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I was first introduced to HTC two phones ago - that's about 4 years in old money - and I have to say, I don't think I will ever use anything else.
I was told that HTC invented the touch screen technology that apple made famous under licencse, but now HTC can produce their own phones, I think it proves that they are just as good, if not better, than the iPhone.
The HTC Sensation XL has an excellent screen, which is big enough for me to read without having to look for my glasses and has touch screen keys that are big enough for my fat fingers to operate, without constantly dialling my mum by mistake!
The above makes it sound like it's great for geriatrics - not so. With the Beats Audio quality, you will love the sounds of either the FM Radio, or your own playlists. You can use it as an e-Reader, a game station, a mirror (not very good), a torch (excellent) and of course a phone.
If you want something that is easy to use and reliable, get this phone!
Packaging and Accessories
I went in store to buy my HTC Sensation and so the packaging would be different if you were to have it delivered to you. The HTC Sensation XL comes in a box that says HTC on the front with a big picture of the phone also on the front. On the back is all the information about the phone and the specifications of the phone. The left and right side just have the HTC logo on them. When opening the box the phone is the first thing that is you see and it has a plastic covering and it is surrounded by foam to keep it safe during transport.
Underneath the phone are the accessories that are included with the phone. The box contains a plug with a usb socket to plug your phone into charge, also included is a usb to micro usb which is used to sync music and other things to the phone but also to charge the phone. There are a couple of booklets which tell you how to use the phone and also about the warranty and other things. The last thing in the box is the supplied Beats in ear headphones which I s a big bonus because they are very high quality headphones and are not the usual supplied headphones.
The HTC Sensation XL has a very high quality white finish on the front and part of the back which is great in keeping away dust and finger marks. Most of the back of the phone is made of an aluminium plate which also feels good and is scratch and finger mark resistant. The front of the phone is where the huge LCD screen is (4.7 inches), below the screen is four touch buttons which are used for the home button. Search. Back and another button which takes you to your apps. Above the screen is a front facing camera which is 1.3 megapixels. On the top of the phone is the headphone jack which is the standard size so you can use many different headphones with the XL, also on the top is a lock button. On the right hand side of the phone is the volume rocker which is used to adjust the volume and finally on the left hand side there is a micro usb port which is used for charging and syncing the phone. the back of the phone is where the 8mp camera and a dual LED flash for taking photos and videos (the camera can shoot in 720p hd) are found.
Here are also any other specifications you may want to know.
The 4.7 inch screen has a resolution of 400x800 and is a super LDC display.
The phone has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G
The phone comes with 16 GB internal storage but no microSD card slot
The phone weighs 163 grams and the size is 133x71x10mm
Also the HTC Sensation XL has a single core 1.5 GHz processor
The screen is very bright and it has great viewing angles. The colours are very vibrant and hardly anything looks washed out. Because the screen is so big reading and watching videos is very easy. The videos you watch are expanded to fit the screen size. Reading is easy because you can zoom in and the text becomes much bigger, I have used this feature a lot and although it is on a lot of phones it works the best for me on the HTC sensation XL because of the size the text can go up to. The only problem I have with the phone is that if you are using it in a very bright room or on a sunny day you can get quite a considerable amount of glare from the screen, usually this isn't a problem but it does happen sometimes.
The cameras are great, I use the front facing camera a lot less as it is nowhere near the quality of the camera on the back also because I don't video call people much, however it is a very nice thing to have on the phone and im sure more people use it a lot more than me. Also the front facing camera means it is a lot easier to take a picture of yourself. The camera on the back of the phone is of much better quality then the one on the front and the pictures are a lot more vibrant and colourful, the dual LED flash is also very good and is much better than a single LED flash found on most phones. Video quality on the phone is superb as it can take HD video which looks amazing and is also very sharp, I have used the camera a lot and it works well in all conditions.
The build quality of the phone is great; all the buttons feel really good and are very responsive. The screen is also very responsive and even after heavy use it still works extremely well. Although the phone is made of plastic it feels very good. The Sensation XL is strong and durable as I have dropped it many times and it has survived and hasn't broken anything (I still wouldn't recommend dropping your phone).
The phones speakers are great which is probably because of the Beats Audio, The speakers are very clear and can go up to quite a volume. Through most of the songs I have listened to you can hear all of the instruments and vocals and only when you turn the phone up really loud on some songs does it begin to distort. The speakers mean that you can also hear people very clearly when on call. The microphone is also superb, the quality is great and it is loud enough so that the other people can hear you. The mic is clear and allows everything to be heard, the mic also doesn't pick up much background noise which is a great bonus in my opinion.
Battery life is pretty good for such a big phone, on heavy usage the phone lasts about a day depending on what you are doing, listening to music and surfing the internet will lower your battery much quicker than if you are just texting someone. On low usage the phone can last much longer than a day but again that depends on what you are doing. Watching videos and playing games can reduce your battery life to only a few hours. The phones battery is still lasting the same amount of time now as when I first got the phone.
