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PaulOBrien

Using a Sensation after using a Galaxy S II

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Is that cold boot?

RE rehan; there is a big thread over at xda, the link escapes me atm, but its a good read :-)

Hows the heat on the Senseation? the sgs2 (mine anyway!) gets ever so hot when watchin movies or browsing net.

have you tested swype?

Yeah, cold boot!

Not installed Swype on it...

P

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Why ?

I have an ENG S-OFF sensation, flashed stock ROM from HTC and it updated my Hboot to Ship S-OFF but could flash the dump back

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Why ?

I have an ENG S-OFF sensation, flashed stock ROM from HTC and it updated my Hboot to Ship S-OFF but could flash the dump back

So was your device always S-OFF? Or done with a clip? I don't see how flashing a stock ROM would make it S-OFF.

P

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Why ?

I have an ENG S-OFF sensation, flashed stock ROM from HTC and it updated my Hboot to Ship S-OFF but could flash the dump back

You didn't actually explain that you started on ENG S-OFF and then flashed the stock RUU to go to SHIP S-OFF - hence why Paul is confused!

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So was your device always S-OFF? Or done with a clip? I don't see how flashing a stock ROM would make it S-OFF.

P

He got the handset ENG S-OFF out the box

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So was your device always S-OFF? Or done with a clip? I don't see how flashing a stock ROM would make it S-OFF.

P

Always S-OFF, HTC demo unit =)

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Yours unbranded, SIM-Free too or is it a Vodafone version?

It's from Vodafone so its branded, but was unlocked (to my surprise). The branding is fairly minimal too, its not that bad.

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Cold boot did not seem superfast to me after the Galaxy S2, still faster than most others ;)

Took about 20-25secs for it to boot from cold for me.

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Do you mean boot from cold as first boot? If so that's very quick. I am considering getting the sensation as I recently picked up the HTC Desire Z because I was missing android and it was on offer at the carphonewarehouse. Wish I never sold my desire earlier on this year ;)

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Nice pics. ;)

Vodafone handsets are nearly always unlocked...

P

I noticed you said on Twitter you can't really replicate the death grip issue. I can't either.

I wonder if Samsung paid some places to blow it out of proportion and dent HTC sales :P

Edited by Robboftw

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I noticed you said on Twitter you can't really replicate the death grip issue. I can't either.

I wonder if Samsung paid some places to blow it out of proportion and dent HTC sales ;)

I wouldn't think so there have been a few video issues of it and it is there but I can't see it being a huge huge flaw.

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Do you mean boot from cold as first boot? If so that's very quick. I am considering getting the sensation as I recently picked up the HTC Desire Z because I was missing android and it was on offer at the carphonewarehouse. Wish I never sold my desire earlier on this year :P

Cold boot is when the battery has been taken out of the device and put back in, its then starting from fresh with no hibernation running ;)

I did a few videos on the GS2 and Sensation

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Ah right makes sense now, stupid question about first boot as thats always the longest ;)

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So HTC have just delivered me a HTC Sensation, which i'm going to switch to 'in anger' after using a Galaxy S II for a while. I'll be posting my thoughts here.

For fairness the Sensation is running the latest ROM I could find - 1.34.401.1 - and I'm coming from a KE7 Galaxy S II.

If you have any specific questions to ask, post them below! ;)

P

Paul is there a way to get that rom... i'm on 1.28

Thanks,

SatScan

PS 1.28 is a bugger

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So nice to see you got one sensation..;)

Did get Gs2 when it came out and last night i got my sensation and after just one day i realy like the sensation..:P

Gs2 is realy nice but for me i find the htc feel more "solid" in the hand and also good to add i had many problems on my gs2 with overheat so it shutdown and reboot, after 2 phones same problem i feel good try out htc for a bit now.

And not hurt to see you have your hands on one too..:D

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I noticed your tweet Paul so I thought I'd add my own mini-review here, it briefly sums up what I think of both phones.

HTC Sensation review

First things first, there are going to be a lot of comparisons in here (for obvious reasons) to the Galaxy S II.

I know there are lots of reviews and comparisons out there but I think I may pick up on a few points that they missed. I'll also mention here that it comes with an 8GB MicroSD card pre-installed.

Build quality & design

The Sensation is a lovely feeling phone, make no mistake about it. After careful consideration of how to describe it, I'd say that its construction is pretty much the iPhone 4 of Android phones. It feels very good in the hand, not only that, but it feels much smaller than it actually is in a strange way, it's very well designed. It feels much more like you are holding a Desire than a Desire HD for example.

The Desire HD had a few small design niggles, the power button on the top was completely flush with the chassis, which meant you couldn't feel it very easily and made it awkward to press if you were using the phone one handed. Thankfully HTC have changed this and the Sensation has a proper power button that sticks out a bit and feels very sturdy to press, it has a satisfying 'click' (feel, not sound).

