HTC Sensation review: Front-page stuff
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.
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.
The Sensation offers SRS sound enhancement to boost the listening experience. If you plug in headphones, you can change equalizer settings too.
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.
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.
There’s 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).
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.
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.
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|
|HTC Sensation||+0.05, -0.34||-90.2||90.2||0.012||0.021||-91.1|
|HTC Sensation (headphones attached)||+0.71, -0.15||-89.1||90.1||0.019||0.522||-70.6|
|Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II||+0.04, -0.09||-91.4||91.9||0.0042||0.066||-89.7|
|Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II (headphones attached)||+1.05, -0.22||-90.0||90.2||0.013||0.647||-49.4|
|Samsung I9000 Galaxy S||+0.03, -0.04||-90.7||90.6||0.014||0.019||-90.6|
|Samsung I9000 Galaxy S (headphones attached)||+0.40, -0.12||-90.7||90.6||0.018||0.329||-43.3|
|LG Optimus 2X||+0.01, -0.03||-90.1||90.1||0.011||0.016||-89.2|
|LG Optimus 2X (headphones attached)||+0.14,-0.04||-89.8||89.9||0.0098||0.111||-35.1|
HTC Sensation frequency response
You can learn more about the whole testing process here.