There’s a new king of Android Hill, clad in a sleek metal and rubber housing that looks like an offcut from Batman’s breastplate, with a super-high resolution screen and exceptionally smooth Gorilla Glass. Yes, the HTC Sensation is rather good.
It all adds up
But it’s an Android phone isn’t it, so can it really be that much better than any other? Yes, because in almost all respects it’s slightly better than the competition, and the accumulation of those little improvements adds up to something quite special.
Skins added to Android aren’t always an improvement, but this edition of HTC’s Sense manages to bolt on some neat features to Android 2.3 Gingerbread without breaking what’s already there. For example, the finger swipe to unlock the screen can take you directly into phone, mail, camera or messaging sections – just drag the relevant icon into the ring at the bottom of the screen.
Then there’s the cosmetic tweak that replaces the 2D horizontally scrolling homescreens with a 3D carousel. Those homescreens will initially be populated with HTC’s own widgets such as Friendstream (a tidy way to do Facebook, Twitter and Flickr), most of which are likely to stay put as they’re pretty handy.
The camera, so often a point of much angst on a phone, takes a good photo and without much of the delay of its rivals. It’s not instant in its response, but it gives you a fair chance of catching the action, and has a dual-LED flash to help out in the dark. The 1080p video has the same vibrant, slightly exaggerated colouring of the stills, and that’s no bad thing – if you’re shooting good times on your phone, why not colour it up a bit? However, you will need a steady hand to avoid the ‘jelly wobble’ effect that comes from the slightest movements while filming.
Otherwise everything else skips along just fine, including movies which play back beautifully on the iPhone-baiting widescreen display. There’s plenty of processor power to burn up on live wallpapers too, although you’ll be eating into the charge-a-day battery life if you do.
While some rivals still have the edge in certain departments, If you want the best Android all-rounder, right now the Sensation is it.
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