on June 15, 2011
I am a long-term Blackberry user that uses his phone mostly for business but also for managing personal accounts. For several years, I have used Blackberry to handle my messaging demands including two (2) exchange accounts and four (4) personal accounts. I had been waiting to move to phone that could smartly handle these needs, and I have found it with the HTC Sensation. I bought this phone early and have been using it since 6/10/2011.
Email / Exchange Capabilities
HTC has customized the email application, and it is smooth, elegant, and fast. I had no problems configuring my Exchange, MSFT Live, and various POP accounts with the phone. The Sensation quickly synced all my accounts with ease. The Exchange integration is exceptional: you get push email, push calendar, and push contacts integration.
HTC also features a flexible presentation model where it unifies your emails into a single box and color codes the email by account received. You can also use a dropdown menu and select to view a single mailbox at a time. This mail implementation is better than anything offer with the BB, and more robust than the messaging application on the iPhone.
When you receive an email, you will get a notification through Android's notification menu AND and LED indicator will flash. BB's universal implementation of a notification light is a simple yet necessary function for me, and I am glad that HTC has decided to include a notification light. It is not as bright as the one found in my BB, but it does the job.
I don't use gmail, but interestingly, that is managed by a separate Google provided email program.
HTC has again included its Contact management application instead of the Android stock, and it is an elegant solution. One of the benefits of their application is that it will link duplicate entries into a unified contact account. So, if you have someone listed in your Exchange, POP, social networking address book, it will allow you to link these into a single contact entry to simplify your contact list. It's a great feature and helps you organize everything.
No issues with it. I believe that the included application looks great and has no problems syncing with Exchange.
This phone has exceptional build quality. It is made of aluminum and plastic and feels great in your hands. Not only the phone comfortable to hold, but it feels heavy. I like a heavy phone: it speaks to the quality of the build materials and does not feel like it will break apart with use.
The main navigation buttons are virtual, haptic buttons located at the bottom of the phone. The one issue with these virtual buttons, is that sometimes I accidentally trigger the "back" button when I intend to depress the space key. This is not a major issue, and one that with practice you begin to avoid.
The power/wake up button is on the top of the phone. It is responsive and has proper travel and response. The only other physical buttons are the volume rocker on the left of the phone. The one thing I miss is a dedicated physical camera button. Instead, you have to trigger the application through the menu system and then use the virtual shutter button on the screen. Again, I wish there was a physical camera button, but it's not a deal killer.
Phone calls are loud and crisp, and the large ear grill allows you to hear calls very well. Callers commented that they had no problems hearing me as well. When this phone makes a call through Wifi, the call quality increases even more and the voice quality becomes even more outstanding.
The speaker is on the bottom of the phone; so, if you turn the phone over, the volume picks up. My Blackberry has the advantage of having the speaker on the top of the phone; so, this phone flip is not necessary.
The other important departure from the Blackberry was the physical keyboard. I was very skeptical and had not been impressed by other Android based keyboard's such as the one on the Galaxy S. HTC has implemented two custom input methods. Its keyboard substitute works very well and functions like the excellent keyboards found in Windows 7 Phone phones. The large screen also minimizes errors. HTC has also implemented its own version of a Swipe keyboard. It works fine, but I prefer the HTC keyboard. Coming from the Blackberry physical keyboard, I am actually faster with the HTC virtual keyboard, which was my biggest surprise when using this phone!
Android Wifi Calling
I relied on Blackberry and T-Mobile's UMA implementation. This allowed me to get perfect service from my home, receive signals at work, and make calls when traveling internationally. T-Mobile has integrated its version of UMA calling the HTC Sensation. It works just as well at the Blackberry's UMA implementation. Once you active the feature, it signs-in seamlessly with WiFi networks without further intervention. This is such a huge feature that T-Mobile should aggressively advertise, since it allows you to place calls in locations where no phone can receive cellular signals.
In short, buy this phone. It's fast, well-built and packed with a great package of software features that make it perfect for business and pleasure.
on June 29, 2011
Let me start this review by stating one thing first : This is an EXCELLENT "SMART"Phone.
This phone is a pure joy to hold it in your hand. The Build quality is top-notch and the back of the phone feels rich and stylish.
The front is full Gorilla glass - top grade.
Due to it's smart design, this does not feel big, its just the perfect size for a smartphone and fits perfectly in the front shirt pocket.
The screen is absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous. I have compared this with the Samsung Galaxy S 4G screen, and my personal opinion is that this blows Galaxy S out of the water.
Okay, that takes care of the look and feel of the phone.
Lets get right down to the actual review.
I bought this phone on 22nd June and have been using it extensively for the past 5 days.
Voice Quality :
The biggest drawback of this phone is it's Voice quality.
The in-call voice quality is not up to the standard of a Blackberry.
The in call speakers have a buzz/rattle/crackle and this is very very annoying, specially since I have grown accustomed to the excellent voice quality of a Blackberry.
I have done extensive research on the web about this issue, and this issue exists with all Sensation phones, other people are also complaining about this.
