When it came to first use, setting everything up was fairly simple and straightforward. It was as simple as inserting the memory card and SIM card and powering the phone on. Then came the typical set up for Android, which involved attaching the phone to a Google account and the rest was fairly simple and straightforward. We were able to set up email accounts, Gmail accounts, Facebook accounts, Ttwitter accounts, etc. very quickly and easily. There were no bugs with the initial set up and the phone could easily be purchased and in full working order within hours. This is great because it doesn’t require days of configuration and the HTC Sense UI is a big help in that respect.User Interface
The user interface is one of the most important, if not the most important, part of a cell phone nowadays. As a result of this importance, HTC has been putting a lot of effort into improving the standard Android experience with the advent of their HTC Sense user interface. This interface has been slowly evolving since its inception on early Android phones.
As we detailed before, HTC Sense UI has improved significantly in the many areas, such as the Android pull down menu as well as the revamped lock screen. This does not take into account the minor improvements and updates to the previously existing components of Sense. The Sense UI is generally designed to take up all of the panes/desktops in Android OS. The UI is highly intuitive due to its circular and graphical design. Meaning that if you get to the last pane, it does not just stop like it would on stock Android but rather rolls over to the first pane on the other side and vice-versa. Also, the sliding animations have become more graphically intensive and aesthetically pleasing, while also improving the fluidity of the animation which was not as smooth in the past. There is no hesitation or graphical stuttering when switching from pane to pane and the response to touch when switching between panes is almost flawless.
Furthermore, the personalization features and options are nearly limitless and provide both quality and quantity when it comes to getting Sense UI to function and appear as desired. Because of HTC’s HTC Hub application, you can easily download more high quality non-stock Sense UI widgets, skins, and wallpapers.
Calling and Reception
When it came to calling and reception the HTC Sensation did not falter. It provided crystal clear audio quality as well as good signal strength in places where T-Mobile has that level of service. We noticed that we did not experience great signal strength in our area as we were not in a location that had that many towers. Overall, though the signal strength appeared to be strong and only slightly lagged behind our HTC G2, which actually had slightly better reception; -85dba rather than -91dba in the exact same area. This could be due in part to the fact that the phone has a different antenna design than the G2, but it does not in any way affect the performance of the phone.
Since this is a 4G phone, we found ourselves obligated to evaluate the HSPA+ ‘4G’ data reception and speeds. The reason we label it ‘4G’ is simply because it really isn’t a ‘4G’ technology but rather marketed as such. It is more akin to 3.9G or an approximate equivalent. It is not quite 4G, as it must be considered that it is simply an updated brother or sister of HSPA which is officially known as 3.5G. The HSPA+ coverage was approximately 90% of areas where we had coverage. Most of the areas where HSPA+ coverage was not available were generally inside of buildings or in poor coverage areas. Otherwise, HSPA+ coverage was good. In addition, we had some very high speed results that we managed to pull from Speedtest.net’s app for Android. The result that we found on most tests was approximately 6 or 7Mbp/s download and between 2 and 3Mbps/s upload. This is just one of the many tests we ran, although this one was actually done indoors with mediocre signal strength.
With these speeds were we operating on -91dba signal strength with an ASU of 10. We found that at times the upload speeds would occasionally drop down to around 400-500Kbps rather than the speedier 2-3Mbps that we generally experienced.
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