HTC’s latest release is supposed to be a significant upgrade to Sensation and make the extra $100 worth it and on the paper, it looks like Sensation XE achieves that. Featuring a 1,5 GHz dual-core processor, a 300 MHz upgrade from Sensation’s 1,2 GHz, the XE should be considerably faster, which unfortunately isn’t. Those who take a better look at the chipset will realize that this is simply an overclocked CPU, which is something that a skilled user could do on his own. We are still waiting for the next generation of processors, and for the time being, these gimmicks are not enough to convince us that progress was made.
These additional 300 MHz don’t have a clear impact on performance, but they definitely influence the battery life, slightly decreasing it. The difference is not considerable and certainly not a deal breaker, but since Sensation XE was supposed to outshine the predecessor in every imaginable way, we are entitled to highlight this shortcoming. The operating system is the same, but on the software side we have to say a few words about the Beats Audio, which brags about being the ultimate when it comes to sound fidelity.
The software is supposed to help the user listen to music as the artist intended it to sound, without missing anything and the superior headphones are the guarantee that this will happen. Without being bad in any way, Beats Audio is not spectacular and definitely not something that a savvy user couldn’t achieve by playing a bit with the EQs. If you don’t have the knowledge and interest to do the research and then tailor your own EQs, you will love the fact that Beats Audio delivers everything on a silver platter, but you will have to pay for it. Overall, Sensation XE is not the upgrade we’ve expected and while it still is one of the best smartphones on the market, it’s not considerably better than the original Sensation.