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 Superman of Smart Phones!
Member Name: tigger1992
Advantages: Sleek design, camera, ease of navigation/use, apps, screen/audio clarity is fantastic, fast set up
Disadvantages: Battery runs out fairly quickly, sometimes the camera does not focus, phone is a bit big
The Superman of Smart Phones!
A mobile phone, Wi-Fi hotspot, 8 megapixel camera, HD video recorder, high speed web browser and so much more - It's possible with the HTC sensation!
- Main features
The main features of the HTC Sensation are as follows: a 4.3 inch touch screen, 1080p HD video recording with stereo sound, 8 MP camera with auto focus and dual LED flash and a front/back facing camera. 3G, Wi-Fi and GPRS internet connection, Bluetooth, Social networking (Facebook, twitter), GPS, 1.2 GHz dual core processor and lots of great apps.
- Design, screen and size of the HTC Sensation
I really love the design of the phone; it is really sleek, simple and sophisticated. It is a phone that you want to take out of your bag at any moment so that people can see your phone! The overall size of the phone is huge; it dwarfs my blackberry curve 8520 and my iPod touch 4th generation. The screen is also huge and it takes up the all of the front of the phone. The size of the phone has some positive points and also some negative points. The positive points concerning the size of the phone includes: the size of the screen means that it is easier to navigate around the phone, as there is more space between the apps so you don't accidentally click on an app you didn't want to click on. Also the large size of the screen makes viewing photographs, webpages and video so much better and easier when compared to smaller screens. Lastly, the screen clarity is fantastic! The screen delivers sharp, crisp, crystal clear images and video that far exceeds any other handheld device I have used. The negative points concerning the phone includes: the phone is a bit too big for me to hold comfortably and the phone is fairly heavy at 148g. Overall, I love the design of the phone and also the large screen but the phone is a bit too big and it only just fits in my jeans pocket.
- Setting up the phone and the quick start guide
The quick start guide contains all of the information you need to set up the phone. The quick start guide is fantastic, it explains all of the steps to set up the phone clearly and it is easy to follow. I found that setting up the phone was very quick and easy, although the only difficult step was removing the back cover of the phone to reach the battery - as the cover is not very easy to remove in my opinion. But other than the back cover, setting up the phone was very easy and it did only take about 15 minutes to set up the phone completely. During the setting up process I added my Facebook account, email accounts and I also added my Wi-Fi/router information so that I could connect to my Wi-Fi - I found this process surprisingly very quick and easy. Also if you are not sure on how to do something on the phone you can just click on the 'Show me' icon on the main screen, which will direct you to a list of instruction/tutorial videos. The videos include: how to take photographs/video and upload them to Facebook, how to use the Wi-Fi hotspot app, managing your email accounts and personalizing your home screen. I did not need to use any of these videos as the HTC Sensation is very easy to use in my opinion but I think these videos are a great idea and would be useful.
- Home screen, menu and ease of navigation
When you switch on the HTC sensation the screen you come across first is the main home screen. To unlock the main screen you just switch on the phone and pull the ring at the bottom of the screen to the centre - this unlocks the phone. I like this method of unlocking the phone as it is a bit unusual and it also means that the phone cannot unlock itself in your pocket. Once unlocked, you will see the main screen which features the time and various icons including the camera, messages, mail, internet and 'market'. From the main screen you can then access the main menu, settings and the contacts list ('Phone'). You can personalize the main screen background and replace the background image with one from the camera gallery (the photos you have was taken). I really like the main screen design as it is very easy to navigate, the screen clarity is fantastic and you can personalize the phone and add one of your photographs as the wallpaper. The main menu is also easy to navigate as the apps are displayed as colourful, graphic icons and you can view the most frequently used apps and the downloaded apps on separate menus. Also on the main screen you can slide you finger over the screen and some of the apps such as friend stream will appear as their own window - I do not find this very useful as I can already access the apps from the main menu. Overall, in my opinion, the home screen is very easy to navigate as is the main menu. Due to the ease navigation the HTC sensation is fuss free phone and a joy to use.
