Oct 12 AT 1:13 PM Edgar Cervantes 45 Comments

Video: HTC Sensation XL preview at CTIA

HTC Sensation XL featured

The HTC Sensation XL was announced last Thursday for the European market. Unfortunately, it’s not coming to the US. But it is definitely an amazing piece of work from HTC. Taylor and I had the chance to play around with the device for a while, and we even got a brief preview from an HTC representative.

The device looks great on paper. It has some strong specs and pleasing aesthetics. But the Sensation XL looks even better in real life. Its 4.7-inch form-factor is actually not as overwhelming as you’d imagine. The build quality is very solid. This is typical of HTC devices, which tend to feel a bit heavier. However, this is not the case with the HTC Sensation XL; the handset is surprisingly lightweight.

We had the chance to play with a few other devices, and the Sensation XL was definitely one of the lightest. Weighing 146 grams, this device is almost as light as the HTC Rhyme (a 3.7-inch device) and is much lighter than devices like the HTC Thunderbolt and the HTC Amaze 4G  (available today).

The best part of this device is the screen. It’s honestly the best display I’ve seen in any device. The colors are very bright, vibrant and saturated, and the viewing angles are simply impressive. (Head to the gallery to see viewing angles). We took some comparison images next to the Samsung Galaxy S II (King of displays) and the HTC Thunderbolt; the Sensation XL simply blows them out of the water.

One of the biggest concerns was the lack of a dual-core processor. But, with the processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, this device is much smoother than many dual-core devices on the market.

Beats technology is also included, and the device comes with the UrBeats headset. Music enthusiasts will be excited for this addition. The sound is very well optimized, but we’re not sure this would be a huge decision factor yet, at least not for most users.

Overall, the device is a huge step beyond other HTC devices and should be taken into account when purchasing your next smartphone. According to the HTC representative, this device won’t be making it to the US, but it might be worth importing. Check out the gallery and video posted below for more details, and let us know your opinions. Are any of our European readers planning to purchase an HTC Sensation XL? Would you guys be willing to import it?

DSC_0005 DSC_0006 DSC_0007 DSC_0008 DSC_0011 DSC_0013 DSC_0014 DSC_0015 DSC_0016 DSC_0036 (2)

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • beaver

    This phone’s design is absolutely incredible. Im really liking the look. And look at that screen clarity. I didn’t think Super LCD could look that good with such good viewing angles.

    I currently have an HTC Desire HD and i said to myself that this would be my last HTC phone since i was really disappointed in a few aspects of HTC’s phones, but it looks like HTC fixed a lot of my complaints.. namely mediocre camera and screen.

    • Lilly82

      The new iPhone 4S beats it easily in design, specs and especially SALES.
      iPhone 4S preorders just made a new world record.
      Good luck with the htc sensational bland!

      • E1

        And your point here was…..??? You should save your first communion money for a real phone

      • robert

        And I suppose that since McDonalds sells the most, that they’re the best restaurant in the world? Hey look, isn’t that Justin Bieber over there? Troll problem solved.

      • tito

        poor boy,…

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      I’ve been using HTC phones for over six years now and I can’t imagine going to any other brand. I may be a bit of an HTC fanboy, but the quality of their product is what keeps me loyal. The camera technology on their phones has progressed significantly over the past year. New features like instant-capture, HDR, and panorama mode finally allow HTC to compete with other manufacturers.

  • R.S

    It’s a very attractive phone. For me, its rare to actually like a white phone because they rarely look good.

    You’ll either have phones where pretty much only the back is white (Nexus S, Samsung Fascinate, Droid Incredible). This ends up making the phone more dual colored than just a white phone.

    Or

    Phones with too much white (iPhone 4) that just look weird because the white is overwhelming.

    The Sensation XL however, is neither of these and IMO, that’s a good thing. The Sensation is not a phone I’m interested in owning, but if I was and all things being equal, I would choose the white one over the original one.

    • Tom

      Im waiting for the black one instead, i heard its screen size is bigger and its runnng a lot faster

  • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

    The display on the Sensation XL is amazing! It looked better than the Galaxy S II in a side-by-side comparison.

