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Summary:

T-Mobile’s latest smartphone, the HTC Sensation 4G arrives in carrier stores next week, but you don’t have to wait for a first look. Aside from a hardware tour, you can see many of the new features in HTC Sense 3.0, which offers a clean user interface.

htc-sensation-video-featured

Although the HTC Sensation 4G doesn’t arrive in retail T-Mobile stores until June 15 (and WalMart locations as early as June 12), we received an early review unit late last week. This first look shows what’s in the box, and of course, HTC’s newest phone for T-Mobile. The 960 x 540 display isn’t quite as bright as the Super AMOLED Plus screens used in Samsung devices, but it’s a noticeable step up from prior HTC smartphones. So is Qualcomm’s 1.2 GHz dual-core processor which keeps the device moving along quickly.

Surprisingly, the Android 2.3 handset isn’t too large or heavy, even with the 4.3-inch display, mainly because it’s reasonably thin as compared to other high-end smartphones. And the cover is fairly unique as well; you can see in the video why I say I’m not putting the cover on the phone, but instead, putting the phone inside the cover. You have to see how it works to appreciate it.

  1. I’m very interested in knowing whether HTC is going to release this phone in the US with the boot loader unlocked like they said they would with all new devices. Have you checked that out on this phone yet?

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    1. I haven’t checked that out because I don’t typically root, unlock or customize review devices with non-official software. I strongly suspect it does have a locked bootloader as the phone was built / flashed before HTC backtracked on their bootloader stance. I’ll circle back directly with my contacts at T-Mo and/or HTC to verify though.

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      1. You don’t have to root to find out if the boot loader is locked. Just get to the boot loader screen and see if it says S-OFF or S-ON.

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  2. Question – I noticed that you were using two hands. Is that required on a device this size or was that just because you were filming this?

    The big size seems interesting but I’m pretty certain that I wouldnt like having to use two hands.

    Thanks

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    1. It all depends on the size of your hands. I own the EVO 4G and that also has a 4.3″ screen. I have pretty good size hands and can handle the phone just fine.

      I would suggest going to the store and checking the device in person

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    2. auststreaker Monday, June 6, 2011

      Hi Jimmy,

      to give to some perspective, I am a small guy and use the Dell Streak 5″ screen and it is pocketable in my pants and I use it one hand as well. This phone is way smaller and in honesty, I cannot go back to a phone with a screen less than 5″.

      Still hoping a high res 5″-6″ inch phone with dual core. Otherwise, dell streak is a dream come true for me at the moment.

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    3. Jimmy, you got two good answers already, but I’ll chime in. ;) I’m small (5’5″) and I have no problem with the size of the Sensation. I was using two hands in the video because there’s a camera between me and the device for starters, plus, I tend to use my phones with two hands. I can use one hand with the Sensation; when I got to the 4.5″ screen of the Infuse 4G, it became a little more challenging for me, but was still fine. There’s not much bezel space above and below the screen on the Sensation, which helps although the phone is a little wider than say my Nexus One. Hope that helps!

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  3. i have the htc hd7 and im pretty impressed by it, but iam also disappointed because u cant really customize the phone like you would want it. you cant change your background wallpaper to photos of your own, and u can download rintones. can u do this with the htc sense ?

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    1. Sense is very customizable, as is Android by itself.

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  4. Is there a way you could go to the boot loader screen and determine if the phone is locked and let us know? It would be really cool to see what they did.

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  5. OK, you asked for it! (Literally!). I checked the bootloader screen on the HTC Sensation 4G review unit I have and it shows S-OFF. However, there’s no guarantees that retail units will have the same: just wanted to mention that.

    http://gigaom2.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/htc-sensation-4g-bootloader.jpg

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    1. You are the Awesome! Sure there are no guarantees it will be the same on release but this close to the release date, I think it’s a safe bet. Since HTC promised all new phones would not be locked, I think it’s not unreasonable to expect this question for all new phones going forward.

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      1. Glad to help. I’m a little surprised, based on the May 13th file date. It was *after* that when HTC said it would stop locking the devices down. I still think there’s risk of a change to retail units, but you’re right: this close to launch it would be difficult to make a change. :)

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  6. Just a quick note as to your mentioning of WiFi Calling not using minutes. I am fairly sure that it does indeed use minutes (and warns you of that). The only purpose is to grant better clarity/signal strength/connection for voice in areas that are lacking strong cell signal

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    1. Wi-Fi calls did indeed use minutes, but that policy changed a few weeks ago: http://gigaom.com/mobile/on-t-mobile-all-wi-fi-calls-are-free/

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  7. Kevin, this is an old post, but I’m hoping you still see this — I’m wondering if you can upload a short 1080p video clip from the sensation in its native video format. There are some of us interested in seeing what video and audio codecs/containers HTC now uses. Thanks!

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