HTC Sensation review

HTC's dual-core wonder finally arrives - let battle commence!

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We've always been slightly confused by HTC phones when it comes to the battery life, as they seem to offer wildly different experiences depending on who is using them it seems.

HTC sensation review

The HTC Desire was fine for us when it came to lasting a day, but others found it would be dead by 7PM. The Desire HD was more universally panned for a poor battery, but still some chastised our verdict of it being unacceptable.

Well, it's going to happen again with the HTC Sensation, as the battery life, to us, seems woeful and not up to scratch. We're talking dead by 8PM with no push email, minimal Wi-Fi and about 30 mins of music and video at the most.

HTC sensation review

We've cycled it a few times to see if it can be improved, but the same things happens: it holds charge averagely well mostly, but then will get very warm and discharge at a rate of 10% per hour... which is a familiar scenario with the Desire HD.

We constantly kept the applications killed and the notifications to a minimum - but it seems only turning off the background synchronisation altogether helped the issue. And don't even think about hammering the camera in the middle of the day, or you'll be without a phone come the evening for sure.

HTC sensation review

That said, we're going to request another sample to test this out with, as it's probably the poorest experience we've had on an HTC device so far, so it's only fair we test to make sure it wasn't just a diff unit.

HTC sensation review

On the plus side, at least HTC has decided to break the 1500mAh barrier in terms of power unit: it's a whopping 20mAh more, although still miles and miles behind the power of the 1950mAh unit in the Motorola Atrix.

HTC sensation review

UPDATE: We've finally managed to get our hands on a new review model of the HTC Sensation, and the good news is the battery life is definitely improved.

It seems that a combination of data-hungry applications and a slightly dodgy model caused the odd readings from before, although we're not entirely convinced the above scenario isn't one power users will face, which is why we've left it in.

But in normal use, and by that we mean sending 42 texts, spending 49 mins on the phone, watching an hour and bit of video and using the music player constantly, plus a few minutes spent using GPS to track ourselves and browsing the internet for roughly 45 mins, the battery pretty much lasted the day, although it was often in the yellow zone come 11PM.

However, what was more impressive (and a relief) was the sleep state of the HTC Sensation. Where before the phone would get very hot and start spewing out battery life in our pocket for no reason, if you leave the phone locked up for around 10-15 minutes on our new model the power consumption dropped to almost nothing.

This is more what we expect from Android Gingerbread devices, as the intelligent power management kicks in to stop background applications updating pointlessly - so if you're a lighter user then you'll generally find at least 30% battery power left at the end of the day.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory1 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time8.25 Hour
Product ModelSensation
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution540 x 960
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)148 g
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height126.1 mm
Width65.4 mm
Depth11.3 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time350 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameSensation Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeG-sensor, Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Gyro Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number99HNA033-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing Information

A multimedia superphone in the palm of your hand

Want to be entertained like never before? On-demand movies look great with a stunning qHD display, and they sound crystal clear with Hi-Fi audio technology. The HTC Sensation also includes an immersive HTC Sense experience making this phone easy-to-use and a top entertainer. The premium design, complete with contoured glass edging, feels great in your hand. The HTC Sensation is a multimedia superphone.

Package Contents
  • Sensation Smartphone
  • Battery
  • microSD Card
  • USB Cable
  • 3.5mm Stereo Headset
  • Power Adapter
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety and Regulatory Guide
Limited Warranty1 Year