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printed November 27, 2014
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Review: HTC Sensation 4G

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  2  

Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

HTC apparently hasn't exhausted its gray-on-brown-on-gray design language, because the Sensation 4G is another phone from the Taiwanese company to make use of what has become HTC's hallmark look. In keeping with today's superphones, it is large in all dimensions, but thanks to some thoughtful design ideas, it doesn't feel as ginormous as some of the other 4.3-inch monsters in the market. In fact, it is barely bigger than an iPhone 4. It uses uni-body aluminum construction for added strength.

Comfortably rounded curves along the back edges allow the Sensation 4G to be gripped easily. It feels really good in the hand, and the quality of materials is top-notch. No skimping on build quality, here. Is the Sensation 4G pocket friendly? You betcha!

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

I love what HTC has done with the front of the Sensation 4G. It has given the front edge encircling the face of the Sensation 4G a slight lift to protect the screen when the Sensation 4G is placed face down on a flat surface. We're not talking an obtrusive, hard edge, we're talking the most gentle of chins, that feels comfortable on your thumb when using the device, when you notice it at all. The end result should be fewer scratches on the display. The four typical Android controls are capacitive buttons below the display. They offer haptic feedback.

As is typical of an HTC handset, there are barely any buttons to mar the outer edges. On the left, you'll find HTC's sliver of a volume toggle. It feels better than most of HTC's previous volume toggles, and has excellent travel and feedback. The only other button is the power/lock key on the top. HTC couldn't have done a better job with this button, it works perfectly. The 3.5mm headset jack is also on the top, and the microUSB port is on the left side, below the volume toggle.

HTC's engineers and designers obviously like to have a little fun at our expense. The Sensation 4G is yet another handset with a deceptively difficult battery compartment to open. I have a feeling they put test group subjects in a white, square room with a chair, table, the Sensation 4G, and a two-way mirror and then watch to see how long it takes the test subjects to figure it out, just for fun. I had to break out a knife to get enough leverage, which is never a good sign.

The battery, SIM card and microSD card are all packed under the battery cover, and the microSD card isn't too much trouble to remove.

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