HTC Sensation vs Nokia N9

Vs Paul Briden 18:32, 14 Jul 2011

Daggers drawn as HTC's Sensation eyes up Nokia's new N9

The Nokia N9 goes head-to-head with HTC’s Sensation.

Nokia N9 - 116.5x61.2x12.1mm, 135g
HTC Sensation - 126.1x65.4x11.3mm, 148g

The HTC Sensation looks very much like any other HTC smartphone. The proportions are nice and it’s got those distinctively HTC style rounded corners. Generally, it's very nice to look out but doesn’t live up to its name in terms of visual flair.

The N9’s looks are potentially pretty divisive. It is bold, brave and adventurous, but some might find it a bit ‘too much’ with wacky colours and a curved screen which contrasts with the extremely squared-off bodywork.

The handset actually looks much better coloured black in our view as the shape is already different enough, the bright cyan and magenta options are just a bit too jarring. The screen is really nicely shaped and extends right up to the edges of the device giving it a very sci-fi feel.

We actually like what Nokia has done here but with black bodywork - it’s got all the contrast it needs in the interesting shapes and looks far better with a more understated colour choice.

Winner – Nokia N9

Nokia’s N9 is fitted with a 3.9-inch Amoled capacitive touchscreen with the resolution coming in at 480 x 854 pixels while pixel density is 238 pixels-per-inch (PPI).

The display is made from extra tough Gorilla Glass and has been coated with an anti-glare polariser, meaning you don’t have to put the phone away when the sun comes out.

The N9 features multi-touch input support and an accelerometer sensor for screen rotate functionality.

The Sensation’s screen is larger at 4.3-inches and instead of Amoled it’s a Sony produced S-LCD capacitive touchscreen.

The resolution is higher than the N9’s at 540x960 pixels, as is the pixel density of 256ppi.

Gorilla Glass is used here too for a robust screen, though, it doesn’t have the anti-glare properties of the N9 so not so good for bright conditions.

The handset comes with the HTC Sense 3.0 user interface (UI) already installed and it sports multi-touch input along with an accelerometer and gyro sensor.

The S-LCD and Amoled technology behind these screens is fairly evenly matched, both offering good power efficiency and brightness along with more vivid colours than regular screens.

The larger screen size along with higher resolution and pixel density of the HTC Sensation makes it our preference on display.

Winner – HTC Sensation

Storage is probably the HTC Sensation’s biggest weakness with only 1GB of usable internal space to play with. While for some people this is more than enough, compared with other similarly powerful handsets it’s on the lower end of things.

We say usable space because in reality the phone’s memory is more like 2GB but half of that is used as the system partition with the operating system and HTC Sense taking up quite a bit of room.

External memory is also well catered for with MicroSD card support up to 32GB. Meanwhile, to back up the processing capability there’s an impressive 768MB of RAM.

The N9 does quite a bit better on internal space with two options to choose from, there’s either the 16GB or the 64GB versions, either way you’ll be able to cram a lot of apps and media content onto the phone.

Nokia’s handset also trumps the Sensation on RAM with a whole 1GB and there’s also 512MB of ROM, but the fly in the ointment is the complete lack of any card support.

The N9 has a much higher internal capacity in both variants along with much more RAM and some bonus ROM.

The absence of a card slot isn’t great but it still wins out on balance.

Winner – Nokia N9

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