HTC Sensation XL review

If you love the idea of an iPad but wish you could cram it into your pockets you can either get bigger pockets, start wearing one of these or invest in HTC’s new Sensation XL. Three were kind enough to send me a smartphone-cum-tablet to test for a week or two.


As you might have inferred from my opening remarks, this is a big phone, much like that other whopper the LG Optimus, and the Sensation XL packs a 4.7″ punch. The sharp HD screen and 8mp camera play nicely together and you can take some nice enough images if the lighting is being co-operative. I was a little less impressed in the dark, and the Sensation XL completely failed to capture the magic and wonder for fireworks as well. However this merely makes it like most smartphones. The lack of Instagram on Android remains annoying, but there’s plenty of fun to have with a screen this decent and a camera this big and you can even play with wide-angle shots.

The other headline feature of this handset, aside from it’s gargantuan size, is NWA co-founder Dr Dre’s famous BeatsByDre audio system is built into the phone and the handset comes bundled with some in-ear BeatsbyDre headphones. BeatsByDre headphones, whilst not as amazing as their East London ubiquity (I keep seeing that word everywhere) would have you believe are still really good headphones. And to have them bundled with your smartphone, at a time where Apple has the gall to sell £800 smartphones with headphones so bad I refuse to leave house with them, is a definitely plus in the Sensation XL’s book. They are pretty good at drowning out external sound too, so the chorus of people shouting “look at the size of his phone!” will be lost on you.

Sylvia Chind, head of handsets at Three said “There has already been a lot of buzz about this entertaining new HTC phone. Three is the perfect partner for the Sensation XL as our all you can eat data offerings mean that people can enjoy the full world of media apps like Spotify and YouTube on the go, without worrying about receiving a shock when their bill arrives.” And to be fair to her, Three’s network held up against my non-stop Spotify and YouTube use for two weeks.

The HTC Sensation XL is available from £34 a month or £40 a month on The One Plan with all-you-can-eat data, 2,000 anytime, any network minutes and 5,000 texts.

PAYG customers can get the HTC Sensation XL for £449.99. All in One 15 costs £15 and gives 30-days access to all-you-can-eat data along with 300 any-network minutes and 3,000 texts. Or All in One 25 costs £25 and offers 500 minutes, 3,000 texts and all-you-can-eat data for a 30-day period

Beats on Three