HTC Sensation XE

HTC Sensation XE
Developed by: Palm
Ranked: 14
Overall rating:
Best price: Buy



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Review summary

Good points HTC Sensation XE review good points

• Latest Android OS

• Beats Audio

• Fast dual-core processor

• Beautiful 4.3-inch screen

Bad points HTC Sensation XE review bad points

• Heavy and large

• Only seven home-screens

• Very small storage

Our verdict

After the previous edition to the Sensation wowed a few buyers, HTC have come back with a knockout selection of features and an incredibly powerful phone.

Screenshot of HTC Sensation XE 1 Screenshot of HTC Sensation XE 2 Screenshot of HTC Sensation XE 3

Full review


A study mix of metal and rubber make this phone feel strong and durable. The good looking mix of black and red on the case makes the phone not just feel like a premium gadget, but makes it look like one too.

The screen is a 4.3-inch mega-giant, with fitted Gorilla Glass for extra-smash-resistance. PPI isn’t as great as the iPhone 4S or Galaxy Nexus, clocking in at 256 ppi.

With all these strong and heavy features placed into the HTC Sensation XE, you would expect it to be a bit over-the-scales. That is true, it has a heavier weight than the 4S, Nexus, S2 and Nokia Lumia.


The Sensation XE has quite a good reception in all areas that we examined; it was able to maintain a connection to the other caller while we were in busy environments, countryside and our office.

There are also volume adjusters and ear pieces if you are in loud environments, further helping you hear and talk to the caller with ease.

We found that background noise was very minimal too, and the caller told us that they could hear us very well and we could hear them very well too.


A 1.5GHz dual-core is pretty impressive, at 1.5, it is one of the fastest phone processors on the market today and the dual-core only accelerates the processing speed.

We found that opening apps, having multiple background apps and opening an excess of 5 tabs on the browser wasn’t a problem, showing that the dual-core really stands up for its name.

The loading speeds are consistent and we didn’t find any erratic behaviour on any applications, thankfully, there was no times when the processor failed to process a command, showing that the execution works well.

Operating system

The HTC operating system has recently been upgraded from the Gingerbread 2.3.6, to the newest operating system, named ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, which is the 4.0.

This is great news for all the fans of HTC’s, as once again they’ve got the upgrade before most other top-end phones have them. The Ice Cream Sandwich offers a great variety of all the newest features that Android has added.

The HTC Sense 3.0 skin has been added onto the Sensation XE, and we must say it is a very valiant attempt at making the Android 4.0 look smarter than it already is. The skin does give you the HTC feel, quietly brilliant.

Home screens were the only problem we found when using the operating system, once you’ve finished adding your apps to seven home-screens, you cannot add any more. While most people will feel okay with this, big app users will be a little disappointed.


HTC haven’t been major camera geeks and it has never really fallen upon them to make the best cameras, before the Sensation and One, they normally would place the average in the market time.

They seem to have done the same with the Sensation, adding an 8-megapixel camera just like the iPhone 4S did.

What HTC do well is the insides of the camera, the programs and the software which makes the images so good to look at, with a double-LED flash light for those dark nights and some powerful features such as: auto-focus, face detection and instant capture, the HTC moves up from an average camera to a brilliant camera.

The camera also has 1080 HD video-recording, which is the highest standard quality of video-recording at the moment. This is the only change from its cousin phone, the XL.


The HTC’s battery is capable of keeping awake for about 8 hours talk-time and scrape a bit off if you are using high processing applications or have many background applications running at once.

This is an average performance and the 1700mAh battery seems to do its job, there isn’t any dismay in battery life and you will not suddenly be on 10% if you watch videos.


A rather absent decision as to why HTC would only be fitted with 1GB of internal storage, when phones like the iPhone are getting 64GB packages. I was quite bemused, but found that you can offload more into a 8GB microSD card, but that is still only 9GB’s.

The MicroSD card holder can hold up to 32GB’s, but this does mean you have to buy a MicroSD card capable of that volume of gigabytes, which is a pain.

With applications like Dropbox, Box and Google Drive coming out, it seems HTC believes everyone can live through Cloud or card storage, and there is no need for internals.


The HTC Sensation XE is a big, smart and strong phone, that has a lot of very good features, we all here just wonder why there is no internal storage.

With the move to Android 4.0, this could still be seen as a contender for one of the best Android phones.

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Ratings breakdown

 received a rating of 4 for Overall
 received a rating of 4 for Design
 received a rating of 4 for Reception
 received a rating of 4 for Processor
Operating system
 received a rating of 4 for Operating system
 received a rating of 3 for Camera
Voice recognition
 received a rating of 3 for Voice recognition
 received a rating of 3 for Battery
 received a rating of 3 for Storage