By December 20, 2011

HTC Sensation XL with Beats Audio Review

HTC-Sensation-XL-Contract-DealsThe HTC Sensation XL is a brand new phone from the company with a new direction to it as well, it has Beats audio by Dr Dre built in with additional Beats headphones too.

This isn’t the only phone of its type as HTC have also recently released the Sensation XE into the market but I definitely think that this phone is what they would call their ‘flagship device’ now due to its quite frankly enormous 4.7 inch screen and its powerful 1.5Ghz single core processor.

Will this beast of a phone stack up against the mass of Android smartphones on the market?

Read on to find the answer.

 

The 10 Second Review:

  • Product: HTC Sensation XL with Beats audio
  • Price: From £400 SIM Free, From £409.99 on Three, From £26 from Phones4u.co.uk
  • Summary: A fantastic smartphone with so much going for it, awesome audio quality, the screen is beautiful, it is almost like looking at a smaller HTC Flyer.
  • Best of: Screen, Audio through beats headphones, speed, build quality, HTC Sense
  • Worst of: Slippery materials at times, Battery life, size could be a problem
  • Buy from: Various
  • Also consider: HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XE

 

What’s in the box?

  • HTC Sensation XL
  • Battery
  • Beats Audio in Ear Headphones
  • Headphone Pouch
  • Replacement/Alternative Ear Buds
  • MicroUSB Cable
  • 3 Pin UK Mains Adapter
  • Documentation

 

HTC Sensation XL specification:

  • 2G Network: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • 3G Network: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100
  • Dimensions: 132.5 x 70.7 x 9.9 mm
  • Weight: 162.5 g
  • Display: S-LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours, 480 x 800 pixels, 4.7 inches (~199 ppi pixel density)
  • HTC Sense UI 3.5
  • Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
  • Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
  • Multi-touch input method
  • Gyroscope sensor
  • 3.5mm jack
  • Memory: 16 GB storage, 768 MB RAM
  • No MicroSD memory
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP
  • microUSB v2.0
  • Camera: 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash
  • Secondary Camera: 1.3 MP
  • OS: Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • CPU: 1.5 GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 chipset
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • Digital compass
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-Ion 1600 mAh

 

General

On the top of the device there is the 3.5mm headphone jack and to the right of that is the power on/off/lock/unlock button. Do you think that the curved edges around the top of the phone are a good design feature? I would prefer a straight edge like the iPhone 4/4S.

HTC Sensation 6

On the left side of the handset is mostly smooth but there is also the MicroUSB socket also near the bottom.

HTC Sensation 4

The right side is where the up/down volume rocker is, near the top to be precise.

HTC Sensation 3

On the bottom there is only a little button to press to enable you to remove the back cover.

The back is where the 8 megapixel camera with LED flash are, also there are the HTC and Beats audio logos just to show off I think!

HTC Sensation 7

The front is where the magic happens though, the front facing VGA camera is here at the top bottom are 4 touch sensitive buttons and they are- Home, Menu, back and search in that order.

HTC Sensation

 

Review

Here I am again with a super exciting review! The HTC Sensation XL no less, I have been so looking forward to having a look properly at this phone because I am a huge fan of Beats audio and this is 1of very few HTC’s that has its technology built in!

So without further ado I will begin with my utter excitement when I received this device in the post, I for obvious reasons opened the packaging immediately and I can tell you truthfully that I was not disappointed by the device’ aesthetic appeal! It is an absolutely stunning phone and the first thing I did once I’d stopped my excitement was plug it in for a full charge.

Then I had a look at the contents of the box and was really happy to see a superbly made beats headset with a carry pouch and different sizes of ear buds (which in my opinion is a must for a quality set of headphones) The other things in the box are more important than the headphones, the 3-pin UK plug and USB adapter. I do have a very slight problem with these 2 things actually, they are very close to being exactly the same size and design as the adapter that Apple use for their iPhones, I’m sure it won’t be a problem to a lot of people but the last version of HTC chargers was actually really nice and sleek and unique so why did they need to change it?!

 

Build Quality and Design

I had very high expectations for the build quality of this behemoth of a phone, and I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t disappointed at all!

The materials used to make the phone are typically elegant from HTC and their knowledge of making sturdy and good looking devices holds no bounds! It isn’t made from 1 solid piece of aluminium like some of their other high end devices such as HTC Legend etc but it is made from part aluminium from the feel of it which is why it feels so expensive and elegant in the hand. Overall I would say that the build quality has impressed me more than most other handsets, this is probably due to its size and the fact that to make a phone of this size feel so good and so robust must take a lot of time and effort. Very impressed HTC!

