HTC announces first wave of phones that will receive Ice Cream Sandwich

HTC has just unveiled the name of the phones included in the first wave of Ice Cream Sandwich update roll out. The handsets listed below will receive the ICS Android 4.0 in early 2012:

- HTC Sensation
- HTC Sensation XL
- HTC Sensation XE
- HTC Rezound
- HTC EVO 3D
- HTC EVO Design 4G
- HTC Amaze 4G

You will also note that they are all based on the MSM826X platform.

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HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio announced

HTC has announced its first Beats Audio certified handset today; the HTC Sensation XE. As the name implies the Sensation EX is essentially nothing more than a premium version of the original HTC Sensation released earlier this year. The only difference is the higher clocked MSM8X60 SoC which is now running Dual-Core CPU at 1.5ghz instead of 1.2Ghz and the Beats Audio optimization (which I willing to beat are simply software based). The Sensation XE will also ship with Beats By Dre headphones just in case you didn’t get the memo about the $300M investment that HTC made in the audio brand a few weeks ago.

The HTC Sensation XE will be available in early October in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Nothing really exciting here besides the fact that this is HTC most powerful handset to date.

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Qualcomm Adreno 205 vs Adreno 220 / HTC Sensation vs HTC Flyer, HTC Desire HD and Samsung Galaxy S

Here’s s quick compilation of benchmark results comparing the Qualcomm Adreno 205 GPU vs Adreno 220 GPU found in the HTC Sensation (as part of the MSM8260 SoC). The are several things to note here: First, the Adreno 205 found in the HTC Flyer and HTC Desire HD are most probably not clocked at the same speed (The MSM8255 is clocked at 1Ghz in the Desire HD compared to1.5Ghz in the HTC Flyer). Secondly, THe screen resolution are different on each handsets:

- HTC Desire HD: 800X480
- Samsung Galaxy S: 800×480
- HTC Sensation: 960×540
- HTC Flyer: 1024×600

Thirdly, the driver versions are obviously not the same on all devices so you shouldn’t take those results as granted, they are just an indication of how these GPUs stack up against each other in synthetic benchmarks. The now famous and awesome PowerVR SGX540 is also included in the mix. Check the results after the break:

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New Android Market application: Hands on video and comparison with the Windows Phone 7 Mango marketplace

Google has launched the newest version of the Android Marketplace application yesterday which is going to be rolled out to all Android 2.2 + phones in the coming weeks. If you can’t wait that long the you hit this link and grab the APK that you will then manually install on you device. As you will see the UI has be heavily revamped compared to the previous version but contrary to what some people are saying I don’t find it really Metro inspired beside the main screen which looks closer to the Mosaic By Tribune app more than anything else. (see picture after the break).

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HTC Sensation camera samples: Photos and 1080P video

Now that I’m done with the HTC Flyer review it’s time to take a closer look at HTC’s top-end smartphone, the HTC Sensation. The Taiwanese smartphone manufacture isn’t known for having good quality camera lens and sensors on its devices but thing are getting better lately especially with the Sensation. It is good enough though? Well not yet. As you will see in the pictures and video below the new 8 MPix sensor used buy HTC doesn’t reproduce naturals colors in most of the outdoor shots compared to Samsung’s Omnia 7 camera. There’s purple tint to them (something that HTC users have been experiencing for a while now) and the brightness is abnormally low.

Resized pictures and video after the break:

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HTC Flyer Review

When I first heard off the HTC Flyer (also know as the HTC View 4G on Sprint) in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress I wasn’t really sure what to think about the product. HTC didn’t allow the press to handle it and the device’s specification left me puzzled about it competitiveness compared to all the more powerful Android Honeycomb tablets all over the show floor.

With Honeycomb tablets being all the rage this year it was definitely surprising to see HTC launching a relatively small Gingerbread tablet powered by a single core CPU with the main differentiator being its n6trig active digitizer and Stylus. I admit, the Flyer didn’t look good on paper. I quickly dismissed this as a dead on Arrival product that only saw the light of the day because HTC was willing to use nVidia’s Tegra 2 SoC and decided to stick with Qualcomm which ultimately resulted in the company only being able to use Gingerbread instead of honeycomb (Android 3.X is only now being made “compatible” with SoC’s other than the Tegra 2).

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Angry Birds for Windows Phone 7 vs Android version video comparison

I’ve just shot a short video comparing the just released Windows Phone 7 version of Angry Birds running on the Samsung Omnia 7 versus the Android version running on the HTC Sensation. As you will (or may not because the video is shot at 25fps..) the WP7 version is not as smooth as the Android version. There are several things to remember though: XNA games are limited to 30fps while Android games are usually only limited by the device’s screen VSync, physics calculation on WP7 still doesn’t use the SIMD/NEON FP units of the Snapdragon CPU (this will be available in Mango). Then again, the WP7 versions isn’t slow either so this shouldn’t bother you if you plan to purchase the game. Video after the break:

UPDATE: There’s no more 30FPS limitation in XNA apps in Mango.

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HTC Sensation Hardware Specifications and release date


Here are the hardware specifications of he HTC Sensation android handset. As previously expected this device is essentially and 3D-less version of the HTC EVO 3D. The Sensation will start shipping in mid-May on Vodafone’s network across Europe: 12 May online and 17 May in retail shops (the carrier has a one month exclusive). The rest of the European carriers will get it in June. Specs after the break:

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Official HTC Sensation presentation videos

No need to wait for the official announcement because here are several short videos of the new Sense UI found on the HTC Sensation and the handset’s hardware. You will notice that the weather animation now looks like the one found on the Windows Phone 7 version of the application and that most of everything else looks like the Sense found on the HTC EVO 3D and HTC Flyer. Hit the break to check out all the official videos:

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HTC Sensation aka HTC Pyramid to be announced later today

Qualcomm and Vodafone have apparently jumped the gun and already spilled the beans about HTC’s upcoming announcement. The HTC Sensation also known as the HTC Pyramid is going to be today’s headliner at HTC’s Lodon press event. As previously discussed the Sensation will essentially feature the same hardware as the HTC EVO 3D but without the 3 screen and 3D cameras. So you will have a Quaocmm MSM8260 with Adreno 220 GPU, QHD (960 x 540) 4.3″ SLCD screen. More info to come later today so stay tuned.

 

HTC Pyramid to named the HTC Sensation

According to sources close to HTC the soon to be announced HTC Pyramid will be official named the HTC Sensation once it hits retail later this year. HTC is holding an event on April 12th in London but the content to be unveiled is yet to be known. Will it be mainly Android handsets (like the Pyramid and HTC EVO 3D) or will we also hear about HTC’s upcoming HTC Prime and HT Ignite Windows Phone 7 devices?

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