Sony Xperia S vs HTC Sensation XE Mobile Comparison

Sony Ericsson, which is well known for its Xperia devices, recently rebranded itself to Sony, due to changes in the partnerships recently and the Sony Xperia S was  announced in the Consumer Electronics Show this year at Las Vegas. Since then it has gathered a lot of interest amongst the public and has been positioned as the successor to the Sony Ericssion Xperia X10, which was one of the first Android devices couple of years back.
While the Sensation XE from HTC is a high-end Android phone from HTC, which comes with Beats Audio and a gorgeous screen on it, positioned almost in the same price range as the Sony Xperia S and both the phones come with high multimedia features such as powerful cameras, dual core processors and such.
However, there are quite a few differences in both the phones which might influence your decision before making a purchase or helping your friend get a phone. In this post, we take a look at the detailed specs of both the phones and compare them side by side, in every category:
Table of Contents:

Form Factor

The Sony Xperia S is 128 x 64 x 10.6 mm, while the HTC Sensation XE is 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm. The Sony Xperia S weighs 144 grams while the HTC  Sensation XE also is around 151grams in weight, making both of them quite similar in weight though they vary in their size dimensions quite a bit.
The standard four Android buttons are present on the HTC Sensation XE, as touch capacitive buttons in the bottom, just like usual Android phones and comes with a solid build quality that is tough on the exterior with a plastic back while the Sony Xperia S has a new kind of button setup in it.
On the Xperia S, there is a small area containing three dots in it. These three dots are touch enabled and function as the activating dots for the Back, Home and Options touch buttons which pop up eventually on the transparent area just below the dots. Yes, we agree that this setup is confusing but Sony has tried something new with the touch capacitive buttons, unlike going with the same old boring pattern.
If you will like a new concept for using the touch capacitive buttons on an Android smartphone, you can try out the Xperia S certainly, as it might just improve as soon as Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich comes for it, as the new UI minimizes the usage of physical buttons to a great extent. However, if you would like the standard four-key setup seen in all Android smartphones, the HTC XE from Sony will be the better pick, especially if you are used to such a patter already in your previous Android phones, this will help.
Winner: Sony Xperia S ( New Concept ) ; HTC Sensation XE ( Easy to use ) 


The Sony Xperia S, comes with a LED backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen of 4.3inches with a pixel density of 342ppi while the Sensation XE comes with a S-LCD capacitive touchscreen of 4.3inches with a pixel density of 256ppi. The Xperia comes with a HD screen, also known as 720p screens and has a maximum screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels while the HTC Sensation XE has a screen resolution of 540×960 pixels.
Both the phones support Multi-touch. The Sony Xperia S supports upto 10 fingers on the screen at a time, as quoted by Sony. We can see that more and more apps are coming with multitouch facilities these days and Android Ice Cream Sandwich also has gesture based controls leading to a high usage of multitouch on our phones.
There is an accelerometer and proximity sensor on both the cellphones as well, along with scratch resistant glass on both phones.
The Sony Xperia S is powered by a Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine and both the phones support upto 16M colors.
Winner : Sony Xperia S (More Powerful Screen)


The Xperia S from Sony has a 12MP camera while the HTC  Sensation XE has a 8MP Camera. It’s interesting to note that Sony, which has always had the edge in camera optics, has powered the Xperia S with quite a powerful camera unit while the HTC’s Sensation XE has yet another 8MP camera which has become very common nowadays.
There’s Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection XE, 3D sweep panorama and image stabilization on the Xperia S while the HTC Sensation has Geo tagging, face detection and image stabilization as well. The Xperia S can take photos upto a resolution of 4000×3000 pixels while the HTC XE has a maximum resolution of 3264×2448 pixels. There is autofocus and LED Flash on both the devices as well, with a dual LED flash on the HTC Sensation XE.
Both the cameras shoot video at FULL HD 1080p resolution, at full HD at 30 frames per second and come with continuous autofocus, video light and video stabilizer as well.
Also note that there is a secondary camera on both the devices, of 1.3MP in the Xperia S while the HTC Sensation XE has a VGA camera. This is used for normal camera purposes by various camera based apps or for video calling via Skype or the native Google Talk app for example.
This secondary camera, also shoots video at 720p HD at 30 frames per second in the Xperia S while the HTC Sensation XE has just a VGA camera in the front. Note that the Motorola Droid RAZR is one of the other few phones to have HD recording in the front facing camera feature.
Winner : Sony Xperia S beats HTC Sensation


