Now that we’ve spent time with the majority of this year’s newest smartphones, several dual-cored Android beasts are challenging the iPhone 4 for the title of top smartphone- though you may have to pay for it. We've assembled several top-end phones to duke it out.
Now HTC has revealed its secret weapon, the HTC Sensation, how does it compare to the rest of the Android superphone pack? Is it an iPhone beater?
The HTC Sensation was the last of our group to be revealed- and it’s shaping up to be a strong competitor. With a qHD (quarter high-definition screen) it approaches the iPhone 4’s retina display- though it doesn’t quite reach the dizzying pixel count of the iPhone, it’s the closest yet.
It will arrive with Android Gingerbread, and with the very latest update to HTC Sense; a clever interface that HTC has created to add extra features and functionality to the HTC Sensation.
This includes a new lock-screen, where you can ‘drag’ your favourite app icon to unlock your phone, and launch straight into it. You can arrive straight into your favourite game, website, or even adjust settings to connect quickly to WiFi networks.
HTC Watch will also be available on the Sensation, with video content on-demand. For a phone with such a sumptuous screen and media store, it’s surprising that the phone will only have 1GB of internal storage. However, this can be expanded by up to 32GB through microSD cards.
Arguably the king of smartphones this last year, it’s not too difficult to see why; the retina screen is still top of its class, the camera is capable of high-definition video recording (albeit the lower quality 720p) and the iTunes and app store is still ahead of the Android competition.
Only recently has the iPhone been truly under threat for its crown, with the latest range of dual-core Android phones, like the handsets we’ve profiled here, bringing new ideas, features and giving us an Android user experience very similar to the iPhone’s iOS. (Though we think it may not be there just yet.)
But what does the iPhone 4 still have? Desirability.
Although many may baulk at the flat, squareish design, the stainless steel and glass body feels like the high-end product it is- no plastic here. The iPhone has also recently become compatible with HDTVs- but you’ll have to pay out on an extra adapter.
It’s the only phone here with built-in storage; meaning there’s no microSD slot, though you can buy either a 16GB or 32GB version.
Samsung Galaxy S II
If there’s a phone that’s as desirable as the iPhone 4; it’s the Galaxy S II (2). First thing we noticed is how unbelievably light it is in the hand.
Despite a dual-core processor, and Samsung’s latest, bright Super AMOLED screen, it’s a mere 116g, and under 8.5mm thick. Compared to the Optimus 2X and iPhone 4, it’s noticeably lighter.
Yet the Galaxy S2 also has an impressive eight-megapixel camera, that’s also capable of full high-definition video-recording; something that’s matched on its heavier Android rival, the HTC Sensation.
It has Android Gingerbread, and comes in both 16GB and 32GB models- though this can also be expanded my microSD- that’s a lot of space for HD video, photos and music.
You can also share all that media through any HDMI display, connectable through MHL, which doubles as the microUSB port.
LG Optimus 2X
It’s the only dual-core phone here with a dated version of Android (Froyo 2.2), and it’s a bit of a shame, given the high-end processor found- we're paying for a top-end phone, so we expect top-end software with it. We’ve been told that an update should arrive in the near-future.
Like the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the HTC Sensation, the phone can be connected to HDMI-compatible TVs. The Optimus 2X has a microHDMI port which is found at the top of the phone, while the microUSB port is at the bottom of the phone.
Packing Nvidia’s Tegra 2 mobile chip, it’s also one of the few phones with access to the Tegra Zone; a special collection of exclusive high-end mobile games for dual-core phones.
It will only work on phones and tablets powered by Nvidia. This currently means LG only at the moment; the games didn’t work when tested on Samsung's Galaxy S2.