HTC Sensation XL with Beats audio review

HTC Sensation XL with Beats audio review

T3 4
  • Beats audio, a 1.5GHz CPU, 8-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording capabilities, the impressive specs of an impressive and XL Android handset

    HTC Sensation XL with Beats audio review

    Love

    • Beats Audio
    • Sleek Design
    • Strong Camera

    Hate

    • Charging Port
    • Inbuilt Speaker
    • Macro Mode

    The third device in HTC’s latest flagship range of Sensation branded smartphones the HTC Sensation XL is only the second handset to come brandishing the newly acquired Beats by Dr.Dre audio technology pairing the premium audio output with a host of other high-end innards.

    HTC Sensation XL Design

    XL by name, XL by nature, a 4.7-inch display means the latest Sensation is large in the hand and massively impressive on the eye thanks to its 800 x 480p WVGA touchscreen offering. Despite its size, 9.9mm thick and a somewhat hefty but well balanced 162grams in weight, the device is by no means obtrusive in the hand.

    There are issues with its design, however, with a number of design characteristics detracting from the sleek lines and subtle curves. Whilst its smooth brushed aluminium back means that at times the handset feels slippery, offering little grip or security within the hand, giving the USB charging port a metal frame has drawn unnecessary and unwanted attention to the form afflicting hole.

    The angular nature of the 3.5mm audio jack connector also makes the blemish on the smooth finish appear oversized again highlighting a design aspect that sound be overlooked.

    HTC Sensation XL Features
     

     

    Unlike its dual-core Sensation siblings the XL features a 1.5GHz Qualcomm single-core processor which, despite its lack of the in-trend second core, is supremely zippy and more than capable of handling any task thrown at it.

    Paired with 768MB of RAM the XL’s snappy CPU ensures that transitions between homescreens and menus are seamless whilst opening applications and switching between programs is covered off with little fuss or unnecessary fanfare.

    Sticking with a good thing and making it only better the latest Sense UI lands on the Sensation XL and is even more impeccably premed than ever before. The usual gratifying transitions between homescreens are further bolstered by the ability to unlock the phone directly into desired applications meaning quick access to the likes of the camera app can ensure you don’t miss out on that one chance snap.

    On the camera and the XL’s 8-megapixel offering with dual LED flash is a largely impressive number. Whilst the inbuilt snapper offers predominantly strong colour management even in challenging light conditions the sensor falters slightly with blacks, struggling to display the broad range of hues on show. Elsewhere issues with the macro mode abilities are overlooked thanks to the handset’s rapid focus and fast shutter speeds.

    HTC Sensation XL Audio

    One of the key selling points of the XL, HTC’s integration of Beats audio has been further expanded through the inclusion of the pair of urBeats in-ear headphones that come boxed with the Android 2.3 device. Asides from playing host to an abysmally low grade and plasticy inline mic and audio control panel the silicon tipped buds offer a premium audio experience with impressive noise isolation and deep, bass heavy tones.

    Whilst the handset’s inbuilt speaker is shockingly weak lacking higher range volume, poor clarity or any substation bass paired with the packed headphones and the XL is in a league of its own for smartphone sound quality.

    Impressive from the off activating the optional Beats Audio enhancements offering provides an instant hit of premium audio output with impressive bass levels pairs with the usual high grade clarity and ability to pick out previously imperceptible notes associated to the Beats brand.

    HTC Sensation XL Verdict

    An all-round impressive offering from HTC the Sensation XL is a leader on the audio front a barely a half step behind the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S II, iPhone 4S and its dual-core siblings in terms of overall performance. The latest powerhouse to enter the smartphone fray, the brand associated with Beats audio is sure to see the XL become a massive hit and rightly so.
     

  • At the sumptuous extravaganza that was the T3 2011 awards last night, we cornered the good people at HTC and told them we would squeem and squeem until we’re sick unless the coughed up the Beats audio Sensation XL we saw glistening in their pocket

    HTC Sensation XL with Beats audio review

    Love

    • Beats Audio
    • Sleek Design
    • Strong Camera

    Hate

    • Charging Port
    • Inbuilt Speaker
    • Macro Mode

    HTC only officially unveiled its first all new handset to land sporting Beats by Dr. Dre audio technology a couple of days ago and it’s not out until November so we were lucky to get our hands on the flagship smartphone from the Taiwanese vendor.

    HTC Sensation XL: Screen
    Alongside the handset’s hefty 4.7-inch 800 x 480p WVGA display, the Sensation XL will play host to a 1.5GHz Qualcomm single core processor backed up by 768MB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

    The Gorilla glass screen is tough and despite the large size, is not overpowering in the hand. Beats tech makes a noticeable difference to the audio output and deeper bass but only through the headphones as the tinny speakers aren’t going to do the good Dr Dre any justice. The display however is as much a selling point as the audio with 720p footage looking vibrant, sharp and incredibly smooth.

    HTC Sensation XL: Camera
    On the multimedia front the newly unveiled HTC Sensation XL is to boast an 8-megapixel rear-mounted camera with a low light specialising wide angle f/2.2 28mm lens alongside dual LED flash. A second 1.3-megapixel snapper can be found round the front while 720p HD video recording capabilities are bolstered by stereo audio. The camera is incredibly sharp, with the shutter time being a huge improvement on HTC handsets of old, in truth though this is a change that has started to appear in all of HTC's new phones. Video is 720p and while the focus can be troublesome that's certainly not an issue that's unique to the Sensation XL.

    HTC Sensation XL: Interface
    The HTC Sensation XL is launched as a 4.7-inch Android Gingerbread device and comes with a new sync client for iTunes come boxed with a pair of in-ear Beats headphones. Beats audio technology is paired with a reskinned player while the sound enhancements can be switched on and off by a Beats ‘button’. The newly skinned music player is an conundrum, providing both an improved set of features but then convoluting the entire experience by making them complex to use.

    HTC Sensation XL: Battery
    Battery life is as to be expected from a device that not only has such a mammoth screen but also then has to power complex audio software. Keep track of the task manager however and you will probably be able to get a good days worth of battery life out of it – we’ll be testing this at length in our full review.

    HTC Sensation XL: First thoughts
    The audio, video and camera is highly impressive and with the 1.5GHz providing the grunt this is an incredibly fast phone, whizzing through applications and steaming through multi-tasking. The build is as to be expected from HTC and the weight of the thing feels reassuringly sturdy. That said its sheer size can sometimes feel a stretch when reaching apps, texting or sending emails however this is just a niggle. To sum up, this is by no means a pocket-friendly phone, but take into account just how well it performs and it suddenly becomes very easy to forgive.

    HTC Sensation XL Release Date and UK Price
    Carphone Warehouse is the first out of the hat to announce that it will be stocking the HTC Sensation XL and the handset will be available to buy from November 2nd.

     

    • HTC Sensation XL video
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  • HTC Sensation XL

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