Th equality is just average to passable, and this is something that I don't expect from a high quality smartphone like this.
Very dissatisfied by this.
Speakerphone Quality :
The speakers are really really weak. Whenever someone is on speakerphone, they sound very tinny.
And this issue is when using the speakerphone for calls.
Again I am comparing the speakerphone to my previous Blackberry. They were excellent, and the Sensation speakers for voice calls are just not up to the mark.
Again did some research on the web and this seems to be the issue with all HTC phones.
This is very unfortunate that HTC did not care to improve upon this feature for such a high end phone.
The good thing is, the speakerphone is good when listening to media, like music and movies.
So it's very surprising that media sounds good on this speaker whereas voice calls are very very bad on the same speaker.
Lag Issues :
Even though this phone is a beast as far as specs are concerned, I can still feel some lag on some applications and web browsing - it is smooth, but still stutters a bit. I can actually see the web browsing and scrolling struggling bit and this becomes annoying pretty quickly.
I just feel that this is a software issue and is fixable with a fix from HTC.
It just feels that such a beast of a hardware is held back by the software.
Dissapointed a bit by this.
Camera Quality :
Excellent 8 mp Camera with dual led flashlights.
The outdoor pictures are crisp and clear and I think this is the best smartphone camera that you can get.
Though the software sometimes makes some portions of the picture a bit soft, still this is an excellent camera.
Video recording at full 1080p stutters a bit, but 720 p video is smooth and of great quality.
No complaints here at all.
Web Browsing :
Apart from the lag issue mentioned above, web browsing is a joy and gives a very satisfying experience overall.
It feels you have a small laptop in your hand.
Email and Calendar integration :
Email and Calendar integration is excellent. You can have pop3, yahoo, gmail, live etc all integrated in the email app.
The exchange calender integration is also top notch, no issues here.
To wrap this up, this is an excellent smartphone if all you want to do is web and the smart stuffs.
If you want to use this heavily as an actual phone for voice calls, you might be a bit dissapointed. Thats jus my personal opinion, many people will be just fine with the voice quality, I am not.
Thanks for reading this review and may god bless you all.
Comments always welcome.
on June 21, 2011
I've had my HTC Sensation (T-Mobile) for a week now and I just love it. I upgraded from a myTouch3G, which rocked my world when I first bought it but which had become very frustratingly slow and confused and easily overburdened. Not this phone, holy cow! I've tried to stress this phone and I can't. The data transmission rate and the dual-core processor are both incredibly fast. The display is beautiful. Sound quality is great.
Let me tell you the things I don't like, although believe me, I'll live with them.
I don't like that the USB port is on the side of the phone, and on the left side in particular. I prefer it at the top or bottom. It's hard to hold the phone in your left hand with the cable attached to the port.
The cable that came with the phone is ridiculously short.
I'm not thrilled with the lock button feature. If the screen goes dark, in order to activate the phone you have to press the lock button on the top of the phone and then swipe a ring that appears on the display at the bottom of the phone. When the myTouch went to sleep, you could wake it up with two taps of the menu button.
I'm unimpressed with the battery life, but that may be simply because I can't put down the phone. LOL I'm on the Amazon site now to order a spare battery.
It's a beautiful phone, you're going to love it.
on July 12, 2011
This is going to be a very long review. But I'm writing this review specifically with iPhone users in mind. If you're an iPhone user looking for a head-to-head comparison with this phone I think you'll find this very helpful. Don't feel like you have to read the whole thing, you can just scroll down and read the subjects under the headings you're interested in.
So you'll know where I'm coming from... a quick background: I've been an iPhone user since the first iPhone 3 came out (can't remember if that was 2, 3 or 4 years ago). But I used the iPhone 3 for a year or so then upgraded to the iPhone 3GS when it came out. And I'll be comparing this to the 3GS.
PROS vs. iPhone
4G - is awesome. It's much, much faster than the iPhone. The 4G speeds combined with the much faster operating system, makes web pages download at seemingly blazingly fast rates.
FASTER PROCESSOR: 1.2 GHz dual core - makes a huge difference in speed. Opening programs and web pages are very fast. You get accustomed very quickly to the blazing fast speeds. I don't play games so I can't really comment on that aspect.
BIGGER SCREEN: The screen is BEAUTIFUL! The BIGGER size really is nice. It's amazing how much more of a web page you can view on this screen. And how much more of a book page - for you eReader fans - that you can view. Reading books is really a pleasure on this device.
BATTERY LIFE: The battery life is great compared to the iPhone. If I had written this review when I first got the phone I would have said it was abysmal. However, I made a couple of discoveries that have greatly improved the battery life and I can now say it's much better than the iPhone's!
I had purchased an app, JuiceDefender, for about $3.50 that was supposed to improve battery life but I couldn't detect any change. However, a few days later I was playing around with the phone and got around to the Quick Settings screen and noticed you can easily disable whichever network/communications features you don't need. By disabling even just the GPS the battery life improved immensely!
