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HTC Roadshow: Hands-on video with the HTC Sensation

We took a trip down to the HTC Roadshow in Manchester yesterday, where we were lucky enough to be allowed some face-time with the HTC Sensation, HTC's beastly 4.3-inch dual-core device, which is due for release in May. And, of course, we were sure to grab plenty of video footage and photos of the artist formerly known as Pyramid for your perusal.

The Sensation is the first device to launch with HTC Sense 3.0, the new version of HTC's custom UI that gives it its biggest overhaul to date. Though the handset we saw was still running pre-release firmware, we were still impressed with the slickness of the user experience it offered.

Join us after the jump for the video itself, along with some bonus photos from the HTC Roadshow.

For best results, we recommend playing the video in 480p or higher. If you're feeling crazy, you can try fullscreen playback at 1080p.

You can check out our out-take video to see one (lightly sillier) feature of the Sensation that didn't make it into our main hands-on reel.

HTC Sensation

HTC Sensation

Alex Dobie
Alex Dobie

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Is anyone else here not impressed? Snapdagon dual core is at 1.3 so it still won't beat Tegra 2 at 1ghz, plus it looks like the entire Desire line is VERY much the same in specs etc, they just keep rebranding the Desire line. HTC is starting to suck, and hard. I have hope in Samsung and LG, hell. Maybe even Sony could step their game up. Motorola should have a chance if they unlock the damn bootloader. HTC just screwed everything up when they locked the new Desire line down.
  • From the looks of the photo the battery is already drained
  • "Snapdagon dual core is at 1.3 so it still won't beat Tegra 2 at 1ghz" You are incorrect, so far Tegra 2 is the weakest of the dual core SOC's, outclassed by Samsung's Exynos, Qualcomm's Dual Core Snapdragon and TI's OMAP4430.
  • I'm really impressed with the benchmarks that I've seen that show third gen Snapdragon is more powerful than Tegra 2 in both cpu & gpu. Sure the desire line looks similar but can you honestly say the Samsung's Galaxy line doesn't look similar? And more to that effect, the og droid, 2 and 3 look identical; plus the droid x and x2 are the same aren't they???
  • I think your alone, my only complaint about htc is their battery life
  • Snapdragon dual core is at 1.3? what are you trying to say? It's 1.2ghz dual core..
    + This processor is more powerful than the tegra 2 and you can't presume that it's going to run quicker simply because it has a higher clock speed...
    This also comes down to the software.. obviously HTC is trying to make their devices as fancy and 3d-animation-packed as possible and that does explain why performance has suffered.
    I honestly despise HTC sense for the simple reason that it's ugly = glossy + far too many 3d animations.
    but I do agree on the fact that the hardware is pretty much the same
    768MB RAM is a magical number htc has used and I still thing 1530mAh is still too little for a dual core phone especially considering their recent history with poor battery life (Desire HD and HD7 come in mind). Good idea for having hope in Samsung, but not so much for LG because their battery life isn't that stellar either and the Optimus 2X is only pakcing 512MB ram and a 1500mAh battery.
    If you search for some reviews of the Galaxy S2 (there are very few, but you'll find them), it's battery life has been praised for lasting as much as the Nexus S (approx. 20 hours on heavy usage), even though it is so powerful and has such a vivid/big/bright display! I can tell you that I have my eyes on the galaxy s2! Yes I realised I went a bit off track..
  • And with HTC's latest pattern and track record, the battery will last about an hour.
  • I thought the battery life on the Desire HD was fine. It needed a bit of tweaking but after that would get a couple of days with light to moderate use and a day or so with moderate to heavy use, mostly used by the display. I don't see why this phone would be any different.
  • Don't blame maufacturer alone, I am a HEAVY user and i get 12-16 hours on a charge, my wife is a medium to light user and has gotten 30 hours and they're both HTC EVO's and STOCK battery. HTC puts alot of goodies in Sense, like stock, news, weather which constantly run and drain resources, if your not using them turn them off. Most people with Android have apps running that always run, even after turning them off the turn right back on, such as the eBay app or HP app and many others like Facebook. Facebook is a great example because you can go in and change the sync options and put in longer intervals, and watch how much better your battery will last.
  • Wow those weather animations are really cool. But otherwise I'm not all that impressed. Aside from the screen sizes, HTC phones are really starting to look too much alike, with the exception of the Incredible S and it's layered back. Still, a smooth running phone.
  • I like the looks of the HTC hardware. IMO it is the best made and looking phones on the market. Software is another thing all together, being a N1 owner, I like the pure Android feel. If I want to add anything to my phone I will do it myself. Sense looks great and has some great features but it definitely slows down the phone and can make it very sluggish at times. Can not beat the feel, looks and the build quality of HTC hardware, the very best IMO.
  • I really want to know where you all think Sense slows down the phone, that is ridiculous. I had an incredible, ran various Sense roms, as well as CM7 and OMFGB. Both CM7 and OMFGB were less smooth than any Sense ROM, which may have been due to the ADW launcher. Either way, I have a TB now, and there is just no lag, so I think your comment is way overrated now, especially with todays faster phones.
  • Really, I've got a rooted N1 and I've ran every ROM under the sun on it. So far Sense has always been slow to the point of frustrating to use. So far, stock, CM and MIUI have been the smoothest and fastest ones. Plus, Sense on the N1 hogs up too much rom space, forcing me to use Apps2SD, and that causes problems sometimes. I'm eagerly awaiting the Evo3D. Looks like it's going to be a Sensational(haha, like my pun). Don't care about the 3D part, but the rest of the phone looks to be badass.
  • How can u call sense slow because u ran a sense rom on a phone that wasn't designed to use it? On all the hands on vids I've seen of the sensation and the 3D, sense seems to be quite fast and responsive, and those are not final models. I do agree with the second part of your comment though. It'll be hard to part with my original Evo, but I too am looking forward to the 3D.
  • I might actually keep Sense as my launcher when I get my EVO 3D?
    This looked very nice.
  • Smh!! EVO 3D all the way dude.
  • What phone recorded the video?!?
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. All our roadshow videos, including the one in this post, were recorded on the Arc with image stabilization turned on at 720p, 30fps. This video was recorded in 720p portrait mode and is slightly resized so you can see more of the phone.

    All the stills above were also taken on the Arc, originally at 8 megapixels.
  • hold on, the xperia arc only shoots in 720p right? but in the video there is a 1080p option?
    please tell me how you did that? i would also like to shoot in 1080p
  • It's probably just upscaled.
  • the weather animations are still pretty cool, overtop the almost. I guess ill have to look into checking out this device later
  • Can't wait to get my hands on a phone with 4.3" qHD display. Just not sure this is it. Maybe if the bootloader is unlockable so I can have the latest version of Android and stock experience.
  • did you see liverpools score? 5-0 and that torres finally scored
  • Manchester has had a good day! Go United! Oh and cool phone too!
  • did you see liverpools score? 5-0 and that Torres finally scored
  • I was so excited about this phone when it was just a rumor. I still think it is a great phone and wish that this could have been the Nexus specs wise. I thought I would make this my new phone, but I don't think I want Sense 3.0. I know I could root but why can't it just be a pure android phone. It seems redundant to have a UI overlay over an already great UI. I want a Dual Core pure android phone that will be next in the Nexus line. And I don't want it to be a LG.
  • Dual core cpus at 1.2ghz...and our browser is STILL jerky with pinch-zoom!!!! My God, Google can you please take some tips from Opera Mobile & *gasp* Apple's Safari browser to see how "smoooooooooooth" really is!!!!!! Who else is with me on this one?!?!?
  • It would have been nice if he commented on how much better the qHD screen was than a 800x480 screen.
  • Sense is great imo, the launcher sucks and the weather app is kinda useless (unless you're all about eye candy); but there's so much more to Sense than those things. Where other manufacturer skins are all about the launcher or social services (or mimicking the IPhone) Sense brings actual usability improvements... The lock screen with music controls and text message previews has always been great, now they're adding more to it with app shortcuts (and it's a lot more reliable than stuff like Widget Locker). Small touches like the phone ringer going quiet when you pick it up or turn it upside down are really slick. The new notification pane with quick settings AND recent apps is lovely. Etc etc.
  • Well, we are indeed a little overflown with 3D effect here. Sometimes more is less... I just hope some of the 3D effects can be unactivated in settings. The weather app is just way over the top. I don't need an actual rain shower to believe it is gonna rain. Anyway...
    Otherwise Sense looks good. My concerns are:
    - I don't need a phone that big. If I were, I would just buy a tablet. My phone need to be able to slide in my pocket without excessive disturbance. Not sure I will still be able to walk normally with such a huge device in my jeans pocket. - Second: I want my phone to last for the day under heavy usage. Obviously this thing won't. It has almost the same battery as the smaller screen phones, which also have a lower resolution and less 3D. Ergo -> it is barely gonna last over 12 hours. Kind of a fancy, but completely useless phone there...
  • I'm still unsure which phone is more lustworthy the Galaxy 2 or the Sensation. SGS2 seems to have a much better processor (if you don't get the Tegra 2 version that is) and the Sensation seems better designed, especially with a 16:9 screen ratio, which makes it shaped more like a traditional candybar phone. I'm also not happy with a 4.3" screen and a 800x480 resolution. I have tried using the Desire HD and the screen was just terrible. I know that the SGS2 is going to have a far better matrix, but it's still going to be on the low res side. I hope the qHD resolution makes a difference here and hopefully it's not going to turn out too washed out...
    Anyway, I own a SGS i9000 right now and don't like the SAMOLED screen for its pentile matrix. The new SAMOLED + is going to get rid of this, so it might look nice after all, despite being a bit lower in resolution than Sensation's SLCD. Samsung also has far better speakers, microphones & smoother video recording in the Galaxy phones than HTC in its Desire/Incredible line.
  • Oooooooooo! Me wants!!! I REALLY like sense. I miss it a little bit. Maybe i should unroot........ Nah!
  • Let's make this short and sweet...Nothing will beat the Htc Evo 3d or the Htc Sensation for the remainder of 2011. Htc is working feverishly on there quadcore device that should be out in May of 2012. It only gets better with Htc that's forsure...If you ain't Rolling with Htc then your not rolling at all...
  • this phone looks *amazing*
  • please please PLEASE tell me the bootloader is unlockable
  • I could tell you it is, but in the it not the truth that matters? Bootloader = almost assuredly locked.
  • :((( i hope you're wrong but i suspect you're right it *used to be* that TMo was friendly to hackers (and htc too) -- i think that day is gone
  • Still looking forward to the EVO 3D.
  • I really like this phone a lot. I am currently on Verizon and still no dual core LTE phones in sight. May just switch to T-mo to get this phone.
  • i'm curious - does anybody know? some phones have a wifi hotspot -- i'm not seeing this feature in any of the reviews does this phone have that??