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HTC Sensation XL

 HTC Sensation XL Available now
6th October 2011

The bigger brother to the new Sensation XE, the HTC Sensation XL is just what the name suggests - an extra large version of the already powerful Sensation smartphone.

The key feature here is the 4.7" 480 x 800 pixel Gorilla Glass touchscreen display, coupled with a 1.5 GHz single-core processor and 768MB of RAM and 16GB of non-expandable flash memory. On the back is an 8 megapixel camera with a large 28mm lens and dual LED flash, capable of 720p HD video recording. On the front is a 1.3 megapixel camera to make video calls with.

In many ways, the HTC Sensation XL can be regarded as the Android version of the forthcoming Windows-based HTC TITAN, another powerful big-screen smartphone.

This is an Android 2.3 smartphone with all the usual features that you'd expect to see from an HTC Android device. The Sensation XL includes Beats Audio for improved sound quality.. sound quality so good that HTC spent $300m securing the rights to use it.

Despite the large display and fast processor, the HTC Sensation XL isn't quite the monster that the Samsung Galaxy Note is when it comes to size and performance, but the HTC is certainly a nicer looking handset with significantly better audio capabilities.

 HTC Sensation XL All the usual Android features are here such as GPS, WiFi, 3.5G connectivity, Bluetooth, USB support, a 3.5mm audio socket and a massive library of applications available from the Android Market. With the fast processor and large amount of RAM, you can be sure that the Sensation XL will cope with everything that you can throw at it.

At 162 grams and 133 x 71 x 10mm, the Sensation XL is a little on the large and heavy side, but that's the price you pay for a big display. Inside is a large 1600 mAh battery which HTC say can provide up to 6.8 hours talktime and 15 days of standby time on 3G, but you may get substantially less depending on what you use your phone for.

It's a shame that the Sensation XL doesn't have expandable memory. Although there's 16GB of internal flash, after the OS has taken some of it there is less than 13GB available for the user. That is quite a lot, but recently Apple raised the stakes with a massive 64GB of memory in the new iPhone 4S.

This is a powerful and very desirable device, but it has the misfortune of being the first major product announcement after the iPhone 4S. Although the Sensation XL's big screen is something the new iPhone can't manage, we feel that Apple's new iOS 5  HTC Sensation XL makes Android 2.3 look a bit old-fashioned. Also, next week we may be seeing the first Android 4.0 launch with a new Nexus handset from Samsung, and the rumours are that the end of the month may see the first official announcement of Nokia's new Windows Phone line. So, impressive though the XL is, the competition has become more intense.

HTC say that the Sensation XL should start shipping in early November in Europe and Asia Pacific countries. There will also be a limited edition package including special edition Beats Solo headphones. No guidance was given on price, but we would expect the Sensation XL to retail for about €650 at launch, SIM free.

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HTC Sensation XL at a glance

Available:

November 2011

Network:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 850 / 900 / 2100

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSPA + WiFi

Screen:

4.7" 480 x 800 pixels

Camera:

8 megapixels (main)

0.3 megapixels (sub)

Size:

Large tablet smartphone
133 x 71 x 10mm / 163 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

None (16GB internal)

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Optional

GPS:

Yes

OS:

Android 2.3

Battery life:

6.8 hours talk / 15 days standby (3G)

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