This phone is so brand spanking new that it was announced just a day before we first held it in our palms.
The Htc Sensation Xe is a shiny new release that lets you catch up on the latest from HTC Android lineup.
A luxury edition for audiophiles with some extra kick squeezed out of the CPU.
Old song to a new tune, if you will.
But we wouldn’t frown at the sound of it.
After all, it's the sound that counts.
It ad here to the sensational Htc Sensation's template, but with the addition of ear pleasing beats audio processing and a few spec upgrades.
You needn't be an audiophile to enjoy the new profile, but you will need a set of beats audio headphones.
Thankfully, a pair come with the device.
In our tests so far, we've noticed a real difference, with the tinny edge of Htc's sound enhancer diminished, the crispness of sounds augmented and the only potential grounds for minor quibbles being the ear canal shaking levels of bass.
The good news continues elsewhere, with a 1730mAh battery that should have more staying power than the original sensation, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor to keep the experience smooth and an eye-pleasing design.
Treat your senses and check out the full review when it lands.
Beats Audio is a big part of the deal in the new Sensation Xe.
Htc have teamed up with Beats by Dr. Dre to boost the phone's credentials to audio purists.
There's special sound processing on the inside and a Monster iBeats headset in the box.
The other things they tinkered with are the processor and battery.
The two cores are now ticking at 1.5 GHz and the battery's been beefed up to 1730 mAh.
The rest is familiar but by no means boring.
The Htc Sensation is a dual-core super droid with a massive 4.3 qHD touchscreen, 8MP stills and Full HD video.
Key features :
Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support
14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
4.3" 16M-color capacitive LCD touchscreen of qHD resolution (540 x 960 pixels); Gorilla glass
Android OS v2.3 Gingerbread with HTC Sense 3.0
1.5 GHz dual Scorpion CPUs, Adreno 220 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 chipset
768 MB RAM and 1 GB of app storage
Beats audio enhancement and premium Monster ibeats headset
8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash; face detection and geotagging
1080p and 720p video recording @ 30fps
Wi-Fi b/g/n and DLNA
GPS with A-GPS
Stereo FM radio with RDS
microSD slot up to 32GB (16 GB card included)
Accelerometer, proximity and ambient light sensor
Front facing camera with video calls
Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v3.0
MHL TV-out (requires a MHL-to-HDMI adapter)
Smart dialing, voice dialing
DivX/XviD video support
HTC Locations app
HTC Portable Hotspot
Ultra-fast boot times (if you don’t remove battery)
Office document editor
Death grip issues for both GSM and Wi-Fi radios
Less than impressed with the screen's outdoor performance
Unimpressive camera results
No dedicated camera key
microSD is under the battery cover (you'll lose all wireless signal when open the cover)
Sony Ericsson did it with the Xperia arc S and Samsung must've lost count of the Galaxy S sequels.
Why have one flagship when you can have two seems to be the common thinking.
The XE is not a replacement of the original Sensation.
It's a special edition with very specific targeting.
Brand spanking new - yes! Groundbreaking - no! Worth it?
Well, we're about to see.
The build and finish are nearly identical to the original model, but for the BeatsAudio logo and red color accents.
Those seem to make quite a lot of difference and to us the Sensation XE is the better looking phone.
And Htc did well to make it easily recognizable.
The Sensation Xe has a very specific target and the original Sensation can only benefit from a price drop - albeit a minor one.
There's a six month gap between the two.
Too soon for releasing a massive upgrade but enough time for the initial excitement to wane.
It's a sensible move from Htc to try and rekindle the love.
And they did well to give the new version a unique selling feature.
But is it worth the extra asking price?
Always a legitimate question, this one is even more pertinent given Htc's usually steep pricing.
To be fair though, the Monster headset alone pretty much offsets the premium.
Well, anyone can do their own math.
The usual set of benchmarks, audio and screen tests, and image samples will help us know the Sensation XE better.
As usual though, we start with the hardware.
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
HSDPA 900 / 1700 / 2100
Announced 2011, September
Status Available. Released 2011, October
Dimensions :126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm (4.96 x 2.57 x 0.44 in)
Weight 151 g (5.33 oz)
Type S-LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 540 x 960 pixels, 4.3 inches (~256 ppi pixel density)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass
Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
3.5mm jack Yes
Card slot microSD, up to 32GB
Internal 4 GB (1 GB user available), 768 MB RAM
GPRS Up to 80 kbps
EDGE Up to 236.8 kbps
Speed HSDPA, 14.4 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v3.0 with A2DP
USB Yes, microUSB (MHL) v2.0
Primary 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging, touch-focus, image stabilization, face detection, instant capture
Video Yes, 1080p@30fps, stereo sound recording, check quality
Secondary Yes, VGA
OS Android OS, v2.3.4 (Gingerbread), upgradable to v4.0
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon
CPU Dual-core 1.5 GHz Scorpion
GPU Adreno 220
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email
Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, Adobe Flash
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Beats Audio :
TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
SNS integration :
Google Search, Maps, Gmail
YouTube, Google Talk, Picasa integration
Predictive text input
Standard battery, Li-Ion 1730 mAh
Stand-by Up to 310 h (2G) / Up to 540 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 9 h 16 min (2G) / Up to 7 h 20 min (3G)
MISC Price group
Display Contrast ratio: 752:1 (nominal)
Loudspeaker Voice 65dB / Noise 65dB / Ring 76dB
Audio quality Noise -91.7dB / Crosstalk -90.7dB
Camera Photo / Video