    • beaver

      Now that’s something right there. All we need now is HTC to start pumping out 720p displays with this same panel and i’ll definitely consider upgrading my aging Desire HD.

      • http://keridel.blogspot.com keridel

        They are having trouble getting the supply for the hd screens unfortunately.

  • http://keridel.blogspot.com keridel

    I was lucky enough to be at the launch of this in london. Got to shake hands with dre and Peter Chou.

    It’s a great device and the beats earphones make them even better. The screen is lovely to look at and the speed is sharp and responsive.

    I might be getting one shipped out to me for testing so will let you know more about it.

  • http://oceanmedia.net Scotter

    What is the screen rez? In a previous report I saw 800×480. At that screen size, I really hope that was a typo.

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      No, that’s the actual resolution. Edgar told me that you do notice the lower resolution if you’re actually looking for it, but the brightness and viewing angles make up for the low pixel count.

      • Required fields are not marked *

        Edgar is a liar.

  • http://alxrock.deviantart.com Sketchy alx

    I’m sorry, but was I the only one distracted by the Vampire walking in the background starting at the 2:02 mark?

  • Angie Strickland

    That looks so sharp!

  • peter

    What is the deal here? It is getting too much. I buy the sensation then in less than 3 months there is almost 5 or 6 different models sensation xe then amaze then this plus others and every one is beeing promoted as the best what is expexted from the consumer ? R we suposed to buy a new cell phone every 2 weeks?

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      Yes! People should buy a new phone every 60 days. Lol

      I understand the frustration for those who are obsessed with having the latest and greatest technology. It’s hard to keep up when one manufacturer keeps pushing out new handset iterations which are a little better than the previous version.

      Just keep your phone that you have now and don’t plan on buying anything for at least 12 months. If you upgrade every time there’s something that’s just a little better than what you currently have, you’ll never be satisfied since the improved performance or larger screen is only slightly better than what you were used to. if you wait 12 months to upgrade you’ll be completely blows away by your new phone.

      • Perrin

        I agree, although I keep an eye on developments daily (sad I know) , realistically I tend to pay more attention to what’s available nearer the end of a contract.

        There will always be newer and better phones around the corner so whenever you do upgrade chances are within 6 months (unless getting and iPhone) something newer will drop.

        Now a days I tend to buy my phones sim free and usually after they have been around for about 3 months or so (ebay has been good to me recently) and I managed to pick up a Google Nexus 1 and a HTC Desire HD over the past year or two at a fraction of new cost and both were brand new unopened unwanted upgrades.

    • Anthony

      What made you think when you bought the sensation it was the best.
      I mean I’ve played with it and decided my nexus s was still better.

  • Richard Yarrell

    2011 will end with a bang This Sensation XL is a great device no question. With the HTC AMAZE 4G and HTC VIGOR as well as the HTC EVO DESIGN 4G coming on sprint soon current htc fans on all carriers will have great devices to close the year out with. 2012 couldn’t get here fast enough for me.

    • Angie Strickland

      What the heck. Richard shouldn’t get down voted for saying normal things.

      • MaxSteel

        Normal things? He talks about Sprint with the fervor of a tween girl who just saw Justin Bieber in person.

      • Tico4674

        SPRINT, HTC, EVO! SPRINT, HTC, EVO! SPRINT, HTC, EVO! It’s ridiculously laughable.

      • Richard Yarrell

        In my world being voted down ONLY MEANS I was voted up. Who likes what I say definately doesn’t matter to me. Who likes HTC definately doesn’t matter to me THEY ARE THE BEST..

        • snowbdr89

          In the real world you will always be nothing more then a trolling hemroid dick!!

        • squiddy20

          “In my world being voted down ONLY MEANS I was voted up.”
          Well then, your world is pretty f**ked up. I guess that means everything in “your world” is opposite of what it actually is? If so, then when you say “my HTC Evo 3D is the best” you ACTUALLY mean “my Evo 3D is a piece of sh*t”. You can’t selectively have “opposite day” on certain aspects of your life. It’s all or nothing.
          And to use your own words against you, “get with the real world”. Yours is a joke.

