Sony Ericsson, which is well known for its Xperia devices, recently rebranded itself to Sony, due to changes in the partnerships recently and the Sony Xperia Ion was announced in the Consumer Electronics Show this year at Las Vegas. Since then it has gathered a lot of interest amongst the public and has been positioned as the successor to the Sony Ericssion Xperia X10, which was one of the first Android devices couple of years back.
While the Sensation XE from HTC is a high-end Android phone from HTC, which comes with Beats Audio and a gorgeous screen on it, positioned almost in the same price range as the Sony Xperia Ion and both the phones come with high multimedia features such as powerful cameras, dual core processors and such.
However, there are quite a few differences in both the phones which might influence your decision before making a purchase or helping your friend get a phone. In this post, we take a look at the detailed specs of both the phones and compare them side by side, in every category:
Table of Contents:
- Form Factor Comparison
- Display Comparison
- Camera Comparison
- Memory Comparison
- Connectivity Comparison
- Operating System and User Interface Comparison
- Battery and Processor Comparison
- Beats by Dr. Dre
The Sony Xperia Ion is 133 x 68 x 10.8 mm, while the HTC Sensation XE is 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm in dimensions. The Sony Xperia Ion weighs 144 grams while the HTC Sensation XE also is around 151grams in weight, making both of them quite similar in weight, with the Sensation XE being a bit more heavier, though they vary in their size dimensions quite a bit.
The standard four Android buttons are present on the HTC Sensation XE, as touch capacitive buttons in the bottom, just like usual Android phones and comes with a solid build quality that is tough on the exterior with a plastic back while the Sony Xperia Ion also has the standard four button Android structure in its base.
The standard four-key setup as seen in all Android smartphones being present in both the smartphones is quite an advantage to get used to very quickly if you are an Android user already. Most of the Android smartphones except those from Samsung and Sony Ericsson follow this four-button setup on their smartphones.
Winner: Sony Xperia Ion
The Sony Xperia Ion has a similar LED backlit LCD screen, but larget in size ,of 4.5 inches and has a screen density of 323ppi while the Sensation XE comes with a S-LCD capacitive touchscreen of 4.3inches with a pixel density of 256ppi. The Xperia comes with a HD screen, also known as 720p screens and has a maximum screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels while the HTC Sensation XE has a screen resolution of 540×960 pixels.
Both the phones support Multi-touch. The Sony Xperia Ion can read upto four fingers on it screen at once. We can see that more and more apps are coming with multitouch facilities these days and Android Ice Cream Sandwich also has gesture based controls leading to a high usage of multitouch on our phones.
There is an accelerometer and proximity sensor on both the cellphones as well, along with scratch resistant glass on both phones.
The Sony Xperia Ion is powered by a Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine and both the phones support upto 16M colors but the HTC Sensation XE has just yet another S-LCD Display. Nothing impressive on the HTC though the resolution is good but nothing close to the 720p screen of the Xperia Ion.
Winner : Sony Xperia Ion
The Xperia Ion from Sony has a 12MP camera while the HTC Sensation XE has a 8MP Camera. It’s interesting to note that Sony, which has always had the edge in camera optics, has powered the Xperia Ion with quite a powerful camera unit while the HTC’s Sensation XE has yet another 8MP camera which has become very common nowadays in high end smartphones.
There’s Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection XE, 3D sweep panorama and image stabilization on the Xperia Ion while the HTC Sensation has Geo tagging, face detection and image stabilization as well. The Xperia Ion can take photos upto a resolution of 4000×3000 pixels while the HTC Sensation XE has a maximum resolution of 3264×2448 pixels. There is autofocus and LED Flash on both the devices as well, with a dual LED flash on the HTC Sensation XE.
Both the cameras shoot video at FULL HD 1080p resolution, at full HD at 30 frames per second and come with continuous autofocus, video light and video stabilizer as well.
Also note that there is a secondary camera on both the devices, of 1.3MP in the Xperia Ion while the HTC Sensation XE has a VGA camera. This is used for normal camera purposes by various camera based apps or for video calling via Skype or the native Google Talk app for example.
This secondary camera, also shoots video at 720p HD at 30 frames per second in the Xperia Ion while the HTC Sensation XE has just a VGA camera in the front. Note that the Motorola Droid RAZR is one of the other few phones to have HD recording in the front facing camera feature.
Winner : Sony Xperia Ion beats HTC Sensation
The Sony Xperia Ion has 16GB of internal memory and is extendable as well, with support upto 32GB on microSD. But the HTC Sensation XE has 4GB of internal memory out of which 1GB is available for use and a microSD card slot that is expandable up to 32GB.
