HANDS ON: HTC Sensation XL

Following in the footsteps of the HTC Sensation XE - say "hello!" to the Sensation XL. HTC has just shown off its latest smartie, and in a nutshell it's half Titan, half Sensation XE.


We've had a play around with it and bar the obvious Android features it did remind us an awful lot of its sibling – the Windows Phone 7-powered Titan. Like its titanic brother, it's a huge device, sizing up at 132.5x70.7x9.9mm and weighing 162g. It packs a massive 4.-7-inch SLCD Gorilla glass display (480x800), which almost covers the entire face (saving room for a thin strip of touch-sensitive Android keys running across the bottom). It's got a super bright display, and while its resolution might not sound that impressive for a screen so big, webpages looked crystal clear.


Also like the Titan, it's powered from a 1.5GHz single-core processor, but has a bit more RAM (768MB instead of 512MB). It's a speedy device for sure, and the latest Gingerbread 2.3 layered with HTC's own Sense 3.5 whizzed along with gusto. The XL comes with 16GB of memory on-board for all that music and video you'll want to stick on it.


Its snapping prowess also matches that of the Titan's - the front holds a 1.3-megapixel jobby for video calls and self-portraits, while the back houses an eight-megapixel monster with a 28mm lens and f/2.2 aperture and dual-LED flash so you'll be able to get the wide angle shots and take high quality pictures in low light. We took a few pictures in dim lighting and were impressed with the clarity – it's a far cry from the mediocre HTC cameras of old.


It can also record in 720p, and packs all the usual high-end phone features - HSDPA, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, and DLNA for wirelessly streaming files.


So far, so good, but all so similar. It's when you whack your tunes up and stick the headphones on that the XL – excels. Like the XE it comes with the super advanced Beats Audio system so, as HTC puts it, you'll be able to hear the music as the artist intended for you to hear it. The phone will come with the same superb Beats Audio in-ear headphones as the XE, but there'll also be a limited edition with the over-ear Solo headphones.


It's due to hit the shops sometimes in November, which is when we'll give it a thorough review.

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