As for the design of the device I am ‘mostly’ happy with it with just a couple of niggly little things that bothered me slightly when I was testing the device out.

I was bothered by the fact that the 3.5mm headphone socket being placed on a huge curve on top of the XL which made it very easy to pull the headphones out when listening to music plus the 4 poll 3.5 jack on the headphones is clearly visible when plugged in and it doesn’t look that nice.

Another thing that bothered me was the placement of the MicroUSB slot, it is placed low down on the left side of the phone when really it should be on the top or the bottom to ensure that the cable isn’t accidentally pulled out!

The only other slight issue I found was that the phone is quite slippery, especially when its cold and you have dry hands, I’m not saying that I dropped it at all but found it really slippery at times so I suggest great caution if you do buy one.

Other than the niggles I was really pleased with the overall design of the handset, it looks gorgeous in any light whichever way you look at it. The lovely white and silver colour scheme looks awesome too, it makes the phone look a little like the HTC Flyer actually and I own one of those and absolutely love it so I was always bound to love the Sensation XL really.

 

Software

The software installed on this device is a version of Android Gingerbread that I personally hadn’t seen before (2.3.5) with HTC Sense 3.5 which is the latest version with some pretty cool features.

Aesthetically the software combination looks amazing! It just gives android a more attractive look and feel to the vanilla version with no overlay installed. I think as with Samsungs’ TouchWiz overlay though that HTC Sense is something that you either absolutely love or you really hate it, I can see why you would like it but I also see why some people wouldn’t like it too as there are a couple of things that I don’t like about it too but the stuff that I like outweighs the things that I don’t so I am a fan.

Although I really like the Android-HTC Sense combination i can imagine that people would find it really difficult to use due its slightly complex nature, but I assure you it really grows on you the more that you use it I mean I used this phone for a week only and after a couple of days I had got the hang of how everything works and I hadn’t used the latest version at that point.

I will give you a couple of examples of the interface below and you tell me what you think to its complexity? Below are screenshots of the lock screen and the 7 fully customisable home screens that you get, the screens are customised slightly to suit me while I was testing the handset.

Lock Screen

As you will see in the above screenshot there are things all over the lock screen that if you have seen a version of sense previous to this one, that won’t be familiar to you. However if you have seen this version of sense (or similar on the HTC Flyer) then it won’t really look much different.

On the new lock screen you can customise it slightly by changing the shortcuts at the bottom that you can jump straight into with a drag into the circle underneath them. The coolest bit of customisation you can do now though is adding things like the clock above, there are many choices such as the weather widget, photo stream which takes your gallery and does a slideshow, friend stream which will show you updates etc. This addition is really cool and one of the more functional changes in sense 3.5 which make for a really enjoyable user experience.

Onto the home screens now, screenshots of all 7 are below.

  Home Screen4 Home Screen3 Home Screen2 Home screen1 Home Screen5 Home Screen6 Home Screen7

In the screenshots above you will notice that there is a lot happening on each of the 7 screens, this is due to all screens being fully customisable allowing the user to add widgets, application shortcuts, folders. This feature in itself isn’t new to Sense but the widgets that HTC have created for the user experience have been improved, and in my opinion improved for the better as you can hopefully tell from the shots above.

One of my favourite widgets from HTC is weather, it is a widget that makes looking at dull weather enjoyable! Never thought I would say that but with the option of full screen animations when you open the application to check the weather it is instantly updated and it will show you the weather with a very cool animation, so if it was cloudy then in the background there would be an animation of clouds moving or if it was sunny then there would be a blazing sunshine on screen, this might sound boring but until you’ve seen the app for yourself you won’t know how cool it is.

There is more to the customisation on this handset than simply adding widgets etc to home screens, there is also a ‘personalisation’ option built into the settings menu that allows you to change a whole host of things to make your phone look awesome.

Below are some screenshots of the personalisation settings pages to show you what to expect before I explain its features.

Settings4 Settings3 Settings2

It is the middle screenshot that I want you guys to focus on for the moment, you will notice that there are 5 options in this part of the menu allowing you to change the- Scenes, Skins, Wallpapers, Lock screen style and finally the lock screen shortcuts.

Scenes were first introduced on the HTC Hero way back in 2009 and they were a hit straight away with thousands of consumers because it allowed them to tailor their phone to their mood at any given time, which was great and still is to a lot of people which is why HTC have created more scenes to choose from out of the box but there is also the ability to download more from the HTC Hub but we will talk more about that later.

