The HTC Sensation is the latest handset for the dual core party with Android smartphones. It has a 4.3-inch qHD touchscreen and an 8-megapixel camera. The device hums quickly and has numerous improvements to the user interface thanks to HTC Sense 3.0.
With other party tricks like 1080p video recording and a distinctive beveled edge on the touchscreen, the sensation lives up to its name and offers the user a very rich and customizable experience. This device is 99 percent the same as the HTC Sensation 4G available for T-Mobile, so much of the content and our test impressions apply to both phones.
Like other handsets in the HTC range, the Sensation is a large, plate-shaped device with rounded corners and some soft-touch plastic on the back. The large qHD display (540 x 960 pixels) dominates the front of the device. Below are the usual Android home, menu, back, and search buttons, all of which are touch-sensitive and glow white.
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Above the display there is a wide earcup grille with an integrated notification LED, next to which the front-facing camera of the sensation is located. The back of the device has a three-tone black and gray color scheme with soft-touch control panels on the top and bottom. The entire plastic rear cover stands out in one piece, wonderfully mimicking an aluminum unibody, although unfortunately it doesn't.
At the top of the back there is a series of holes through which the lens of the 8 megapixel camera and the double LED flash can look through. The nicely recessed lens is well protected, but unfortunately it also collects a lot of dirt and dust and is difficult to clean without removing the back cover.
The phone has the power switch and 3.5mm headphone jack. On the underside there is the aperture for the microphone and the button to remove the cover. There are also three more holes in the back cover, presumably for noise-canceling microphones. The only other hardware features are the chrome-plated volume rocker and the micro-USB port. Both are on the left side of the handset.
The HTC Sensation measures 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm (4.96 x 2.57 x 0.44 inches) and weighs 148 g (5.22 ounces). This puts it between Desire S and Desire HD in both respects.
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Overall, I really liked the Sensation's hardware, and the new screen is a delight, with rich colors and decent performance in direct sunlight, as well as its unusual beveled edge. The beveled edge never really seemed to have any use during our tests as it starts in the screen's black bezel, but it definitely looks nice and gives the phone a better feel.