The Sony Xperia S has 32GB of internal memory, and no further expansion slot providing no provision for a microSD card slot but the HTC Sensation XE has 4GB of internal memory out of which 1GB is available for use and a microSD card slot that is expandable up to 32GB.
So that means that on HTC Xperia Sensation XE one could use a maximum of 33GB on the move and is handy as it comes with a microSD slot, allowing portability and ease of transfer of data, while the Xperia S limits you to 32GB of its internal memory.
Winner: HTC Sensation XE


The Xperia S has GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 bands and HSDPA 900 / 2100 — LT26i / 850 / 1900 / 2100 – LT26a bands which gives maximum speeds upto 14.4Mbps on HSDPA and 5.8Mbps on HSUPA while the HTC  Sensation XE has GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 bands and HSDPA 900/2100 bands which gives maximum speeds upto 14.4Mbps on HSDPA and 5.76Mbps on HSUPA.
Both the phones have WiFi in them and support popular Wi-fi bands, compliant to the 802.11 standards. 802.11 b,g and n are supported and the WiFi Hotspot feature on them is also available on both the devices. To know how to enable Wifi Hotspot via tethering, follow these instructions here. Also, the Sony Xperia S has Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA capabilities.
GPS is available on both the phones and Bluetooth 2.1 is enabled on the Xperia S but the HTC Sensation XE comes with Bluetooth 3.0 support. There is EDR support with A2DP on both the phones.
The Sony Xperia S also has NFC on it. To know more about Near Field Communication, how to use it to transfer files and see what other devices currently have NFC, do check out here and here .
Both phones have Stereo FM radio with RDS.
Winner : Sony Xperia S

Operating System and UI:

Both the phones run on Android Gingerbread 2.3.4, one of the recent versions of Android from Google. Sony, still maintains the same user interface as Sony Ericsson, the TimeScape UI.
The Sensation XE comes with HTC’s own Sense UI, which is quite famous for its excellent gesture support and user friendly UI throughout the OS built by the HTC engineers over the Android layout.The HTC Sense is definitely fun to use and has lots of small add-ons everywhere with some user-intuitive gesture controls as well.
Sony’s TimeScape UI is known for its excellent Facebook integration over the phone’s User Interface, across apps and other small additions in places which make Android really fun to use. This version  Timescape is the latest one from Sony and it maintains the old features along with a few additions making the User Interface even more intuitive and fluid to use.
However, do not forget that Sony has confirmed that the Xperia S be receiving the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 update very soon, and also HTC has confirmed that the Sensation XE will be receiving the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 update soon which makes both these phones even more worth for the money as they will get the latest version of Android very soon.
Winner : HTC Sensation XE for Sense UI

Battery and Processor

The Xperia S has a 1750mAh battery under its hood while the HTC XE has a 1730mAh battery. The Xperia S has a talktime of  7 hours 30 mins on 2G and 8 hours on 3G and 450 hours of standby time on 2G and 420 hours of standby time on 3G while the HTC Sensation XE on 2G, has a talktime of upto 9 h 20 min and 310hours of standby time and upto 7 hours and 20 mins of talktime and 540 hours of standby time on 3G.
On the Xperia S, there is a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor powered by a Adreno 220 GPU and supported by the Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon chipset while the HTC Sensation XE has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor powered by a Adreno 220 GPU and supported by the Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon chipset.
Winner : Xperia Sensation XE

Beats by Dr.Dre

The HTC Sensation XE comes with audio from Beats by Dr. Dre, one of the most premium companies specializing in Audio technology in the world. The HTC Sensation XE comes with Beats Audio™ inbox with custom made Beats headsets, engineered to deliver extraordinary sound. Their software is also specially tuned software and the user interface is tweaked to deliver the best mobile audio experience. Also, HTC has got Beats to make a custom earphone for the Sensation XE, which comes in the box as well. The headset has music control buttons on it as well.

Though the Xperia S comes with a couple of shortcomings over the HTC Sensation XE, such as the lack of expandable memory, it still is usable considering the screen display is powered by the Bravia Engine and performs really well while the HTC Sensation XE is fun to use with HTC Sense UI on it and provides an overall better experience.
Looking at the specifications, the Sony Xperia S outperforms the HTC Sensation XE right from its multimedia features and its camera and it certainly wins over the Sensation XE in most of the aspects. However if you use your smartphone more for entertainment purposes then the HTC Sensation XE will make a good buy as it comes with Beats audio driver and Beats earphones.
While the Xperia S might take a couple of months more to be available in your markets, the HTC Sensation XE is available currently. Unless you aren’t in a hurry for a smartphone, we recommend the Sony Xperia S over the Sensation XE as its overall performance, battery and the user experience has an edge over the Sensation XE’s.

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