Product Type: HTC Smartphone
Newest Review: ... no sign of slow down neither was there any sign of freezing but having said that after over a year of usage i have noticed the phone ha... more
Simply Briliant......Until the battery goes!!
HTC Sensation XE
Member Name: suavilous
HTC Sensation XE
Advantages: Fast, Durable and Excellent quality
Disadvantages: Battery life again and the screen glare!
With new phones coming out every week I had to do extensive research as to what I wanted. Although the Blackberry phones where looking good I still was not convinced as numerous friends of mine were still having problems with them. So Blackberry again was out of the running.
The next choice for me was the iPhone. With the deal I had from T-Mobile I wanted something similar and also stay at 18 months. It being an iPhone is was just too expensive and not value for money in my eyes.
A surprise choice I had considered was the Samsung Galaxy S2. My friend has one and was raving on about the quality of the phone, its functions and also its camera capabilities. The magazines were also impressed by it and I too wanted a closer look. I saw and immediately said no to myself. The reason, it's just too big.
So I was back to my HTC phones and there were only 2 choices: The Sensation XE or the Sensation XL. The winner is...................... The XE due to its size and overall better specification on the XL.
Just so you guys know I am writing the review after the most recent software update on the phone. So some things may not be the same if you haven't updated it.
At first glance I loved the phone. All black apart from the Beats Audio logo on the back. This was a full touchscreen phone unlike my Desire which had the three buttons on the bottom. It has 4 touchscreen buttons at the bottom. From left to right, The Home page, and options button, the back button and also a search button. Like the Desire the volume control on the top left hand side of the handset which allows you to adjust the ring volume, loudspeaker and speaker volume when on the phone and media volume when playing games, listening to music or watching videos. Again this phone felt like it was very well made and when I opened to place my sim card in the actual main part of the phone seemed to slot into the casing. Very different compared to my previous one.
The power button this time is located on the top right of the phone which again gives me the options of switching the phone off, airplane mode and also a restart mode which closes all the apps on the phone and then restarts like some sort of laptop.
The back on the phone has a full length case which like I said above seems as a slip on but a very sturdy one. Inside this is the new 8MP camera with flash, the battery, sim and memory card.
Again making calls on this phone is a piece of cake. This can be done 2 ways. If your phone is on key lock there will be 4 options. I have Phone, Mail, Messages and Camera. To make the call simply drag the phone icon down into what looks like a magnifier and it will send you straight to the keypad. If your phone is not key lock on the main page of the phone I have the same options which I simply press and again be directed to the keypad. Like the desire you can either type in your friends name and it all automatically find him/her or type the number and press the big green call button.
When in a phone call the sound is very clear and loud depending on your volume settings which you can adjust whilst talking. Whilst in phone call mode the screen automatically shuts down as soon as it's on your ear so you are not disturbing your phone call. As you remove it off your ear the screen will light up and gives you the option to put it on loudspeaker or mute or end the call. You can of course access the phone if needed whilst on call.
The texting function has not changed from the Desire and it's just as responsive as ever. Texting can be done vertically or horizontally which makes the buttons easier to use as the buttons are bigger. It has a predictive text spellchecker on it as well which in a way makes texting quicker for some who use full words. If you use a word which is not in its dictionary the word will be highlighted in orange and all you do is touch it and it will be saved, so next time when typing that word it will pop up as a word option. The text messages are in a chat format with your messages in white and the ones you receive in blue. It also lists the people you have text, the most recent at the top. To compose a message simply press the compose button on the top right, find who you want and get texting.
This is the one of the things I love about HTC. The capability to personalise the phone the way you want it. Again it gives you the option of having 7 personalised pages.
The homepage presents you with time, location and sometimes the weather forecast for that location. Mine has default programmes of messages, mail, internet and camera. If you don't like what is there, simple hold on to it and drag into the delete box at the top left hand corner. It also gives you and edit option on the other side but I have not really used this, sorry guys.
Like stated above it also has another 6 for you. You get three when you scroll left and 3 when you scroll right. Here you can add what you like and also it you believe you don't need all 7 panels as HTC call them, simply delete it. To delete simply press the home button and it will show you all 7 panels and simply hold and drag to delete. You can also change the arrangement of the panel simply by holding and dragging the panel to where ever you want. I currently only use 4 panels for now.
