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Summary:

HTC has created a second promotional video for its upcoming handset, the Sensation 4G, and the phone appears aptly named. Although the smartphone has stellar specifications, there are hints of Apple’s marketing influence throughout: the focus is on what you can do with this powerful smartphone.

htc-sensation-4g-featured

HTC has created a second promotional video for its upcoming handset, the Sensation 4G, and the phone appears aptly named. While the handset boasts cutting-edge specifications, the focus of the video isn’t solely on the hardware. As I watched the short movie, I felt the influence of Apple’s excellent product marketing. Instead of focusing on the specifications, HTC explains what the phone can do with all that power.

The Sensation 4G will be HTC’s first dual-core handset, powered by a Qualcomm processor running at 1.2 GHz per core. The qHD screen resolution (960×540) offers a 16:9 aspect ratio for widescreen movies taking up the full display. The screen should come in handy for HTC Watch, the company’s new media store that supports progressive downloading for near-instant playback.

Adding to the multimedia capabilities — which is how HTC is positioning this handset — is 1080p video capture with the ability to trim video and share it directly from the device. Media can be shared to an external monitor or HDTV either through an HDMI cable or wirelessly.

Perhaps more impressive than the upcoming phone is how HTC continues to grow sales and profits. Just a few years ago, the company was a small, behind-the-scenes smartphone maker of Windows Mobile handsets that eventually started to design custom smartphone software. Now HTC makes more Google Android phone models than any company I can think of, and its Sense user interface has become a selling point. HTC is taking Sense a step further on the Sensation 4G by making use of the phone’s lock screen, for example. Useful information is readily available, even when the handset is locked and users can jump to email, a voice call or the camera directly from the lock screen.

To say that I’m looking forward to this device as a potential replacement for my Nexus One may be the understatement of the day. After you watch the video, let me know if you’re anxiously waiting for this phone too.

  1. The only reason I am not super excited about the HTC Sensation is Google’s announcement of a new Nexus for the holidays.

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    1. Are you sure its for the holidays? have a link please?
      The rumor is that Amazon is bringing something (multiple devices) these holidays – maybe Google is now with them ;)

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      1. Lucian Armasu Friday, May 13, 2011

        http://androidandme.com/2011/05/news/nvidia-ceo-hints-at-tegra-3-powered-nexus-3/

        It shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s coming for holidays. Nexus S was ready for holidays too, and in fact the product cycle for phones is less than 12 months now, more like 10. If Nexus 3 will indeed have Tegra 3, then that would probably be the thing Google would wait for, not for the actual handset itself.

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  2. What a well produced video. I was totally satisfied with my phone (Droid X) until I saw this…

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  3. I’m super excited for the phone. While it’s not as powerful as the G2X, the build quality and smoothness of HTC Sense 3.0 are really appealing.

    Kevin, when’s your G2X review going up? I want to compare notes (http://goo.gl/Re1Ld).

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    1. When you say it’s not as powerful as the G2x, how so? I agree with you: the G2x is super fast, but it has two 1 GHz processing cores. The Sensation will have two 1.2 GHz cores, although I’ll have to check into the graphics capabilities. Sense 3.0 does look sweet. :)

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      1. They’re both powerful, but I’m fairly positive that the Snapdragon is ARM Cortex A8 and the Tegra 2 is ARM Cortex A9. The CPU performance is close, but the Nvidia GPU of the Tegra 2 is more powerful than the Adreno 220 in the Snapdragon MSM8260.

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        1. After doing a little digging, you might be right. *sigh* Now I have to wait for the benchmarks. ;)

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      2. Lucian Armasu Friday, May 13, 2011

        CPU wise, I’m not sure. The Snapdragon was like a custom-made improved Cortex A8. It might’ve improved a bit more since it first launched on Nexus One, too. But we do know for sure that Cortex A9 is 25% faster than a Cortex A8, so a dual core 1 Ghz Cortex A9 CPU might be a bit equal to a dual core Snapdragon at 1.2 Ghz. But we really can’t know until we see some benchmarks, preferably from Anandtech.