You can also disable WiFi (which helps a lot too). I have WiFi Hotspot disabled unless I'm actually going to use it, but I leave Mobile Network (which you have to have enabled in order for the phone to work as a phone) and Bluetooth on.
As a comparison, two hours ago I had this phone and my iPhone fully charged to 100%. Then I unplugged them both from the chargers. I have not even turned on the iPhone and it is at 79% charge right now! (And since my phone service with the iPhone is cancelled it's not even using 3G anymore). The Sensation is still registering at 99% with some light use - a few text messages, and a couple of 3-4-minute phone calls. So with actual use it's doing far better than the iPhone which is only running WiFi right now!
If GPS and WiFi were enabled however, the Sensation would probably be around 80-85% right now. So the GPS really makes a big difference in battery usage.
My concern in disabling GPS was that I wouldn't be able to find the phone using T-Mobile's phone finder service, and if I went out and lost the phone while forgetting to turn it on - I might never be able to find out. However, it's still findable. The accuracy is a little bit less, but it'll get you close. You can also still send an audio signal to it and you can still lock it and/or wipe all the data from it - in case you lose it. So I find that GPS is only really necessary if you actually need to use a maps/navigation program.
INTERACTIVE HOME SCREENS: And after 3 or 4 years with the iPhone, I was so sick of looking at that static, stale screen I thought I was going to shoot myself if I had to look at it one more day! One of the "themes" on the HTC phone is "weather". It's completely interactive. The background changes depending on the time of day and weather. If it's day time and partly cloudy, you'll see blue sky with clouds. If it's nighttime and cloudy you'll see dark sky and clouds. Last night I was surprised when instead of looking cloudy it looked foggy. And sure enough I looked outside and it was foggy!
I love using this theme because it constantly changes and it gives you valuable information at the same time. No more getting tired of looking at the same stale screen day in and day out. All the themes and backgrounds that come installed with this phone are far more visually appealing than any that come with the iPhone. And that makes a big difference when you have to look at it all day every day!
The weather screen also automatically picks up your location. With the iPhone weather apps you had to request that they pick up a new location. So this saves a step or two and puts the information right up front along with the big easy-to-read clock.
CAMERA: The 8-megapixel camera is far better than not only the iPhone camera but even the newest iPad2 camera! The apple products simply don't compare when it comes to quality of images and videos. It's amazing that this little phone takes such higher quality videos than the much larger, more expensive and supposedly cooler iPad2!
STORAGE: I really like that we can use SD cards for storage and easily add space when we need it. Can't do that on the iPhone. And the iPhone becomes vastly more expensive when you buy the models with more storage. The base price of the HTC is the same regardless of which $30 storage card you decide to put in it.
KEYBOARD & TYPING While the keyboard looks very similar to the iPhone's, somehow amazingly I'm able to type on it a lot more accurately! It may be the actual tactile feedback you get when you hit each key, or maybe their automatic spell check is better. But I make far fewer mistakes.
And the Swype feature, where you can type simply by dragging your finger from one letter to the next across the keyboard is really amazing! Even on the first few uses of that feature my typing speed was about 70% of my regular typing speed. But as I've gotten more used to it - it's now about 90%. I expect the more I use it that it will eventually be faster than regular typing. But interestingly I make far fewer typos with it than I do with regular typing! So it's a very cool feature that makes a real difference. If you have large fingers like I do it can be hard to do regular typing with two fingers. But the Swype feature makes it really easy to do the typing with just one finger.
ME.COM VS. MY.TMOBILE.COM - If you used me.com for its phone finder service, the ironic thing is that it didn't work with iPads or iPhones! By which I mean that if you were out with your phone and your iPad and you happened to lose one of them and wanted to use the web browser on the other one to login to me.com and find it - it would tell you that the service doesn't work from your device's browser! You'd actually have to go find a real computer to connect to me.com from to find your device. How idiotic is that!?
The T-Mobile finder works fine from any device including iPads and iPhones! It also works exactly the same way the iPhone phone finder worked. It will locate your phone and display it to you on a map. You can send an audible signal to the phone, and you can lock and wipe data from the phone. It also has an additional function which allows you to choose to send your phone's location to the service periodically, you can choose the time frame, every few minutes up to every 90 minutes. That's handy if you ever want to track the route your phone has taken. Could help you catch a thief by tracking his tracks.
SYNCING: Syncing this phone to Outlook calendars and contacts works flawlessly. I used to use Apple's horrible me.com service to sync over the air. It worked great for a few weeks, then it stopped working all together. It also destroyed my Outlook calendar and it still hasn't recovered (it creates multiple entries for everything I enter to it... enter an appointment and it shows up 5 times)!
But I was very happy when this phone connected and synced perfectly with Outlook on the very first try. You can also create a folder to hold files that you want to sync with the phone and it does a very good job at that as well.
