Saturday, 24 December 2011

HTC Sensation XL Review

HTC has launched their new Sensation XE, which was soon followed by the pricier HTC Sensation XL. Considering that there is no dearth of high-end smartphones, these days, HTC will have to try hard to impress people with the new XL model, which rivals the iPhone 4S in terms of pricing. With a price of nearly Rs. 40,000, there are a lot of expectations to be met.

Form Factor
The HTC Sensation with its 4.7-inch screen is larger than the XE, by quite a bit. It is also larger than the iPhones, by far. The Sensation XL uses S-LCD, 480x800 resolution screen, which is smaller than the XE’s 540x960. This is obviously a little odd, considering you are paying a lot more for the Sensation XL. The density of the screen is a bit less than the Sensation XE. The screen is bright and vibrant and the viewing angles are great, too. Even though the display has a slightly denser screen, it is still very detailed.
Clean, smooth surface - maybe a little too slippery
Clean, smooth surface - maybe a little too slippery

The look and the feel of the phone is very sleek. The front of the phone has a bright white panel, while the back has a light grey, almost silver panel with a large HTC logo blended into it. The rear panel, like some of the recent HTC phones looks like two separate pieces but in fact, is just one piece. It has two elements in it - one plastic and the larger piece that feels like metal. The panel fits in neatly and is released by pressing a slim button positioned at the base of the phone. On the inside, the battery sits beside the SIM card and there’s no way to pull out the SIM without removing the battery. There’s no sign of a memory card slot, either.

On the outside, the phone feels great but the rear panel makes it a little slippery, so if you have to be extra-grippy while holding the phone in your hand. The larger screen makes it heavier than the XE with a weight of 162g as compared to the XE’s 151g.

Features and Performance
The Sensation XL runs Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) and features HTC’s own custom Sense UI 3.5 interface. ICS should be hitting the phone as well. Development on ROMs and rooting apps have already begun over at XDA Developers. The phone runs a 1.5GHz processor with 768 MB of RAM. Now, the Sensation XE, the cheaper of the two runs a 1.5GHz processor as well, but that’s a dual-core. When you use the interface, there are no signs of slowdown and it runs perfectly fine. Let’s keep in mind that the majority of Android phones running Gingerbread still run hardware, which is slower than 1GHz. Animations and the transition effects are smooth. File transfer rates to the phone are decent at around 8 MB/s - this was using a simple file copy operation. AnTuTu recorded a write speed of 7.1 MB/s. Read speeds are way more impressive reaching 34.5 MB/s - reaching the peak performance limit of USB 2.0.
Benchmark scores - Antutu and Linpack
Benchmark scores - Antutu and Linpack

The main apps menu shifts in pages, instead of a non-stop flowing interface. Press the back key and you’re back to the app menu, instead of the home menu.

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