They might have powerful processors but at the end of the day they're still phones - and what good will they be if you can't hear them ringing. Which is why we're looking at the loudspeaker performance of the HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S II and the LG Optimus 2X.
The test is our usual loudness recording test and it covers more than just ringtone strength - the test also gauges the phone's performance when playing music over the loudspeaker or the strength of a human voice coming to of it (e.g. using hands-free during a call).
Here's the table with the Sensation, Galaxy S II and Optimus 2X along with several other phones to give this test context.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
|Samsung I9000 Galaxy S||66.6||65.9||66.6|
|LG Optimus 2X||65.7||60.0||67.7|
|Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc||66.1||66.3||78.0||Good|
|HTC Incredible S||66.5||66.1||76.7||Good|
|Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II||70.0||66.6||75.7||Good|
|Nokia N8||75.8||66.2||82.7||Very Good|
You can read about how we do the loudspeaker test over here.
The HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S II both scored Good marks with virtually identical results (overall difference is about a decibel). The LG Optimus 2X however fell behind and scored only a Below Average mark, with nearly 20dB less overall. Subjectively, in day-to-day use the Optimus 2X is rather quiet too.
Missed calls, however, should be rare with the Sensation or the Galaxy S II (unless you work with a jackhammer) but you should keep the Optimus 2X close in noise environments or you might not hear it ringing.
Here's how the contenders compare in terms of audio quality. With no resistance applied to their line-outs the smartphones achieved great scores and there's really very little to separate them. Still the Sensation snatches the crown here from right under the Galaxy S II nose for being a tad louder than it. The Optimus 2X isn't far behind by any means those.
When headphones comes into play things look a bit different and each of the three competitors had some kind of output degradation. The Optimus 2X stereo crosstalk increased dramatically, though it's worth nothing that it's the one which retains its perfect frequency response. The Galaxy S II got some extra stereo crosstalk as well (though not quite as much) and it got some frequency response deviation. The Sensation takes a small hit here and there too, but none is quite so significant so it remains a cut above the rest.
|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|
|Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II||+0.04, -0.09||-91.4||91.9||0.0042||0.066||-89.7|
|LG Optimus 2X||+0.01, -0.03||-90.1||90.1||0.011||0.016||-89.2|
|HTC Sensation (headphones attached)||+0.71, -0.15||-89.1||90.1||0.019||0.522||-70.6|
|Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II (headphones attached)||+1.05, -0.22||-90.0||90.2||0.013||0.647||-49.4|
|LG Optimus 2X (headphones attached)||+0.14,-0.04||-89.8||89.9||0.0098||0.111||-35.1|
HTC Sensation frequency response
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II frequency response
LG Optimus 2X frequency response
You can learn more about the whole testing process here.