Galaxy Nexus

HTC Sensation XL vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus Comparison

The HTC Sensation XL, is a larger version of the HTC Sensation XE, which by itself  is an upgrade to the original HTC Sensation. The HTC Sensation XL was launched in India recently and is also branded as the costliest Android phone in the country. On the other side, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the new Nexus device from Google, which is slowly hitting the markets worldwide and is the first phone to come with Google Android’s latest Operating System, Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus has really good internal hardware on it while the HTC Sensation XL packs a really interesting audio system by Beats by Dr.Dre.

If you are eyeing the HTC Sensation XL, do read HTC Sensation XL vs Galaxy Note ComparisonHTC Sensation XL vs Galaxy Note Comparison and HTC Sensation XL vs HTC Sensation XE Comparison and if you are more interested in the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung, read Samsung Galaxy Note Vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phones Comparison and Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy SII Features Specs Comparison to see how it fares with similar phones in the same bracket.

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

The HTC Sensation XL is 132.5 x 70.7 x 9.9 mm, while the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is 135.5 x 67.9 x 8.9 mm. The HTC Sensation XL weighs 162.5 grams while the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is just 135 grams in weight, much on the lighter side than the HTC Sensation XL.

The standard four Android buttons are present on the HTC Sensation XL and comes with a solid build quality that is tough on the exterior with a plastic back while the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has grand looks and comes with the no physical buttons on it at all, going by Ice Cream Sandwich’s new strategy.
Both the devices have a 4.7 inch display, making them quite huge devices to carry along in the pocket.

While the HTC Sensation XE has some interesting color highlights like the four capacitive buttons lighting up in red, the earpiece on the top and the camera ring covered in red, The Sensation XL just has the Beats logo on the back, nothing much to it other than that.


The HTC Sensation XL, comes with a S-LCD capacitive touchscreen of 4.7 inches with a pixel density of 199ppi while the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a Super AMOLED display of 4.7 inches as well and has a screen density of 316 ppi. The HTC Sensation XL has a screen resolution of 480×800 pixels while the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a resolution of 720×1280 pixels on it, making it a truly HD screen.

Both the phones support Multi-touch and there is an accelerometer and proximity sensor on both the cellphones as well. Also, the HTC Sensation XL and the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung have a Gyroscope on them, also called as a Gyro sensor, which enhances motion based gaming and gestures.

The display of the Galaxy Nexus is an Oleophobic surface.

Both the displays are capacitive touch displays, support multi touch input and have support upto 16M colors.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Nexus ( Super AMOLED )


The Galaxy Nexus from Samsung has a 5MP camera while the HTC Sensation XL has a 8MP Camera. The Sensation XL can take photos upto a resolution of 3264×2448 pixels while the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung also has a maximum resolution of 3592×1936  pixels. There is autofocus and LED Flash on both the devices as well.  The HTC Sensation XL has Dual LED flash on it but the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has only a single LED flash.

Geo tagging, face detection and image stabilization are standard features on both the smartphones. Also the HTC comes with HDR support on camera.

The Galaxy Nexus’s camera shoots video at 1080p resolution, at full HD at 30 frames per second while tht HTC Sensation XL shoots at 720p, at HD resolution.

Also, note that there is a secondary camera on both the devices, of VGA resolution in the HTC Sensation XL  and a 1.3MP camera on the Galaxy Nexus. This is used for normal camera purposes, by various camera based apps or for video calling via Skype, Google Talk etc.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Nexus ( Full HD Video ) ; HTC Sensation XL ( Better camera for still shots, 8MP )


The HTC Sensation XL has 16GB of internal memory, and does not support a microSD card slot while the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has 16/32 GB of internal memory for usage and is not extendable as well.

Not that both the phones cannot be extended, so if you’re going for the Galaxy Nexus, choose the 32GB model if you would store lots on your phone as you cannot later upgrade.3

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Nexus


The HTC Sensation XL 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 while the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a  also has similar bands on both 2G and 3G and both the phones work across the world, on almost all the bands that are available out there as they support multiple bands on 2G and 3G.

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. DLNA and Wi-Fi direct are also present in the Galaxy Nexus.

GPS is available on both the phones and Bluetooth 3.0 is enabled on the HTC Sensation XL while the Samsung Galaxy Nexus comes with Bluetooth 2.1. There is EDR support with A2DP on both the phones as well.

Both phones have FM Radio on it, with RDS support.

Operating System and UI:

The HTC Sensation XL runs on Android Gingerbread 2.3.4, while the Galaxy Nexus comes with Android Ice Cream Sandwich and is the first phone in the world to have it. The Galaxy Nexus, being a nexus device, has no UI on top of the stock OS and comes just as how the original Ice Cream Sandwich Android OS would look while HTC has its 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 while Samsung’s new TouchWiz 4 UI has refreshed iconography, user changes here and there and some slight improvements to the User Experience.

HTC has confirmed that the Sensation XL will be receiving the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 update soon.

Winner : Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Battery and Processor

The HTC Sensation XL has a 1600mAh battery while the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a 1750mAh battery. The HTC Sensation XL, on 2G, has a talktime of upto 12 h and 360 hours of standby time and upto 7 hours of talktime and 460 hours of standby time on 3G. While the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a talktime of upto 18 hours on 2G and 290 hours of standby time and upto 8 hours of talktime and 270 hours of standby time on 3G.

The HTC Sensation XL and Galaxy Nexus come with powerful processors. On the HTC Sensation, there is a 1.5 GHz Scorpion Single Core processor powered by an Adreno 205 GPU backed by the Qualcomm MSM8255 chipset while the Galaxy Nexus has a Dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Processor powered by a PowerVR SGX540 GPU and an TI OMAP 4460 Chipset.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Beats by Dr. Dre

The HTC Sensation XL comes with audio from Beats by Dr. Dre, one of the most premium companies specializing in Audio technology in the world. The HTC Sensation XLcomes 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 XL, which comes in the box as well. The headset has music control buttons on it as well.


The HTC Sensation XL is a nice device overall, and comes with solid build quality and design in the software and hardware part while the Galaxy Nexus is cheaper in its price, and has the latest version of Android. The Sensation XL would make a good device to those who are looking for an amazing multimedia experience, with movies and TV shows to watch on the move as it is coupled with an amazing audio system by Beats by Dr.Dre and also comes with a specially made headset for it. While the Sensation XL scores high on multimedia, its internal specifications aren’t that bad either, though it doesn’t have a dual core processor on it.

The Galaxy Nexus from Samsung on the other side is an amazing device that packs some great hardware, a gorgeous Super AMOLED screen and the latest version of Ice Cream Sandwich Android OS. Also, the Galaxy Nexus would be among the first batch of Android devices to get the Android ICS updates as Google rolls them out, keeping your phone up to date always.


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