New Sensation 4G user - initial thoughts....

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Thread: New Sensation 4G user - initial thoughts....

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    Android Lurker Deaj's Avatar
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    New Sensation 4G user - initial thoughts....

    Hello all!I am new to this forum. Thought I'd post my initial thoughts after spending a little time with my new T-Mobile / HTC Sensation 4G.


    A litthe background first: I'm not new to smartphones & PDA's. I've carried some form of one, the other, or both over the last 15 years be it PalmOS, Windows Mobile, Nokia Internet Tablets, Blackberry, and/or Apple iOS. Each had/has its pros and cons. Of these I've preferred the Apple iOS for its intuitive interface, seamless implementation, and stability. The closed system and interface config are a bit tired but the whole thing works and works well. The other platforms mentioned fell short of this mark for me.The HTC Sensation 4G is my first Android OS device. For better or worse I'm with T-Mobile (BECU member discount, locked-in price guarantees from 2006 when I started with T-Mobile - this sounds negative but overall I've been pleased with them). This limited my choices in Android phones of course. After considerable research (here, other user forums, reviews, etc.) I came to the conclusion that the Sensation 4G was the device to go with.So far I could not be more pleased with this phone! I had my concerns over the speakerphone volume / sound quality, call clarity, battery life, contacts, and various glitches reported by some users but so far I have not been able to make the Sense interface or OS do anything to destabilize the operation of the device and call quality is more than satisfactory for me. The speakerphone volume is low but not unusable in situations where I would use it. Use with my Bluetooth earpiece has been trouble free and, again, call quality is more than satisfactory (I'm rather utilitarian about voice communication - if we can hear and understand each other than it works perfectly for me).


    Thoughts on some specific functions and features:


    Sense 3.0 interface - pretty slick! The carousel approach to accessing a personalized set of features seems gimmicky but it's useful just the same. Once I got it set up in a way that seems intuitive for me I've found it to be quick and convenient. I had to poke around a bit to find a few settings while customizing the interface but overall it was a painless process with very positive results. The lock screen works well for me. I've had no trouble answering incoming calls or accessing the device quickly. I have yet to fail to accomplish either on the first swipe (ring up or app to ring). Time will tell but so far I like it.


    Web browser - the integrated web browser works pretty well, certainly well enough to serve my use (so far). I've noticed no deficiencies that would affect my usage. I'm pretty pleased with it so far.


    Email app - no strong opinions about it one way or the other. It does what I need it to do (provides access to three email accounts with no issues). I'not done more than read incoming messages and use embedded links for phone numbers, email addresses, and web URLs. I've not had occasion to handle any attachments yet.


    Contacts - I have a bit of a mess to clean up as the T-Mobile store rep saved my sim stored contacts to the phone which are a near duplication of the contacts I have synched to mytmobile.com. Now I have duplicates - some with outdated info. Outside of this hiccup (no fault of the device) contacts seem to work well in the phone and email apps.


    Calendar - love it! Not much more to say. Does what I need it to do and it's easy to use.


    WiFi calling - nice! Service is sketchy at my house. WiFi calling resolves this so far. Love this function!


    Mobile Hotspot - this was a big selling point for me. My wife, son and I spend every weekend away during the summer and we're out and about quite a bit otherwise. My wife has a WiFi only iPad 2 and my son and I both have 4th gen iTouch handhelds. Being able to share this service while on the go is fantastic! I'm actually using it as a mobile Hotspot for web access to my iTouch to post this message (at Samish Island, WA - no other web access here).


    8MP camera / LED flash / 1080p video capture - picture quality is better than I'd expected from a phone camera. Flash works well as does auto-focus. My initial testing with the camcorder yielded nice results as well. I've not done any work in low light yet though. I've also yet to make use of the front facing VGA camera.


    GPS - so far it has been accurate enough to be useful. I've not done much with it yet nut I have checked the map while at varoius points on our way to the island and it showed my location on the map correctly. Lots more testing / use to go before I'll know how well it truly works.


    Touchscreen responsiveness and input - so far I find the capacitive touchscreen to as responsive as the Apple touchscreen devices (IOW perfect for me). Keyboard input isn't quite as good as Apple iOS but it's pretty close. It's plenty good enough to provide quick and easy input with few errors. *I'm used to the number/symbol key being on the lower-right of the keyboard, Sense/Android has it placed lower-left. Since I use both an iTouch4 and the Sensation 4G I'll have to acclimate (no big deal - it's already setting in). One nice touch on the Sensation 4G's virtual keyboard is the secondary function/character access by holding down the key - numbers without switching to the number/symbol keypad. Very useful!


    Android Market (not a Sensation 4G specific feature but new to me) - handy! Not unlike Apple's App Store. I've already equipped the phone with all of the tools needed to function as a full PDA. I'm sure more apps will be installed in the future but for now it's lean and mean.


    ...and finally, Battery life - the device is new so I can't report any meaningful data but my general sense is that battery life is quite good - especially with the bright and beautiful qHD screen. I've been able to get all day battery life with moderate use browsing the web on WiFi, 2G, & 4G, mobile hotspot use (in use now), WiFi and network calling (handset, speakerphone, and Bluetooth earpiece) and mucking about in Sense learning my way around the interface & personalizing with screen set to auto brightness. I'm impressed considering the relative brightness of the screen and use of various network functions / protocols.


    I literally cannot think of a single completely negative thing to relay about this phone. This may change over time (I rather expect it will sooner or later - all mobile devices have room for improvement). Sense compares favorably against Apple iOS4 IMO and for my use it's looking like the better interface.


    One last comment: T-Mobile tried twice to push their handset insurance at $8 per month. My monthly bill for three lines is very reasonable and I don't want that to change. I happened into a fantastic deal on a second brand new in sealed box T-Mobile/HTC Sensation 4G phone. Spare phone on hand trumps monthly insurance fee. If I never use it I can easily flip it for my purchase even after a newer model is released.That's it for now. Lots to learn from here. I hope to be able to contribute here as I become more familiar with the Sensation 4G.


    Good night all!
    Last edited by Deaj; 07-09-2011 at 11:59 AM.

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    Android Addict alphawave7's Avatar
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    As I was reading your background, I had to brace myself for what I thought would be a 'agenda'-review...how refreshing to see an accurate and well-presented review on the Sensation! Plus, we'll eventually pop your ROM cherry, and show you what Android can REALLY do!

    Welcome to the forum, Deaj! :D
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    Android Lurker Deaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphawave7 View Post
    As I was reading your background, I had to brace myself for what I thought would be a 'agenda'-review...how refreshing to see an accurate and well-presented review on the Sensation! Plus, we'll eventually pop your ROM cherry, and show you what Android can REALLY do!

    Welcome to the forum, Deaj! :D
    Thanks!

    In truth all of the devices I've used in the past were serviceable - all aided in productivity. Most didn't appeal to me in 'Smartphone' form bot only as dedicated PDA.

    Blackberry: I just couldn't warm up to these things. They work well as a PDA but I don't care for the interface and didn't particularly get along with it as a phone (that's the point isn't it?). Nothing wrong with them on the whole though. They're in widespread use for a reason. I don't like non-touchscreen PDA's and Blackberry has yet to implement a usable touchscreen UI in my opinion.

    Windows Mobile was the weakest (lag, glitches, terrible browser, etc.) but still managed to keep PDA functions out front and working well enough. WM doesn't make for a very good phone platform either IMO.

    As cool as the Nokia N800/N810's were they were under-powered, lacked available essential PDA applications, had horrible handwriting recognition, bulky, and - of course - no cell radio (never it's intended purpose and it would have made for a ridiculous phone anyway). Cool devices though.

    PalmOS was fantastic as a PDA and Graffiti1 was great (I found it to be faster than any other text input method). If PalmOS was made available in a well implemented touchscreen smartphone, though, I must have missed it. I never did make use of a PalmOS phone - just as a dedicated PDA.

