Thanks to O2 UK and HTC UK for the sample
Brief: HTC does a music phone.
Price: £380 on O2 PAYG, £0 on contract from £27 per month.
Specifications: The full spec is extensive, look here http://www.htc.com/uk/smartphones/htc-sensation-xe/#specs
Accessories: iBeats headset with 5 pairs of tips, shirt clip, USB wall plug, micro USB cable for data and charging. Oh and a little baggy thing for keeping the iBeats safe.
Build Quality: The iBeats I was not loving and I found them to be slightly imbalanced. Maybe I got the one in a million that is so, maybe not. Tbh I suspect most normal people wouldn’t have noticed it anyway. Build quality of the phone is great. It’s a sturdy, solid slab of solidness. I approve.
Comfort/Fit: Comfort of the buds was fine and the fit was pretty easy to get right too. The phone felt good in the hand and fit nicely in my pocket too.
Aesthetics: Hmm the earbuds are so so, sure the red cable is attention grabbing and looks nice but the buds themselves are uninteresting. Not ugly but not particularly appealing either. The phone however I thought was really nice. I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of the red accents on it and especially the red buttons. I thought oh god, they are going to make it look like a hooker’s phone, red light and all. The reality was it was nicely subtle and after a while made white look so ordinary. Of course looks are very personal.
Sound: The iBeats headset while probably among the better bundled things they just aren’t that good. They may be better than things like iBuds but I think if you the sort of person who visits Head-Fi then they won’t cut it for you. Too bass heavy and don’t have very good clarity. However the phone itself is pretty decent. It’s rather capable and for a phone is near the best I’ve heard. It’s good enough that you could, if you need a convergence device, get away with using this. You’ll be able to rise up to some pretty good earphones too before the phone itself really becomes the limiting factor. A shame the bundled set isn’t better. As a phone the device is really nice, Sense I found myself quite liking particularly the weather stuff. Super pretty. The screen is lovely too and natural looking with a good high resolution. The camera look good to but I’d really like to see a hardware button please; I don’t like hitting the screen. The speed of the device was very good, the CPU is crazy fast on paper but it didn’t feel uber fast over other things. Oh I did love that I can send the phones output to my TV with the use of a little dongle thing, MHL is a feature you should look into. You may not use it but its super cool. All round it is a really nice phone and has some rather nice battery life on it.
Value: It is a nice bundle. The headset isn’t a big bonus but it’s better than what you get elsewhere. The rest of the phone though is pretty much top notch and you pay for that. Good enough value my sister just bought one.
Pro’s: Lovely screen, decent audio output, fast cpu, solid made device, super pretty weather stuff.
Con’s: Beats is more gimmick than substance, to get good sound you will still have to buy your own earphones.