The pre loaded scenes are basically the home screens customised to suit different scenarios such as work, social, media etc and from personal experience they come in useful but I find that it is better to be creative and customise the screens for yourself as you then have the freedom of choice.

Skins are a relatively recent addition to the Sense platform and what these do is simply change the colour scheme of the operating system just to give it a more vibrant look. I just tend to use the default skin though as none of the ones available suit me personally but I am pretty sure that a lot of people will use the different variants.

Wallpapers are pretty self explanatory really or they would be had this not been an android device! There are 3 different options when it comes to wallpapers and they are- HTC Wallpapers, Gallery and Live wallpapers. HTC wallpapers are basically pre loaded images chosen or created by HTC in case you didn’t want to use your own image or a live wallpaper, the pictures are full of vibrant colours and are really nice to look at but I think most people will be using their own images or even live wallpapers, if they don’t mind about their battery draining faster than you can say live wallpaper that is!

That is the ultimate problem with android in my opinion, not a single manufacturer has figured out how to make their battery last longer than a day, and I think it’s more down to the operating system than we think. Live wallpapers are a huge part of the problem I think because when you have one turned on it is obviously a background animation that is ongoing which in turn drains the phones battery really quickly, which in turn causes people to complain about the lack of an awesome battery!

I do think though that live wallpapers are just something to show off to your friends rather than something that you will use all of the time.

Now that I have spoken about the personalisation available on this device I’d like to show you the rest of the settings menus to give you a feel for it, so that you can tell for yourselves how simple or difficult it would be for you to use.

Settings1 Settings6 Settings7 Settings5  

Although the sheer amount of sections may be daunting at first for beginners to android they do become second nature after a little while, so before you know it you will be hopping between wireless networks to location settings in a blink of an eye.

Moving on now and as this is a smartphone with an operating system known for its great amount of applications, there has to be a place to put all of the app shortcuts so they are easily accessible and there is! They are called App trays and they look like this…

App screen 1 App screen 2 App screen 3 App screen 4 App screen 5

You may notice in the middle 2 screenshots there is some text hovering over some of the shortcuts? Well that is the result of me simply taking a screenshot with the built in tool and it saving the image before it should have. Moving on and as you will see at the bottom of the screen there are 3 options, these are options to change the layout of the applications to-All apps, frequently used apps and just downloaded apps. I usually just leave the setting on all apps as it’s easier to know where things are this way as the layout is alphabetical which is always helpful.

I will also mention that the more apps and games that you download means the more pages of apps there will be, pretty self explanatory I know but I thought I would mention it anyway.

 

Internet and E-mail

This phone is something entirely different to anything I have personally used before because let’s face it it’s a behemoth of a device! If anything it is more like a tablet than a mobile phone and I have to say that browsing the internet is nothing short of awesome! It is such a joy typing on the on screen keyboard and then watching the progress bar fill up so fast.

Below are some screenshots of the browser in action.

Internet1 Internet2 Internet3 Internet4

Internet5 Internet6 Internet7

 

Browsing is also so simple on this device because it is as simple as typing a search using the search button on the device and then typing, alternatively if you know the web address then can just type it into the address bar and press go and away the loading goes.

E-mail is a huge part of everyday life nowadays as I have mentioned many times before, so the application on your smartphone needs to be functional which means easy to use and speedy when fetching new emails and sending them too on both Wi-Fi and 3G connections. Does the HTC Sensation XL succeed with a very functional e-mail application? Yes it does indeed as HTC have done it again! They have created such a good application that it is a joy to use every day.

Below are screenshots of the application which will hopefully show you how nice the application is, also the app is basic yet appealing to the user which will hopefully show in the shots also.

Email1 Email2 Email3 Email4

Although I mentioned how good I found the application overall I did find a problem with certain e-mails as you can see in the e-mail from Argos, that particular e-mail contained pictures which apparently weren’t compatible with the application and I have to be honest and say that it’s the first time I’ve seen this on an android device, on my iPhone 4S the same e-mail opened without any problems with displaying pictures so I found that a little weird. The application didn’t do this all of the time though so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

There is another E-mail application in this handset as there is in any other android smartphone/tablet, that application is of course Gmail seen as though the Android platform is Google branded. The app itself is very basic but it does a decent job of fetching e-mails and sending mail pretty quickly which is after all what we want.

