No breaking news here. More of a developing story. The HTC Sensation XE is a shiny new release that lets you catch up on the latest from HTC Android lineup. A luxury edition for audiophiles with some extra kick squeezed out of the CPU. Old song to a new tune, if you will. But we wouldn’t frown at the sound of it. After all, it's the sound that counts.
Beats Audio is a big part of the deal in the new Sensation XE. HTC have teamed up with Beats by Dr. Dre to boost the phone's credentials to audio purists. There's special sound processing on the inside and a Monster iBeats headset in the box.
The other things they tinkered with are the processor and battery. The two cores are now ticking at 1.5 GHz and the battery's been beefed up to 1730 mAh. The rest is familiar but by no means boring. The HTC Sensation is a dual-core super droid with a massive 4.3 qHD touchscreen, 8MP stills and Full HD video.
Sony Ericsson did it with the Xperia arc S and Samsung must've lost count of the Galaxy S sequels. Why have one flagship when you can have two seems to be the common thinking. The XE is not a replacement of the original Sensation. It's a special edition with very specific targeting. Brand spanking new - yes! Groundbreaking - no! Worth it? Well, we're about to see.
The build and finish are nearly identical to the original model, but for the BeatsAudio logo and red color accents. Those seem to make quite a lot of difference and to us the Sensation XE is the better looking phone. And HTC did well to make it easily recognizable.
So, how will the two flagships get along? This isn't going to be a rivalry we think. The Sensation XE has a very specific target and the original Sensation can only benefit from a price drop - albeit a minor one. There's a six month gap between the two. Too soon for releasing a massive upgrade but enough time for the initial excitement to wane.
It's a sensible move from HTC to try and rekindle the love. And they did well to give the new version a unique selling feature. But is it worth the extra asking price? Always a legitimate question, this one is even more pertinent given HTC's usually steep pricing. To be fair though, the Monster headset alone pretty much offsets the premium.
Well, anyone can do their own math. Now, let's do ours. The usual set of benchmarks, audio and screen tests, and image samples will help us know the Sensation XE better. As usual though, we start with the hardware.