HTC Desire HD vs HTC Sensation XE Comparison and Differences

If you're thinking of upgrading from an HTC Desire HD to an HTC Sensation or Sensation XE, you might want to know the differences before making the decision. Both phones are great top end model from HTC with the Sensation and Sensation XE being around a year newer. Here's the comparison of specs and what you'll notice when you upgrade.

Main Differences You'll Notice

I won't go over the whole list of specs here, rather note the main things you'll notice.


The Desire HD has a single core 1GHz Snapdragon and the Sensation XE has a dual core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor. The Desire HD I've used had no problems with being overclocked to 1.5GHz, but despite same clock speed, the dual core Sensation XE feels much quicker and smoother.


The Sensation and Sensation XE are very slightly smaller width-wise than the Desire HD, but other than that, they are similarly sized. The Desire HD is heavier and of slightly superior quality but there's not much in it.

HTC Desire HD vs HTC Sensation XE Bottom


The Sensation and Sensation XE have a superior screen to the Desire HD. The resolution of the Sensation's screen is higher allowing finer detail on web pages and even sharper photo viewing. Both have very good screens although the contrast and colour are inferior to other phones with AMOLED screens, such as the Samsung Galaxy S2.

HTC Desire HD vs HTC Sensation XE Front


HTC provide a higher capacity battery with the Sensation, at 1730 mAh, compare to the 1230 mAh of the Desire HD. So despite the higher processing power of the Sensation, its battery life is better.


Both have a huge following with loads of custom ROM available, but understandably, development now seems to be more concentrated on the Sensation, being the flavour of the month.


A big deal is made of the "Beats Audio" branding of the Sensation XE. What this gives you are some more expensive looking branded headphones and supposedly some special audio hardware inside the phone. Personally, I think this is over-hyped and not worth considering. If you use DSP Manager on the Desire HD, you can get at least as good a sound out of the phone, and the headphones are just a matter of taste. The Beats headphones are the type that come with an array of different sized rubber tips. They do sound OK if you ram them so far into your lug holes that they almost touch your brain, but personally, I prefer the standard Desire HD headphones.


In my opinion, the Sensation XE is a worthy upgrade from the Desire HD, mainly due to the screen resolution and dual core processor.

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