We all listen to music on our phones these days. Funnily enough there was a time not so long ago when this was considered a big thing and most phones weren’t cut out for music playback or could only hold a couple of songs. Ever since the iPhone we have all expected to have iPods or decent MP3 players on our phone and HTC is hoping to lift that notion up a notch with the new Sensation XE.
The Sensation XE is a collaboration between HTC and the now HTC owned company Beats Audio – set up by Dr Dre. The company is renowned for making headphones for the street with an orientation towards bass. These headphones are at the top end of the scale with more street cred than Bose, but with a set up orientated towards urban and beat styled music.
The HTC Sensation XE is a phone based on the original HTC Sensation that was launched a few months back. The XE comes with a number of radical improvements that in our opinion have transformed the phone from a good phone to a great phone and certainly one worthy of your money as much as the Samsung Galaxy SII.
The phone comes with a pair of Beats in ear headphones which are by far a greater attempt at music playback than most other kinds of headphones bundled with phones. This means the device offers the Beats bass experience. The new Sensation also comes with Beats software on the phone which helps create the effect and makes an overall more complete music player than the software which is bundled with most HTCs.
We found the Beats audio to be easily turned on and off and to provide excellent soundscapes for urban beats and music that had that orientation. More mid-range timbres were drowned out to an extent but we did love the idea of the Beats audio. The phone can also be used with normal headphones, though the software doesn’t work with normal headphones – a bit of a negative. What is worse is that Beats headphones cost a princely sum, which can also be a bit of a negative.
The Sensation comes with a dual core 1.5GHz processor making it one of the fastest smartphones ever created, allowing it to take care of the most impressive of applications or the greatest levels of multitasking. This processor offers a great deal more speed and performance than the original Sensation, which was underclocked to 1.2GHz, even though the XE comes with the same 768MB RAM.
The device also keeps the best features of the original including the qHD screen that really looks the business indoors, offering amazingly detailed images and which is excellent for browsing. It may not be quite as good as the Super AMOLED Plus screen of the Galaxy SII, however it is still excellent. The phone also comes with the wonderful Sense 3.5 on top of the same Android Gingerbread found on the original Sensation.
This new Sense 3.5 doesn’t change things massively, however it does create a sleeker feel to the phone and the device is a little bit prettier because of it. The animations and other little things that give the HTC its own feel are better than ever and this really works well with the power.
The phone also looks that bit different from the original. The device is still milled from one piece of aluminium, though it now comes in a black and red livery and looks all the better for it. The new colours have given it spark and aren’t gaudy as many smartphones can be. The phone gets a red ear piece and a Beats logo on the back and it is all tastefully done.
Now, the Beats audio is also all about substance and a bit of style too. The phone gets new earphones, which are excellent and wonderful Beats software, which really makes the phone that bit better overall adding to the3 sum of its parts. The audio sensation is great and the bass abilities of the device are great thanks to the excellent cans and the nice software.
Overall this is a rare triumph of style and substance and the Sensation XE is an excellent device.