Conclusion: If you’re currently in the market for a new phone and you’re weighing up the Sensation and the Sensation XE then it's no contest, we’d say to plump for the latter option. It’s altogether a much slicker proposition and the bundled Beats Audio in-ear headphones are great. It’s worth shelling out a little extra.
Pros: Faster processor, Overall slicker experience than the original HTC Sensation, Huge 4.3-inch screen is great for web browsing, Powerful 8-megapixel camera
Cons: Not running latest version of HTC Sense, Small amount of internal memory, Battery life isn’t great
Summary: The HTC Sensation XE is an updated version of HTC’s excellent Sensation dual-core Android smartphone, now packing a slightly faster processor, slightly larger battery, some red highlights, and a pair of Beats Audio in-ear headphones. While the updates are indeed very minimal, they do at least add some extra jazz to an already fantastic handset.
Pros: Great build, High quality bundled earphones, Fast processor
Cons: Camera autofocus unreliable, Red trim a bit tacked-on
Summary: The HTC Sensation XE is an updated version of HTC's excellent Sensation dual-core Android smartphone, now packing a slightly faster processor, slightly larger battery, some red highlights, and a pair of Beats Audio in-ear headphones. While the updates are indeed very minimal, they do at least add some extra jazz to an already fantastic handset.
Pros: Speedy 1.5GHz processor, large qHD display, HTC Sense 3.0 user interface
Cons: No metal unibody, only 1GB useable internal storage, perhaps too large for some people
Conclusion: We say kudos to HTC for trying to diversify the Android lineup branching into specialized smartphones like the audio-oriented Sensation XE, an upgrade to one already excellent flagship. However, we are not impressed by the minor improvements. As there is nothing new in the audio-centric hardware or the music player, the only improvements are the great in-ear headphones bundled with the phone, and the Beats Audio mode, which some will not use.
Pros: Comes with a high quality set of headphones, Very good background noise cancellation for outgoing calls, Both processor and battery capacity are upped compared to the original Sensation, Cool red highlights set the Sensation XE design apart, Stereo audio recording during 1080p HD video capture
Cons: Beats Audio isn't much else than a sound profile, The microphones are set on too sensitive while recording video, No FLAC format support, The picture quality from the 8MP camera could be better
Conclusion: HTC have a flagship they want to keep you interested in. Easier said than done. Six months after the launch of the original, the HTC Sensation XE is raising the bar. But HTC are trying to keep a fine balance. They wouldn't want to push the envelope and make the original Sensation obsolete. The bar shouldn't be set too high either before the next flagship is due. As far as we can tell, they nailed it.
Pros: Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support, 14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA, 4.3" 16M-color capacitive LCD touchscreen of qHD resolution (540 x 960 pixels); Gorilla glass, Android OS v2.3 Gingerbread with HTC Sense 3.0, 1.5 GHz dual Scorpion CPUs, Adreno 220 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 chipset, 768 MB RAM and 1 GB of app storage, Beats audio enhancement and premium Monster ibeats headset, 8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash; face detection and geotagging, 1080p ...
Cons: Death grip issues for both GSM and Wi-Fi radios, Less than impressed with the screen's outdoor performance, Unimpressive camera results, No dedicated camera key, microSD is under the battery cover (you'll lose all wireless signal when open the cover)
Conclusion: What about Sensation XE as a whole? To me it looks like an attempt to fill in the void between the vanilla Sensation and when HTC starts rolling out HD screen phones. However if HTC intends to integrate Beats Audio in all their future phones then some changes need to be made. You cannot make the claims that HTC made and then bundle mediocre headphones with a software EQ preset. I’m not sure how many of you’ve used a Nokia N91 but to me that is the benchmark for music.
Conclusion: Along with the speedier processor, HTC has also upped the battery capacity on the Sensation XE. The original came with a 1520mAH while the new one has a 1730mAH battery- not the highest capacity battery we’ve seen on a phone (which has to the Motorola Atrix) but still pretty impressive.