    Apple iOS - well, that's a 'take the good with the bad' experience. So long as you like everything done Apple's way it works wonderfully. Even jailbroken, though, it feels limited once you try to reach beyond the capabilities of iOS. Still, I feel that Apple iOS has an extraordinarily well implemented UI - very intuitive and completely out of the way. It's the best of the bunch aforementioned IMHO.



    Android? I'm finding it a refreshing change and a definite step up from all of the devices I've used in the past. The UI appeals to me more than Apple iOS so far (being a technical-type), and I expect that rooting the Sensation will only add to this. The more I use it the more I want to use it! Great PDA so far, great phone, great, great, great!! The Sensation is (so far) everything I wanted all of the aforementioned devices to be.

    Through strange circumstances I've acquired a second HTC Sensation 4G (NIB /sealed - eBay fiasco, but a crazy good deal). Given the cost of these things and the deal I got on the second one I'm going to hold onto it as a backup just in case I unintentionally destroy this one (I've only damaged three phones/PDA'sover the past 20 years but the cost and interruption were no fun). Or.... if my wife warms up to my Sensation I can just give her the spare. Currently she prefers a smaller dedicated cell phone with a slide-out thumb board for texting and doesn't care for small'ish touchscreen devices (iTouch/iPhone for instance). She much prefers her iPad and it goes everywhere with her.

    I installed Google Maps v5 yesterday and cached, for offline use, most of the Seattle metro area close enough to capture POI's and street names. I tested it offline and it works wonderfully! Best offline map I've used to date on any device. Very pleased with this!

    Very pleased with a great many things on the Sensation actually.
    furbearingmammal likes this.

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    Android Addict alphawave7's Avatar
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    Agree with all your assessments on the 'old' tech..I came from Palm/Handspring devices too, back in the day, and while they were great for keeping track of yourself, the moment the battery died: POOF! All of your data wiped! Nothing sent me over the edge into breaking things, like having to reconstruct your billable hours from scratch for an entire month (backup? yeah..right...)! LOL! Then I discovered the then-new TMobile Sidekick...it linked to servers over the 'data connection' (okay..even before GPRS) and backed me up automagically! I was saved from a future prison sentence thanks to this development, had the B/W, then the Color, then the Sharp Version 2, and have been into 'smartphones' ever since! :D You've only scratched the surface of Android's power...look forward to hearing more revelations soon! :D
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    Super Moderator/RS furbearingmammal's Avatar
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    Android Lurker Deaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphawave7 View Post
    Agree with all your assessments on the 'old' tech..I came from Palm/Handspring devices too, back in the day, and while they were great for keeping track of yourself, the moment the battery died: POOF! All of your data wiped! Nothing sent me over the edge into breaking things, like having to reconstruct your billable hours from scratch for an entire month (backup? yeah..right...)! LOL! Then I discovered the then-new TMobile Sidekick...it linked to servers over the 'data connection' (okay..even before GPRS) and backed me up automagically! I was saved from a future prison sentence thanks to this development, had the B/W, then the Color, then the Sharp Version 2, and have been into 'smartphones' ever since! :D You've only scratched the surface of Android's power...look forward to hearing more revelations soon! :D
    The Handspring was my first PDA as well. I bought it with a small cash award I received from my employer just as the first Handspring was released and thought it might be interesting to try. Two weeks later I was dependent on a PDA and have been ever since. The Sensation 4G continues to impress! It has totally surpassed my expectation of what a smartphone should be.

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    Super Moderator/RS SLAG IT!'s Avatar
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    Then you will be happy to know that they are going to unlock bootloader. That way they will remove the bloatware.

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    Android Lurker Deaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLAG IT! View Post
    Then you will be happy to know that they are going to unlock bootloader. That way they will remove the bloatware.
    Color me happy!

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    Super Moderator/RS SLAG IT!'s Avatar
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    It may not be unlocked before September but, when it is my bet is less than 24 hours before it's properly fixed.

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