HTC Sensation XL review

HTC's created a big Sensation with this 4.7-inch beast

TODO alt text

With a big, juicy screen and improved browser app, web browsing is one area we hoped the Sensation XL would really impress us – and for the most part, it really did.

The browser hasn't really changed in Sense 3.0, but it is fast to load pages. Like, really fast. For pages that don't include Flash, it's on average about as fast as an iPhone 4S.

HTC sensation xl

Of course, many sites do have Flash content, which slows down the loading somewhat – but we've come to accept that as a cost of having Flash on devices, and it comes already loaded on the Sensation XL.

HTC's been very clever with its implementation in the browser. It seems to avoid Flash content wherever possible, only loading it when there's nothing else to fall back on. For example, the TechRadar home page always loaded without Flash ads, meaning that it appeared much faster than on other Android phones that do pick up the Flash ads.

Of course, go to something like a video on the BBC Sport website and the Flash video dutifully loads.

HTC sensation xl

It's an extremely well-implemented way to keep the performance hits of Flash to the minimum possible – because it does still have them, without question.

Scrolling a page with a Flash element in is much jerkier and slower to react than without, but since the browser tries to avoid loading unnecessary Flash elements, this problem doesn't crop up anywhere near as often as other Android phones and tablets.

And the further good news is that scrolling and moving about websites is generally quite smooth. There's still (still!) some of the slight jerkiness that Android has always struggled with, but it's not something that hampers you generally.

HTC sensation xl

Not that performance is perfect, though. We found times where the browser would just fall behind and get confused, particularly when pinching to zoom.

While this works excellently most of time (though it's a shame you can't zoom and scroll at the same time, as you can on Apple's devices), sometimes it responded too slow to be of any use, and once or twice it got completely confused and zoomed out when it should have zoomed in – taking us all the way out to the Windows view.

But this definitely wasn't the norm, and most of the time, it was plain sailing, even with the graphical bells and whistles of the thumbnails in the Bookmarks view, or the big 3D display for switching between different browser windows.

HTC sensation xl

One thing we miss is that there aren't any search suggestions that come up in HTC's browser when you type in the top bar. It looks through your history, as you'd expect, but it's nice not having to type in longer search terms when they're common things you know Google is quite capable of predicting.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyHSDPA, HSUPA, GPRS, EDGE
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilySensation XL
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100, GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time11.80 Hour
Screen Size11.9 cm (4.7")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)162.5 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
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
Pixel Density199 ppi
Height132.5 mm
Width70.7 mm
Depth9.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time360 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameSensation XL Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Product LineSensation XL
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Gyro Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number99HPJ001-00
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationFeel every single beat

When it comes to doing music justice, you're way ahead of the crowd with the HTC Sensation XL with Beats Audio and its superb, in-box customized Beats headset. Now your audio experience sounds just like the artist intended. You'll also enjoy the large 4.7 inch screen and 9.9mm sleek premium design. And record amazing HD quality video to complement your audio experience with this incredible superphone. It's the BEST sound and sight you can get on any mobile device.

Instant capture camera

Remember that time you pressed the shutter button and had to wait while your camera phone finished taking the picture? With the instant capture camera, the moment you press the button is the same moment the photo is captured. Never let a great shot slip away.

Package Contents
  • Sensation XL Smartphone
  • Beats Headphones
  • Battery
  • USB Cable
  • Power Adapter
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety and Regulatory Guide
Limited Warranty1 Year