The HTC Sensation is a terrific phone. It's slick and powerful and HTC's Sense interface makes it a visual joy to use. It's a little light on business features, though, while the basics like Exchange support are covered
Great screen, better than average battery life, excellent user interface, good email support
Expensive, heavier and bulkier than the Samsung Galaxy S II
£ 500 SIM free
4.3in S-LCD screen with 540x960 qHD resolution, 768MB RAM, 1GB storage (with 8GB SD card included), 8-megapixel camera, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 126x65.4x11.3mm, 148g
One of many dual-core handsets now hitting the market, the Sensation is HTC's new flagship phone. Costing around £500 SIM-free, it's likely to attract people who want an alternative to the iPhone or those considering other dual-core Android handsets.
At first glance, the Sensation creates a lasting impression because it's quite a big handset. The screen is 4.3ins, which is one of the largest on any phone, and the device is made of solid materials that give it quite a substantial weight.
Somehow, though, the Sensation just feels right. Its weight and size give it a quality feel, it will fit easily into most pockets, and it feels like it ought to last a decent length of time (certainly the two years you're likely to be tied to it with most contracts).
The front has the traditional four Android soft keys. These aren't the same as those on the Incredible S, which were able to rotate with the phone orientation. They perform the same task, though, giving you a home button, context sensitive menu access, back button and access to the the universal search feature.
There's a front-facing VGA-resolution digital camera for video calls or the 'mirror' app that HTC includes to let you check your hair is in order before you walk into that important meeting.
There's also a long thin speaker and earpiece combined, a concealed status LED, and a light sensor to control the screen brightness and turn off the screen when the phone is next to your face.
At the rear is an 8-megapixel camera, which produces excellent quality photos, and the dual flash. It's interesting to note that the antennas for this phone are embedded in the rear, detachable case. This works well, and we didn't see any signal drop-off when we held the phone.
However, it is possible that if you remove the rear cover a lot (say, to swap SIM cards when you travel) these connections could become worn and produce signal problems. It is, however, unlikely to be an issue for the vast majority of users.
Ground-breaking lock screen
One of the features of which HTC is most proud is the new lock screen. With this you have the option to keep up to date with various news, weather or social feeds. It's possible to have your contacts' status updates swirl around the home screen, or you can opt for a glorious weather application or even see stock updates from Yahoo Finance.
But there's more to it than that because HTC also provides a series of icons to popular applications. These allow you to launch the application by dragging them into a ring that rises from the bottom of the screen.
This is designed to speed up getting into your text messages, email or even the phone's camera. As cool as this is, we simply didn't find ourselves using it, preferring instead to just unlock the phone as usual.
It's important to note that, if you have a lock code on your phone, you will still need to enter this before the quick unlock feature will work. Good for security, but it slightly slows down the process.