HTC and Samsung are two of the biggest players on the mobile market right now, and this year, they both seem to be on a roll releasing some very attractive smartphones for every price point you can think of. On the high end of the spectrum are the HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S2 – practically the most powerful smartphones currently on the market, packed full of just about every feature you can think of.
If you’re looking to purchase a new smartphone that will have everything you might want and which would last for more than a couple of years without getting obsolete, these two are an excellent choice, but actually choosing between them may be harder than you think.
On the outside, these phones look very different – it’s like they’re made for different niches! The Sensation is made mostly out of metal, has a very premium and professional feel to it, is very durable and has a nice curvature that makes it easy to hold in your hand. Also, the screen is sunk into the chassis, with the metal frame protecting the glass when you put it on a surface facing down – that’s a great detail, as a lot of times the screen gets scratched when we pick our phones off the table. The back cover is big and sturdy – it certainly inspires confidence when you take it off.
The Galaxy S2, on the other hand, is slimmer, with a rectangle design and is made mostly out of plastic materials. That’s not to say it doesn’t feel good – on the contrary, it feels pretty sturdy and is very light, which is a plus for many. But it definitely flexes more than the Sensation and after you see the thin back cover, you’ll certainly think twice before putting the phone in your back pocket!
The screens have the same size, 4.3 inches, but the HTC Sensation has the qHD resolution (960×540), while Samsung’s Galaxy S2 uses the old 800×480 resolution, but more than makes up for it with the all new Super AMOLED Plus technology, which makes colors more vivid and brings contrast to a whole new level. That’s not to say the HTC doesn’t look good – the resolution allows the picture to be crisp and sharp, and the Super LCD unit certainly delivers one of the best pictures on the market. It’s really tough to choose between them.
Not surprisingly, both smartphones sport the best hardware (and software) available on the market – these two devices are as high end as it comes in this regard. Both phones have dual core processors running at a slightly overclocked 1.2 GHz and featuring new graphics adapters that beat anything that came before – the iPhone 4 doesn’t hold a candle to them!
There’s a small difference when it comes to the amount of RAM – the Galaxy S2 uses a full GB of it, while the Sensation is content with 768 MB, but as the iPhone 4 and the G2X show us, even 512 MB is more than enough for any tasks you may need to run.
The Sensation has an advantage, sort of, when it comes to the storage space: it uses a micro SD card for storage, while the S2 has 32 GB of built-in space. Of course, you’ll have to pay extra for the 32 GB card (they go for about $60 now), but if you plan on still using this phone one or two years from now, you’ll be happy you went with it, as you’ll be able to use the new 64 GB cards (which were just announced by Kingston).
Other hardware specs are pretty much the same – there’s your usual Wifi N, Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA, GPS, gyroscope, support for 4G speeds, and more. Both phones also have dual cameras – an 8 megapixels unit on the back and a VGA camera on the front for video calls, with the quality being comparable – the only exception is that the S2 has a 2 megapixels front camera, as opposed to the 1.3 megapixels on the Sensation. The Galaxy S2 also has support for NFC, if you’re interested, though I don’t see it being widely used, ever.
The software part is also pretty much the same – Android 2.3 runs on both devices, with both HTC and Samsung using their own custom skins on top – so it comes down to whichever you like most. There’s really nothing much to say about the software part, except that the HTC has a locked boot loader, which will prevent you from installing custom ROMs, while Samsung actually sent free Galaxy S2 phones to the core CyanogenMod team, which is a pretty nice gesture from their part and will ensure they remain favored by the developers community and geeks worldwide (just like the G2X).
It is definitely hard to choose between the HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S2 – both of them are quite different. The Sensation is more practical for everyday use, while the Galaxy S2 looks like it was made for those who like the latest fashion and style. What makes it more complicated is that their performance and price is about the same, so the only way to really make up your mind is to pick them both up and see whichever you like most.