Gaming on the phone is fantastic. Because of the phones big screen and wide range of games you can easily waste time if you having to wait for something, I have played a wide variety of games and find that they all look great and are also very clear and they all work superbly on the HTC Sensation Xl.
The HTC Sensation XL is super-fast and is more than quick enough for what I use it for. Heavy multitasking does slow up the phone quite a bit but just usual tasks are very easy and quick to do on the phone. The XL hardly lags but it does occur occasionally and sometimes it can take a few seconds to become normal again but this hardly happens and so isn't really a problem too me. The internet is also fast and easy to us eon the Sensation XL although the speed can vary depending on the connection that you are on. The internet is simple to use and you can zoom in on writing and open up different things on different tabs all very quickly without any problems (there are many other features to).
Messaging is very quick and simple with the Sensation XL all you do is click onto your contact and then type the message that you want to send. An onscreen keyboard comes up on the screen when you want to type something, this is great because it is full QWERTY and can flip to landscape too. The key board is great when messaging because it is big and so you hardly click the wrong button. Messaging is easy to use as it stores all the messages you have sent and you can scroll through them all to see your conversation this is a great feature that I use regularly. Calling is also easy to do and all you have to do is click the contact and click call or type in the number on the number pad that appears on your screen and press call.
I haven't had a problem with the phone dropping signal too much and when using 3G and Wi-Fi the phone stays connected almost all of the time with only a few problems where I have lost signal. The phone hasn't dropped any calls for me and so the connectivity is great on the phone. Viewing pictures on the phone is also easy and the pictures look excellent, you can choose to upload your pictures to many social websites using the internet on the phone.
The HTC Sensation Xl uses Android as the operating system and so you get a whole bunch of different features as soon as you start up the phone. You get widgets which can be used to keep all your social networking websites together this makes it super easy to keep on top of everything. There is also a variety of other widgets like different calendars and clocks and other things; also you can get many more from using the Android marketplace. The start screen is one of many screens which all allow you to put different widgets and apps on them, they are scrolled through by using your finger and there is a small indicator on the bottom of the screen which shows you which screen you are on.
Because of the Android OS you also have the full access to the Android marketplace which means you can choose from hundreds of thousands of apps many of which are free. There are many useful apps and I have loads installed on my Sensation Xl but be careful the more apps you download the more space it takes up from the your storage and also your phone can lag( this has happened to me a few times). Because of Android the phone is also very customizable and you can change the colour, background, keyboards and many other things to what you want them to be.
Although the review is not about the headphones I thought I would include my thoughts on the included headset by Beats. The headset is excellent, listening to music brilliant as everything is so sharp and clear and there is no distortion or anything also the microphone that is included in the headset is also of amazing quality and this allows calls that are made with the headset to be as good as the ones that are made with the phone. I was extremely happy with the headset as they are completely free (if you include the big price for the phone).
There are a few things that I do not like about the HTC Sensation XL one of the main things is the storage. There is supposed to be 16GB of storage but a considerable amount of that is taken up by the OS and so you aren't left with a lot of space. Adding apps, music or movies to the phone will quickly fill up any space you have been given and because there is no microSD card slot there is no way of expanding the memory to fit in more things.
The only other thing that is bad about the phone is because the phone is so big it can be difficult putting it comfortably in a pocket or holding it for a long period of time as the phone starts to become uncomfortable. The other thing about the size is that it is hard to use the phone with one hand as you cannot stretch your fingers enough to reach everything on the screen however this isn't a huge problem if you have bigger hands or if you use the phone with two hands most of the time.
Another thing about the phone is the price is very high for this phone which is surprising because some phones that are out now are cheaper and have better specs than the HTC Sensation although you can get it a lot cheaper now than when the phone was first released.
Overall I really like the HTC Sensation XL and thing that it is a great phone, it has a huge amount of features which include a great screen, superb cameras and a great operating system. The phone is easy to use and is very quick and customisable. I also thought that a huge bonus was the Beats headset was a huge bonus and because they are such good quality compared to the usual headsets you get from the other phone manufacturers. However due to the price, the lack of storage and a microSD slot and the fact that the size can make the phone difficult and uncomfortable to use I have put the phone as 4 out of 5 stars.
Price and Availability
You can but the HTC Sensation sim free from many retailers ranging from around £350 to £400 which is still quite expensive. You can also purchase the phone on a contract ranging from around £25 a month upwards.
I wouldn't recommend this phone if you are looking for a new phone. Although the phone is a great phone you can get excellent phones now which have much better features and have much better specs too and can be cheaper than the HTC Sensation Xl.
Thank you for reading my review.This review may be posted on Ciao too.