HTC Sensation vs. Google Nexus S – Review

by Jerry D on July 25, 2011

Both contenders in today’s fight are cracking examples of a modern mobile. Both run Android 2.3. But if this smartphone skirmish was actually a competitive game of Hungry Hippos, how many of those little white balls could the HTC Sensation gobble up compared to the Google Nexus S? More? Or less? Game on…

XXXX versus graphic HTC Sensation vs. Google Nexus S   Review XXXX

Round #1 – Connectivity:
Let’s consider the wireless options first. The impressive Sensation boasts 3G/HSDPA (14.4Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP. It also boasts 4G connectivity where available. Google has packed its phone with 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR.

Score: +1 to both phones (1-1)

Round #2 – Size & Weight:
According to the spec sheets, the Nexus S is the thinner of the two, measuring 10.88mm to the Sensation’s 11.3mm. The Sensation is heavier than its rival, tipping the scales at 148g. The Nexus S, meanwhile, weighs a lovely 129g.

Score: +1 to Nexus S (1-2)


Round #3 – Camera:
The Sensation’s advanced 8.0 MP lens features a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 plus an array of features that includes: autofocus, touch focus, a dual LED flash, geotagging, face/smile detection and Full HD 1080p video capture. For video calls, there’s also a second, front-mounted camera. Yes, HTC seems to have thought of everything.

Despite autofocus, an LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus and 720p video recording, the Nexus S’s 5.0 Megapixel package loses out in this round. Like the Sensation, a second camera on the front can also be used for video calling.

Score: +1 to Sensation (2-2)

Round #4 – Screen/keyboard:
The design of HTC’s Sensation features a roomy 4.3-inch touch-sensitive S-LCD, with a superb qHD resolution of 540 by 960 pixels. The pixels per inch (PPI) measurement here is 256.047.

rez comparison1 HTC Sensation vs. Google Nexus S   Review

In contrast, the 4.0-inch touch-sensitive Super AMOLED display on Google’s phone is slightly smaller. Unfortunately, it boasts a lower resolution (only 480 x 800 pixels). In comparison, there are 384000 pixels onscreen, giving the Nexus S a pixel density of 233.25 pixels per inch.

Score: +1 to Sensation (3-2)

Round #5 – Processor:
As for overall processing performance, the Nexus S uses a last generation ARM Cortex A8 ‘Hummingbird’ processor, rated at 1GHz. The Sensation’s core is a new 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8260 dual-core Snapdragon chip that reportedly goes like the proverbial clappers.

Score: +1 to Sensation (4-2)

Round #6 – Software:
Both phones feature Android 2.3. The Sensation’s software comes prettied up with version 3.0 of HTC’s Sense UI. The Nexus S, meanwhile, scores points for using a tweak-free version of the OS.

Score: +1 to both phones (5-3)

Round #7 – Applications:
Which phone wins out when app stores are concerned? In this case, as both phones run the same OS, this round ends in a draw.

Score: +1 to both phones (6-4)

Round #8 – Storage:
The Nexus S boasts 16GB compared to the default 9GB capacity of the Sensation. The Sensation also has a microSD interface, which can extend the overall capacity to 33GB. The 16GB on the Nexus S can’t be extended as the handset lacks a memory card slot.

Score: +1 to Sensation (7-4)

Round #9 – Battery life:
How does the performance compare? HTC claims 8.3 hours of talktime for the Sensation, compared to 6.7 hours for the Nexus S. Standby times are 350 hours and 427 hours respectively. The Sensation edges it in this round.

Score: +1 to Sensation (8-4)


Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.

Round #10 – Extras:
The Sensation also includes GPS/A-GPS, a digital compass, g-sensor, scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass display, TV-out, DLNA content streaming and a stereo FM radio.

In comparison, the Nexus S features GPS/A-GPS, haptic feedback, a 3-axis gyroscope, digital compass, curved Contour Display and integrated Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for digital payments.

Score: +1 to both phones (9-5)

BPF Verdict: The HTC Sensation wins!

See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…

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