    • squiddy20

      “2012 couldn’t get here fast enough for me.”
      What’s wrong Dick, your “amazing”, “top-of-the-line” Evo 3D not satisfying you anymore?

      • Richard Yarrell

        My EVO 3D remains the best It’s always in my nature to look ahead which was already done before my purchase of the EVO 3D. We on sprint always look ahead why??? Because we always have something to look forward too. We are NEVER BEHIND THE CURVE….The EVO fAMILY WILL ALWAYS RULE ANDROID…

        • squiddy20

          “… which was already done before my purchase of the EVO 3D”
          And once again, I call BS. The day you got your Evo 3D, you were saying all sorts of crap like, “this is the greatest thing since sliced bread!” and “This will rule all of Android for the next year at least!” (in all caps of course). Newsflash: GSII has already beaten your Evo 3D and the Photon is arguably just as good.
          “We are NEVER BEHIND THE CURVE”
          Annnnd tell that to Sprint’s Wimax network which is getting thrown in the trash in favor of LTE. We’ll be playing catch up to Verizon, T-Mobile, and possibly even AT&T. So much for being first in the “4G” market AND being “behind the curve”.
          And yeah, I’m TOTALLY “looking forward to” all the crap Sprint is cutting because they’ve been making a net loss year after year. Sprint Premier? Gone, with no hope of another type of perk plan cropping up. ETF price? Skyrocketed. 30 day return window? Shortened to some measly 12 or 14 days. Current “4G” phones? They won’t be able to work on the new LTE network when it finally comes out. The addition of the iPhone? Unlimited data is sure to fall. Only a matter of time. Yeah, there’s a LOT to be looking forward to. What a joke. You’re so delusional.

          • Tico4674

            Squiddy, you took the word right out my mouth. Delusional is as accurate as it gets when describing Richard. The evo 3d never even spent a day at the top. Most superphones rule for a month or two until they are eventually dethroned. That laggy, gimmicky Hey dick, I’m curious as to whether you root and flash custom roms on your evos or do you prefer stock sense?

          • squiddy20

            @Tico4674,
            Richard doesn’t believe in root. In the past, he’s flat out told me rooting is for “2 plus year old devices” despite my telling him how his (at the time) not even 1 year old Evo 4G had a thriving root/ROM/modding community behind it. It was meant to be an insult since I have an old Samsung Moment, which still isn’t even 2 years old (talk about insult failure). A few months later he switched his position to “I’m looking into rooting”, and a few months ago stated he would “hold off” rooting his Evo 3D until ICS came out. He knows nothing about root, and I honestly don’t even think he has access to a desktop/laptop computer to even be able to attempt rooting his phone.
            I mean, he couldn’t even answer a very basic root question that someone else asked him. I don’t even own an Evo 3D and within maybe 5 minutes of searching, found a solution. See the question and his (utterly stupid, fail-tastic) response here: http://androidandme.com/2011/07/reviews/richard-yarrell-reviews-the-evo-3d/#comment-120921

          • Tico4674

            @Squiddy , Thanks for the link, great stuff. I don’t get all worked up about his ridiculous posts, at least not yet. I kind of welcome his asinine commentary. For me it’s all just comic relief. At times I kinda pity the poor guy. Let’s face it, he’s special. The sort of special that rides on lil yellow buses. No offense to the mentally challenged. It’s amazing that he can even operate a cell phone, let alone root one. The guy is a joke and I’ll take him as such. Keep up the good work with your stellar rebuttals.

  • Dulph Lindgren

    Quote: One of the biggest concerns was the lack of a dual-core processor

    THIS. No purchase.

  • dgf

    Imagine Minecraft on that nthing

  • Dustin Earley

    I know it’s already been said, but man… DAT DISPLAY. I wonder if the Amaze has a similar display…

  • MaxSteel

    Wow. That’s a great looking phone. Really loving the display and camera. HTC Sense is the only thing that ruins it for me. I just can’t stand manufacturer UIs. Would much rather have stock Android on it. Anyway, good phone.

  • Lulu

    This phone looks GORGEOUS. HTC really hit the spot with its design. Too bad it won’t be available in the US market or I will have a huge problem deciding between getting this or Nexus Prime.

