Design-wise, the Sensation XE is nearly identical to the original model, but for the Beats logo and red highlights. Yet those make quite a lot of difference and, in our opinion, make the phone a lot better looking.
The antennas of the Sensation XE seem to be in the same places as on the original Sensation, which may lead to some deathgrip issues, but maybe HTC found a way to deal with those. We'll have to test it extensively to make sure and there's no time to do that now.
That aside, you still get the slightly concave shape of the screen (which is a Gorilla glass for extra scratch resistance) and the not-quite-a-unibody design at the back.
The battery has been beefed up to 1730mAh to make up for the faster CPU and probably even have something to spare for the music player. Curiously, the bigger battery fits in both the old Sensation and the EVO 3D - it's a pretty tight fit, but it is possible to interchange batteries between those two.
Dimensions of the HTC Sensation XE haven't perceptibly changed since the original model.
The YourBeats headset has an in-ear design, which has an advantage over the regular earbud design - noise insulation. The headset sports media controls buttons - next and previous buttons, plus a play/pause button that also works as an answer key.
They have an undeniably attention-grabbing design, which younger users will surely find appealing, but the bright red cords might put some of the older ones off.
You also get a carrying pouch - not the one in the photo, but HTC assured us that there will be a pouch included in the box.
We were quite disappointed to find out that the Beats technology is purely software-based - there's no special audio hardware on the inside. But then again this means that it can be ported to other HTC phones, so it's not all bad.
We gave the HTC Sensation XE and the YourBeats headset a listen - there is a difference and the sound is richer and deeper. There's a noticeable change when using Beats with non-Beats headphones too, but it's not nearly as big.
As far as the loudpseaker is concerned, there's no change whatsoever - Beats isn't available when you are using that. The original model posted Good marks on our loudpseaker test, which makes it acceptable but not very loud and you should be expecting a similar performance from that one.
We managed to put the HTC Sensation XE upgraded CPU to a few tests. Check out how it did on the next page.