HTC is a hit with Aussie consumers, but its latest smartphone is its best product yet, writes Jennifer Dudley- Nicholson
A sensational smartphone from HTC.
OVER two years HTC has swamped the Australian phone market.
The company has danced with Facebook ( ChaCha, Salsa), added speed ( Incredible S, Desire S), dabbled in big screens ( HD7, Desire HD) and even tapped into the keyboard niche ( Desire Z, 7 Pro).
But the new Sensation phone sits on top of the growing HTC pile. It is faster, sharper, slimmer and smarter than its siblings.
In fact, the Sensation’s new processor gives it level pegging with the fastest phone on the market ( Samsung’s Galaxy S II) and adds some significant software enhancements.
The first thing users are likely to notice about the Sensation is more superficial, though. This phone comes wrapped in a rounded aluminium shell that is exceedingly comfortable to hold.
It may be thicker ( 1.13cm) and a tad heavier ( 148g) than its immediate, aforementioned rival, but it’s also more solid and less likely to slip from your grasp.
The Sensation’s touchscreen has been upgraded.
The 4.3-inch Super LCD canvas offers qHD ( quarter highdefinition) resolution that makes text and pictures look incredibly sharp, and its true widescreen form ( 16: 9) is well suited to videos. HTC has also made the screen slightly concave – it sinks at the edges – so the glass does not touch whatever harsh surface you place it on.
However, this phone’s main claim to fame is speed.
A 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor runs the show and clearly provides a speed boost for menus, screens and graphically demanding apps such as Angry Birds.
It also features 768MB RAM, which, while not the 1GB of its rivals, makes for efficient multi-tasking.
The Sensation also features one new product other phones lack: fresh HTC Sense software. Its Rolodex-style clock and weather animations have become instantly recognisable, but the new Sense delivers something more useful: four apps on the lock screen.
Phone, Mail, Camera and Message shortcuts arrive by default, but users can swap these easily. Opening these apps is as easy as dragging an icon into a virtual circle. It might not be great for security, but it is quick.
Another benefit to toting the Sensation is its camera, which offers an 8-megapixel resolution, autofocus, dual LED flash and full high-definition video recording.
The camera’s autofocus automatically adjusts each time you move the phone, saving more time.
But users may want to turn off its widescreen mode to avoid elongated snapshots.
Though a great phone, the Sensation has a few quirks to hold it back. Its crisp screen is let down by a highly reflective finish that impedes a user’s view. It also offers poor visibility from an angle, appearing washed-out.
Some of its specifications also fall short. Its front camera is only 1.2 megapixels rather than 2, its battery is an average size at 1520mAh and it doesn’t have the full 1GB RAM that other phones offer.
That said, the Sensation is impressively fast, is a fine Google Android ambassador and adds its own software to create an easy user experience.
HTC has launched a lot of phones recently, but this is its best yet.