HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio first impressions

Announced around the second week of September, the HTC Sensation XE has arrived in the Philippines. It’s the big brother of the original HTC Sensation but comes with Beats Audio plus a few more upgrades.

The Sensation XE has that same big, solid body as the first one with a large 4.3″ screen and that signature HTC design.

There are a few subtle changes added to the Sensation XE. A red accent is found on the speaker grilles, the navigational touch panel, the camera ring and the large Beats Audio logo at the back. The Beats Audio logo will also show up on boot-up, just before the swish animation from HTC.

The other biggest upgrade tot he Sensation XE is the 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 25% bump from the previous 1.2GHz on the older Sensation. Our Quadrant Standard core puts it at 2249, around 10% higher than the 2033 score of the original Sensation. Battery capacity is also increased to 1730 mAh which should help extend daily use of the handset.

Contrary to earlier reports though, the Sense UI is still at 3.0 instead of the Sense 3.5 we were expecting.

Of course, the Beats Audio is what most people are excited about the Sensation XE. The package comes with a Beats AUdio headphones, 4 extras ear buds, and a small Beats pouch. The earphones are just great — long rubber cord, in-line remote controls and very comfortable on the ears.

Paired with the HTC Sensation XE, the sound quality is impressive and miles better in terms of bass, clarity and range. Whenever you play music, a Beats Audio logo would appear in the notification bar that shows Beats is enabled. You can actually disable this and notice the difference in sound quality. This only works when you plugged in the Beats earphone though so the audio speakers of the Sensation XE is still the same.

I am also told that the handset was supposed to come with a 16GB microSD card but the one that HTC Philippines is distributing only includes an 8GB card.

HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio specs:
4.3 inches @ 540 x 960 pixels
1.5 GHz dual-core processor
Adreno 220 GPU
Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon
Gorilla glass display
1GB storage, 768 MB RAM
up to 32GB via microSD, 8GB included
HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, WiFi hotspot
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
8MP autofocus camera, dual-LED flash
1080p @ 30fps video, stereo sound recording
GPS with A-GPS support
Li-Ion 1730 mAh
HTC Sense 3.0 UI
Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread