Here’s the HTC Sensation XE, HTC’s newest Android phone, in the flesh. We got hands on with it at Carphone Warehouse’s press event, held in conjunction with Best Buy, in London, and had a chance to try out its new Beats Audio sonic skills. Read on for our thoughts.
If you saw the announcement yesterday, you’ll know that the HTC Sensation XE has had a few changes under the bonnet compared to the flagship HTC Sensation. It’s running on a dual-core processor clocked at a faster 1.5GHz, and actually has a larger 1730mAh battery (the same as in the HTC Evo 3D).
We can’t say we noticed the speed difference, but physically, though it’s identical in size, the colour change is for the better. Instead of boring granite grey and silver, we’ve got bad-ass black and red, with the Beats logo on the back. It’s got a waspish, HTC Incredible vibe which we really like, though we can see this being very much a male thing.
As for the Beats Audio itself – plug in the bundled headphones courtesy of Dr Dre, and a new sound profile kicks in automatically. You can actually toggle it on or off at any time from the drop down notification tray, and though the event was noisy, we could detect a difference. Whether or not the profile simply ups the volume, it’s hard to say until we test it out in quieter conditions – but Beats has a stellar reputation, so we’re expecting big things.
The headphones themselves are a custom pair you can’t buy from Beats individually: they come with an in-line remote that works with the music player on the HTC Sensation XE, and a selection of different bud sizes, which is just as well since the ones we tried on simply wouldn’t stay in our lug holes.
The HTC Sensation XE’s price has yet to be confirmed, but a spokesperson suggested we could be looking at around £5 per month more on contract compared to the current Sensation. Over the course of a two-year contract, that may not prove to be a great saving, but Android in-line remotes are a rare thing these days, so could still be worthwhile.
We have to say we’re impressed with the HTC Sensation XE: the partnership was only announced las month, and yet here we are with working, integrated models and customised headphones. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but for those who do value audio quality, we think it could the smartphone to beat.
Out September | £TBC | HTC