HTC kicked-off its partnership with Beats by announcing the Sensation XE in September. Its specs may not be quite up to the level set by the HTC Rezound, but a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and the ability to shoot 1080p video are nothing to shake a stick at. When we first got a chance to see the phone, it was only available in a charcoal black. It looks like there will soon be a new color option for Sensation XE buyers to consider, with signs of a white model on the way. The silvery-white XE is listed on the Japanese version of retailer Expansyss site, where the phone is noted as ready to ship-out, arriving in 5-15 days. We dont have any specific information on plans for this XE to be brought to other nations, but it will likely become available wherever the black XE is sold. Expansys is selling the model for what works out to about $570. The Sensation XE has a 4.3-inch qHD screen, includes 768MB of RAM, and runs Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread with Sense 3.0 on top.
We just got the scoop on another brand new HTC handset, which will be part of the company’s Mobile World Congress announcements alongside the HTC Edge we detailed yesterday. The HTC Ville (codename) is set to launch in April with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and, for the first time, HTC Sense 4.0. The smartphone will feature a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon Series 4 processor. In addition to those specifications, the HTC Ville will house an 8-megapixel backside-illuminated camera, just like the one on the HTC Edge, with 1080p HD video capture support. We’re told the handset won’t feature NFC due to the metal construction of the case, and it will be less than 8mm thick, we understand. Lastly, it will be a HSPA+ device powered by a 1,650 mAh battery, and of course Beats audio processing will be included as well.
HTC’s been around this block before — the LTE one, that is. Back in March, the manufacturer was the first to hold Verizon’s hand as it tested the 4G waters with the Thunderbolt. That launch may have been fumbled (see: hotspot cycling and 3G connectivity for starters) and the device plagued by battery issues, but as far as head starts go, Big Red got a big leap. Now the time has come for AT&T to play catch-up, shedding its reliance on an HSPA+ faux-G crutch and shifting over to LTE wireless speeds.
To do this, the carrier’s enlisted HTC’s veteran expertise, taking advantage of its 700MHz know-how and offering the manufacturer a redemption song of sorts. This round two redux takes the form of the Vivid: an all-black, metal-backed unassuming plastic slab that houses a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 8 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash under a 4.5-inch qHD display. Impressive as its specs may be, AT&T’s not betting the entire farm on this phone and is trotting out the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket alongside to shoulder the burden. But for a device once codenamed the Holiday, its battle for consumers’ attention and disposable dollars could prove to be anything but leisurely. Will LTE history and its battery draining missteps repeat themselves? Can AT&T get a leg up on its first place competition with this $199 device? And is the allure of “true” 4G even worth your hard-earned dollars? Follow us after the break as we find out.