53530565.jpg

The Galaxy S II in comparison is still a very well built phone, though I fear I may have given it a little bit too much credit previously. It is absolutely solid and to me it feels good, but it does have a slightly more square shape compared to the Sensation and is definitely not as nice to hold. The Sensation (having now got one and not trying the security wired one in the shops) is very, very nicely made. Its like the Desire HD and Desire combined, and ergonomically the Desire was pretty much spot on. The volume buttons also have a 'click feel' to them now as well, something else the Desire HD lacked.

The charging port as I'm sure you all know, is mounted on the side, which is probably going to mean using the phone with car docks may be a pain, but I'm sure Brodit or someone will make one so the phone slides in sideways or something. The camera lense is recessed too, so you won't scratch it.

The capacitive buttons all work well here and the glass of the screen almost feels soft and I'm sure a lot of people will like having a dedicated search button (although long pressing the menu button does the same thing on the Galaxy S II).

Onto the notification LED, sadly, it isn't that good. It is positioned behind the earpiece grill and if the phone is flat you can't see it very well. However you should still notice it, especially in a darker room. If you are sat up at your desk and are 'over' your phone or if it is in a holder, you'll see it very easily.

The loudspeaker is a lot louder than the one on the Desire HD but slightly quieter than the Galaxy S II. It is perfectly acceptable though so you should have no concerns there.

Screen

I very, very much like the screen. I really like AMOLED screens but I find web browsing on them can be a bit of a chore on some sites due to small text being a pain to see or if you can see it, it can be a bit too sharp and distorted. SAMOLED+ improved on this over the original SAMOLED but the problem is still there.

The qHD LCD on the Sensation is much easier on the eyes (unless you have it on max brightness, which is VERY bright). Obviously blacks are grey and the colours don't pop as much, but the slightly higher resolution and crispness is very nice on the Sensation.

The contoured glass (like the Nexus S) is very nice, it has a premium quality about it and looks the part -

35041158.jpg

The automatic brightness switching is more seamless here, you tend to notice it juddering a tiny bit on the Galaxy S II and some other phones. The only thing really letting the qHD down are the viewing angles, they are as poor as you would expect from an LCD, nothing new there. Head-on though, everything looks great and thats how you use it most of the time, right?

Software

It's here that (as you would expect) everything is firmly in the Sensation's favour. I have heard some negative points about Sense 3.0 but in all honesty, it blows TouchWiz out of the water. Functionally, they are the same apart from widgets, but its like comparing a Vauxhall to an Aston Martin.

The new lock screen 'ring' is a super design. It basically gives you 4 optional shortcuts and then a circle below them. You can drag the circle up to unlock the phone or drag a shortcut into the circle to instantly launch that application. It sounds fairly run of the mill as custom lockscreens have it, but it looks and works superbly, it is very fluid and extremely responsive.

It also can display things like the weather and pictures by default on the lock screen, and if you have a message or missed call the entire thing is displayed on there, it really is useful. The TouchWiz lock screen in comparison is a total car crash.

On the whole, Android runs smoothly on the Sensation. There is the odd juddery moment but nothing really of note. Sense 3.0 is very animation heavy with the carousel homescreens but it doesn't seem over the top and the way it all spins into focus when you unlock it is very nice indeed.

Other than the control widgets in the notification tray and a handful of other neat touches, HTC Sense is still HTC Sense, but much improved. The new messaging software is really nice and the new layout is a very nice design, comparatively, the TouchWiz one looks dreadful, the same goes for the phone software.

I'd say the Galaxy S II is marginally more responsive in general but its close.

Browser, GPS and media performance

The Sensation browser seems to load things roughly 1-3 seconds slower or faster than the Galaxy S II. Some things load a tiny bit faster and others are slower, but all in all there isn't much in it. Both phones handle Flash in the browser with ease. The Samsung's hardware accelerated scrolling is definitely smoother but there isn't a huge difference here. I believe this is down to the higher pixel count on the Sensation screen (which benefits many web pages) so it is to be expected that its a tad slower.

new1y.jpg

Media playback is smooth and fairly similar on both, nothing much to note there.

The GPS locks as fast as the GPS on the Galaxy S II (so near on instantly), no worries there.

Camera & Video

I haven't got any great comparison sample shots unfortunately but I'll give you my current opinion and get some proper ones over the weekend.

The cameras are fairly evenly matched, one isn't clearly better than the other however the Samsung does perform slightly better in low light. The 1080p video is surprisingly good however it doesn't have continuous autofocus so you have to touch the screen to get it to refocus, not a big deal really but some people may prefer the Galaxy S II method. There are strong suggestions online that the Sensation HD video actually outperforms the Galaxy S II but I'll have to verify that for myself. All-in-all, you can't easily seperate them so this shouldn't have too much of an impact either way.