Below are a couple of screenshots of the app to give you an initial impression of what you would get if you bought this or any other android smartphone.

Gmail1 Gmail2

 

Social Networking

HTC take social networking quite seriously in their smartphones and tablet, they have created a unified social networking application named Friend Stream. It was created to make social networking simpler for everyone as it is an application that when signed into both Facebook and Twitter it bring all tweets and facebook updates into 1 easy to read place, it works well most of the time but when it doesn’t it can be quite frustrating. When it doesn’t co-operate I personally tend to just use the official Facebook and Twitter apps which are actually luckily enough pre-installed on this particular HTC device, which comes in handy indeed.

The Friend Stream app is fairly basic as it is basically used for 1 thing, bringing all of your social updates into one place so by basic I mean that you can’t upload photos to either networking sites which is very disappointing actually so for that function then you have to use other apps, annoying!

 

As I mentioned above there are also other pre-installed official applications on the phone, they are both exactly the same as on any other android device with the only difference being the XL screen is a lot bigger than most other phones.

The facebook application isn’t the usual ‘Facebook for Android’ on this phone it is actually called Facebook for HTC Sense. There aren’t really any differences other than the fact that the one installed on the XL integrates with Friend stream when signed into it but you can still use it as a standalone application, it’s nice to have the option actually.

Below are a couple of screenshots of the application interface.

Social1Social2

The application does all of the things that you would expect from a mobile version of Facebook, it allows you to update your status, check in at your current locations, upload photos etc so basically it is the same Facebook app as it is on iOS etc so you won’t be disappointed when using the app at all.

There is also a Twitter application pre-installed on the device but I have a confession to make, I totally forgot to take a screenshot of the application and I am really sorry about that but I rushed myself to take them all and it slipped my mind completely.

What I can tell you however is how well the app works on this device, it definitely helps that the screen on this beast is so large as it makes reading tweets so awesome! Usually the official app has quite small text so on smaller screens it is really difficult to read at times, but with this device it is so easy which is just brilliant. The app allows you to do all of the functions available to do on twitter anywhere, tweet, read other people’s tweets, follow and un follow people and it also allows you to upload photos so basically it’s the same principle as Facebook in the fact that it is the Desktop version of the site just smaller.

 

Android Market

This is an android smartphone after all and what would one do without the Android market? Probably go mad at having no applications or games to play! I would do anyway as the market is what owning an android smartphone is all about, downloading new and exciting applications and games to marvel at whilst also using your device as a mobile phone! Bliss.

The market has a new look these days which is definitely better looking than the last layout plus it is also more organised so you don’t now have to scroll through hundreds of apps to find what you are looking for, which is a bit more like the norm if you ask me.

Below is a screenshot of the interface for you.

Market1

 

Keyboards

I thought that you would like to see the Sensation XLs’ keyboard layouts as this is after all one of the largest devices around today, so you would imagine the keyboards are quite large also? Correct!

There is but 1 keyboard option on this device but I don’t see many people being bothered by this as it is a superb keyboard, it is HTCs’ own keyboard creation which is unique to them. So without further ado here are a couple of screenshots of the keyboard for you to enjoy, 1 is in portrait orientation and the other in landscape.

Keyboard1 Keyboard2

 

You will notice on the keyboard that there are numbers and symbols behind the initial letters, this is because on this keyboard it allows you to simply hold the letter to choose a number or symbol instead of faffing around opening different pages full of stuff, quite useful really as I own a HTC Flyer with the same keyboard and I often use this function instead of opening up the numbers and symbols page as it is just so much easier and it also saves time too.

 

Calendar

In the HTC calendar you are able to do things a little differently than what you may have done before, lets say you have your facebook and googlemail accounts synchronised at the same time plus you have your device synchronised with your PC previously then you have the option of integrating all of those calendars into your phone calendar simultaneously.

I will say this a little simpler, the HTC calendar on this phone is able to integrate Facebook birthdays, googlemail events and outlook express calendar events like birthdays and meetings etc into its calendar on your phone. This in turn makes using your calendar and managing your everyday life much simpler as when you update anything on your PC calendar and then re-synch your phone it will automatically add/change anything in the calendar. Brilliant really when you think about adding events into the calendar on your phone 1 by 1, I know personally I find that super boring! So I can imagine that for business men and women around the world that task would be awfully time consuming.

