HTC Sensation XL review

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

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Without a dual-core processor to put some oomph behind it, the HTC Sensation XL is limited to 720p video recording rather than 1080p, but it does have one handy trick up its sleeve. You can record slow-motion video (at half speed) at a resolution of 800 x 480, which is a cool thing to have around.

The only problem is that the video quality on the Sensation XL is pretty much garbage, even at 720p. In the videos below you'll see that there is a huge amount of digital artefacting, to the point that you can see big squares in the videos where the detail has been lost.

HTC sensation xl review

Even in the slow-motion footage of the birds taking off, all they really are is white shapes – there's no detail or texture to them. The motion is smooth, sure, but then it damn well should be at half speed! At least video seems to handle contrast slightly better than the stills camera.

The culprit for the issues is an alarmingly low bitrate for the videos. The 720p video is recorded at just 5Mbps. We'd expect 8Mbps as a minimum for decent 720p video quality. There simply isn't enough data being recorded here for the video to be any good. We don't know why HTC has limited it so much – possibly to avoid filling the 9GB of storage too quickly – but it's really disappointing.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
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
ColourWhite
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 Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
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