T-Mobile’s next high-end Android smartphone, the HTC Sensation, arrives on June 15 for $199 after $50 mail-in rebate and two-year contract. The 4G device boasts a high-resolution screen and dual-core processor, in addition to 1080p video capture. The Sensation runs on Google Android 2.3 and includes access to HTC’s new media stores for music, video rentals or purchases. HTC boasts a progressive download solution for video, which provides near-instant playback of movies or television programs. Additional highlights of the handset include:
- 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
- 4.3-inch display with 960×540 (qHD) resolution
- 8-megapixel rear camera with two LED flashes and capability to record 1080p video at 30 fps, front-facing camera for video chat
- 768 MB of RAM, 4 GB internal storage, 8 GB microSD card included
- 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS,
- Mobile broadband downloads up to 14.4 Mbps / uploads up to 5.76 Mbps
- 1520 mAh battery
- HTC’s Sense 3.0 user interface
- 5″ x 2.6″ x 0.44″; weight of 5.2 ounces
Although T-Mobile has recently introduced a number of new and improved Android handsets, the Sensation is the most cutting-edge device when looking at overall capabilities and features. There are some aspects that may disappoint a few power users craving the best hardware and software, however: notably the HSPA+ radio, which is limited to 14.4 Mbps downloads. T-Mobile spent most of last year upgrading its data network to 21 Mbps theoretical speeds and introduced 42 Mbps capability in 55 markets earlier this month.
Since the phone runs Android 2.3.3 and not 2.3.4, the front-facing camera won’t be usable for Google Talk video chat out of the box, either. Instead, T-Mobile offers its own video chat service powered by Qik. Still, the mobile broadband speeds and overall capabilities of the HTC Sensation should be more than adequate for most. I’m looking to replace my aged Google Nexus One and the Sensation is among the top two or three contenders, mainly because of the hardware, but also because of HTC’s software. This promotional video shows off much of HTC’s new software on the Sensation:
HTC Sense 3.0 makes use of the Sensation’s lock screen, allowing for easily viewable data such as weather, and the ability to quickly launch apps with one swipe. I’m testing a tablet version of the feature on HTC’s Flyer and find it extremely valuable and a big time saver. The HTC Watch and Listen storefronts also bring more media options to the handset, although my preference is for Amazon’s music store, which is supported on a wider range of Android devices.
Although T-Mobile will carry the HTC Sensation in stores on June 15, the company says Walmart locations may have the device as early as June 12. I’m hoping to have a review unit in hand prior to both dates, so stay tuned for a detailed look at T-Mobile’s newest high-end handset.