May 19 AT 9:17 AM Nick Gray 111 Comments

Android’s big summer showdown: HTC Sensation vs. the Samsung Galaxy S II

If you haven’t noticed, Android phones are everywhere now.  Every few weeks, manufacturers and service providers are launching new handsets which are tailored at distinct market segments.  It used to be that Android phones were a one-size-fits-all solution and the only thing you needed to worry about was if you wanted a phone with a QWERTY keyboard or a simple touch-only solution.  While it’s certainly nice to have options, the level of added choice has made it extremely difficult to choose the right phone.

We know that the majority of Android users are not worried about having the best phone possible.  Most people simply want a phone that can make phone calls, send text messages, and allow them to sling a few Angry Birds at green pigs every now and then.  But that’s simply not the case for those of you who visit our site every day.  You want a phone that will outperform the competition in every way possible.

It’s no secret that the HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S II will be the top selling phones of the summer. Both handsets feature some pretty amazing specs with 4.3-inch displays, dual-core processors, 8 megapixel cameras capable of capturing 1080p HD video, and newly redesigned user interfaces.  But don’t be fooled by their similarities.  The Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Sensation have just as many differences as they do likenesses.

The HTC Sensation will be the first phone to be powered by Qualcomm’s MSM 8260 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and features a unique unibody shell.  The Sensation also comes equipped with a high-resolution (960 x 540 pixels) Super LCD display covered with Gorilla Glass and new camera app which takes pictures the instant you press the shutter button.

Samsung’s Galaxy S II is amazingly thin, measuring in at only 8.49mm.  The phone weighs 116 grams and the 4.3-inch 480 x 800 pixel resolution Super AMOLED Plus display also features a Gorilla Glass covering.  The European version of the Galaxy S II is powered by an Exynos XMM6260 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, though we’re not exactly sure what the handset’s specs will look like once U.S. carriers are done tinkering with it.

Each phone has its unique advantages, but sometimes it’s not really about the specs.  A manufacturer’s reputation plays a huge roll in a consumer’s purchasing decisions.  In the past, HTC’s phones have been on the top of the list for developers and tweakers, but the HTC Sensation’s locked bootloader could keep many advanced users at bay.  Samsung’s taken a beating over the past year due to the Galaxy S GPS fiasco and their slow response time in pushing out system updates, but their new open stance on development could create quite a few new Samsung fans.

While writing this story, I asked all the writers here at Android and Me which features, manufacturer or phone they would prefer.  As expected, the results are all over the board, making it clear that picking the right Android phone is a daunting task.

We want to know which features or specs have the most influence on your purchasing decisions and if you’re planning on picking up the HTC Sensation of Samsung Galaxy S II this summer. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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