HTC Sensation 4G

Yep. It’s been a while since my last post again… not that I’ve forgotten about ye old blog. Things have been a bit hectic and stressful as of late (stories best told over adult beverages), leaving me with little time or energy for blogging. I also started running again in preparation for three (yes, THREE) half marathons between the first week of December and the last week of January. Somehow in there, John Hawkins and I managed to launch VegasTechEvents.com, a clearinghouse for exactly what it says — Vegas Tech Events.

Being as I’m on the go so much, having a good “smart” phone is a necessity to keep those emails and tweets coming in.

Sidenote: Really? Phones aren’t smart. They’re pretty dumb. They just sit there unless you tell them what to do. It’s the whole “intelligent lighting” argument from circa 2000 all over again.

So when T-Mobile asked me if I wanted to try out their new HTC Sensation 4G phone, I said “Heck yeah!” I needed to replace my ailing MyTouch 3G that kept rebooting… over… and over… and over again. About every 3 weeks I had to factory reset the MyTouch and start over again. Plain bad juju when you’re using the phone for both work and personal.

I had already decided to either get the HTC Sensation 4G or The G2x and stay with T-Mo, or jump ship and get an iPhone that wasn’t with AT&T (long story about that as well. Let’s just say, AT&T customer service has nothing on T-Mo’s customer service. Never have. Never will without a good kick in the pants.) I’m the type of person who would love to have the latest and greatest, but instead I pay off school loans and hold on to phones for 2 years.

Enter new phone. Speedy. Light. Brighter and better screen. As with all tech toys, the first 2-3 weeks are pure infatuation and exploration — oh, look! Bright and shiny! — which is why I wanted to wait to review the Sensation until the fascination wore off. Being familiar with the Android OS and prior experience with an HTC phone, it didn’t take long for me to learn the Sensation. Plugged in my gmail account and there were my contacts. From the Android Market, I could see what apps I downloaded and send them to the new phone. Total time of set-up, approximately 2 hours due to entering passwords to each individual app account (if needed). Not bad!

Download speed on the phone is good. I’m not a numbers girl, but larger app downloads took about 25% of the time it used to on the old phone (my own judgement, not timed or scientific). I rarely have a problem on any phone with memory since I dump off photos and unused apps on a fairly regular schedule. Apps run very well, and I no longer have the mail storage problems of the last phone. I also love the fact that it’s equipped with wi-fi calling that can take over when signal is weak. This is key in my condo since it’s a 3-story concrete block building with another 3-story concrete block building about 20′ away. The cell tower is less than a half mile away and would often have calls drop if I moved around the house. But no longer! Wi-fi calling has made that disappear!

Battery life? Excellent. Can only remember twice in the past month where I totally killed the battery and that was after long days / nights of photos, tweeting, and blogging events.

I’ve taken a number of photos, as well as a few videos in various light conditions. Other than having the settings incorrect for a few videos (which was operator error), they all turned out very crisp in both detail and color.

Things that I dislike about the phone?

  • The speakerphone volume is lacking. You set it down and the speaker gets muffled on the back of the phone. Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy!
  • Unlocking the phone is a bit weird with the bounding bubble that needs to be flicked.
  • To answer a call, it’s not just tapping the green incoming call button, it requires the green call button to drop into the bounding bubble. It’s easy enough to accidentally ignore a call by accidentally dragging the red button into the bubble instead. I’m not a person with fat fingers, but I can certainly see usability improvements needed to the unlock / call answer process.
  • Pre-loaded and default functionality apps that aren’t the users preferred app. And no way to easily remove said apps to increase the memory on the phone. I’m looking at you, HTC Facebook app and Peep.

Overall, it’s a pretty solid phone in both software and hardware if you don’t mind dealing with HTC Sense. In the past 2 months, I never had a problem with T-Mobile service dropping calls or not being available (ahem, AT&T), and always spoke with pleasant customer service reps both on the phone and in their stores. I have been a T-Mobile customer on and off since 2000-ish when AT&T let the ball drop the first time (would’ve stayed the missing 3 years if it wasn’t for company preference — that’s when AT&T dropped the customer service ball the second time). Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan of the proposed merger because of my previous experiences, and have been following the path through the DOJ antitrust proceedings very closely.

Would I recommend this phone? Yep, if you need a powerful “smart” phone for both business and personal use with rather good multi-media features as well.

Disclosure of Material Connection: The HTC Sensation 4G mentioned above was loaned to me from T-Mobile for two months for review purposes, and for free (also included a Screaming Superfly Monkey and T-shirt — squee!). I was already an existing T-Mobile customer, and continued to pay my monthly service fees during the review period. The opinions I have expressed are my own and — since I’m only human — can be flawed and in no way reflect the views of T-Mobile, HTC, or other affiliated companies. I was not required to write a positive review. For more information or a full list of features of this phone and services provided by T-Mobile, please visit their site, visit your local store, or call their customer service line. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Sara Written by:

I'm an Information Architect and Taxonomist in the greater Philadelphia, PA area. Mad about metadata. Incessant organizer. Knowledge monger. Information seeker. Wisdom chaser. Curiosity has yet to kill this cat!