WEB BROWSING: Just one word: FLASH! It's amazing how many sites use Flash these days - not just for fancy graphics, but for basic functionality. On any Apple mobile device you're totally locked out from viewing that content and functionality. The Sensation works flawlessly with Flash and it's so nice to actually be able to use ANY website and have access to all its functionality. Steve Jobs, you really need to wake up on this one. It's a major reason I switched.
Also, the larger screen makes it possible to see a lot more content. There's also a feature where when you double-tap to zoom in on the text of a page it will actually resize the text in that column so you can easily read it. On the iPhone you'd sometimes have to turn the phone sideways so the text could enlarge to fit the wider screen. But this does it for you automatically without having to re-orient the phone. You can also turn this feature off if you don't like it - which is another thing you don't get much of on the iPhone: CHOICE!
FREEDOM: Last but not least is the feeling of FREEDOM you get with Android and the Sensation! I'm not sure I can totally put my finger on it... but I think iPhone owners will understand this. There's just a feeling with Apple products that everything's so restricted. They try to control every single little thing. Maybe it's "Digital Rights Management" and the way the use of audio files is so restricted, even your own audio files. You MUST transfer files only through iTunes. And you can never transfer any audio file on your iPhone back to your own computer. If you ever connect to iTunes on another computer you own you can transfer what's on the phone back to that computer. It's really infuriating... it's almost like you don't own the things you've purchased... or created on your own. Or maybe it's the fact you can only buy things from the apple app store and they must be approved by BIG BROTHER APPLE before they can be put into the app store (you won't believe how many legitimate things they won't approve). With Android there's just a feeling of choice and doing things your own way... even if a few of them aren't quite as "perfect".
FOLDERS: This is the biggest drawback in my opinion - and the reason I give the phone 4 stars instead of 5. Android doesn't come with the ability to create folders. There are apps that try to emulate this ability but none of them really come close. They're all very cumbersome and convoluted to use. Nothing comes close to the simplicity and ease of use of the iPhone folders.
Within the first two days I had already decided to create home screen shortcuts to enough apps that I filled up the first two home screens. (that's 24 - 8 on the main screen and 16 on the others). And I hadn't even begun to download apps I knew I'd want.
So without the ability to create folders, you'd end up constantly cycling through the various screens to get to what you wanted. A real nightmare for people who have a lot of apps.
The Droid folders programs that I've tried at least solve that problem but not with the visual appeal and ease of use of the iPhone folders. For instance, when you create a folder (through a very convoluted method involving the opening of two other programs!), you have to select a single icon to represent the folder. So instead of actually being able to see the contents - represented by tiny little icons - you just see the one icon that you chose.
Charging Cradle: There is no cradle that I'm aware of at the moment to set it in. I just lay it flat on my desk. Wouldn't mind if it had a cradle like the iPhone to prop it up so you could actually enjoy seeing the screen. Especially since unlike the iPhone - this screen will actually stay on for as long as you like - giving you a new clock and weather center - within an easy glance.
NO CLOCK RADIOS MADE FOR IT: I have iHome clock radios all over my house. Wherever I am I can take the iPhone, plug it into the radio and it will charge and play music or podcasts. I'm not aware of any similar products for this phone.
PODCASTS: I used the iPhone pretty heavily for podcasts that changed daily. iTunes downloads them automatically and the sync to the phone whenever you sync it. So it was totally hassle-free to update those daily podcasts. You can still do this with the Sensation but it takes your human intervention. I now copy the podcasts I want to transfer to the phone to a separate folder and I tell the phone to sync with that folder. That does the trick, however, it's not as automatic as it is with the iPhone.
In fact, nothing with this phone is as automatic. Pretty much everything you can do with the iPhone you can do with this phone, but this phone just takes a little more work to get some things working the way you might want them.
CLOCK: The clock on this phone is a little primitive. For instance, you can't set the timer to turn off the music player. I used to like to go to sleep with my iPhone playing some audio files and I'd set the timer to 15 minutes and instead of playing a sound at the end of the 15 minutes you can set the iPhone to shut off the iPod player. But not on this phone.
Also, the stopwatch is a little quirky. I liked to turn on the stopwatch when I go to sleep. Then when I wake up in the mornings it's really easy to tell how long I slept. And I'd leave it on all day until the next. If the stopwatch read 24:00:00 - that would mean exactly 24 hours has elapsed since the last time I went to bed. If it read less than 24 hours I knew I was getting to bed a little earlier than the night before (always a good feeling)!
But the default stopwatch, when it gets into hours it goes a little crazy. The first night when it should have read 24:00:00 - it read something crazy like 69:00:00. I still have no idea what the 69 was counting, but it definitely wasn't hours! I downloaded a clock app and it's a little better but it won't turn off the music player either. It does show hours, but when it goes over 20 hours you can't see the 2! So you'll see "0:00:00" or "1:00:00" you just have to know that's 21 and not 1. I'm trusting someone will come up with a better clock - and soon! I'm going to time them!
