HTC's Sensation 4G vs. Samsung's Galaxy S II

Blink your eyes for a second these days, and you just might miss the launch of another wildly impressive Android smartphone.

The latest high-end handset to enter the mix is HTC's Sensation 4G, a dual-core device announced on Tuesday and coming to T-Mobile this summer. The Sensation 4G boasts a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 768MB of RAM. It has a 4.3-inch qHD display, front- and rear-facing cameras, and HD video-recording capability. The Sensation also ships with Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread -- the latest and greatest smartphone-based edition of the Android OS.

So how does the HTC Sensation 4G stack up next to other 4G Android phones already on the horizon? I compared the Sensation with Samsung's Galaxy S II, another hotly anticipated device, to get an idea of just how competitive the handset will be.

HTC Sensation 4G: The Galaxy S II Comparison

HTC Sensation 4G T-Mobile
HTC Sensation 4G
This comparison chart shows a side-by-side glimpse of the two phones' specs. Looking at the breakdown, one thing's for sure: The HTC Sensation 4G is a tough competitor -- but the Galaxy S II is ready to put up a fight.

In terms of pure computing power, the two phones are pretty darn close. The Sensation 4G has the upper hand on processing speed; its 1.2GHz dual-core chip is a hair ahead of the Galaxy S II's 1GHz dual-core component. The Galaxy S II edges out the Sensation in the RAM department, though: It packs a full gig of memory, while the Sensation has just 768MB (still no small amount).

How 'bout displays? Both phones sport 4.3-inch screens. The HTC Sensation uses LCD technology, while the Galaxy uses Super AMOLED Plus. Each material offers its own set of advantages and drawbacks, and it's tough to label either as objectively superior. The HTC Sensation does have the higher resolution, however, at 540-by-960 pixels next to the Galaxy's 480-by-800.

Click to zoom in.
The Sensation is slightly larger than the Galaxy S II and about an ounce heavier, too. It also has less on-board storage: The Sensation ships with 1GB of internal space, while the Galaxy S II will come with the option of either 16 or 32GB. And of the two phones, only the Galaxy S II will feature NFC support -- something that doesn't mean much now but may prove useful in the future.

One final point worth mentioning: Though the HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S II both run on Gingerbread, the phones provide noticeably different software experiences. The Sensation comes with HTC's Sense user interface, whereas the Galaxy S II utilizes Samsung's TouchWiz UI. Which is better is purely a matter of personal preference; the best thing you can do is spend some time playing around with each setup to see how you feel. If you're like me and prefer an unmodified stock Android experience -- a "pure Google experience," as it's called -- you may want to look at a skin-free device like the upcoming T-Mobile G2X instead.

The HTC Sensation 4G is set to launch sometime this summer on T-Mobile. No U.S. launch plans have been announced for the Galaxy S II thus far, but the phone is expected to arrive in the U.K. in early May -- so odds are, we'll be hearing something soon.

[More 4G comparisons: Verizon 4G Phones: HTC Thunderbolt or Droid Bionic?]

JR Raphael is a PCWorld contributing editor and the author of the Android Power blog. You can find him on both Facebook and Twitter.

Product mentioned in this article

(1 items)

  • Samsung Galaxy S 4G
    $100.00

    The Samsung Galaxy S 4G is a solid, powerful phone, but it doesn’t have the specs to compete with the next generation of smartphones.

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