First off, this isn’t the HTC Sensation review — that’s coming in a few days once I’ve spent some more quality time with the device. For now I’m giving you my initial thoughts on what is to become HTC’s flagship device. Just like all phones it has its pros and cons, however: Sense UI is what really sets this device apart from all the other dual-cores currently on the market. So hit the break for my quick thoughts on what I think of the HTC Sensation so far.


Sense UI on the HTC Sensation is evidently all about flashy graphics and making everything look very appealing the user. Quite frankly, I hate it — I’m more all about just getting stuff done and not have graphics glowing or flying across the screen at me. HTC have put a tonne of work into Sense, just like they’ve done in the past, building on what they already have and making it far more resource intensive to attempt to hinder the Sensation’s performance. Considering there is a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU under the bonnet, it’s still quite jumpy when scrolling through the home screens and the app launcher.

We’ve always known Sense UI to be a more complete user interface (UI) in comparison to any other custom Android UI currently available. You’ve got tonnes of cool widgets that all look nice and do a great job at what they’re meant to do (show weather, texts, time, stocks, etc). Sense UI used to be what sucked me into HTC devices, now it’s kind of pushing me away; it’s all a bit too much.

I’ll get into more detail in the review, but for now: Sense UI is very resource intensive, has millions of shiny graphics that mimic 3D effects and is more user friendly for everyday consumers or first smartphone owners.


Update: My Sensation also suffers from the “death-grip” that’s hitting the blogosphere. Seems to almost completely kill wi-fi reception on my device.

The design.. Oh goodness me, the design! HTC needs to stop recreating the Nexus One. The Sensation doesn’t have to be as thick as it is, there’s plenty of bend in the back cover where there is empty space between it and the battery. That bend also makes it feel kind of cheap and it’s something that doesn’t happen on the SGSII. When you take off the back cover, it’s like you’re pulling the phone in half, the whole outer shell of the phone comes away from the front, this is mainly due to the unibody aluminium design to improve strength.

The qHD (960×540) Super LCD display is immaculate and blows the Atrix’s comparatively poor qHD display out of the water. Colours are far more vibrant on this display than they are on the Atrix though not as good as the SGSII, however the qHD resolution is a one-up over the WVGA (800×480) resolution of the Galaxy S II. Everything is very crisp thanks to those extra pixels and the display makes everything look like it has a little frost effect on it (seems the best way to describe it) which looks really nice also. So well done HTC on creating a great display, the glass atop of it though.. it’s annoying. The edges curve upwards for some reason, whether that’s to help the user feel where the edge of the screen is, I’m not too sure.

The camera appears to be doing a good job and the instant-shot feature is bliss. Just knowing you’ve taken the picture you saw when you pressed the shutter is what you need to have on a camera. Video recording also works well and I’ll have some sample video in the review.

Final Summation

You may think I’m being harsh to the Sensation; I’m not, I’m being hard on it because HTC don’t seem to want to innovate the design of their phones and their UI is chewing through battery and CPU like it’s going out of fashion.

Ed: What we would like to see HTC do is stop renovating – Sense UI smacks of this – and start innovating again. For so long trailblazers in the Android smartphone space, they’re now just keeping up…

I certainly don’t see this phone being good the savvy Android user, unless you’re going to root and ROM it when that becomes available in the future. The Sensation is absolutely geared towards the average consumer who likes flashy graphics and a spruced up spec sheet.

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Agreed, no more nexus one’s please HTC.
And some decent batteries would be nice however I don’t think they have to ‘revamp’ sense. People seem to like it and they have added a lot of features over the years, sure the battery / ram hog issues should be fixed though.


How many bloody days does it take to write a review about a phone?

You're an idiot.

Aww no… poor faggot.


As ever, there are aggro fckwits like you trolling blogs. How do you get the words idiot and faggott out of me wondering why it takes 1 day to write Initial Thoughts, and a week and counting for a full review? You’d be on Youtube using the same terms to describe someone else’s favourite band or whatever too. Only when you’ve taken time out from masturbating at your laptop though.


