Prizefight (week of September 01)
T-Mobile G2x vs. HTC Sensation 4G
T-Mobile G2x vs. HTC Sensation 4G
T-Mobile has released not one but two hot Android smartphones in recent months. Both the T-Mobile G2x and the HTC Sensation 4G are impressive handsets; they both have a dual-core processor, and both support T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. They both have an impressive multimedia pedigree, with HDMI and DLNA connections plus cameras on the front and the back. With such specs and performance, it was little wonder we gave Editors' Choice Awards to both.
Yet, they're not cut from the same cloth. The Sensation 4G has an arguably sharper display, and the G2x is not saddled with any extraneous skins like its competitor. The G2x ships with just Android 2.2, whereas the Sensation 4G only has 1GB of user-accessible memory if you don't count the expansion slot. This will be a close matchup.
Editors' note: The Prizefight scoring system is as follows: Each judge rates on a 0-to-5-point scale. At the end of each round, we will take an average of the three judges' scores. The final score for each phone will be an average of all five rounds.
Round 1: Sexiness and durabilityDesign and looks count for a lot when you're shopping for a cell phone, so here's where we examine the look, size, feel, and sex appeal of the devices.
|T-Mobile G2x||4The T-Mobile G2x is a pretty good-looking phone. It's relatively slim and has a solid construction, but compared with the Sensation 4G, it's just a bit square.||4A solid 4-inch phone with a screen that pops and a nice matte backside. I'm never a fan of a nub sticking out of the back for a camera, but it doesn't hurt the G2x here.||4On its own, the T-Mobile G2x is a great-looking phone. It has a matte surface that gives it a premium feel, and the display is really sharp and full of color.||4|
|HTC Sensation 4G||5I've seen my fair share of 4.3-inch touch-screen smartphones, and the HTC Sensation 4G definitely stands out from the rest. The combination of the sleek unibody design, contour display, and tapered edges makes it one beautiful device.||4I like the curved and slim design, but the colors and design elements on the back make the Sensation 4G feel like a more female-inspired phone. The screen was incredibly sharp, but it never matched the brightness of the G2x's.||5The Sensation 4G, however, is just a touch sexier. With its curves and rounded corners, the Sensation 4G also boasts a crisper display thanks to the qHD technology.||4.7|
Round 2: Controls and user interfaceSexiness is one thing, but are the phones easy to use? In Round 2, we examine the design and usability of their user interfaces, keyboards, and navigation controls.
|T-Mobile G2x||5This is a tough round for me. I really like the stock Android experience on the G2x, but I also think the new additions to HTC Sense are pretty awesome. Both experiences are great, but for different reasons, so I think I have to call it a draw.||4Android's OS without a skin in its purist form is one of the best ways to go. Hard-core enthusiasts will love the G2x for this. And it feels snappy to use.||5Just two words will have Android purists falling all over the G2x: stock Android. No messy skins, no intrusive interfaces, just pure vanilla Android. Simplicity means a less encumbered experience, plus stock Android phones tend to get updates sooner.||4.7|
|HTC Sensation 4G||5See comment above.||5I'm a big fan of the mix of Android's myriad features and customization and HTC's Sense UI that makes it pretty and easy to use. This is still the sexiest Android skin on the market and I like sexy.||5That said, the Sensation 4G's HTC Sense UI is no slouch. HTC ramped up the number of home screens to seven. The Sense UI also provides a flashier interface for those who want to add a bit more bling to the usual experience.||5|
Round 3: FeaturesWhat do these phones offer under the hood? Here we examine the features of each device and rate which phone offers more.
