Mobile Grudge Match – HTC Sensation vs Samsung Galaxy S II

Dual-core is the new buzz word in mobiledom the choices are getting harder to make for the kind of processing power we've come to crave. Whether we really need this much horse power on a mobile phone is debateable but given the type of applications and games being developed for phones, the coming of this tech was inevitable. Today, we have two such phones from two big companies, Samsung and HTC, sitting at the top of the food chain. The Galaxy S II is the highly anticipated successor to the Galaxy S and like many; we too feel it’s one of the best Android handsets in the market today. HTC's response comes in the form of the Sensation, their own dual-core monster. But is it better than Samsung’s offering? That’s what we're here to decide, so let the games begin.

HTC Sensation – Rs. 29,500
The first impression you get about the Sensation is the premium build quality and finish that best rivals the iPhone 4, some would say and some of their own handsets like the Incredible S and the Desire S. The unibody (althouggh it's not a unibody at all) finish feels really classy but also makes the phone a bit heavy compared to the S II. The screen may not be Super AMOLED, but the Sensation manages to cram in a massive pixel count (540 x 960) in that 4.3-inch screen which is even higher than Samsung's flagship.

Looks good on paper, but thats about it

Looks good on paper, but that's about it


Another big change is the new Sense 3.0 user interface which further enhances the most loved UI for Android. To take advantage of the faster CPU, HTC has thrown in some fancy new 3D animations for the menu and weather app. The new shortcut system now lets you launch applications directly from the lock screen. The in-built storage is just 1GB, which seems less for such a high end phone but you can expand it to 32GB via micro-SD card. The 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU ensures everything runs butter smooth and the Adreno 220 GPU is strong enough for intense gaming sessions and full HD recording and playback. The out of the box multimedia support is a bit limited when it comes to video playback; it won’t do MKV or FLAC without a third party app.


Samsung Galaxy S II – Rs.29,000

The S II already won the last round against the iPhone 4 but then that wasn’t much of a competition to be honest. The Galaxy S II takes the legacy of the Galaxy S a few notches higher making it the slimmest Android phone in the market. It’s also super light at just 116g making it very comfortable to carry around. The Exynos processor is developed by Samsung which includes a 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 CPU and Mali-400MP GPU giving it powerful multimedia capabilities.

Standing tall

Standing tall


TouchWiz has come a long way from its inception and the latest version (4.0) adds some nifty features like kinetic scrolling, ability to adjust the size of widgets, tilt zoom, etc. Multimedia plays a key role in the S II and we have out of the box support for a wide array of video formats (including MKV) as well as FLAC for audio. The camera is capable of recording in 1080p resolution and also supports TV-out via MHL. While all this is good, the S II’s biggest strength has got to be its Super AMOLED Plus screen that's simply gorgeous. The black levels are simply off the charts when compared to even the best SLCD or ClearBlack displays in the market.

The S II gives the Sensation tough competition but there can be only one winner. It’s time to tally the scores and see who comes out victorious. 

A pretty one sided match

A pretty one sided match




Is anybody surprised? Well we’re not. The Samsung Galaxy S II has once again emerged victorious and conquered HTC's flagship offering. It’s not like the Sensation is a bad phone by itself, it's just that it pales in comparison to the S II and all it has to offer. Apart from the really good build quality and the fancy animations of Sense UI 3.0, it doesn’t have much going for it. We’ve covered our experience with the Sensation in the review here.

The Galaxy S II offers you a lot more features out of the box which is important when you’re spending this kind of money. Android gives you the flexibility to extend your multi-media feature set but when you’re spending 30K, I would expect everything to just work. Samsung harnesses the power of the dual-core CPU very well which is evident from its video playback capabilities. Other areas where the S II excels is the Super AMOLED Plus screen, large onboard storage, bigger battery, USB-on-the-go,Wi-Fi Direct, Swype and finally MKV and FLAC support. If you have this budget and was looking for the best Android experience, the Galaxy S II fits the bill just right.

Published Date: Aug 02, 2011 12:21 pm | Updated Date: Aug 02, 2011 12:21 pm