  • quariusthegenius

    How much does it cost??

  • lee

    the hardware looks awesome, good job HTC, knowing them im sure similar version will hit US in 2012 with better software specs.

  • masterpfa

    Just waiting for

    Price
    Release date
    Carriers

    Nice phone from the sound of things, shame about lack of SD card, but Nexus S users could probably answer this best, how has not having a Micro SD slot affected your use of your phone?

    Love the screen and the fact it has the Beats Audio. Nice looking design and right, for me , screen size.

  • wee

    HTC Amaze was tested and clocked slower than a GS II. This at 1.5 ghz vs. 1.2 ghz? No foolin!

  • keels

    Bout time we got something the yanks ain’t got sick of them getting everything first even tho we pay a premium this side of the pond. Think I just saw my next smart fone, anyone want to buy an HTC Desire HD? lol

  • bretzel

    My HTC EVO 3d is the single biggest piece of shot I have ever owned. I am on number 4 in as many months. Fail!

  1. beaverGuest 4 years ago

    This phone’s design is absolutely incredible. Im really liking the look. And look at that screen clarity. I didn’t think Super LCD could look that good with such good viewing angles.

    I currently have an HTC Desire HD and i said to myself that this would be my last HTC phone since i was really disappointed in a few aspects of HTC’s phones, but it looks like HTC fixed a lot of my complaints.. namely mediocre camera and screen.

    • Lilly82Guest 4 years ago

      The new iPhone 4S beats it easily in design, specs and especially SALES.
      iPhone 4S preorders just made a new world record.
      Good luck with the htc sensational bland!

      • E1Guest 4 years ago

        And your point here was…..??? You should save your first communion money for a real phone

      • robertGuest 4 years ago

        And I suppose that since McDonalds sells the most, that they’re the best restaurant in the world? Hey look, isn’t that Justin Bieber over there? Troll problem solved.

      • titoGuest 3 years ago

        poor boy,…

    • I’ve been using HTC phones for over six years now and I can’t imagine going to any other brand. I may be a bit of an HTC fanboy, but the quality of their product is what keeps me loyal. The camera technology on their phones has progressed significantly over the past year. New features like instant-capture, HDR, and panorama mode finally allow HTC to compete with other manufacturers.

  2. It’s a very attractive phone. For me, its rare to actually like a white phone because they rarely look good.

    You’ll either have phones where pretty much only the back is white (Nexus S, Samsung Fascinate, Droid Incredible). This ends up making the phone more dual colored than just a white phone.

    Or

    Phones with too much white (iPhone 4) that just look weird because the white is overwhelming.

    The Sensation XL however, is neither of these and IMO, that’s a good thing. The Sensation is not a phone I’m interested in owning, but if I was and all things being equal, I would choose the white one over the original one.

    • TomGuest 4 years ago

      Im waiting for the black one instead, i heard its screen size is bigger and its runnng a lot faster

  3. The display on the Sensation XL is amazing! It looked better than the Galaxy S II in a side-by-side comparison.

    • beaverGuest 4 years ago

      Now that’s something right there. All we need now is HTC to start pumping out 720p displays with this same panel and i’ll definitely consider upgrading my aging Desire HD.

      • They are having trouble getting the supply for the hd screens unfortunately.

  4. I was lucky enough to be at the launch of this in london. Got to shake hands with dre and Peter Chou.

    It’s a great device and the beats earphones make them even better. The screen is lovely to look at and the speed is sharp and responsive.

    I might be getting one shipped out to me for testing so will let you know more about it.

  5. ScotterGuest 4 years ago

    What is the screen rez? In a previous report I saw 800×480. At that screen size, I really hope that was a typo.

    • No, that’s the actual resolution. Edgar told me that you do notice the lower resolution if you’re actually looking for it, but the brightness and viewing angles make up for the low pixel count.

      • Required fields are not marked *Guest 4 years ago

        Edgar is a liar.

