As expected, HTC has unveiled the HTC Sensation, the company's new dual-core flagship, at its London event today. The phone previously known as the HTC Pyramid is headed for a global launch in May/June 2011 - with Vodafone as lead European carrier, T-Mobile USA (as the HTC Sensation 4G with, as the name suggests, HSPA+ connectivity) in the US, and on various Asian carriers (tbc). The Sensation has a Desire HD scale 4.3-inch touchscreen only running at qHD 540 x 960 resolution.
That's paired with a 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM 8260 processor, 768MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, a microSD card slot and a slick unibody aluminum chassis. Finished in a subtle three-tone on the back - three shades of either gray or subdued purple - and with a Gorilla Glass toughened fascia with slightly concave edges (to lift the screen off the table and avoid scratches, as well as to give the finger some physical feedback during scrolling) the Sensation measures in at 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm and weighs 148g with the standard 1,520 mAh battery.
Connectivity includes HSPA/WCDMA, quadband GSM, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, a 3.5mm headphone socket and a microUSB port with MHL support for HDMI output (using a special dongle). There'll also be GPS/AGPS, a gyro, G-sensor, digital compass, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor, along with an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and a dual-LED flash on the back, and a VGA front-facing camera for video calls above the display.
OS is Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread with the latest iteration of HTC Sense on top. That gets a new, infinitely-scrolling homescreen carousel as on the HTC Flyer, together with a new Smart Lockscreen. The latter adds four user-assignable shortcuts to the lockscreen, which can be activated by dragging them to a Launcher Ring at the bottom of the screen; that automatically unlocks the phone and opens the relevant app. Various presets are on offer, ranging from a 3D clock or weather display, through social networking updates from Friend Stream or images pulled from Flickr (dragging either of which to the Launcher Ring automatically opens them in the relevant app), to stocks/shares which rise or fall up the display according to the movement of the markets.
The Sensation will also be the first HTC smartphone to offer HTC Watch, the company's movie/TV show rental and purchase store. Supporting carrier billing (with certain carriers) or credit card payments, HTC Watch offers 600+ titles at launch from major studios. Trailers can be previewed over WiFi or 3G, while full purchases must be downloaded over WiFi; thanks to some smart buffering playback of the latter starts in just 10s. Up to five HTC devices - though not PCs, Macs or anything else - can be registered to a single HTC Watch account (you can add/remove one device per 30 day period) with access to the Digital Locker cloud store of bought or rented content.
The 8-megapixel camera supports 1080p Full HD video capture complete with stereo sound, and the Sensation can use the same microphone array for active noise cancellation during calls. A Video Trimmer app will allow for minor edits before sharing. HTC has also spent some time fettling the camera app to load quicker and take photos more swiftly, so as to reduce the number of missed opportunities, and there's touch focus support as well. Full specs in the gallery below.
We'll have our hands-on report with the HTC Sensation very soon!
HTC UNVEILS MULTIMEDIA SUPERPHONE, THE HTC SENSATION™
HTC continues to introduce advanced entertainment capabilities with the introduction of HTC Watch on the HTC Sensation
LONDON – April 12, 2011 – HTC Corporation, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today introduced the HTC Sensation, a smartphone that shines a spotlight on entertainment with HTC’s new HTC Watch™ video service. Crafted with premium design elements, the HTC Sensation features the company’s latest HTC Sense™ experience that puts people at the center by making their smartphones work in a more simple and natural way.
“Smartphones have evolved into pocket-sized entertainment centers that enable people to take their favorite content with them wherever they go,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “The HTC Sensation takes this even further by combining the great new HTC Watch entertainment experience with the latest HTC Sense experience to deliver a powerful, evolved multimedia smartphone to our customers.”
“The HTC Sensation integrates multimedia content with relevant, thoughtful features, bringing an exciting new dimension to Vodafone’s smartphone range. The HTC Sensation will be available first in key Vodafone markets from Q2,” said Patrick Chomet, Vodafone’s Group Terminals Director. “The strength of Vodafone and HTC’s partnership is a marker of our commitment to offer our customers truly compelling and market-leading mobile experiences.”
Premium Design and Materials
Tapping into HTC’s trademark design language, the HTC Sensation’s premium look and feel is enhanced by its rounded edges, aluminum unibody construction and the touch screen surface is protected by a contoured screen that feels more natural as a finger is glided across it. The 4.3-inch qHD display delivers high-resolution widescreen viewing and gives the HTC Sensation slender proportions that feel natural in a person’s hand. At the heart of the HTC Sensation beats a powerful, 1.2-gigahertz dual-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor, which enables gorgeous graphics and all-around fast performance.
Complementing the HTC Sensation’s premium design is the latest HTC Sense experience that boasts a host of new features and enhancements, helping people to have more fun and get more done. For instance, HTC Sense introduces a customizable active lockscreen experience that transforms the lockscreen into a real-time window to the most important information and content, such as social updates, photos, weather or stock updates that are viewed by simply turning on the display. In addition, the new active lockscreen becomes a customizable gateway that lets people quickly jump to the most used features, like making a phone call, sending an email, taking a picture or anything else with the same quick gesture usually used to unlock the phone. For instance, the camera can be launched right from the lock screen with a single motion, saving precious seconds when you’re trying to capture the action. Sharper graphics, vibrant animations and new widgets make HTC Sense look better than ever and, by continuing to focus on all of the aspects, both large and small, that make HTC Sense special, HTC introduces a more cinematic and immersive weather experience with stunning imagery and audible weather effects.
HTC Sense also makes it easy to have fun by enabling people to capture and share special moments. The HTC Sensation’s 8-megapixel camera doesn’t just shoot gorgeous photos but, with the new instant capture feature, lets people capture the moments they want without worrying about missing or keeping up with the action. The HTC Sensation also shoots full HD video in 1080p resolution, with full stereo sound, at up to 30 frames a second, giving you smooth video that is better than many other phones. With the new Video Trimmer tool, people can crop their clips to the perfect size for easy sharing with friends and family.
The HTC Sensation is a smartphone that is built from the ground up for a sophisticated, evolved multimedia experience. The 4.3” widescreen display means that users can watch movies like they were meant to be seen – in their full cinematic glory, with no cropping or letterboxing. The HTC Sensation is also the first smartphone to feature HTC Watch – an application and service that puts an entire library of the latest, premium movies and TV shows right at your fingertips, letting people discover the latest video content in an easy and visually engaging way. HTC Watch uses progressive download technology that makes it possible to watch videos without waiting for a huge file to finish downloading. HTC Watch offers the choice of renting or buying videos, and if purchased, lets you watch them on up to five different HTC devices.
The HTC Sensation will be broadly available through Vodafone across major European markets. It will also be available in Asian markets in Q2 2011.