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General Old Frustration vs. New Sensation?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by rocky s., Jun 9, 2011.

  1. rocky s.

    rocky s. Well-Known Member
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    Well, between rebooting, replacing, and realizing that a fix may be far off, like many of you I've become a bit dismayed with our favorite smartphone. This has left me looking for answers, and alternatives...and especially getting giddy over the specs. of one htc sensation 4g coming to t-mobile. Let's face it, from dual core processor to qhd display to immediately being listed as a supported device on htcsense.com, this seemed like the phone the thunderbolt was suppposed to be (i.e. one that actually works) or even a prelude to a thunderbolt 2. And so, with all the ongoing glitches of the thunderbolt, and the excitement of those great looking specs. of the sensation, I was contemplating jumping ship even to a fourth place carrier. Until now.

    Last night I discovered a t-mobile store manager who has had the htc sensation to try out for several weeks after a staff training. About a half hour before closing, he invited me to stop in and readily handed over the phone for me to walk around and play with for as long as I wanted while he took care of other customers. Yes, I thought about snapping some pics. to post here...but then I realized there are plenty of t-mobile and htc reps. seemingly running around with sensations to try out and no shortage of unboxing videos out there to look over, so my hands-on preview did not seem as unheard of as trying out a pre-sale thunderbolt would have been!

    So, long story short...the unibody build of the phone and curvy design certainly look sharp. And, yep, htc sense 3.0 with its new lock screen ui and new weather widget animations is very cool. Beyond that, believe it or not, I was shockingly underwhelmed. And this was especially true when I took my t-bolt out of my pocket for a side-by-side comparison. For starters, I can see why some have thought the screen size of the sensation was smaller than the thunderbolt's, even though they both list as 4.3" on the spec. sheets. I gather this is because of the true 16:9 scope of the sensation, which has the effect of making it's screen look more narrow and a bit tinier than the thunderbolt. More surprisingly, when comparing the qhd display of the sensation next to the resolution of the thunderbolt, I could not tell any difference at all. And kudos for the honesty of the t-mobile manager who confessed that the sensation display gets wiped out when looking at it outside in the broad daylight as well. I also put the front facing cameras of both phones to task and found that the vga of the sensation made me look very orange (as has been mentioned in reviews) and the 1.3 mp of the thunderbolt ffc looked much more natural. Finally, as far as speed, my web browsing on both phones felt very similar. The manager told me he gets up to about 1.7 mbps download speed in 4g mode in our area on the sensation. As I left the store, I speed tested my thunderbolt at 2.8 mbps in glorious battery saving 3g!

    Hey, look, I know this is not quite an engadget review here...or some sort of thunderbolt-sensation smackdown...but fwiw I just thought I would do a little sharing for those users stressing out, or even switching out, over our well known difficulties. And I know others have provided their thoughts on some other options like the incredible 2 and droid charge. Bottom line I guess is this experience has actually helped me make friends again with my thunderbolt...and find some more patience while waiting for a firmware fix and gingerbread to roll out.

    But it would be nice if htc would throw in a little sense 3.0 for our troubles, wouldn't it?! ;)
     

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  2. dguy

    dguy Android Expert
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    People just have to be careful about having "the grass is always greener" mentality. You don't realize how good you have it until you try the alternative and realize you made a mistake switching.
     
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  3. GrandMasterB

    GrandMasterB Go Go Gadget Flow!
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    Yewwtah!
    I just wanted to say I really appreciate your insight and taking the time to share your story with us. THANKS!

    GMB
     
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  4. pat3332

    pat3332 Well-Known Member
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    I also appreciate the comparison. I just read a review of the Sensation on CNET and they gave it a great review, but I don't always trust the media reviews as much as someone like you who has used both of them. Plus they didn't mention everything you did. I just don't think it has much over the TBolt and I'm not going to jump until something comes along that is a major improvement since I'm not really having any problems with my TBolt right now.
     
  5. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!!
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    Rocky, I don't know if you are rooted but just because HTC wont give us Sense 3.0, doesn't mean we wont get it. ;)

    I'm running this preview and aside from a few bugs (camcorder FCing is the biggest) this ROM is silky smooth and includes Sense 3.0 (yes, even the launcher :))

    http://androidforums.com/thunderbolt-all-things-root/348817-bamf-sense-3-0-a.html#post2799787

    Edit: it is a GB ROM so you have to flash the GB radio.
     