  6. I’m sorry, but was I the only one distracted by the Vampire walking in the background starting at the 2:02 mark?

  7. That looks so sharp!

  8. peterGuest 4 years ago

    What is the deal here? It is getting too much. I buy the sensation then in less than 3 months there is almost 5 or 6 different models sensation xe then amaze then this plus others and every one is beeing promoted as the best what is expexted from the consumer ? R we suposed to buy a new cell phone every 2 weeks?

    • Yes! People should buy a new phone every 60 days. Lol

      I understand the frustration for those who are obsessed with having the latest and greatest technology. It’s hard to keep up when one manufacturer keeps pushing out new handset iterations which are a little better than the previous version.

      Just keep your phone that you have now and don’t plan on buying anything for at least 12 months. If you upgrade every time there’s something that’s just a little better than what you currently have, you’ll never be satisfied since the improved performance or larger screen is only slightly better than what you were used to. if you wait 12 months to upgrade you’ll be completely blows away by your new phone.

      • PerrinGuest 4 years ago

        I agree, although I keep an eye on developments daily (sad I know) , realistically I tend to pay more attention to what’s available nearer the end of a contract.

        There will always be newer and better phones around the corner so whenever you do upgrade chances are within 6 months (unless getting and iPhone) something newer will drop.

        Now a days I tend to buy my phones sim free and usually after they have been around for about 3 months or so (ebay has been good to me recently) and I managed to pick up a Google Nexus 1 and a HTC Desire HD over the past year or two at a fraction of new cost and both were brand new unopened unwanted upgrades.

    • AnthonyGuest 4 years ago

      What made you think when you bought the sensation it was the best.
      I mean I’ve played with it and decided my nexus s was still better.

  9. 2011 will end with a bang This Sensation XL is a great device no question. With the HTC AMAZE 4G and HTC VIGOR as well as the HTC EVO DESIGN 4G coming on sprint soon current htc fans on all carriers will have great devices to close the year out with. 2012 couldn’t get here fast enough for me.

    • What the heck. Richard shouldn’t get down voted for saying normal things.

      • Normal things? He talks about Sprint with the fervor of a tween girl who just saw Justin Bieber in person.

      • SPRINT, HTC, EVO! SPRINT, HTC, EVO! SPRINT, HTC, EVO! It’s ridiculously laughable.

      • In my world being voted down ONLY MEANS I was voted up. Who likes what I say definately doesn’t matter to me. Who likes HTC definately doesn’t matter to me THEY ARE THE BEST..

        • snowbdr89Guest 4 years ago

          In the real world you will always be nothing more then a trolling hemroid dick!!

        • squiddy20Guest 4 years ago

          “In my world being voted down ONLY MEANS I was voted up.”
          Well then, your world is pretty f**ked up. I guess that means everything in “your world” is opposite of what it actually is? If so, then when you say “my HTC Evo 3D is the best” you ACTUALLY mean “my Evo 3D is a piece of sh*t”. You can’t selectively have “opposite day” on certain aspects of your life. It’s all or nothing.
          And to use your own words against you, “get with the real world”. Yours is a joke.

    • squiddy20Guest 4 years ago

      “2012 couldn’t get here fast enough for me.”
      What’s wrong Dick, your “amazing”, “top-of-the-line” Evo 3D not satisfying you anymore?

      • My EVO 3D remains the best It’s always in my nature to look ahead which was already done before my purchase of the EVO 3D. We on sprint always look ahead why??? Because we always have something to look forward too. We are NEVER BEHIND THE CURVE….The EVO fAMILY WILL ALWAYS RULE ANDROID…

        • squiddy20Guest 4 years ago

          “… which was already done before my purchase of the EVO 3D”
          And once again, I call BS. The day you got your Evo 3D, you were saying all sorts of crap like, “this is the greatest thing since sliced bread!” and “This will rule all of Android for the next year at least!” (in all caps of course). Newsflash: GSII has already beaten your Evo 3D and the Photon is arguably just as good.
          “We are NEVER BEHIND THE CURVE”
          Annnnd tell that to Sprint’s Wimax network which is getting thrown in the trash in favor of LTE. We’ll be playing catch up to Verizon, T-Mobile, and possibly even AT&T. So much for being first in the “4G” market AND being “behind the curve”.
          And yeah, I’m TOTALLY “looking forward to” all the crap Sprint is cutting because they’ve been making a net loss year after year. Sprint Premier? Gone, with no hope of another type of perk plan cropping up. ETF price? Skyrocketed. 30 day return window? Shortened to some measly 12 or 14 days. Current “4G” phones? They won’t be able to work on the new LTE network when it finally comes out. The addition of the iPhone? Unlimited data is sure to fall. Only a matter of time. Yeah, there’s a LOT to be looking forward to. What a joke. You’re so delusional.