Below are some screenshots of the calendar interface, I haven’t shown you my personal calendar with friends birthdays in it for obvious reasons but I can show you other parts of the interface.

calendar 1 calendar 2 calendar 3 calendar 4

 

 

Voice Calls

Throughout the whole review so far I think that I have been talking as if this isn’t a mobile phone at all so I think it is about time I spoke to you guys about the call quality on the device.

Overall the quality of voice calls is actually brilliant as the clarity of voice is super clear and with this it reminds you that you own a mobile phone after all! One thing that I don’t often mention in my reviews at this point is how fast the process of calling someone is, possibly because often the process is quite slow but this time it is almost instant as soon as I press the person’s name/number to call them the phone is ringing! How good is that?! Very is the answer to that one, I haven’t personally encountered such call quality and speed in quite some time actually as the iPhone isn’t even this good to be honest, just told tell Apple that!

The phone dialler is typically large and simple to use as this phone has a 4.7 inch screen and below you will be able to see what I mean.

PhoneDialler

 

Camera and Video Camera

The camera built in to the Sensation XL is an 8 megapixel with autofocus and also has an accompanied LED flash for those low light photos, I wasn’t really expecting much from the camera because of my experience with HTC cameras previously, let’s say they that the ones I’ve used before haven’t been good considering the money you have to fork out to buy one of these smartphones.

I did however go into testing the camera on this handset with more of an open mind and I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that the camera is quite impressive, the lens technology used in this phone is clearly an improvement over previous devices, which is obviously great for the customer!

One thing that really annoyed me with this device and HTC in particular though is the fact that they claim that the camera has an ‘instant capture’ feature which it really doesn’t at all! Yes it is faster than most phone cameras on the market but it is by no means instant so this bugged me that HTC are blowing their own trumpet over something that isn’t really accurate.

Below are a few photos taken straight from the phone and I want you to try and see if you can notice any clear differences between them all, this is because they are all taken using different settings.

IMAG0012 IMAG0011 IMAG0015

 

Talking of the settings in the camera application here are some screenshots of what you can expect, as you will hopefully notice there aren’t too many things to confuse what the camera really is for, which in my opinion is to point and shoot when you see really cool things that you don’t want to miss. What do you guys think a camera in a mobile phone is used for most of all?

Camera1 Camera2 Camera3

As well as the handset having a pretty decent camera for still images it also has a 720p HD recording function built into the same camera lens. The video camera feature is a separate application on this handset which is very different from other android smartphones as the camera and video camera are usually in the same app, so kudos to HTC for changing it up a little as it definitely makes everything look more organised within the separate applications which is always nice.

Below is a short video taken using the phone set in 720p HD mode to show you what its like, in my opinion it’s not too bad at all, it isn’t brilliant but it isn’t awful either what do you think?

 

YouTube Video

Finally in this section I thought I would show you the place where all of your photos and videos are stored and also easily accessed, the Gallery is of course what I’m talking about and I have taken the liberty of providing a couple of screenshots of it below.

Gallery2 Gallery1

 

Music and Video playback

Now for something a little special, the music playback on this awesome device! With Beats audio technology built in it brings a whole new dimension to music playback, I know this from personal experience as I have a set of ibeats which are so similar to the set you get free with the XL.

First of all here is a picture of the actual Beats Headphones next to the phone to show you what you will be getting with the handset.

HTC Sensation 2

According to HTC when you plug the beats headset into the 3.5mm jack the phone automatically turns on the ‘beats audio experience’ which is meant to enhance the audio quality to what the artist intended. (I’m not advertising them by the way although it does sound that way) I am not sure if this is the case or not but what I can tell you is the fact that the audio playback is absolutely awesome! I have been super impressed with the headset considering they are made from what seems to be cheap plastic but the sound quality and clarity is nothing short of flipping superb! I live off of music at the low parts of my week so to have sound quality like this every day I would be ridiculously happy!

What is so cool about this phone and its little brother the Sensation XE is the fact that you really can notice the little touches that the beats audio/urbeats headphones add to the music that is usually flat with other smartphone and bundled headphones (Apple’s combination isn’t at all great!)

Aside from the actual sound quality of the music player the player itself is really simple to use but I do unfortunately have a slight confession again, I didn’t use it much due to Spotify being my main source of music these days, but when I did use the music player I was mostly pleased with what it gave in terms of usability and I would consider it passable in terms of overall quality in today’s standards but I wasn’t overly impressed with the layout of the music when you have it on the phones memory because it all gets a little confusing.