There are so many apps on the HTC Sensation including: Soundhound, Flashlight, Teeter, Maps, Watch, News & weather, Friend stream, Dice, Peep, Mirror, Latitude, Reader, Stocks and so much more! There are more than 25 apps already installed on the HTC Sensation with more available to download from the 'Market' icon on the main screen. All of the apps are located on the main menu where they can be organized alphabetically or by the frequency of use. I keep the apps organized by the frequency of which I use the apps, so the most used apps are at the top of the menu. For example, the mains apps I use are as follows: Mail, Camera, Facebook, Internet, weather and maps. The main app I use/like is 'Mail' and one of the reasons for this is because I can add more than one email account to the 'mail' app. This means that I was able to add my two Hotmail email addresses to the app and I can now update, check and read my email very quickly and easily - as I can switch between the two email accounts with one click! This app allows me to view both my email accounts from the HTC Sensation a lot quicker and easier than it is for me to check my email on my blackberry or my computer.
Living in England I find the 'Weather' app is really useful, the weather app can be accessed by clicking the weather image on the main screen or by the app in the main menu. The weather app already has some cities added such as Rome and Paris but when you switch the phone on it will automatically add your location to the weather app. For example, I live in Manchester so the weather app updated and added 'Manchester' to the list of cities. I like the weather app as it is very easy to use and it has an hourly, daily and five day forecast. The weather app is also animated! So the current weather is displayed using the figures at the side of the screen but there is also an animated version of the weather on the screen for each city. For example, if it was raining in Manchester then the weather app would have animated rain on the screen and animated rain drops sliding down the screen which look very realistic - this is the same for the animated clouds and lightening.
'Soundhound' is one of the most entertaining and also really useful apps on the HTC Sensation. Soundhound does sound a bit strange but it is a great app. The function of the app is simple: If you hear a song and you want to know the name of the song/artist then all you have to do is let Soundhound listen to the song and it will name the song/artist in less than one minute! This app correctly recognized a song that I played from my iPod Touch and it recognized various songs that I sang. Also this app is supposed to be able to recognize a song if you hum the melody but to my sisters great disappointment the app could not recognize her humming - although it was not a fault with the app as I had no idea what the song was either! From the results page you can listen to a preview of the song and the sound quality is fantastic! The clarity of the sound, through the phones internal speakers and also through my headphones is amazing.
The 'Market' app is similar to Apple's app store as you can buy and download various apps, some of which are free and others you need to pay for. I was going to buy an app but as I tried to buy the app I found that the only way to pay was via a credit card. I think it would be better to pay for the apps with your phone credit but this is not the case with the HTC Sensation. I did download a few free app's including an app called 'Shopsavvy', this is an app in which you can scan barcodes of various items and the app will recognize the item and present a list of prices. The other free apps I downloaded include: BBC news, EBay and Amazon. Downloading the free apps was incredibly quick and easy and I did not have to enter any details such as credit card information.
Another 'store' on the HTC Sensation is called 'Watch'. When I opened 'watch' it already had some pre-downloaded film trailers, which when I played them confirmed the fantastic screen and audio clarity. On the watch app you can buy some television episodes and lots of movies, from years ago up to very recent films. The films on the 'watch' app can be purchased or rented (not all of the films can be rented) and with most of the films you can watch the film trailer directly from the app, without having to be re-directed from the app.
Lastly one of the most impressive apps, in my opinion, is the Wi-Fi hotspot app and the function of the Wi-Fi app is to act basically as a router. I have tried this app and I think it is amazing! Setting up the app so that my netbook can connect to the HTC Sensation is very easy and after the quick set up my netbook can now connect to the internet - when there is no accessible Wi-Fi in the area - using the HTC sensations internet connection!
