CNET is available in the following editions:
Read our full review
Add your review
Good: Big and comfortable Screen, Good Display, fast Processor, Good phone sound and reception quality
Bad: Battery could have been maybe ....1950 to 2100ma, Internal memory could have been 4 GB and RAM 1GB
Comment: I have been using this phone for the last 15 Days. I sold my LG 2X , what a pathetic Phone that was, to go back to my dear HTC and HTC's not let me down with the XE.For sure the best Smart Phone in the market that my hard earned money can buy. If I am going to pay this much for a smart phone then I better not go for a Plastic Box masquadering as a Smart Phone and buy a smart Phone which has the solid feel of an expensive Phone , and to top it you get a faster 1.5 GHZ Dual core processor and absolutely Great Nusic quality then why even look beyond the XE. I did , honestly for a very brief moment did commit a grave sin and fleetingly thought about the S II, but Boy am I glad that I did not given to my mis placed judgement. I really really sorely missed the HTC Sense UI of HTC, its unmatched its intutive and it's brilliant. Oh How greedy one can get , I am now awaiting the IC sandwich update on this phone.
Good: Its looks, features, usability... the fact its not an iphone..
Bad: Cant fault it..
Comment: I have now had this phone for 2 weeks and cant understand the average reviews.. people saying that the screen washes out when viewed from an angle?? it doesn't, but when do you look at your phone like that anyway? the sense UI interface is seamless and much prettier that Iphone basic menu. Compared to the S2 there isn't a lot between them, yes the S2 may be slightly quicker Online, although the sensation is super fast anyway, and you can view its screen at acute angles. (??). but compare the build quality (which lets be honest is more important because its got to last up to 2years) its miles ahead. the S2 feels cheap and flimsy where as the sensation xe feels like its carved out of a solid piece of aluminium. Some people also said about the keyboard, for a start you can change what type you have, which you cant do on an Iphone either, and its completely user friendly. and never had an issue with it.
Good: Music quality, ICS update in January, Screen, Power, HTC Sense, Internet speed
Bad: Keyboard could be improved
Comment: I previously owned the HTC HD2 and hated it, but decided that I'd give HTC another chance to impress with this device, blaming my previous problems on the Windows OS as otherwise the HD2 was a beautiful phone and showed how HTC really have a superior build quality to all other brands I can think of.
The Sensation XE though is incredible, I absolutely love everything about it. The music quality through it, for someone as into music as I am anyway, really sells this phone for me - undoubtedly it has the best music player of any phone on the market. The screen on this phone too is superb and makes for an excellent video player. It has excellent definition, but most notably is bright and vivid unlike any phone I've seen - even when compared to the S2's super AMOLED screen I preferred this one, but that's just me.
The sense operating system is beautiful too, I love how smooth it makes everything seem to work. This smoothness is aided by the ready-for-the-future 1.5GHz processor which I'm sure will be able to run even the most demanding apps and games when I upgrade in 2 years. The internet on the phone is another major plus, I download an average of 180kb/s when not on wifi, and HSDPA seems available just about everywhere. On the plan I have I even occasionally use the device as a router, and get an extremely quick connection on my laptop this way, it's faultless here.
The only minor (and it's REALLY minor) flaw is that the keyboard can be a bit annoying sometime. It's certainly beaten by the S2 for texting here, then again everything is. Sometimes you also find it adding words to the dictionary that were just spelling errors and that can be really annoying when it comes up in predictive text in the future. Still, even though the S2 beats it here, and for most people beats it on the screen too, it is dominated in every other aspect. Particularly, the Sensation XE is in a league only shared by a couple of fellow HTC devices when it comes to build quality. Where with the S2 you feel like you're holding a cheap bit of plastic that also functions as a smartphone, with the XE you really feel like you're getting an expensive and well-built piece of kit. It looks stunning too, the black and red with Beats labelling is guaranteed to turn heads even if the whopping 4.3" screen doesn't.
Finally, the XE comes supplied with a great pair of headphones, but I wouldn't recommend purchasing the phone for these. Replacing them is an absolute pain as HTC won't do it as it's not them who make them, and the store you get your phone from have to replace the entire phone and accessories to replace the earphones. This is a problem because Beats earphones, while sounding great, have probably the worst build quality of any major earphone companies out there. The 3.5mm jack on mine just fell out after 4 days use, and if you look at amazon you see that 9/10 reviews submitted my people who've actually used the earphones more than a week (ignore impulse reviews, they're useless and always either 1 or 5 stars) claim that the earphones have already broken. But, if you just go out and buy a nice pair of Shure, Sennheiser, Westone or Klipsch noise-isolating earphones, you'll find they all do a better job than the iBeats ever did and don't fall apart - fortunately the Beats audio technology still works with these on your phone too. If you're prepared to invest hundreds of pounds into a media powerhouse smartphone, you shouldn't get stingy with the headphones anyway.
Rant aside, this is an excellent phone superior to everything else on the market right now. I can't think of any genuine reasons why you'd want to get the S2 over it - unless perhaps you prefer the tacky feel of plastic or really care about saving 5 seconds on every text. If like normal people you value build quality, great software, beautiful design and reliability, you should choose this phone.
Bad: batery life, small keyboard
Comment: why my batery only can hold out for 1 day? what is the max time of charging that batery?
