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HTC Sensation 4G hands-on (photos)

The new HTC Sensation 4G will land at T-Mobile this summer, but CNET's got a hands-on sneak peak now. See our photo gallery for more.

Bonnie Cha
Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.
Bonnie Cha
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HTC Sensation 4G

Launching this summer with T-Mobile, the HTC Sensation 4G (aka HTC Pyramid) is a next-gen Android device that not only brings the latest hardware improvements but also features the company's new HTC Watch video service and additional enhancements to the Sense user experience. Pricing was not revealed at this time.
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Hardware

As we just mentioned, the Sensation 4G comes with some of the latest hardware advancements. This includes a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 4.3-inch HD (540x960-pixel resolution) Super LCD, an 8-megapixel camera (shown here), and 1080p HD video recording and playback.

What we found impressive is that even with a 4.3-inch touch screen, the smartphone felt incredibly compact and slim, especially compared with other handsets with 4.3-inch displays. The aluminum unibody design and contour display might have something to do with it. Whatever it is, we'll take it.

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Left side

The left side of the phone features a volume rocker and a Micro-USB port. The Sensation 4G measures 5 inches tall by 2.6 inches wide by 0.4 inch thick and weighs 5.2 ounces.
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Top view

On top of the phone, you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack and power button.
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New lock screen

A lot of the new features of HTC Sense are featured on the lock screen, including shortcuts to your favorite apps. To open a specific app, you can simply drag the ring from the bottom of the screen to the app you want to open, instead of having to unlock the phone first. For now, the shortcuts are limited to a set of apps predetermined by HTC but include major functions, such as phone, e-mail, camera, and messages.
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User content

HTC also wanted the lock screen to showcase more user content, such as your photo gallery. Here you can see images from a photo album floating by on the screen.
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Launching shortcuts and apps

If you want to open a particular photo or one of your shortcuts, just drag the ring to the image/icon and let go.
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Revamped weather widget

If you've ever owned an HTC device, then you might be familiar with the weather widget on the home screen, which displays the weather conditions for your current location. The new HTC Sense takes it even further with a full-screen view with animated, richer graphics, which are oddly mesmerizing--or maybe that's just me.
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Familiar Leap screen

The Leap screen has always been one of our favorite features of Sense. By pinching the main home screen, it will bring up a thumbnail view of all of your home screen panels so you can easily jump to one without having to swipe through the others.
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Main menu

The main menu of apps still features a grid layout, but a toolbar at the bottom also lets you access your favorites as well as your downloaded apps.
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Mail widget

The mail widget now provides you with a preview of the message.
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Photo gallery

Here is the typical view of your photo gallery.
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Flippin cool

And here is your photo gallery with the new HTC Sense. The phone keeps it fresh by flipping through your various images. Once you tap on a single photo, it will use the same flipboard transition to open up the full view.

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