- The camera and video recording
The HTC sensation features a massive eight megapixel camera which in my opinion is fantastic as my previous digital camera had seven megapixels! The camera icon can be located on the main screen so it is really easy to find. The HTC Sensation includes a camera on the back of the phone and also a camera on the front of the phone. The backwards facing camera is 8 megapixels and you can take approximately 4,000 photographs with this camera. One of the main features of the backwards facing camera that I love is that there are 13 different camera modes/effects to choose from such as negative, solarize, sepia, distortion, greyscale, dots and more! I like that you can change the camera effect before taking a picture as I find with some cameras you can add effects once you have taken the photograph but with this camera you can see the effect before you have taken the picture. I love the different camera effects and you can choose from the all 13 effects when using the backwards facing camera. I find this camera so easy to use and one feature of the camera that I find really useful is 'Auto focus', this is where the camera will focus on the objects before it making the objects sharper, clearer and more defined. Although even with the auto focus I sometimes have to tap the screen to focus the camera. I also find that this camera does not focus very well when I am trying to focus on something that is close to the camera - it makes the sound as if it is focusing and it does focus for a second or so but then it goes back to being unfocused.
The front facing camera is 1.3 megapixels which lessens the image quality but this also means that you can take a lot more photographs - more than 30,000 photographs! Concerning the camera effects, when on the front facing camera mode you have a more limited choice when compared to the front facing camera. For example, on the front facing camera mode you cannot chose the 'Solarize' or the 'Posterize' effect. Also when using the front facing camera there is no auto focus and you cannot manually focus the camera either. Overall the front facing camera is really good but the only situation in which I use it regularly is to check my makeup, which it is really useful for!
On both the front facing and back facing camera when you turn the phone on its side it will adjust the screen view to landscape, this is due to the phones gyro sensor/accelerometer. I find that it is easier to take all photographs when the phone is horizontal as the button to actually take the photograph is directly over your thumb if the phone is horizontal. There is also a zoom option which is located at the top of the screen in the form of a slider. You can also zoom in/out using the volume control button on the left hand side of the phone -I find this feature really useful and it is easier to use while taking a photograph than the slider on the touch screen.
Also on both camera modes, once you have taken a photograph, you have the option to directly upload the photograph to Facebook and various other social networking sites. I have used this feature a few times and I find it incredibly easy to upload the photographs I had just taken onto Facebook. Also while on the upload screen you can add a caption to the photo and even tag people in the photo! I have tried similar features on other phones which did not work very well so I was really surprised at how quick and easy it was to caption, tag and upload a photograph to Facebook. Once you have taken a photograph or video it will be automatically stored in the 'Gallery' or 'Connected media' icon which can be found on the main menu. After selecting a photograph to view you can further manipulate your photographs using the 'magic wand' icon at the bottom of the screen - where you have the option to crop, auto enhance or change the hue of the photograph.
There is an icon when on the camera, to switch to the video recorder which is easy to find and it only takes a second to switch to the video recorder. It is really easy to use the video recorder, it is just like using the camera but the photograph capture button is a red 'record' button. While recording you can zoom in/out to the same extent that you can on the camera and you also have some of the same effects as you have on the camera including: negative, sepia, solarize, Posterize and more! I was a bit surprised and fairly impressed to see that you could actually record videos with the effects on, as I have not seen anything like this on a phone before - where you can record a video with the effect instead of adding the effect after recording. You can also manually focus the video, as with the camera, so that the objects in front of the video recorder will become sharper, clearer and more defined. Any video that you have recorded can also be trimmed straight from the HTC Sensation, it is so quick and easy to edit out parts of the video you don't want.
Overall I adore the camera as it is so easy to use, it has many image effects, it produces really detailed true to life photographs and the front facing camera can be used as a mirror - what's not to love! The video recorder is equally as good and again has various effects that can be used but I personally would use the camera a lot more than the video recorder. One of the best features of the camera and video recorder in my opinion is that it is so easy to upload photographs/video straight to Facebook (or various other social networking sites such as Flickr/YouTube or as an email attachment).