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  6. robrecht

    robrecht Android Enthusiast
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    Yeah, there's nothing better than 4G LTE right now with Verizon's coverage. A couple of times I've stopped by a T-Mobile store and asked the reps if their network has improved much since I tried one of their phones several years ago and they honestly tell me not to bother.

    As for qHD, I also do not want a longer, more narrow screen. Whatever happened to the WXGA screen that the ThunderBolt was thought to have? bmx hinted that it was a misunderstanding and that it was actually a different phone. That's the phone I would like, the one after my dream phone.

    Maybe I should stop by T-Mobile again and take a look, but I just can't imagine that I would like a curved screen either.
     
  7. stanlalee

    stanlalee Well-Known Member
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    phonenvy or one of those youtube phone reviewers said it was laggy even by current standards. Maybe sense 3.0 really is layed on too thick (hence single core devices wont be updated to it).
     
  8. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!!
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    Not based on my experience. Sense 3.0 on the BAMF public release candidate sure runs smooth. The 3D launcher is actually more fluid than the 2.0 launcher on previous builds.
     
  9. rocky s.

    rocky s. Well-Known Member
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    Wow...very tempting. But because I've never rooted, even after being a serial android owner (eris, incredible, thunderbolt), it's also very terrifying! I'm one of those folks who probably would need an on-site tutor if I tried this just for the moral support. :)

    By the way...even though the sensation 4g I remarked about doesn't officially launch until June 15th, I can verify what others have said elsewhere that some Walmarts began selling it on June 8th. I know because I went in to my local one yesterday and checked it out. But here's an additional news flash...it rings up there as $148 on any new two year contract! (I know because I checked). That's somewhat interesting given the $199 after a $50 rebate pricing that's been widely advertised.

    Even so...after seeing it a second time...I totally stand by my earlier impressions. Nice to know with all of its warts...and all of our woes since march 17th...that the mighty thunderbolt still seems like the best thing going out there.

    And mine may get even better if I can overcome my fear of rooting. :)
     
  10. stanlalee

    stanlalee Well-Known Member
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    Well rooted/ported roms are a different story. Got a link? I've been waiting for it to turn up since they said they have it running. Already running GB sense with 3.0 lockscreen and weather. Dont know how much I NEED full 3.0.

    from the 6 minute mark
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etz2xrFQ0LQ&feature=relmfu
     
  11. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!!
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    I just talked my sister-in-law out of having me root her phone in order to get rid of bloatware. She would be dependent on me for support (bad thing for me) and she would have to update her firmware manually.

    Rooting and Romming is not for everyone. You need to weigh the pros against the cons and then decide if you are comfortable with voiding your warranty and risk possibly bricking your phone. If you can follow directions then you'll be fine as many noobs successfully root their phones. But it's something that you need to decide for yourself.

    For me, it's the only way to fly :)
     
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  12. Ibrick

    Ibrick Android Expert
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    The Sensation, on paper, certainly looks impressive.

    I spent almost $800 to get away from TMo, no way I'm ever going back. Verizon will have 4G before TMo has 3G where I live, 15min north of Milwaukee.. Pathetic..

    Anyway, right now software isn't optimized to take advantage of the hardware being pushed right now. Take a peek at what Qualcomm has for LTE chipsets currently in manufacturers hands and that's what I'm waiting for. Hopefully should be around the time Ice Cream is coming out.

    Meanwhile the TBolt has exceeded my expectations.
     
  13. BDR-Geek

    BDR-Geek Newbie
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    FWIW, I did all of the pertinent research on the Sensation, and really wanted to get it and stay on TMobile, where I already have an unlocked phone.

    But, with the pricing, and the Sensation's issues, price, etc, i did my due diligence.

    After a week of research on XDA and here, I decided today, and bought the Thunderbolt on Verizon. I think that LTE, and single core, and unlimited data will be a better situation for me. The initial reviews of the Sensation are not all that awesome.
     
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