HTC Sensation XE hands on

Beats Audio, red buttons and a faster processor, but does HTC's Sensation XE rock our world?

HTC Sensation XE in the flesh

We took along our original Sensation to HTC Towers to see just how different the new Sensation XE is. As you can see from this comparison shot the XE controls and speaker are both a Beats Audio branded red. It's probably supposed to look edgy, but we thought it had a certain '80s retro feel – no bad thing. The size, weight and shape are the same in spite of a slightly larger 1750Ah battery, which will be needed to run the in-built Beats Audio equaliser software that makes your music sound, to be blunt about it, more bassy. There's also a larger 16GB microSD bundled so you can pack in even more of your favourite Dr Dre hits.

Sonic profiling – HTC Sensation XE and Beats Audio

The back end really does look prettier in its darker shell, contrasting against the sexy red lines. And the pretty red continues all the way to your ears with the thrown-in You Beats noise-isolating earphones. Plug 'em in and the phone recognises its sibling hardware, automatically activating the Beats Audio sound profiling. How sweet. HTC says software updates will make the XE compatible with a greater range of Beats cans once it’s released.

Should you buy an HTC Sensation XE?

HTC realises some people might not want heaving bass all the time and affords the option to quickly (using the drop-down menu) turn off the Beats engine, thereby saving battery and ear drums at a prod. Aficionados of Dre's bass-heavy sonics will swarm around the Sensation XE, but it's worth considering even if you're not that bothered. After all, you're still getting a US$100 pair of headphones and an upgraded 1.5GHz dual-core processor for your XE dollar, not to mention that supersized battery and menacing black-red colour scheme. HTC's Sensation XE will be £36 a month from October 1st when it’s released. First impressions say it's worth dropping some notes on.


HTC Sensation XE pricing and release date

HTC Sensation review

Need to know – HTC Sensation