Battery life

Having only had the phone since this morning I can't give anything too accurate here, however, its currently running down a full charge from earlier with a rough standby rate of just under 1% per hour, so that is more than acceptable. I'll post more on this in future but it looks more promising than some places have suggested.

Death Grip

There are lots of videos out showing this 'device crippling' problem, but I think they are being grossly over-exaggerated, I can only get the wifi or mobile signal to lower if it is very weak in the first place and that is by totally covering the phone. This is something that nearly all phones have issues with. Putting it flat on your palm will not do anything like totally cripple your wifi, unless maybe you are right at the very edge of the wireless range, like at the end of your garden.

You really shouldn't worry about this, I'm not sure what is going on with several tech blogs condemning it but it doesn't seem to be a problem for me.

Conclusion

Apple said at WWDC this week that the software is the 'soul' of a device. Well, they're right. HTC Sense is much more pleasant to use than TouchWiz, which (as I actually said in my Galaxy S II mini review) feels very tacky and some of the colour schemes are just bizarre. I genuinely believe that for all the small hardware shortcomings the Sensation has, this just about makes up for it.

20168726.jpg

Anyway, I'll expand on this with more detail for things like camera/video in future but that gives you a rundown of my initial thoughts. This isn't a bad phone at all, infact, its right up there with the Galaxy S II and for the general public I think nine times out of ten people would ignore small hardware issues and always opt for HTC Sense, it's that good.

If there is anything specific you would like me to test, please ask. ;)

And to quote Paul O'Brien on Twitter -

Inclined to think SGSII = nerds phone and Sensation = normal persons phone. Except I like the Sensation a lot and i'm not normal. :-P

http://twitter.com/#!/PaulOBrien/statu...283142028034048

I agree.

Edited by Robboftw

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Thanks a lot robbo for this review. Fantastic! !!

If I read this correct you prefer/like thesensation more? Because this is the final question. At least for me. I am focusing on 2 things:

1. The software

2. How "lays "/ "matches" the device in your hand. How easy is it to use it with one hand especially a with the thumb?.I am worrying! About the size of the 4.3"DEVICES AND THE MISSING TPAD. I use a desire z right now which I love. And I don't imagine how it is to live without a tpad.

I need this for smart dialing (scrolling right/left through numbers of a contact in the dialer), navigating through text and of course to wake up the phone (tpad WAKE) I REALLY LOVE THIS!

@ Paul:

if you also read this:I know you also really love your desire z and you also didn't like 4.3 devices (at least in the past). Would be nice if you also could say something to this.

what do you mean?

Thanks for helping.

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Do you mean boot from cold as first boot? If so that's very quick. I am considering getting the sensation as I recently picked up the HTC Desire Z because I was missing android and it was on offer at the carphonewarehouse. Wish I never sold my desire earlier on this year ;)

Why that? The Z is great device. Much better than the desire. Love the soft keys and the tpad. The soft keys are MUCH More easier to reach as they are directly under the screen and the tpad is also better to reach. Of course the Z is thicker and heavier but the positive thong about that is the keyboard.

Why do you the desire love more than the Z?

By the way: what do you think about The missing tpad on all the new HTC devices? Will you miss it?

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Why that? The Z is great device. Much better than the desire. Love the soft keys and the tpad. The soft keys are MUCH More easier to reach as they are directly under the screen and the tpad is also better to reach. Of course the Z is thicker and heavier but the positive thong about that is the keyboard.

Why do you the desire love more than the Z?

By the way: what do you think about The missing tpad on all the new HTC devices? Will you miss it?

I was a Desire Z owner, too; loved the phone except for its: 1) camera 2) weight

The camera of Desire Z is really really really terrible, it's more like 3mp camera or even worse, it's very slow and the pictures taken were always full of RGB noises. It's really that bad, I'm 100% sure it's noticeably worse than Desire. I had a Nexus One, the cousin of Desire, and its camera was exceptional.

btw, back to the thread, there is no way that Sensation's camera is as good as S2's in terms of video recording capability. Videos taken by Sensation always seem very heavily processed with less details; besides, white balance and contrast are also way off than that of S2. Due to the lack of internal memory, Sensation will have to cap the video bitrate in order to accommodate sdcard write speed.

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Could anyone compare web browsing for both devices ?

I'm a bit scared for the future of the Sensation, if i want to get rid of Sense is there a solution ? (I don't like the dock bar and the pagination of the app drawer for instance :/)

Thanks for your help and sorry for english mistakes.

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