EMAIL PROGRAM: The default email program basically SUCKS! It doesn't read html emails! Today most emails are html... so to not have this ability is pretty unforgivable. It's like a throwback to early 90s when email programs didn't read html. Fortunately though, you can download email apps. But that's the thing with this phone. You can eventually get it to do what you want but it will take more effort on your part. Things the iPhone does out of the box can be achieved but through some work and effort on your part.
I'm using the Gmail app - although I don't use gmail for my mail. I have my own website and use email with my own domain name. So I created a gmail account and set my own email to forward a copy of all messages to the gmail account. The fortunate thing is that Google lets you customize your gmail reply-to address, so when I reply to these emails it shows my real address to the recipients instead of the gmail address. It works fine and the benefit is that gmail will "push" messages to your phone, so the minute you open up the program you'll see your latest messages. You don't have to wait for all the messages since the last time you checked to download. They'll already be there.
VOICE DIALING: Unfortunately the HTC Sensation doesn't have voice dialing. They have a very rudimentary form of it, basically you have to manually open up your contact list then click the search button and say the name of the person you're looking for. However, you can't just hit the button and say "Call Gina Rigsby". This phone's voice dialing is apparently not tied into the actually names in your contact list like the iPhone's is.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR FORMER iPhone OWNERS:
When I first got this phone there were many things I wish a former iPhone owner could have told me how to do! There were simple things I couldn't figure out how to do - like when reading an email message how do you get back to the list of emails!
The main thing that I found disorienting when I first started using this phone was how to get back to where I was. So for all iPhone users, remember, the "back arrow" at the very bottom of the phone (part of the hardware) is your best friend! That's how you get back to where you came from. Remember it and use it!
If you're reading an email message you'll be disoriented because you want see a way back to the email Index on the screen. That's because it's the back space button at the bottom of the phone. Just click that and it'll take you right back to the Index.
The other thing I found really disorienting was how to get the list of programs I had just used. On the iPhone you click the round button at the bottom of the phone twice fast and it'll give you a list of your most recently used programs.
On this phone there are several ways to do it but the quickest way is just to push and hold the Home button at the bottom of the phone until the list pops up on the screen.
Another disorienting thing for iPhone users is that when you're in a program it's often not clear what you click on to see the list of program options. Turns out it's the "list" button at the bottom of the phone (the one to the right of the Home button). When you click that a list that is specific to whatever program you're in will pop up... and it will usually have an Options or Settings choice that you can use to customize the program.
Oh and the Search button also at the bottom of the phone is the quickest way to find phone numbers and calendar entries. When I first got the phone I must have messed around for 30 minutes trying to figure out how to Search on contacts! You can bring up the contacts list but there's not always a search box at the top of the screen.
on August 5, 2011
The HTC Sensation works better as a mini tablet device then as a phone. In fact as a phone it is pretty mediocre. The speakerphone on the Sensation absolutely sucks and is nearly worthless. HTC apparently has decided it can use chintzy speakers and mics on their phones since they are not "marketable" specs. If you like to use your speaker phone for calls you will be very disappointed. At max volume, in a pitch quite room, you can hear the speaker phones tiny sound. If there is any background noise, forget it. I'd like to point out for comparison, my several years old push to talk Motorola flip phone, had a great speakerphone and excellent call quality.
The ear piece and mic are not very good either. That means even if you have good reception through T-mobile in your area, this super phone is still not great for phone calls. Quite disappointing as this is the devices primary function, not a tack on feature. Adding insult to injury, the largest external button on the phone is the volume rocker. You will always keep the volume maxed out do to the poor speakers. Lowering the volume any is essentially a mute, making the huge rocker button pointless.
Other then the headphones jack, which you will definitely want to use on this phone for music or videos, the only other port is an mhl, which you will use for charging. Now I bought the $30 HTC branded adapter, to use mirroring on my TV or monitor as I read in numerous places this phone supported that. It doesn't work. I called HTC, they collect your info, and then tell you none of their phones support mirroring, which is the opposite of what I have read everywhere. HTC support tells me only my pics, vids and you-tube are supported for mirroring. But those don't work either. So after a few pointless exercises that don't fix anything I'm told there's nothing else they can do and I'm asked if they can help with anything else. Its a pet peeve of mine when customer service people ask that like they have already helped you with something, when they just failed.
I don't mind the size, but the phone is heavy and will drop like a rock in your pocket. You will feel it. Its tapered to a slant on the sides, making the ends more slender, and also more difficult to hold. The back feels like aluminum, not soft touch or plastic. It has a good 4.3in QHD gorilla glass screen. There is no kickstand. The phone is slippery and you will drop it. Don't buy it if you are clumsy. Overall, though I look the look and feel of the phone. Its feels durable and well crafted and is an attractive device with a great screen.
Its supports 1080p video playing and recording, and takes 8mp pics with a dual led flash. The camera and camcorder is a high point of this device and is pretty good in both respects for a phone. But again the tapered slender edges along with the heft, make the phone a little tricky to hold and operate. There are no external camera buttons, so you need to rely on the touch screen. If you are taking multiple photos or lengthy vids, it can become easy to accidentally hit other on screen buttons, changing settings or even exiting out of the camera mode.
