Ears perked up when HTC recently announced its partnership with Dr. Dre's Beats brand of headphones. Back then we wondered what form a union 'twixt smartphone and premium audio device might take. The time for speculation is over with HTC unveiling the new Sensation XE, the first handset to boast Beats Audio.
On the surface, the HTC Sensation XE looks identical to its predecessor the HTC Sensation 4G for T-Mobile. It features the same 4.3-inch qHD resolution display (960 x 540), and a similar-sized chassis (5 x 2.6 x 0.4 inches, 5.3 ounces). The phone is slightly heavier and thicker, perhaps due to the Sensation XE's faster 1.5-GHz Qualcomm dual-core CPU and bigger 1730 mAh battery.
Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, HTC's Sense 3.0, the Sensation XE features the same lovely interface we liked on the Sensation 4G. You also get the 8-megapixel main and VGA front-facing cameras used by the Sensation. The big difference here, besides the Sensation XE's aggressive red accents, are the Beats high-end earbuds bundled with the phone along with special Beats audio software. This software is designed to detect when official Beats hardware is connected to the handset and automatically tweak audio output to deliver superior sound.
At the moment it looks like the HTC Sensation XE will only officially rock Europe and Asia since no US carrier has said it has plans for the GSM device. Perhaps T-Mobile will scoop it up for the holiday season but we'll have to wait and see. Until then check out the official commercial spot for the phone.