Samsung Galaxy S II vs. HTC Sensation – Which is best?

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is the most popular phone in Samsung's Android lineupThe two hottest smartphones announced this year are the Samsung Galaxy S II, and the HTC Sensation. Both devices have fantastic specs and a huge 4.3″ screen. But at the end of the day, which one performs best? Which one should you buy? Read on for a full comparison, including a color-coded table showing where each phone wins in specifications.

The Samsung Galaxy S II has been confirmed to be released on 1st May this year in the UK. It is currently available for pre-order from Clove, Handtec, or several other online stores.

The HTC Sensation was announced on 12th April, to be released some time mid-May in the UK.

This table lists the complete phone specifications in a side-by-side comparison. Where one phone wins hands-down, I’ve highlighted it in green. Where there are differences, but not a clear winner, I’ve highlighted the cell orange. You can find my final verdict at the bottom of the page.

Samsung Galaxy S II vs. HTC Sensation – Feature Comparison

The HTC Sensations is the latest Android device from HTC
HTC Sensation
The Samsung Galaxy S2 is the most popular phone in Samsung's Android lineup
Samsung Galaxy S II i9100 (16GB)
Release date
May 1st
Price Unconfirmed £440.00 from Clove
SIM Free & Unlocked Yes Yes
Operating System Android Android
Version 2.3 (Gingerbread) 2.3 (Gingerbread)
Custom Skin HTC Sense 3.0 TouchWiz
Speed 1.2GHz Dual Core 1.2GHz Dual Core
Make/Model Qualcomm Snapdragon
(Cortex A8)
Samsung Dual-Core Exynos CPU
(Cortex A9)
Expansion Slot Yes Yes
Type MicroSDHC MicroSDHC
Max. Capacity 32GB 32GB
RAM 768 MB 1GB
Internal Storage Yes Yes
Capacity 1GB 16GB
Touchscreen Yes Yes
Size 4.3 4.3
Type Super-LCD Super AMOLED Plus
Resolution qHD 540 x 960 WVGA 480 x 800
Other Gorilla Glass Gorilla Glass
Frequencies 850/900/1800/1900 MHz 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
Speed GPRS Up to 114 Kbps downloading, EDGE Up to 560 Kbps GPRS Up to 114 Kbps downloading, EDGE Up to 560 Kbps
3G/HSPA Yes Yes
Frequencies 900/2100 Mhz 850/900/1900/2100 (Quad band)
Speed Up to 14.4 Mbps download speed, Up to 5.76 Mbps upload speed Up to 21 Mbps download speed
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Version 3.0 3.0 HS
Functions A2DP for wireless stereo headsets, FTP and OPP (object push) for file transfer, PBAP for phonebook access from the car kit, Other supported profiles: AVRCP, GAP, GOEP, HFP, HID, HSP, MAP, SPP, SDAP up to 24Mbps data transfer
WiFi Yes Yes
Version IEEE 802.11 b/g/n IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
DLNA Yes Yes
Data/Power MicroUSB Micro USB
Audio 3.5mm 3.5mm jack
Video Out MHL via MicroUSB MHL via MicroUSB
GPS Yes Yes
A-GPS Yes Yes
Camera Yes Yes
Megapixels 8 8
Flash Auto focus and dual LED flash + Stereo sound Auto focus w/ LED Flash
Camera Lens
Front Facing Camera 1.3 MP 2MP
G-Sensor Yes Yes
Proximity Sensor Yes Yes
Light Sensor Yes Yes
Formats .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 9) MP3, OGG, AAC, eAAC , AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WMA, WAV, MID, AC3, IMY, FLAC, XMF
Formats .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 9), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3), .xvid (MP4 ASP and MP3) MPEG4, H.264, H.263, WMV, DivX, Xvid, VC-1
Recording 1080p @ 30 fps 1080p @ 30 fps
Near Field Communication No Yes
FM Radio Yes Yes
Battery 1520 mAh 1650 mAh
Dimensions 126.1mm x 65.4mm x 11.3mm 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49 mm
Weight 148g with battery 116 grams
Software Google services Document Viewer / Editor, SWYPE, Android Brower, RSS Reader
Other USB & WiFi Tethering Fully integrated Social Media Hub, Music Hub, Games Hub and Readers Hub
Build Aluminium Unibody Plastic

The verdict? Out of 15 feature comparisons, Samsung Galaxy S II wins 12 hands down, leaving only 3 for the HTC Sensation. The main areas where HTC comes out ahead are in the screen resolution, and build quality (although the latter is somewhat a matter of personal taste).

The Samsung Galaxy S II is certainly the better phone by features, and the Exynos CPU provides some extra native HD video processing features which might put it ahead as well. The extra RAM and Internal Storage will be appreciated by power-users or gamers. However, the HTC Sensation also offers an excellent package with higher screen resolution and build quality, plus stereo sound recording and dual flash.

Both phones are excellent devices, but I’ll be putting my money on the Samsung Galaxy S II. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

Update: It has been pointed out in the comments that the Samsung Galaxy S II actually has a Cortex A9 CPU, which puts it ahead of the Sensation’s Cortex A8. According to some analysis, the CPU inside the Sensation is actually closer to an A9 than A8. However, the Galaxy S2 is actually an improved A9, so I guess it’s another win for the Galaxy. I’ve updated the table to reflect this – thanks Will!