Battery life is mediocre to poor. With moderate use the phone will last you the day and then need a charge. But even on a full battery, play angry birds, make a long call, use the internet, take a video, or really any intensive feature, and the phone will be needing a charge in about 2-3 hours.
Blue-tooth 3.0 is supported by this phone. It connected fine and works well with my Panasonic cordless phones, my Toyota car audio, my Brother fax machine and my my Motorola S305 headphones. Though they paired with my older cell phone, for unknown reason the Sensation would not recognize or pair with my J win blue-tooth and Tenga blue-tooth headphones.
Wifi connection is great with my Netgear router and I get my best data speeds on the Sensation through wifi, around 15,000kbps download. Unfortunately T-mobile despite what its online maps show, does not have good data connection in my county. While phones calls and texting are never an issue, at home, I get 2g or even just g. Any kind of internet is impossible, it will time out before anything downloads. Speeds are around 75-110kbps for downloads. There doesn't seem to be any 3g on this phone. In some surrounding counties, I can get 4g with varying download speeds of around 2100-4800kbps. On a side note I couldn't get internet at all when I first got the phone, and almost sent it back. Even though I had ordered and paid for the unlimited data plan, T-mobile told me data wasn't activated and I had to call in to do it. The T-mobile rep and her coworkers were loud, unprofessional and sounded like there was a ghetto house party going on in the back ground. The rep I was talking to, had to mute my call more then once because the background yelling and laughing got so loud.
Overall, the Sensation is a good device. Its great for playing games, taking pics or vids, watching vids, and listening to music provided you use headphones. It is faster and smoother then most phones though does have some occasional lag. It's good for surfing the net, provided you have a good wifi or 4g connection, otherwise don't bother. Check with somebody that has a T-mobile phone to make sure data connections are good where you will be using it, as their online maps are misleading. Also shop around before you buy, as the phone can already be had for well under $199.
on July 19, 2011
I have had this phone a week and have to say that I am disappointed for the following reasons:
 Phone speakers are too weak. I am constantly saying, "what", "can you repeat that", etc. When I am in the car it is even worse, the road noice really makes it difficult to hear what someone is saying. For this reason alone I am thinking about returning this phone.
 The phone is 4G, but about 50% of the time is running in 2G. I have called T-moblie, but it keeps happening. This might not be the phone, but rather just T-Mobile but whichever, it is frustrating.
 I regularly get error messages, for example the most recent was "rosie utility has stopped unexpectly, contact HTC". Numerous others keep popping up. Again, I am not sure if all of them are due to the phone or T-Mobile.
I have not even come close to using everything the phone will do so my review is not based on everything. However, I am getting to the point that I don't know if I want to invest any more time in it if I am going to return it.
Of the above issues the poor speakers are the most infuriating. I can't imagine such a high end phone being equipped with such lousy sound.
on June 24, 2011
I just upgraded from the HTC Touch Pro 2 to the HTC Sensation 4G and the difference is incredible. Granted, the Touch Pro 2 was running Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 while the Sensation 4G is running Android 2.3 so it's not an apples to apples comparison but the features of the Sensation are all there. Being able to record video in 1080p/High Definition is really nice and the rear camera and its 8 megapixels really takes nice pictures. The only disappointing item I've found after using this phone for a day has been the speaker phone. The sound isn't as loud or clear as the Touch Pro 2 but if you aren't using the speakerphone much, it's not a show stopper by any means. I would highly recommend this phone.
on June 25, 2011
First off, this is a running review. No list of pros and cons. Secondly, I use my phone for my personal life. I'm out of the home a lot and rarely have time to park it in front of the computer. I wanted something that could seriously multitask. This is it.
It was time for an upgrade and I'm very happy with my T-mobile service, so I decided to shop around for a touch screen phone on their service that measured up to the iphone. After shopping around and reading reviews I also took into consideration what Consumer Reports' Shop Smart had to say (which was a great review of the Sensation). I also wanted something to play music and videos. And my major requirements were a GOOD camera and 4G service on a fast processor. I upgraded to the HTC Sensation from a Blackberry Curve 8520. To say that it was a major adjustment is a major understatement. Achem. Anyway.
Fresh out of the box:
Had it for 3 days now.
I spent some time staring at the home screen, mainly because I didn't know what to do with the thing (the "manual" it comes with is a joke... you have to get a 200+ page manual from T-mobile's website to even begin to understand all the features). But also because of the Live wallpaper (moving background) and awesome weather animations.
After awhile I figured out how to move from one screen to the next. Took me a little longer to figure out how to replace those screens, though. But the process is very simple. A big duh moment for me. I spent some time surfing through the Android Market's apps and widgets, which were impressive because a good amount of them are free.
Using a touch screen over a physical keyboard will make you feel like the slowest, fattest person on the planet. I post regularly in forums so the feature that allows you to speak to type was a nice alternative to fat-fingers syndrome. Oh my and the speeds at which you can access webpages? Amazing. The processor and flash combination equals accessing webpages without needing mobiles sites. And I love the pinch to zoom feature. I feel so futuristic.