So that means that on HTC Sensation XE one could use a maximum of 33GB on the move and is handy as it comes with a microSD slot while on the Xperia Ion, one could use a maximum of 48GB on the move and is handy as it comes with a microSD slot as well, allowing portability and ease of transfer of data.
Winner: Sony Xperia Ion
The Sony Xperia Ion has bands, 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 on GSM and 850 / 1900 / 2100 bands on HSDPA, with a support of upto 21.1 Mbps on HSDPA and 5.8 Mbps on HSUPA and also support for LTE, Cat3 at 50 Mbps UL and 100 Mbps DL while the HTC Sensation XE has GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 bands and HSDPA 900/2100 bands which gives maximum speeds upto 14.4Mbps on HSDPA and 5.76Mbps on HSUPA.
Both the phones have WiFi in them and support popular Wi-fi bands, compliant to the 802.11 standards. 802.11 b,g and n are supported and the WiFi Hotspot feature on them is also available on both the devices. To know how to enable Wifi Hotspot via tethering, follow these instructions here. Also, the Sony Xperia Ion has Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA capabilities.
GPS is available on both the phones and Bluetooth 2.1 is enabled on the Xperia Ion but the HTC Sensation XE comes with Bluetooth 3.0 support. There is EDR support with A2DP on both the phones.
Both phones have Stereo FM radio with RDS.
Winner : Sony Xperia Ion
Operating System and UI:
Both the phones run on Android Gingerbread 2.3.4, one of the recent versions of Android from Google. Sony, still maintains the same user interface as Sony Ericsson, the TimeScape UI.
The Sensation XE comes with HTC’s own Sense UI, which is quite famous for its excellent gesture support and user friendly UI throughout the OS built by the HTC engineers over the Android layout.The HTC Sense is definitely fun to use and has lots of small add-ons everywhere with some user-intuitive gesture controls as well.
Sony’s TimeScape UI is known for its excellent Facebook integration over the phone’s User Interface, across apps and other small additions in places which make Android really fun to use. This version Timescape is the latest one from Sony and it maintains the old features along with a few additions making the User Interface even more intuitive and fluid to use.
However, do not forget that Sony has confirmed that the Xperia Ion be receiving the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 update very soon, and also HTC has confirmed that the Sensation XE will be receiving the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 update soon which makes both these phones even more worth for the money as they will get the latest version of Android very soon.
Winner : HTC Sensation XE for Sense UI
Battery and Processor
The Xperia Ion has a 1900mAh battery under its hood while the HTC XE has a 1730mAh battery. The Xperia Ion has a talktime of 10 hours on 2G and 4 hours on 3G and 400 hours of standby time on 2G and 350 hours of standby time on 3G while the HTC Sensation XE on 2G, has a talktime of upto 9 h 20 min and 310hours of standby time and upto 7 hours and 20 mins of talktime and 540 hours of standby time on 3G.
On the Xperia Ion, there is a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor powered by a Adreno 220 GPU and supported by the Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon chipset while the HTC Sensation XE has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor powered by a Adreno 220 GPU and supported by the Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon chipset.
Winner : HTC Sensation XE
Beats by Dr.Dre
The HTC Sensation XE comes with audio from Beats by Dr. Dre, one of the most premium companies specializing in Audio technology in the world. The HTC Sensation XE comes with Beats Audio™ inbox with custom made Beats headsets, engineered to deliver extraordinary sound. Their software is also specially tuned software and the user interface is tweaked to deliver the best mobile audio experience. Also, HTC has got Beats to make a custom earphone for the Sensation XE, which comes in the box as well. The headset has music control buttons on it as well.
The Xperia Ion might be the product of a new brand, Sony but it still is highly usable considering the screen display is powered by the Bravia Engine and performs really well while the HTC Sensation XE is fun to use with HTC Sense UI on it and provides an overall better experience.
Looking at the specifications, the Sony Xperia Ion outperforms the HTC Sensation XE right from its multimedia features and its camera and it certainly wins over the Sensation XE in most of the aspects. However if you use your smartphone more for entertainment purposes then the HTC Sensation XE will make a good buy as it comes with Beats audio driver and Beats earphones.
While the Xperia Ion might take a couple of months more to be available in your markets, the HTC Sensation XE is available currently. Unless you aren’t in a hurry for a smartphone or a big audiophile, we recommend the Sony Xperia Ion over the Sensation XE as its overall performance, battery and the user experience has an edge over the Sensation XE’s.