          • Squiddy, you took the word right out my mouth. Delusional is as accurate as it gets when describing Richard. The evo 3d never even spent a day at the top. Most superphones rule for a month or two until they are eventually dethroned. That laggy, gimmicky Hey dick, I’m curious as to whether you root and flash custom roms on your evos or do you prefer stock sense?

          • squiddy20Guest 4 years ago

            @Tico4674,
            Richard doesn’t believe in root. In the past, he’s flat out told me rooting is for “2 plus year old devices” despite my telling him how his (at the time) not even 1 year old Evo 4G had a thriving root/ROM/modding community behind it. It was meant to be an insult since I have an old Samsung Moment, which still isn’t even 2 years old (talk about insult failure). A few months later he switched his position to “I’m looking into rooting”, and a few months ago stated he would “hold off” rooting his Evo 3D until ICS came out. He knows nothing about root, and I honestly don’t even think he has access to a desktop/laptop computer to even be able to attempt rooting his phone.
            I mean, he couldn’t even answer a very basic root question that someone else asked him. I don’t even own an Evo 3D and within maybe 5 minutes of searching, found a solution. See the question and his (utterly stupid, fail-tastic) response here: http://androidandme.com/2011/07/reviews/richard-yarrell-reviews-the-evo-3d/#comment-120921

          • @Squiddy , Thanks for the link, great stuff. I don’t get all worked up about his ridiculous posts, at least not yet. I kind of welcome his asinine commentary. For me it’s all just comic relief. At times I kinda pity the poor guy. Let’s face it, he’s special. The sort of special that rides on lil yellow buses. No offense to the mentally challenged. It’s amazing that he can even operate a cell phone, let alone root one. The guy is a joke and I’ll take him as such. Keep up the good work with your stellar rebuttals.

  10. Dulph LindgrenGuest 4 years ago

    Quote: One of the biggest concerns was the lack of a dual-core processor

    THIS. No purchase.

  11. dgfGuest 4 years ago

    Imagine Minecraft on that nthing

  12. I know it’s already been said, but man… DAT DISPLAY. I wonder if the Amaze has a similar display…

  13. Wow. That’s a great looking phone. Really loving the display and camera. HTC Sense is the only thing that ruins it for me. I just can’t stand manufacturer UIs. Would much rather have stock Android on it. Anyway, good phone.

  14. LuluGuest 4 years ago

    This phone looks GORGEOUS. HTC really hit the spot with its design. Too bad it won’t be available in the US market or I will have a huge problem deciding between getting this or Nexus Prime.

  15. quariusthegeniusGuest 4 years ago

    How much does it cost??

  16. leeGuest 4 years ago

    the hardware looks awesome, good job HTC, knowing them im sure similar version will hit US in 2012 with better software specs.

  17. Just waiting for

    Price
    Release date
    Carriers

    Nice phone from the sound of things, shame about lack of SD card, but Nexus S users could probably answer this best, how has not having a Micro SD slot affected your use of your phone?

    Love the screen and the fact it has the Beats Audio. Nice looking design and right, for me , screen size.

  18. weeGuest 4 years ago

    HTC Amaze was tested and clocked slower than a GS II. This at 1.5 ghz vs. 1.2 ghz? No foolin!

  19. keelsGuest 4 years ago

    Bout time we got something the yanks ain’t got sick of them getting everything first even tho we pay a premium this side of the pond. Think I just saw my next smart fone, anyone want to buy an HTC Desire HD? lol

  20. bretzelGuest 3 years ago

    My HTC EVO 3d is the single biggest piece of shot I have ever owned. I am on number 4 in as many months. Fail!