bracket of the Desire HD according to HTC—not a helpful comparison to those living in the US, but let's take that as meaning around $200, which is what the Sprint Evo 4G cost.

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LONDON – April 12, 2011 – HTC Corporation, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today introduced the HTC Sensation, a smartphone that shines a spotlight on entertainment with HTC's new HTC Watch™ video service. Crafted with premium design elements, the HTC Sensation features the company's latest HTC Sense™ experience that puts people at the center by making their smartphones work in a more simple and natural way.
"Smartphones have evolved into pocket-sized entertainment centers that enable people to take their favorite content with them wherever they go," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. "The HTC Sensation takes this even further by combining the great new HTC Watch entertainment experience with the latest HTC Sense experience to deliver a powerful, evolved multimedia smartphone to our customers."
"The HTC Sensation integrates multimedia content with relevant, thoughtful features, bringing an exciting new dimension to Vodafone's smartphone range. The HTC Sensation will be available first in key Vodafone markets from Q2," said Patrick Chomet, Vodafone's Group Terminals Director. "The strength of Vodafone and HTC's partnership is a marker of our commitment to offer our customers truly compelling and market-leading mobile experiences."
Premium Design and Materials
Tapping into HTC's trademark design language, the HTC Sensation's premium look and feel is enhanced by its rounded edges, aluminum unibody construction and the touch screen surface is protected by a contoured screen that feels more natural as a finger is glided across it. The 4.3-inch qHD display delivers high-resolution widescreen viewing and gives the HTC Sensation slender proportions that feel natural in a person's hand. At the heart of the HTC Sensation beats a powerful, 1.2-gigahertz dual-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor, which enables gorgeous graphics and all-around fast performance.
HTC Sense
Complementing the HTC Sensation's premium design is the latest HTC Sense experience that boasts a host of new features and enhancements, helping people to have more fun and get more done. For instance, HTC Sense introduces a customizable active lockscreen experience that transforms the lockscreen into a real-time window to the most important information and content, such as social updates, photos, weather or stock updates that are viewed by simply turning on the display. In addition, the new active lockscreen becomes a customizable gateway that lets people quickly jump to the most used features, like making a phone call, sending an email, taking a picture or anything else with the same quick gesture usually used to unlock the phone. For instance, the camera can be launched right from the lock screen with a single motion, saving precious seconds when you're trying to capture the action. Sharper graphics, vibrant animations and new widgets make HTC Sense look better than ever and, by continuing to focus on all of the aspects, both large and small, that make HTC Sense special, HTC introduces a more cinematic and immersive weather experience with stunning imagery and audible weather effects.

HTC Sense also makes it easy to have fun by enabling people to capture and share special moments. The HTC Sensation's 8-megapixel camera doesn't just shoot gorgeous photos but, with the new instant capture feature, lets people capture the moments they want without worrying about missing or keeping up with the action. The HTC Sensation also shoots full HD video in 1080p resolution, with full stereo sound, at up to 30 frames a second, giving you smooth video that is better than many other phones. With the new Video Trimmer tool, people can crop their clips to the perfect size for easy sharing with friends and family.

HTC Watch
The HTC Sensation is a smartphone that is built from the ground up for a sophisticated, evolved multimedia experience. The 4.3" widescreen display means that users can watch movies like they were meant to be seen – in their full cinematic glory, with no cropping or letterboxing. The HTC Sensation is also the first smartphone to feature HTC Watch – an application and service that puts an entire library of the latest, premium movies and TV shows right at your fingertips, letting people discover the latest video content in an easy and visually engaging way. HTC Watch uses progressive download technology that makes it possible to watch videos without waiting for a huge file to finish downloading. HTC Watch offers the choice of renting or buying videos, and if purchased, lets you watch them on up to five different HTC devices.

Availability
The HTC Sensation will be broadly available through Vodafone across major European markets. It will also be available in Asian markets in Q2 2011.

HTC Sensation Specifications
Processor
• Qualcomm MSM 8260 • 1.2 GHz dual-core
Platform
• AndroidTM with HTC SenseTM
Memory
• Micro-USB port with mobile high- definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMI connection
Camera
• 8 megapixel colour camera with auto focus and dual LED flash
• 1080p HD video recording • VGA front camera
Audio supported formats
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Internal phone storage: 1 GB RAM: 768 MB
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Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 9) Recording: .amr
Dimensions (LxWxT)
• 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm (4.96 x 2.57 x 0.44 inches)
Weight
• 148 grams (5.22 ounces) with battery
Display
• 4.3-inch touch SLCD screen with 540 x 960 resolution
• Gorilla glass
Network
• HSPA/WCDMA • Europe/Asia: 900/AWS/2100 MHz • Upload speed of up to 5.76 Mbps and
download speed of up to 14.4 Mbps • Internal GPS antenna
Video supported formats
GPS
Sensors
• Gyro sensor • G-Sensor • Digital compass • Proximity sensor • Ambient light sensor
Connectivity
• • AC adapter
• •
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3.5 mm stereo audio jack Bluetooth® 3.0 with FTP/OPP for file transfer, A2DP for wireless stereo headsets, and PBAP for phonebook access from the car kit Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11b/g/n DLNA for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to your TV or computer.

• •
Battery
• • •
Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 9), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3), .xvid (MP4 ASP and MP3)
Recording: .3gp Stereo sound video recording
Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery Capacity: 1520 mAh Talking time: Up to 400 minutes for WCDMA and up to 495 minutes for GSM
• •
Voltage range/frequency: 100 ~ 240 V AC, 50/60 Hz DC output: 5 V and 1 A