Just give poor young buzz some air, the poor fellas going through vce. For him to balance his flat out school life and work on this rapidly growing site is a true effort.


phone arrived  from Tandomobile, from order to delivery 3 days, extras in the package included 2gb sd card, (no sd card in the phone which the quick guide says there is) screen protector (for incredible S) and aus power adaptor, mine shipped with a UK plug (HTC), others who ordered from Tandmobile received a HK plug (HTC), Total cost inc FeDeX shipping $567usd lovely looking phone, comfy in the hand and a breeze to set up and get going, and so nice not to have a phone rebooting and freezing (optimus 2x) every few hours, looking forward to customising the… Read more »


Hi everyone, let me share some personal generalised feedback for you from an outsiders perspective. It was my turn to do the big phone upgrade, and I was going to go for the most current and the best of the best. By this I mean, anything but an iphone (Baaaa go the sheep). Originally watching and waiting for the Desire HD yodrop in price so I can buy outright.  I did extensive reasearch daily/weekly/and monthly on the forums online for over 6 months, checking networking sites and blogs. (No way in heck was I going to get a new contract with Vodafail. I’d rather a sulpheric… Read more »


obviously whoever wrote this is an idiot. HTC is the FASTEST most RELIABLE and TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED company on the market right now. every phone and company has its issues including the iPhone. Just because a person with the ability to review it and offer insight doesnt mean the other 80 million people with cellphones wont like it or the sense. Phone companies build and design phones with features that allow you to UPGRADE each wdget, app, and program associated with the phone. They give you the 8 megapixels, the gb’s, the processor, but its all about how YOU build your… Read more »


HTC fanboy much?

If you had any idea about the writer or this site instead of just stumbling on it on Google you’d know this is an ANDROID site made by and for android enthusiasts. Any comparisons made are with OTHER android phones, in this case most likely the SGS2. 

Get back in your hole.



Quote “Oh goodness me, the design! HTC needs to stop recreating the Nexus One”

You could say that about Samsung when it come to physical design. Not changed much between models


Which models are you referring to in particular?

There’s quite a bit of difference between the Galaxy S and Galaxy S 2, but even then, that’s just 2 phones in their line. It feels as if EVERY HTC phone literally looks exactly the same as one another. I mean it’s a great look that works for them, but now it’s played out.


Firstly. I’m no HTC fanboy and nothing else will do. Just to make that clear. Ok Lets look at the pics. The two you sugested: Samsung Galaxy S Samsung Galaxy S 2 Now lets look at the HTC models out at the same time. HTC Desire HTC Sensation To me, the small physical differences between the two HTCs and and the two Sammys are about the same level of changes. If you want to get picky, HTC dropped the optical trackpad after the desire (except the Desire Z which had a physical KB). The thing is… Read more »


got one being delivered for $530 can’t grumble at that price what ever problems it has, can’t be no worse than the Optimus 2x i had, just can’t bring myself to purchase a samsung over HTC no matter how good it is 




Tandomobile $567us delivered (fedex) mines on route estimated arrival fri will let you know if it is a phone or a lump of wood in the box when it gets here  😛

Marcus Grimes

very tempting indeed!

Marcus Grimes

ended up buying one from there too, $575 AUD delivered. and now the worst part, the wait!


Can’t bring yourself to purchase a Samsung over an HTC but you previously had an LG? hmmm…


Yeah didn’t have a problem purchasing the LG reading the reviews prior to release Of the phone LG were again producing a phone with good build quality. If I wanted to buy a cheap plastic iphone looking phone I would have purchased the SGS II


Glad I opted for the sgs2 .. one thing I hate is overdone grahpics on recycled UI .. in the end it was the lack of onboard storage that lost it for me and made me chose the sgs2 .. I’m glad I did


Hmm very strong words about the Sensation, but good you’re being honest. Nothing wrong about stating what you dislike about the phone, and I applaud you for doing this with the SGSII and other smart phones. I’ve had issues with HTC phones for a while now (each phone looking like a clone of their previous model, not a huge fan of Sense and Sense 3.0 looks like a massive resource hog), but I’ll wait to read your full review. Your reviews are one of the few that I’d actually take into consideration (Even though I’ve bought the SGSII, I read… Read more »


Do any of these new phones from mobicity (HTC Sensation or Samsung Galaxy S II) have any telco software on them or are they clean??? HTC and Samsung software only. I sent a request to mobicity early yesterday-still no reply 🙁

Buzz Moody

Neither the SGSII or Sensation that I’ve received from MobiCity had carrier software on them.


thanks 🙂


“The Sensation is absolutely geared towards the average consumer who likes flashy graphics and a spruced up spec sheet.”