        Now, I’m almost certain a Galaxy S2 will be faster since it has a dual core Cortex A9 at 1.2 Ghz. GPU wise, the Adreno 220 might beat SGS2′s Mali GPU, even with the performance hit of a higher resolution(35% more pixels than SGS2). I only know this because I saw a benchmark once on Anadtech, but it was for a future Snapdragon CPU, the dual core 1.5 Ghz version, which also had Adreno 220 GPU, however, it’s possible that version of Adreno 220 will have improvements (like being overclocked) over the Adreno 220 in HTC Sensation. That’s pretty much why a PowerVR SGX 540 in Evo 3D is ~50% more powerful than a PowerVR SGX 540 in a Galaxy S.

        Bottomline, we still need to see new extensive benchmarks to know for sure. I don’t think a Quadrant score alone is enough. We also need to see if HTC Sense 3.0 doesn’t impact overall snappiness too much. From the video it doesn’t really look like everything moves *instantly* like I’m expecting from a dual core right now.

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      3. Lucian, I said the CPU performance was close. The 1.5GHz benchmarks you referred to are not from a “future” version of Snapdragon. That’s the developer phone — same CPU/GPU as the MSM8260, but with a different mobile radio and, obviously, clocked higher.

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  4. Kevin, wouldn’t you also require the phone to have at least 2.3.4 for the upcoming new Gtalk features (voice, video)?
    Also wouldn’t the custom UI mean less frequent and slower OS upgrades for you?

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    1. Tal, I definitely want 2.3.4 (or better) on my next Android phone. I’m OK if the Sensation doesn’t come with that out of the box, provided I can root it and flash updated ROMs on my own. There’s talk that HTC is locking the phone down, so if that happens, I’ll surely hesitate or perhaps even pass on the device. If I can flash what I want, I have no doubt that I can get updates on there, Sense or no Sense. ;)

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  5. Hardware looks nice, but I’ll wait for an open Nexus phone.

    The video offered an unprecedented example of bad copywriting – really took it to the next level, made my laughter richer and more immersive.

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    1. Paul, the next Nexus may be worth waiting for, but in my case, the Nexus One is getting long in the tooth. I figure a new Nexus will hit in the fourth quarter to coincide with Ice Cream Sandwich and new (possibly next generation) hardware in terms of the CPU.

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      1. Kevin – I understand (have a once-dropped Nexus One), and the Nexus S did shake my faith in the open Google phones. Raymond’s comment about WiFi calling is a good one, especially if you’re not interested in rolling your own VOIP solution for Android.

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    2. I love the Nexi, but I love T-Mobile WiFi calling more. It’s such an amazingly awesome option for international travel and for buildings with spotty coverage.

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  6. My god. I want.

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  7. Lucian Armasu Friday, May 13, 2011

    You should wait for Nexus 3, Kevin. It will come just a few months later. It should be at least as powerful as this one, if not twice as powerful with Tegra 3(rumored), and it will have Android Icecream Sandwich, which is a bigger update than Gingerbread was. Also, you get to keep using the Nexus line with latest updates.

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    1. I’d always defer to a Nexus, Lucian, but not sure if I can wait that long. I figure the Sensation (not to mention the Galaxy S 2) will be here in a month or two while the next Nexus is 4-6 months away at a minimum.

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    2. Make it 5″+ please. And what if the Nexus3 is an Amazon device? 5.5-6″ makes so much sense. Or does it then mean maybe 3 flavors of the N3 for 5″, 7″, and 9″? They will have to be big enough as readers.
      I am waiting for I think. Also more available in Canada that way.

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  8. Lucian Armasu Friday, May 13, 2011

    I meant Optimus 3D(OMAP4) not Evo 3D in my latest comment. You guys need an edit button here :).

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  9. What about the news coming out that they are going to have both locked and encrypted boot-loaders and boot partitions on this phone?

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  10. Hamranhansenhansen Sunday, May 15, 2011

    There isn’t anything about this that is appealing to me. Especially not if that is another PenTile screen from HTC. The 2 CPU cores are wasted by the fact that Android doesn’t use the GPU and doesn’t support native C apps, so this is maybe going to give you the performance of an iPhone 4, but there is a dual-core iPhone coming in 3 months. Having 1080p is not going to give you better videos than an iPhone 4, because you have no video editor. And no Netflix, no Hulu. And HTC’s touch is clunky. And what version of Android will this be running 6 months from now, 12 months from now, 18 months from now?

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