HTC Sensation Review Roundup: Can It Beat Samsung Galaxy S2

The HTC Sensation is an upcoming Android smartphone that has a lot of people excited and there’s not much longer now until its release. The first reviews are out and we thought it would be useful to take a look and give you a review roundup, with verdicts from the people in the know. We also wonder if the Sensation can triumph over the Samsung Galaxy S2 or S II, another smartphone yet to see a US release.

We have written many articles now about the HTC Sensation and we’ll give you some details of recent examples so that you can click on the links if you want to find out any more on particular aspects. For instance we’ve given details on the US release and also the UK release, a comparison of its qHD display against that of the Super AMOLED Plus display of the Samsung Galaxy S2, a specs comparison between the same two handsets, its inclusion in a look at four dual-core smartphones, and another look at the Sensation and also the HTC EVO 3D as alternatives to the Apple iPhone 5.

As a brief recap on specs we can remind you that the HTC Sensation runs on Android 2.3, Gingerbread, has a 4.3-inch qHD display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. For a full rundown on specs and features check out the HTC product pages for it here. Now onto the reviews and the first one we’re looking at is from Vlad Savov over on Engadget. This is an extremely comprehensive review as always from Engadget, which starts off by pointing out that the Sensation is the first 4.3-inch smartphone to have a qHD display (rated pretty highly in our article linked to above). The Sensation also features the HTC Watch streaming service and the latest Sense UI.

Looking at the actual physical appearance of the handset Savov notes that despite the large display the phone actually “feels small” which is a clever achievement on HTC’s part. We’re then taken through other aspects of the hardware, battery life (rated highly), reception, camera (video recording said to be effortless), software, performance, and more. In the wrap-up Savov notes that although the Sensation is an “accomplished device” it somehow “underwhelms” although the design is still rated very highly indeed. It also gets a big thumbs-up for the qHD display and battery performance and is certainly seen to be a rival to the Samsung Galaxy S2. However on the whole Savov feels the Galaxy S2 just wins out, because of it’s great performance and impressive display, although it’s noted that this is very much a personal choice.

We then go on to look at a review from Rosemary Hattersley over on PC Advisor who gives the HTC Sensation a 4 out of 5 star rating, so is obviously pretty impressed. The review points out that the Sensation is really on a level as other Android smartphones such as the Galaxy S2 or HTC Desire HD. However Hattersley describes the Sensation as feeling bulky so differs from opinion with the Engadget review here. However the qHD display gets another thumbs-up, as well as the camera, battery life and snappy performance. The conclusion is that if you don’t mind the size of the Sensation, this is a great smartphone and a “superior entertainment player.”

Chris Hall over on Pocket-Lint is also impressed with the Sensation and gives this smartphone a big rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Overall it was found to run “very smoothly indeed” and the HTC Sense was described as “refined. It’s nearest rival was said to the the Galaxy Samsung S2 (see the theme) and both will no doubt see huge success but Hall concludes by saying that the HTC Sensation is “highly recommended.”

The final review of our roundup comes from Gareth Beavis on TechRadar and again the Sensation receives a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. Plus points include the internet browsing speeds, qHD display, design and camera, although negative points include the battery life, and the chunkiness of the handset. Although Beavis says the “HTC Sensation doesn’t get our pulses racing,” the phone is recommended above many others on the market. Beavis says that the Sensation is not one of HTC’s best but that it’s worth serious consideration and we reckon that a rating of 4.5 out of 5 says a lot about this smartphone.

If you are still wondering whether to make your next smartphone the HTC Sensation or Samsung Galaxy S2 you may also be interested in our Galaxy S2 review roundup to compare what the experts had to say. We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the HTC Sensation. Do you think this will be your next choice of handset or maybe you think the Galaxy S2 is too hard to beat? Maybe you’d rather wait for the Apple iPhone 5 or another handset? Let us know with your comments.

  • Daleos

    It’s true that Samsung GS2 has pipped the Sensation in many areas but they are very close so it’s the other factors that swayed me towards putting some money down on the Sensation.

    The factor which swayed it most for me is HTC Sense. It’s not so much the slick front end as the polished integrated apps that I really like about Sense. I’ve also always loved the build quality of HTC phones and never liked the plastic creakiness of Samsungs. Finally, HTC are marginally better at looking after their customers and comparatively swift with their OS updates.

    I’m a little disappointed by the locked bootloader but to be honest, all the third party ROMS for my Hero I’ve tried were a little flaky despite some great additions like CPU overclocking/throttling. I’ll root my Sensation if/when I get the chance if nothing else to get decent backups but overall the benefits aren’t that significant for me.

    I decided to buy my phone outright so I won’t have to mess with phone operators any more. At least I’ll get a phone with wifi tethering enabled (which was the main reason I rooted my old Hero).

    I appreciate there are people who don’t share my priorities but one of the great things about Android is that there is a choice if those priorities are different.

    • Robert Owens

      Htc is more than marginally better at taking care of its customers. There was an uprising about the locked bootloaders. Guess what? 3 days later a reply from the CEO that they will not be locked any more. And also when I called them to get my hero fixed they had it taken care of the next day.

      On the other hand, Samsung has horrible C.S. skills. I had a Samsung Instinct and tried to get that phone taken care of and guess what. They said that they wont do anything about it. I went through 7 of those pieces of garbage before sprint took care of me with the Hero.

      So marginally? NOT EVEN CLOSE.

      NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • http://twitter.com/tazh89 tazh89

        maybe you have had a bad experience but i have had a great experience with samsung recently.its possible they have improved there service since 2008, basically 2-3 years so no doubt there has been plenty of time to improve. not saying your wrong.( im guessing your on about the samsung instict that came out in 2008)

    • http://twitter.com/Millais Patrick Millais

      nice fair balanced points! personally i think i’m going to go for the galaxy sii, but that’s just out of personal preference. both phones would do me nicely.