- Ease of use and using the phone on a daily basis
Using the phone to stay connected to friends and family is very easy and the messages icon on the main screen is where all incoming texts are located. As the HTC Sensation features a touch screen, the only navigation tool, the keyboard is also touch screen. Using the phone to text is very simple, although the letters on the keyboard are fairly close together and sometimes it is easy to press another letter instead of the one you want. Also while typing a word at the top edge of the keyboard there will be suggestions on what the phone thinks is the word you are typing, which is quite handy. Overall texting on the phone is really easy and you can also add an attachment to a text such as a picture or video at the touch of a button. The touch screen keyboard is similar to the keyboard on my Apple iPod Touch, so I am used to typing this way but it may take a little bit of getting used to if you have not used a touch screen keyboard before.
Making a phone call is also really quick and easy, as the 'Phone' tab on the main screen contains your call history at the top of the screen. And as I added my Facebook account to the phone it lists all of my Facebook contacts that have added a phone number to their account too. A loud speaker option is available and the volume control is located on the side of the phone which is really useful.
I use the internet on the phone on a daily basis and it is so easy to use and you can have multiple webpages open - to view the numerous webpages you just 'zoom out' by 'pinching' the screen. The internet connection speed is super-fast and the HTC Sensation can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, GPRS and 3G - so where ever you are you will probably be able to connect to the internet. Also using the Wi-Fi hotspot app on the phone my netbook can also connect to the internet via the HTC Sensations internet connection!
- Integration with my lifestyle
The HTC Sensation fits with my likes, loves and lifestyle effortlessly. For example, the email app makes keeping up to date with the latest news so much more convenient than checking my email on my computer. The ease of use is one of the best features of this phone in my opinion, it is a joy to use and the processor is fast which in turn means that I am not waiting around for a webpage to load or a download to complete. The HTC Sensation fits easily with my university and daily routine as it allows me to research and Google information from lectures easily and it makes checking my email and Facebook so quick and easy. The HTC Sensation also receives looks of amazement from friends and family when I show them the phone and what it can do.
- Overall positives
In my opinion the overall positives of the HTC Sensation are as follows: the phone is very easy to set up and it did only take me about 15 minutes to completely set up the phone with my Wi-Fi, email accounts and Facebook account added as well. The phone is very easy to use in terms of navigating around the phone, typing, phoning friends/family, exploring the internet and using the many apps. The HTC Sensation makes keeping in touch with friends/family, checking my email accounts and researching on Google so quick and easy. The apps are also fantastic; some of my favourite apps are as follows: Soundhound, Weather, Mail and Flashlight. There are also lots of other apps to download, some of which are free, and the download time is super-fast. The camera and video recorder are amazing, especially the front facing camera in which the image clarity and detail is fantastic. The HTC Sensation can also be personalized from the wallpaper image and lock screen to the short cuts and ringtone - so you can make the HTC Sensation as unique as you are.
- Overall negatives
In my opinion the overall negatives of the HTC Sensation are as follows: the size of the phone means that it is a bit difficult for me to hold the phone comfortably and it only just fits in my jeans pocket. Another negative point is that the camera cannot focus on objects that are close to the phone - it will focus for a second but then it will stay unfocused. Also on the 'Watch' and 'Market' app I think it would be better if you could pay with your phone credit instead of using a credit card. Lastly the battery does run out fairly quickly and I find that I have to charge the phone every couple of days to make sure that the battery is full.
- Would I recommend this phone?
I would definitely recommend the HTC sensation to anyone, even if you are a bit of a technophobe, as this phone is incredibly easy to use - I think this is due to the simplicity of the touchscreen design and also the straight forward main screen and menu. The touchscreen keyboard may take a little getting used to if you are not used to a touch screen but it does not take long to become confident using the touch screen/keyboard.
The synergy of a powerful processor, elegant and crystal clear touchscreen, high resolution camera and the many apps makes the HTC sensation, in my opinion, one of the best smart phones on the market. Overall the HTC sensation is an easy to navigate, super-fast, all in one, computer-in-your-pocket phone...it's the superman of smart phones!
I am going to give the HTC Sensation a well-deserved rating of: 4/5! It does have some flaws so it is not perfect but it is fairly close in my opinion.
Thank you for reading my review - this review is also posted on ciao under my username labellavita1992
Summary: A fantastic phone but it has a couple of minor flaws :)