I had an HTC before my Blackberry and that one got hot too. But geez. This thing goes over 100 just playing Angry Birds for 10 minutes. On that note, games seem to kill the battery. Playing videos and music for hours, ironically, doesn't seem to affect the temperature (or battery for that matter) too much. T-mobile TV is a nice feature that I might subscribe to: full episodes and live tv that streams in insanely fast speeds? Yes please.
I also adore the camera. I was thinking of getting a new camera but today I took pictures at my son's T-ball game with the phone and the images look HD. The auto focus is a fascinating feature that ensures you get a good picture of what you actually want a picture of.
I have yet to try to tether this phone to my laptop or use it as a hotspot, but I hear that works wonders too. My car, however, doesn't like this phone and the two won't recognize each other as Bluetooth devices. Car dealer says the phone is too advanced. Oh! Speaking of cars? Forget needing a GPS system. The phone does that for you. It's great! AND it gives a map and lat/long of where you take pictures!
My only major complaints: The sound. I was expecting a replacement for my ipod, and this is not it. The sound is very tinny no matter what settings you have it on. And yes you can change the "Media Volume" for games and apps, but if you want to watch tv or movies (in other words, MEDIA) you need to use the awful included ear buds. I call them ear terrorists. They're painful and horrible. I'm also not a big fan of the fact that Google wants you to use a separate app for Gmail. The way the mail is done in general? Not a fan. Also, no auto-on and auto-off feature. I replaced my calendar with a downloaded one right away, too.
Well I hope this review is helpful. I know a lot about computers, but I'm not a phone techie in the slightest and I hope this review helps those out there who are on the same wavelength as me!
UPDATE: Well I've had it a couple weeks now. I still love it! The thing is able to be used as a Wi-Fi Hotspot which is insanely helpful for me (Wireless boxes just do not work with my home PC). The speed and service is great. I have never had a complaint with T-mobile.
I heard a rumor that this phone had a death grip or something like the iphone. So far I have not had a single dropped call.
With the help of tech support I managed to get my Gmail connected. Heck maybe they read my review and were concerned? Hmm?
The fact that you can access multiple webpages has been great too; for instance I click on a link to a Borders coupon that I want to leave on the screen for when I get to the store but I want to Google something too. Easy as pie. It doesn't slow down the phone at all.
That's another thing: I tax the heck out of my phones and this one just doesn't slow down. When it gets hot it occasionally freezes (and needs a manual reboot by way of battery removal), but that's about it. And still it seems to heat up more over games and large apps than music and movies.
Pictures and Video are still turning out great, if not a little oversaturated. I'm picky because I do digital scrapbooking, but the pics turn out well enough that you could easily print an 8x10 or make a wallpaper of an image and never know the difference between the phone and an expensive camera unless you're a professional or hobbyist.
I adore apps and widgets and the android market has a great supply of free ones. Plus the amazon app store offers a different free app (that's usually a pay app) every day, which is neat.
So in conclusion? I would recommend this phone to everyone so long as you're willing to take the time to learn how to use it right.
on August 17, 2011
I have been a blackberry user for a long time. this is my first android phone.
As per specs , the phone is much more powerful than my 7 year old desktop.
1) it has nice screen, easy to read text. Although you may have a problem in bright sunlight. 2) excellent video playback.
3) above average camera and video recorder.
4) It is fast, responsive, and smooth.
5) Build quality is top class.
6) you won't miss the physical keyboard, as on-screen keyboard is good and responsive, with predictive text input, you will type less.
Now, the cons.
1) poor battery life. battery will not last my work day. Voice calls drains battery a lot.
2) phone can get hot, too hot while using GPS.
3) equally poor speaker. listening to music or is not enjoyable with its speaker.
4) due to speaker problem, it is not good experience using speaker while on call
5) poor wifi range, wifi signals drops drastically as you move away from router. in my basement, blackberry curve holds onto wifi signal without any issue, sensation will not be connected at all.
In summary, if not for very poor battery life, i would have given it five start. but i am a business user who depends upon smartphone for emails and calls. and if you need to charge it during the day , then it is not a pleasant option. HTC needs to improve upon these shortcomings if they want to be a long term competitor to Apple.
on December 1, 2011
I have to start by saying this phone is not perfect. No smartphone is perfect. Every phone has problems and issues. It just depends which problems you can deal with or over ride or some how change. Also do the pros greatly outweigh the cons? In my case with this phone the pros greatly outweighed the cons.