Calculator, calendar, call history, camera, clock, internet, messages, photos, settings and setup are all defaults in all phones and are no different here. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are also defaults in this phone too. With the current software update and it being an Android, you get the added extras of Google+, Dropbox (which is their version of iCloud and call it their magic box), Facebook Chat and Google+ messenger.
Maps are still here and are exactly the same. Enter the location you want to go and it will find and direct you there.
Market is now replaced by the Play Shop. You can download apps, books, games and even movies either for free or at a price. Due to the Android market becoming more and more popular there are now more iPhone games available too, although you may have to wait a while for it to be available here. I recommend at the moment Draw Something!
Teeter is still here and still a great little game too.
The HTC internet on this phone is absolutely great. This phone has a 1.5GHZ dual core processor which is very quick and gets those web pages loaded real quick and also loading apps very quickly too. Watching videos on this phone is fantastic especially with its 4.3 inch QHD resolution screen. Web pages will automatically load a mobile version if there is one but you can change that if you want in the options. You can use the phone horizontally and vertically and zooming in and out is exactly like the iPhone. Pinch both fingers and move apart to zoom in. You can also zoom in by double tapping the screen which zooms in automatically to an extent. This phone allows you to open up 6 windows in one go and due to the processing power it doesn't look like it will slow you down if all 6 are up and loaded.
Due to my software update it now allows me to go Incognito which allows me to search around and not leave a trace on the phone such as search history or cookies although any downloads or bookmarks will be saved.
The Play Shop
As stated above the Market has now been replaced by the Play Shop just by name. I don't know why. As stated you can download Apps, Books, Movies and Games. Some are free some you need to pay for. I will give you a few apps that I often use and find fun and useful and also FREE.
Advanced Task Killer: I had this on my Desire and this was the first app I downloaded. As this smartphone is in a sense a Pc with the way it is run it will have a how load of app's running in the background. This will give you a list of all the apps currently running in the background and you can choose which to shut down or keep on.
Draw Something: I have downloaded the free version which has ads in them. For an add free version it is 59p I believe. Endless fun, add your friends, draw the word and they guess. The more you guess right the higher the level you go up. Pass and you'll start from the beginning again.
Viber: Have any family abroad and want to talk to them? Then this is the app to use. It is like Skype without the video calling and all you need is the person's number. If it is in your phonebook it will automatically find it and place in it your Viber phonebook. You can also text. For calling I recommend being connected to Wi-Fi to ensure good signal.
Sky Sports Score Centre: For all football fans this is a must if you want to keep up to date on your teams or your rival teams scores!
The Desire had 5MP but this baby has 8MP and all I can say is it is fantastic, very clear pictures. If you feel you don't need 8MP then you can simply lower it in the settings. With this phone it also has a front camera but the quality is only of VGA and no flash. The video recording is at Full HD standard (1920x1080) and you can zoon in and out, with flash or no flash whilst you are recording too. Again you can adjust the recording quality. A note of advice if you are recording at HD quality make sure you have a big enough SD card as a 4 minute recording is around 200MB in size.
Now this is a really fancy addition to the phone and I'm guessing it's going to be a regular addition to the other HTC phones to come. Upon purchase of this phone you also get a pair of Beat by Dre headphones (no the big over the ear headphones unfortunately). The phone has a special chip inside which recognises when these headphones have been inserted and in turn will activate beats audio giving you the crisp clear music sound you hear from the bigger headphones. Although this is a very nice edition it only works when you insert those specific headphones. Also the headphones are not as crisp when plugged in to a normal mp3 player but the sound is still very good.
With all this power they still haven't or won't give us a better and more powerful battery. At most I can get is maybe 2 days but sometimes I have to charge it every day. It is currently on charge as I write this review
This is something I had a problem with and unfortunately it is still here!! I would have hoped they would have figured this out but on a bright day you will a hard time seeing the screen even if you have it at the highest brightness. Please sort this out. So guys I recommend purchasing an anti-glare screen protector or only bring the phone out at night. Your choice!
Despite the same problems I love this phone. I can personalise it the way I want it, it does everything so quick and precisely. Despite there possibly being loads of the same phone out there, I still feel unique with mine as it is done my way. The addition of the Beats audio is a very good marketing trick to entice these youngsters who love the brand. All in all I would highly recommend this phone to anyone
Thanks for reading and hope you found this useful. If there is anything else that you would like to know that I have not added please let me know and I will update it.
Can also be found on Ciao under the same name.
Summary: Beautifully Constructed piece of mobile kit!