Product Type: HTC Smartphone
Newest Review: ... but the main ones that come with the phone make life so much easier. Thanks to HTC Sense built in, customising your home screen is as eas... more
The best phone I've ever used - Sensational
Member Name: Kary
Advantages: Sensational phone, can easily be used as phone, camera, GPS and gaming unit
Disadvantages: As with all smartphones battery life is not great
I am going to start this review by saying that I am not intending to go too much into the technical
specifications as you can find them anywhere and knowing me I probably will get them into anyway. This phone is not my first Android phone (see my review of HTC hero) so this was just a case of changing everything over.
Hero to Sensation:
The transition from one android phone to another was quite smooth, the phone asked me if I had things to transfer over and did this via Bluetooth (the only use for it?), I then entered my Google details and everything was synced to the new phone, a perfect start. The differences between the phones is massive, not just in terms of size where the Sensation dwarfs the Hero but also processor speed where boot up time is down to a few seconds rather than several minutes and the camera where the pictures I take are in good quality and also a huge improvement which is more a failing of the Hero than a feature of the Sensation is the inclusion of a flash for the camera. I had everything ready and set up in no time and was downloading all of the processor heavy apps that failed to work on my hero. Transfer anything to the computer is as simple as plugging it in using the USB cable and taking your pictures off, however if it is just for Facebook or whatever you can choose to instantly upload from the phone (using HTC Sense facebook and not facebook app as in my experience this tends to fail and leave you a notification for a few days)
The battery life of the Hero was a couple of days at best and the same is true of the Sensation, typically I am down to around 70-75% by the end of the day but that is with the luxury of being on wireless all of the time which means that mobile data is off and therefore one of the biggest drains has gone. If you decide to play games or go to somewhere where the signal is dodgy you are likely to be down to 30% by the end of the day so even if you are just going away for the weekend then take your charger. This sort of performance however is on a par with all other smartphones so can't really be regarded as a disadvantage.
The hard buttons or as I guess they are on this the fixed touch buttons actually work really well and the location of the back button, one of my main grievances with the Hero, has been changed so that it is in a much more comfortable position for a right handed person to use, along with this you also have the volume buttons that you can use to adjust the volume of both media and ringtone which you can set to silent or vibrate.
My Experience so Far:
So far this phone has been nothing but a joy to use, I do find the larger screen hard to cope with and normally have to use 2 hands to do anything with it however I have got used to this and my typing is much more accurate as my fat fingers cope much better with the larger keys (even though I use swype - a keyboard where you swipe the letters to make your word). Internet browsing is much quicker, I never realised that the main lag on the Hero was the Hero itself and not the data connection/ wireless speed but now that I have this I know that was the case as everything loads much quicker, I know that for a lot of people the choice of internet browser is down to personal taste but I would really recommend the Opera mobile browser as it is really easy to use and the user interface is easy to pick up. Not much else to say here really as I haven't had any problems nor do I have any issues with the design or anything. It runs every app that I have wanted it to run, there are so many on android that I could go on about them endlessly but there are only a few that I want to mention. Silent Scheduler allows you to program your phone to go on silent at certain intervals, this means that overnight and during fixed meetings the phone will go silent and of course Google maps which acts as a great GPS and has really replaced the need for any sort of stand alone unit.
As far as reception goes I have had no trouble as this phone has picked up the mobile network where any other phone I have had and considering the much advertised problems with certain other phones and their signal issues this is a really good thing.
At first I thought that the phone was considerably more quiet than the Hero and was struggling to hear when I got a text message, this turned out to be a flaw with one of my settings and the phone is now much easier to hear although I still think quieter than the Hero was.
As with all phones accessories are fairly easy to come by, sure there are not as many out there for this as there are for the iPhone but then you have a better phone than the iPhone. The only accessories that I got were a barely there phone case which I always forget it on as it really is a snug fit, doesn't really add weight or size and does a great job of protecting the phone and because I hate screen protectors and can never get along with them I got a leather pouch which admittedly was a snug fit with the other case but it soon loosened up and now it's great. I did also get an additional USB cable so that I have one at work in case I need to hook it up to the laptop for any reason.
Against Samsung Galaxy S2
It is or at least was at the time agreed that the 2 best phone out at the time of purchase was the HTC Sensation I am reviewing and the Samsung Galaxy S2 and it turned into a little battle in our lab about which phone was better and while it was determined that they were fairly equal in my opinion the Sensation just pips the S2 (despite what a lot of "expert" reviews say. The first reason is boot speed, I know this isn't very practical as who turns there phone off and needs it on in a hurry but I think it is a good example of the way that the phone is made that it comes on in a few seconds where the others on their Galaxy S2s have to wait for a minute or so before they are on the net. The other reason that I would choose this again and again is because I really like the HTC sense UI and the way they have everything set up, I know that it took the other a while to find out how to even make a phone, this is crazy, it is a phone you should be able to make one so easy and this is the case with the HTC sensation.
I would say that this is a sensational smartphone, you can make calls and texts but you can surf the net, keep up to date on facebook, get your e-mails on the go, read PDFs, play games, get alerts when there are goals or wickets (depending on your sport), get it to guide you to your destination and all on a £20 a month contract.
Summary: The best phone I have every used