Hmm spruced up in most area other than the internal storage area 1.5 -> 1 GB (DHD vs Sen)…. Why isnt there an 8/16/32/64/128gb versions of this phone!?

Scott Ditchburn

because HTC feel that you don’t need a lot of onboard storage as you can slap a 32GB micro sd card in it.

personally it is a small sacrifice for a great device (once great not sure about these new HTC’s) SGS and SGS2 are the only phones i would consider over a HTC and i’m just waiting for them to go the way of the tab 10.1/v

i’m holding out for the MSM8270/MSM8960 Generation of HTC phones before choosing though as the Nexus S (custom rom) Vs SGS2 (Custom rom) is faster i don’t think i will make the mistake of Tegra 2


Buzz, the Sensation has a signed bootloader. That means you’re not going to be able to flash a custom ROM on to the device, root is still possible.

Buzz Moody

Correct, however HTC are reviewing their policy on the locked bootloader, which may lead to them unlocking the Sensation.

Scott Ditchburn

HTC Already reviewed there policy and went back on the bootloader… but no news about already locked devices being unlocked but this is HTC response to XDA’s mushweed in regards to getting the boatloader unlocked “We are currently developing new bootloader unlocked software for your phone. HTC is still committed to allowing our customers to unlock the bootloaders if they wish, however we are still implementing the policy and many updates were already finalized prior to our change in policy. We apologize for the inconvenience, but be assured that we are working on a solution for our customers and our… Read more »


There are some sensations out there with a unlocked bootloader


These dual core phones will scream once hardware acceleration comes in ice cram sandwich. Until then, they will indeed continue to lag. Qhd is where it’s at, manufacturers need to bring this to all new’s time to move on from 800×480. Sensation’s builds is far better than sgs2. I agree that all these htc phones are starting to look the same, but it’s htc’s established style. Samsung make the same looking phones, as do motorola. Why change something when it ain’t broke. Htc phones are the most distinguishable of all android handsets. You can spot them almost as easily… Read more »


Severe gaming limitations? From a performance point of view the SGS2 beats the Sensation in pretty much all benchmarks. And it has more RAM. Any gaming compatibility issues will no doubt be fixed because globally, the SGS2 will sell an absurd amount of handsets as did the original SGS. If a qHD screen means next gen to you, then so be it, but in every other way the SGS2 leaves the Sensation in the rearview mirror, and it was released ealier!

Aryan Ameri

Completely agree on the Sense UI.  It is very attractive at first glance, it actually is what drew me to Android in the first place (my first Android phone was the HTC Hero, the first phone with Sense UI).  I was a big Sense UI fan until I got to try vanilla Android, and spent some time on it. Fact is, for every app and widget that comes with Sense UI, there is a better alternative out there, usually free. The camera app looks nice at first, until you come across so many other camera apps with so much more… Read more »


Interested to hear your thoughts on the death grip in everyday situations… The vids on the blogs shows people holding it flat on their palm. Can’t imagine too many times holding it like that. How is it holding it less ridiculously?

Gotta agree on sense ui from all vids I have seen of it. I have never liked sense due to it being a massive resource hog. Funnily enough I had a guy on whirlpool arguing with me that everyone knows that sense ui is less of a high than even lpp.


Great to hear your first thoughts on the phone. I understand your reaction to Sence UI and like others you have moved on. I look forward to your longer look and review.   


these are excellent criticisms,I bought a hero (my first android phone) after seeing fluid animations put out by HTC of how sense operated… well, that was BS, it would have animated it as smoothly as the animations if the hero shipped clocked at 1Ghz instead of about 380mhz.. sense made the device more sluggish than it needed to be.Finally we are seeing devices where sense should run smoother than warmed butter (dual core, past 1ghz each) at higher resolutions but HTC have opted to add more polish like that carousel effect on the homescreens, its as if they aren’t content… Read more »


Buzz, turn a few sence things off to see if that improves things in your review. Like getting rid of that stupid weather widget as it makes a mark difference when that is not running.


Fair enough, honest good feedback…. First thing I would do is load up Go Launcher or LauncherPro…


yeah this would be interesting in the final review, any chance you could add in something like that Buzz? comparitive performance with another launcher? pwetty pweeeeeeeease?

Buzz Moody

O’ alright! 😉


Damn had to twist your arm there hey! 🙂