For me there were a few things that really stood out about this phone from the rest of the androids at the time of my purchase which was about 3 months ago. I decided to give the galaxy s2 a shot first before the sensation just to see what all the hype was about. It did have a great screen. But after a while I realized how bad text looked on it when reading. I also didnt like that it didnt have led notifications, a dedicated search button. The power button was on the side. Which I thought I would get used to but I didnt. And one of the main things was it just felt too big in the hands. Too wide, thin and plasticy. It kept falling out my hands. Im sure not everyone had this problem especially those with larger hands then mine. The sensation just felt right in my hands the curves the shape its very ergonomic. Yes the s2 has more ram, better battery life, better camera and comes with more media and app storage. But the sensation has higher res screen, sense ui, the camera is pretty nice not probably as nice as the s2. Media storage can be solved by getting a bigger memory card which I did. The 1gb of app memory on the sensation is plenty for me. I have about 120 apps on mine including about 10 games and still have half of the memory left. The battery life could be better which seems to be an issue with all htc phones. Htc is the worst in battery life out of all the android phones. Mainly because of the sense ui, the small batteries they put in their phones and the stock htc batteries seem to get hot a lot quicker than most other batteries. A quick fix here for me was to get the anker 1900mAh battery for my sensation. In addition I have also rooted my phone. Ive installed ARHD 3.6.5 custom rom with the 1.4r1 brick kernel. I have greatly increased my battery life by doing all this. With light usage I can achieve close to 40 hours. With medium usage its closer to about 16 hours. Continuous talk time is about 8 hours for me. I really love the sense ui as I had the desire before my sensation. I love how the lock screen allows you to setup 4 apps for shortcuts so that you dont have to unlock the screen to open these apps. There are some things I dont like about sense but for the most part its a pleasant experience. I didnt enjoy the touch wiz experience on the s2 at all. I found it very bland and un useful. In the end its all up to you if you wanna use another launcher like launcher pro or you want to install a completely different custom rom thats the beauty of android. You should definitely rooot this phone to unlock its full potential or else your seriously missing out. Dont worry about voiding the warranty you can always unroot it for warranty purposes. There are many guides and videos online to help you do so.
On to my 2 major cons about the senstiaon. Firstly is the battery door. I tried 3 different sensations and they all had the same issues. The battery door does creak and the screen makes a clicking sound after the first time you open your battery door. It was very annoying to me at first. All my previous smartphones have had similar issues. My blackberry bold 9000 did it on all 3 models I had. Most people just put a folded business card in the back to make it tighter. Also my desire had it. I was able to solve the problem by getting a hard shell case. In this case with the sensation the battery door is made differently. It makes up 1/3 of the phone. I read people had all sorts of fixes in the forums. In my case I used a few pieces of small double sidded tape. That has solved the problem for me.
My last issue has been with the "gorrilla glass". Although my desire had gorilla glass and I hardly has screen protector on it and I wasnt very careful with it it never got scratched. After owning the sensation for just 2 weeks the screen got scratched. So much so that I could see it when the screen was on and especially in the screens with white in the background. I was very disappointed with the "gorilla glass". I googled and found many other people have had the same issue with the sensation. So be careful with it and get a good screen protector right away for it. I got a ghost armor for mine after the fact and it was able to hide most of the scratch. I really dont know how the screen was scratched so easily in such a short amount of time. I have a dedicated pocket for my phone where I dont put anything else in it. Ive been told by others that the "gorilla glass" that was put on the senstaion is not as strong as it is on other phones like the s2.
I have also heard complaints on forums that the dust seems to be getting under the screen some how. I really dont know much about this and I dont seem to have this issue. I guess it depends on your usage and also what case your using.
What I would change about the sensation:
battery door that doesnt creak
less scratch pron screen
more ram (1gb)
Overall I am happy with this phone. I still think its the nicest looking htc so far. There are some great htc phones coming out like the ville and edge but the sensation will always be my favorite. Other than the issues with the screen and battery door (which I solved) its a great phone. All my issues I had with it or things I didnt like about it I was able to change or make better. Where as with the s2 there were a lot of things I just couldn't change. HTC will always be a innovator in my mind for android phones. Constantly changing the game and making the phone easier to use and more functional. What will they think of next?
April 2012 update: I recently updated my phone to ice cream sandwich. It has made my phone much better and easier to use. It's faster, has more features, better battery life and easier to use now. I have to add that my carrier hasnot updated yet. I just flashed android hd revolutions latest ice cream sandwich rom for my phone. I also have the newest brick kernel and leedroid tweaks all of which make my phone much better. Htc has only updated sensation owners with sense 3.6 and not sense 4.0 which is not surprising. Htc has done this the past many times before. They obviously want us to buy their latest phones which have sense 4.0 installed. They claim the sensation cannot run sense 4.0. Which ofcourse is just an excuse and is not accurate at all. There are many sense 4.0 custom roms available on xda at this time. Htc has said they may release another update for thr sensation that will have a toned down version of sense 4.0. I don't know if that will happen. Also htc has come out with new "one" line of phones. The phones look great and are much improved. Except for the fact that they don't come with removable batteries or upgradable memory cards. These are features that many people will really miss. One of the main reasons I got an android phone vs an iPhone was the lack of removable batteries and memory cards. Also the new phones have really small batteries. This makes the sensation even more desirable, also it's variety of customs roms available. The sensation is still very solid smart phone with very modern and up to date features and specs. Especially since the price has gone down even more.