Released in 2011, the HTC Sensation was the phonemaker’s flagship device thanks to its super 4.3-inch screen that is slimmer and lighter than the competition at 148g for easy docking during driving. With a quality display and viewing angles of up to 45 degrees, this also ensures easier navigation and user interface whilst on the road. There are various apps, some preloaded and some free from the HTC marketplace that further ease the driving experience.
However, its HTC Locations app, which, when paired with a GPS, helps drivers effortlessly search for places of interest, obtain directions to destination and drive using turn-by-turn GPS navigation. The app is also globally enabled, so users can download maps before driving into a foreign country and avoid the worry of finding an Internet connection outside the country or expensive data roaming prices.
For more visual users, the HTC Footprints app is an easy gateway for drivers to record their favourite places and revisit those at length. All users have to do is snap a photo of the location, like a specific restaurant, building or tourist attraction such as a restaurant or sightseeing spot. These locations are then stored on the Sensation and exact GPS coordinates recorded, in addition to the street address, phone number, and other details.
To revisit the place, all drivers have to do is open the footprint and input it into the Locations app and GPS navigation. Alternately, Footprints can also transfer the information for a web search if users need more information, such as opening times and menu prices.
The Car App effectively turns your phone into a dash unit, and becomes the default user interface when driving. Although this car app came with the later HTC One model, with a HTC Sensation car mount, the Car App comes alive. The Car App allows users to switch effortlessly between navigation views, phonebook, the music app and Tune-in Radio.
In addition, the speakerphone interface allows users to make calls from the car, while alerting drivers to system updates such as connectivity options. The app’s Read Out option also helpfully reads out notifications and messages, so drivers know when calendar events are coming up or alerts such as a soon-to-be expired driving licence.
With buttons that can be simply seen and pressed, it does not distract drivers from the road and ensures a degree of safety while driving.
The car mode also streams music directly from the Sensation direct to the car speakers for better stereo sound, using Bluetooth connectivity. Users can set up the free Pandora radio or listen to podcasts while driving with minimal hassle, by accessing the Music icon. The next time drivers access the car mode, the Music icon will be accompanied by the radio or music app of choice like Pandora, both clearly displayed – and can immediately start streaming direct to the car’s system.
Lastly, the HTC Sensation’s 4G connectivity comes in handy when navigating through busy roads and its rear microphone helps pick up and nullify background noise that may disturb hands-free connection.