Can you feel that strange sensation? It's the HTC Sensation, the new Android smart phone announced today. We've brought together the first official snaps and all the details you need to make sense of this dual-core powerhouse.

The phone

The Sensation is driven by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, which makes it one of the most powerful phones around -- although as always, more power means the battery has to work harder. There's 4GB of memory built in and an 8GB card in the box.

The Sensation packs a 4.3-inch, 16:9 touchscreen. It features an 8-megapixel camera for 1080p high-definition video, and a 1.2-megapixel camera on the front for video calling.

The software

It runs Android 2.3, the latest version of Google's mobile phone software, so you can install apps and games to customise your phone to your heart's content. HTC has added its signature Sense interface on the top. Version 3.0 of Sense is packed with whooshy 3D animations and a clever unlock screen that goes direct to the right app when you fire up the phone.

Movie lovers should enjoy the new HTC Watch service, streaming and downloading films and telly programmes to your phone. HTC reckons around 400-600 films will be available for your viewing pleasure. HTC Listen, a similar service for music, is not included in the Sensation. We saw it demoed earlier in the year on the HTC Flyer tablet, but we're still waiting to hear when it will be unleashed on the company's phones.

The history

If all this sounds familiar, that's because the Sensation has had more leaks than a Welsh greenhouse. It was previously known as the Pyramid before adopting the Sensation moniker here in Blighty.

The network

The Sensation will only be available through Vodafone at first, with the launch likely to be in May. You can register your interest at the Vodafone website. Three, T-Mobile and Orange have now confirmed they will also sell the Sensation in June.

The price

Being tied to just one network limits the options if you're determined to get your hands on this new Sensation straight away, but wait a few weeks and you'll have more choice. The price hasn't been revealed yet, but with all that power at your fingertips we sense the Sensation won't be cheap.

The verdict

We've given the Sensation a once-over in a sneak peak before the official launch. Click here to read our HTC Sensation preview, then take a look at how it shapes up against the dual-core competition: the Samsung Galaxy S 2, LG Optimus 2X and Motorola Atrix.

Here's the Sensation from the right.
And here it is from the left.
The aluminium case wraps around the edges. Is it a unibody if the phone splits in two? HTC thinks so.

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