What I mean by that is by default, it shows you a list of all artists that you have on your phone at that time, with down arrows next to them. Tapping one of those arrows then opens up a little list that gives you the options of seeing that entire artist’s songs, or opening up another little list of all the albums, then tapping on an album takes you to an entirely different menu screen with the album’s song list on. See what I mean by confusing?

One stumbling block with media in general though is the fact that the phone isn’t expandable beyond its built in 16GB of storage which if you don’t have a Spotify premium subscription for example for your music then I would imagine would be a huge problem, especially if you own lots of music and videos.

Speaking of videos the playback via YouTube any the video player is as you would expect from a phone of this size amazing. The screen is surprisingly crisp and vibrant considering it has a slightly dated 800 x 480 pixels inside, but it has surprised me by how well it presents video content. YouTube is yet again superb, as it always is with Android and this is probably because YouTube is a Google company.

I watch countless amounts of videos on YouTube and on my laptop every week so it was really awesome to have the beastly screen to allow me to watch my favourite films and videos on the move so to speak, the screen was also surprisingly good outdoors with sunlight beaming down on it as I could still see the video perfectly fine, clearly a major plus for anyone on the move a lot of the time I think.

 

HTC Apps

Earlier in the review I briefly mentioned an application named HTC Hub, this is 1 of 2 new applications from HTC that are part of the new sense interface, the other is called HTC Likes.

HTC Hub is a place where you can create a HTC sense account, sign in and browse through various sections of applications, skins etc that HTC have created and pick for you based on the device compatibility, pretty cool if you like that sort of thing but I would say that the apps aren’t of much use half of the time and the pre-installed skins and scenes etc are better than the ones that you are able to download, but overall the idea is quite a good one but HTC need to create some much more useful applications and content in general for the idea to really take off.

The other little application is HTC likes, this basically is a shortcut to the Android Market via HTC recommendations, so basically it looks at you device and recommends apps and games that are compatible with the device, not all of them are applicable to the user but it is also a nice little idea to find apps that you wouldn’t normally look for in the normal market.

Below is a screenshot of both apps to give you an idea of what to expect.

HTChub HTClikes1

 

Battery Life and Performance

As we know owning a smartphone these days can be a stressful business due to sometimes having awful battery life and the operating system crashing etc but, how did the HTC sensation XL in my battery life and performance tests?

Regarding battery life it didn’t perform brilliantly at all really, unless I rarely used it If I’m really honest which is a real shame as the phone is actually really impressive but that isn’t any good when you haven’t got good battery life.

In everyday testing I decided to do 3 tests again, heavy use, medium use and no use at all. The estimated time that the phone lasted in heavy testing was 6 hours which to be honest is average for smartphones at the moment, especially android phones.

What I mean by heavy use by the way is internet browsing, watching videos, playing games, making calls non-stop so I suppose 6 hours isn’t too bad at all by today’s standards.

Medium use was quite interesting actually because the estimated time that the phone lasted was about 36 hours give or take which is quite good really for a smartphone, especially one of this size as well! Finally with no use at all, the phone lasted 4 days which is pretty awesome actually so overall the battery life isn’t amazing but it also isn’t useless either.

The performance of this particular smartphone was in everyday use pretty amazing and it’s not really surprising either with the phone having a 1.5Ghz single core processor but don’t take my word for it, I did 2 separate benchmarking tests with 2 different applications both of which we at tracyandmatt.co.uk have used previously. The first that I will show you is the one that I have used before plenty of times, Quadrant Standard.

Benchmark1

As you can see the Orange bar is the Sensation XL and compared to previous devices the result is pretty good indeed, but now below I will show you the second application result. The application is called Antutu benchmark and below is a screenshot.

Benchmark2 Benchmark3

Now as you can hopefully see in the above screenshots, the device performs very closely to the most impressive dual-core devices (Samsung Galaxy S2 etc) which is a more conclusive result than the one from Quadrant actually because the phones that have been tested in the app previously are much more recent, which gives a much more accurate result.

 

Conclusion

At the end of another review I reflect on what has been the best phone I’ve reviewed so far with great praise actually as it is by far the best android device that I personally have used so far and I would also say that I’ve enjoyed doing this review more than any other.

I am at the moment unsure as to what group of people this phone is aimed at due to its size and also its cost to buy, but what I would say to anyone on the lookout for a very impressive smartphone that has it all that you can’t really go wrong with buying this phone. If I had the money then I would definitely be buying this as a second device for myself because I liked it that much!

 

Review by: Chris

[ Post Tags: HTC Sensation XL, Android, Smartphone, tracyandmatt.co.uk, beats audio ]

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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