Good: Screen, Size, Weight, Camera, Customisability, Sound quality, HTC sense UI
Bad: Battery life
Comment: I bought this phone a week ago, and unlike most people on here, I have really enjoyed my first week with this phone. I was like most people going to get the S2, BUT upon handling the phone I thought 1) this is way to light for me 2) its too plasticky. Come on, you paying £400 odd quid for a piece of tech which is going to last you at least 1.5 years. I want to feel what I just paid for. Aside from this, the sound quality is great, screen is a good size, the processor is very nippy- I can't see why people need more ram, it hasn't yet froze on me, the camera is also good. My only real gripe with it is the battery life which is quiet poor. But I've shopped around and most the smartphones today have this problem. I am a first time android user, so I was really pleased and surprised by the level of customisation available. I've had an iphone before, and I shudder to go back.
Good: Screen Size, Music Quality.
Bad: Battery life, Keyboard layout, Android
Comment: Had an iphone 3, then 4, and thought i would jump off the apple bandwagon a fortnight ago as I am not a fanboy, so decided to get this phone over the S2. At first glance I was impressed as I left the store listening to the sample tracks provided on the glorious 'Beats' (actually re-cased monster) cans. After the excitement of the new phone had worn off I suddenly realised that I may have made a mistake. The keyboard was useless, the space bar is much smaller than you would want and it it's place a full stop button has been squashed in... The screen is not large enough at all to allow for this, therefore I constantly, and i mean all the time, hit the full stop button instead of the space bar. It became so enervating that I would call people instead of texting them because it was too much of an effort. I also came to realise two things about android.. 1) it is fantastically customisable, and, 2) it's really not very good. With a phone you want to be able to grab it out your pocked and get to where you want to go as soon as possible. I found my self delving through a barrage of different home screen, constantly hitting the google search button on the bottom left, and generally becoming more and more irritated with the OS. Anyway, after a week I ended up taking the phone back to the shop and utilising my 14 day cooling off period to exchange the phone and take out a contract on the new iPhone 4S. I haven't looked back once. For me Android is like the newly enforced traffic easing one way system in my town. Great in theory; but in practice, as you sit at lights heading in a direction that only the most disorientated of crows would fly, it makes you wish you just took the bypass instead. So to my bypass 4S. I salute you, do not change, stay simple, stay efficient.
Good: processor, headphones (apparently)
Bad: looks, screen and thickness.
Comment: I have a Galaxy S2 and watch movies and play games whilst travelling. Everything is top notch thanks to the fantastic display and a decent pair of Sound Magic pl11 phones I bought new for £14. It's super fast on Wi Fi for the net but slower on 3g. I'm sure android 4.0 ICS will come to the S2 before the HTC. I'll check out the reviews on the Galaxy Nexus when it's released, until then, you can't get better than the S2.
Good: good looking, actually works as a phone, google voice search, htc sense service, stylish UI, 1.5GHZ dual core processor makes it very snappy and smooth, sound quality better than expected
Bad: not huge leap in styling from the sensation, but i suppose its better than the leap between iPhone 4 and 4S
Comment: good quality PHONE (ie it actually it does its main function sufficiently), speedy, fairly easy to use. just what I've come to expect from a high end HTC
Comment: Sure have Bucho 2004, It's been a long journey down a road littered with IEM purchases and I started out with £30 then £70, £150, £250, £300 IEMS through the last several years noticing a vast improvement each time and was happy with my Shure SE500's until they had the dreaded cable issue and was out of warranty and then found Head-fi forums talking about Custom monitors which I thought never in a million years would I spend that much on a pair of IEM's essentially but demoed them at a dealer in London and decided instead of going on this magic roundabout of spending £150 - £300 every other year, decided to make the investment and spent several months saving up for the top model custom monitor that JHA done which will last many years to come without having to worry about finding the next reliable and perfect sounding IEM and have not looked back.
Even now the price makes me shudder sometimes as once I never contemplated spending over £150 let alone what I have for these customs but when i hear the difference between these and even a £300 pair of IEMs now it is night and day. Yet I still listen casually now and again to my dads Senn PMX250 headphones he uses for his Walkman and still enjoy a session with them. It's a road I thought I would never go down but it's funny where you end up.
But without digressing too much my point would be with HTC is to stop using a marketing gimmick that lacks the quality it perceives to be whether it £30 or £500 IEM's and invest in better hardware in general to make their music players sound better.
Good: I don`t have it so don`t know
Bad: I have no interesting in better base or `Beats` whoever they are.
Comment: Just wanted to say that I can`t see this doing all that well just because it`s got boom bass and a 1.5 processor over 1.2 (which isn`t much if you know about PC processers in general). To me, a processor isn`t worth it until it goes to 2 ghz then 3, etc.
But I have the Galazy S2 now and am very happy with it and intend to keep it for 2 years or longer.
And I certainly won`t pay even £100 for headphones!
HTC will have to do something a lot more substantial and less airy gimmicky to get me looking anywhere else.
Log in with your CNET UK or Facebook account to post a user review, or click Join to create an account
Please log in, register or login with Facebook to add a review or comment
Ask your Facebook friends and Twitter followers if you should buy the HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio
More Mobile Phones in Crave
About CBS Interactive
Copyright © 2013 CBS Interactive Limited. All rights reserved.