HTC Sensation review: Front-page stuff

GSMArena team, 10 June 2011.
Pages: 123456789101112

Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI

Eye-candy music player gets better

The standard music library view is the Artists section, but you can easily switch to one of the other six tabs beneath, which are for Albums, All Songs, Playlists, Genres, Composers and Purchased (at least our unit had, which featured a Vodafone music shop).

A dropdown at the top of the screen lets you switch between your library on the phone and DLNA media servers.

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The music library the player is DLNA-enabled too

The now playing interface is a Cover-Flow-like visualization of the current playlist you can swipe sideways to skip songs back or forward. You can opt to view the full playlist if you need to skip more than a few tracks.

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The new player interface is nice Equalizer and SRS sound enhancement

The Sensation offers SRS sound enhancement to boost the listening experience. If you plug in headphones, you can change equalizer settings too.

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Player controls in the notification area

Two shortcuts in the top corners act as toggles for shuffle and repeat. Other goodies include looking up a song on YouTube or updating the album art for the current or all songs. You can enable auto update too.

Tapping the bar at the top of the screen that says "HTC Sensation" lets you play the song on another device wirelessly - either over DLNA or Bluetooth.

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Playing a song to another device without wires

The lockscreen has a neat feature - a 3D card stays on the lockscreen that lets you control the music player (previous, next and play/pause). The card also shows the album art and name of the song and artist. You can flip the card - it's backside shows album art and track info too, but lacks music controls. That's not particularly useful but is good eye candy.

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The 3D "card" on the lockscreen that controls the music player

Theres a music recognition app SoundHound. It easily ID's a song from just a short sample. Or you can say the name of the artist and song and SoundHound will find it for you, including lyrics. The free app however only offers a limited number of uses (99).

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The SoundHoud app

FM radio is good, but slow to start

The HTC Sensation is also equipped with an FM radio, which has a pretty simple interface. It automatically scans the area for the available stations and allows you to mark some of them as favorite. It also supports RDS and allows loudspeaker playback.

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The FM radio UI

One thing that annoyed us about the radio is that it takes quite a while to start and stop about five seconds.

Excellent audio output

The HTC Sensation is among the best droids in terms of audio output quality. Loud and clear, the smartphone is basically perfect when used with an external amplifier (like a car audio or home stereo).

And the good news is those things remain pretty impressive even after you plug in a pair of headphones. The intermodulation distortion is the only part of its performance to go below average, while the stereo crosstalk and frequency response only take minor hits. Sadly, volume levels decrease with headphones, but it's not too bad really.

And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
HTC Sensation+0.05, -0.34-90.290.20.012 0.021-91.1
HTC Sensation (headphones attached)+0.71, -0.15-89.190.10.019 0.522-70.6
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II+0.04, -0.09-91.491.90.0042 0.066-89.7
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II (headphones attached)+1.05, -0.22-90.090.20.013 0.647-49.4
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S+0.03, -0.04-90.790.60.014 0.019-90.6
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S (headphones attached)+0.40, -0.12-90.790.60.018 0.329-43.3
LG Optimus 2X+0.01, -0.03-90.190.10.011 0.016-89.2
LG Optimus 2X (headphones attached)+0.14,-0.04-89.889.90.0098 0.111-35.1
Apple iPhone 4+0.01, -0.07-90.590.60.00410.011-92.0
Apple iPhone 4 (headphones attached)+0.01, -0.07-90.490.40.00360.092-68.4
HTC Desire HD+0.09, -0.44-90.690.40.0140.517-92.6
HTC Desire HD (headphones attached)+0.09, -0.44-93.292.90.0200.728-17.9

HTC Sensation frequency response
HTC Sensation frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

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