|T-Mobile G2x||4The G2x and Sensation 4G are pretty evenly matched as far as features. The G2x has more internal memory than the Sensation 4G, but it's also running Android 2.2. It will be upgraded to Gingerbread, though.||4Dual-core processor, 8-megapixel camera, and all the wireless connectivity options are here on the G2x. Plus, let's not forget turn-by-turn maps and voice to text. You'll also find the Swype keyboard and 8GB of internal memory with an available SD card slot for more add-on flexibility.||4The G2x and the Sensation 4G have almost the same features. The G2x rocks a dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, an 8-megapixel camera, 1080p recording, and more. But it only has Android 2.2, so we can't give it a perfect score.||4|
|HTC Sensation 4G||4The Sensation 4G is already running Gingerbread, but 1GB of user-accessible memory is pretty weak, even though you can increase it using the expansion slot.||4Gingerbread gives the Sensation 4G some sweet new bells and whistles like real cut, copy, and paste, and better app management. The Sensation uses Trace, its version of Swype, but it's not as effective. The killer here is there's only 1GB of internal storage, and an 8GB card that takes up the card slot. You'll have to replace that card for a storage upgrade.||4The Sensation 4G has a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor instead, which isn't that bad, either. Navigation felt super zippy. It also has Android 2.3, which is a touch better than what the G2x has. But 1GB of user-accessible memory is disappointing.||4|
Round 4: Web browsing and multimediaThese handsets do a lot more than just make calls--they also have Web browsers and multimedia players. We take a look at which phone offers a better media and Web-browsing experience.
|T-Mobile G2x||4The browsing experience on both smartphones was pretty similar. The two also have 8-megapixel cameras, but I found the picture quality on the G2x to be slightly washed-out.||5The Web browsers are pretty much the same; the G2x loaded pages just a hair faster while the Sensation was faster with pinching and zooming. Its 8-megapixel camera with a single flash took slightly better pics. The other advantage: an HDMI video-out port that supports 1080p playback.||4Since both phones use the same browser, I'll call it a draw there. I found the media players on both to be quite good, too. But I do think the G2x doesn't have the greatest photo quality, especially compared with the Sensation 4G.||4.3|
|HTC Sensation 4G||5The Sensation 4G features HTC's new Watch and Listen video and music storefronts, but the services weren't fully functioning when I tested them so I don't really consider them an advantage at this point. I was happy to see, however, that the camera took great photos, since this hasn't been a strong point of HTC's in the past.||4The Sensation 4G has an 8-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash and also can record and play back 1080p video. It comes bundled with the Watch app, which serves as its marketplace for movie and TV show rentals and purchases.||5As I said above, I think the phones are about equal as far as the browsing and media players are concerned, but the Sensation 4G's camera turns out sharper and more vibrant photos.||4.7|
Round 5: Call quality and performanceCell phones aren't worth much if they don't make good calls. And though both handsets run on the same carrier, audio quality differences may remain. We also compare overall phone performance in this section.
|T-Mobile G2x||5Call quality was good on the G2x. There wasn't any type of voice distortion or background noise. The G2x also uses Nvidia's Tegra 2 chipset, which I found delivered slightly faster performance than the Sensation 4G.||5I was impressed with the audio quality. The G2x is one of the best-sounding phones I've heard in a while. It also was the better-performing phone of the two; menus were snappy and you can just feel it's a tad bit more responsive.||5Call quality on the G2x was excellent. Callers sounded clear and crisp, with hardly any distortion or static. As for the chipset, I found that the Tegra 2 processor does make a difference. Navigating the phone is that much faster, and games feel that much smoother.||5|
|HTC Sensation 4G||4The sound quality of regular voice calls on the Sensation 4G was fine, but the speakerphone left much to be desired. Qualcomm's new dual-core 1.2GHz processor kept the smartphone running just fine, but as I said above, the G2x just feels a bit more responsive.||4The Sensation 4G also has excellent call quality, but I would say it was just a hair below the G2x. This phone is no slouch, though, and it's a great performer, but I feel like the Sense UI's sexy animations might actually be slowing down the phone some.||4I thought the Sensation 4G's call quality was great as well. Calls sounded loud and clear, with natural-sounding voices. Though I thought the 1.2GHz processor was plenty fast, it did strike me as just a hair slower than the G2x's.||4|
The winner is...
HTC Sensation 4G (4.5 pts)
T-Mobile G2x (4.4 pts)
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