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Gadgets & Home Improvement

HTC Sensation XE

The HTC Sensation XE is an upgrade from its predecessor, the HTC Sensation
The Straits Times - December 21, 2011
By: Sherwin Loh
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HTC Sensation XE

In the case of the HTC Sensation XE, newer is mostly better.

In fact, think of it as an upgrade, both in hardware and design, from its predecessor, the jet-black Sensation.

The Sensation XE bears a slightly grey tone with red trimmings to subtly highlight the inclusion of Beats Audio.

For the uninitiated, this is a brand of premium headphones made in collaboration with musician Dr Dre and distributed by Monster Cable, the high-end home-audio brand.

HTC bought a 51 per cent controlling stake in August and this is the first HTC device to bear the co-branding.

The unit comes with a pair of iBeats earphones that works with the Beats audio enhancements built into the device.

Despite the fancy additions, the software enhancements will work with just about any other earphones. So, get this phone only if you are sold on the Beats by Dr. Dre brand.

Personally, I prefer using my own pair of earphones and the use of enhancements is really up to the individual.

The moment you start a track, the Beats Audio enhancement comes on. If you disable it, the sound is more muted but, really, louder does not always make a track sound better.

One thing I found slightly troubling is that users have only a choice of listening to songs with or without the Beats Audio enhancement.

On my older HTC Desire HD, I could choose Dolby Mobile, SRS enhancement or no effects at all.

Now, I am unsure if disabling Beats Audio here places the music back in the no-effects category or if the songs go through some HTC enhancement.

And what if users prefer using Dolby Mobile for some music genres?

Hardware-wise, the Sensation XE boasts a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, compared to the 1.2GHz dual-core of the original. This performs tasks faster.

However, you will be hard pressed to notice any significant changes unless you continually push the device to run apps simultaneously.

As for the HTC user interface, HTC Sense, there are now some additions, like enhancement features for the camera when you take photos and an icon-based interface with the photo gallery.

It is more streamlined than before, though features like Friend Stream, which aggregates updates from your social network, do not work as well as independent apps.


  • $868, without contract
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz Scorpion processor
  • 4.3-inch S-LCD screen
  • 8-megapixel camera
  • Android 2.3.4 operating system




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