HTC Sensation 4G Has Great Screen, Speed Glitches

HTC's first dual-core Android smartphone is the newest addition to T-Mobile's Android lineup. But is the Sensation 4G the right device for you?

Front-facing cameras on mobile devices are old-school in Europe but relatively new here in the states. Think of Qik as a Skype competitor, but for mobile devices. Skype doesn't do video on your device, but Qik does, and it will do it over either Wi-Fi or 3G/4G. If you use the app on 3G/4G, you're going to incur some heavy data use, so beware of exceeding your plan.

The Watch widget has its own online movie store, so if you're looking to buy something, you can purchase, download and instantly watch any number of popular titles.

Information on DRM for programs and movies purchased or rented via HTC Watch is sketchy at this point. The service is still very new. However, it has been reported that up to five different HTC devices can share content. Rentals are available for 30 days but you must finished watching them within 24 hours of starting.

Wi-Fi hotspot
With the ability to host up to five connected devices simultaneously, the Wi-Fi hotspot feature is perhaps one of the best things about the Sensation (and similar devices) when you're in a solid 3G/4G coverage area. Don't try this with EDGE, though--it would hurt.

Jump to our chart for a full comparison of the Sensation and its competitors.

I like this device. The screen is clear and bright and mostly readable in bright sunlight. T-Mobile's HSPA+/4G speeds are definitely noticeable and offer a great deal of benefit if you're trying to view video, TV, or other internet intensive work, such as the device's built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.

That said, if you're due for an upgrade from T-Mobile or another carrier, keep in mind that Apple has already introduced the unlocked iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5 will be here any day.

But if you have no interest in the iPhone, the HTC Sensation 4G is a decent choice. Though the battery life might leave something to be desired, if you monitor your use, you should be able to do what you want and need to do between charges.

Pros: First dual-core smartphone on T-Mobile, with a big bright screen, and fast 4G connectivity.
Cons: Big phone, mediocre battery life, some performance stutters.
Conclusion: Quick and capable, the HTC Sensation 4G is easy to use and fast, most of the time. Speed bumps and less-than-amazing battery life are its only drawbacks.

Price: $199.99 with two-year T-Mobile agreement.
Support Info
Product home page

Chris Spera is BYTE's Managing Editor of Reviews. He has over 15 years of professional writing experience as a freelancer and columnist for AOL/CompuServe, Computer Power User Magazine and The Aurora Beacon, a SunTimes Media newspaper. Chris has over 20 years of senior IT management experience and can be reached at [email protected] You can also follow him on Twitter at @chrisspera.

Editor's Choice
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Astrid Gobardhan, Data Privacy Officer, VFS Global
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing