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HTC Android phone Sensation launched, but 'death grip' questions linger

Executives say the device has a dual-core processor to speed up web browsing and an Augmented Reality feature to amp up the gaming experience, as well as in-page high def video playback.

Manasi Mithel | June 20, 2011 | Updated 16:51 IST

Taiwanese phone-maker HTC has recently launched a self-styled "super phone" - the Sensation - in India, hoping to catch up to rivals like Samsung and Apple. 

Executives say the device has a dual-core processor to speed up web browsing and an Augmented Reality feature to amp up the gaming experience, as well as in-page high def video playback.  But executives were vague as to whether the phone suffered from the dreaded "death grip" - a term used to describe a loss of network experienced by a device when held in a certain way.  This was a problem originally identified, now rectified, in the iPhone 4.

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Earlier this month, a post on the technology blog TechCrunch.com suggested that the Sensation lost its Bluetooth connection, WiFi sensitivity and phone signal when held a certain way.

"Every phone experiences a slight variation in signal strength when the radio, Wifi or Bluetooth antennas are covered in its entirety by a palm or fingers; however under normal circumstances this does not affect the performance of the phone," said HTC South Asia President Lennard Hoornik when asked whether the Sensation had a problem.  He said that the phone, which launched in Europe earlier this year and in the United States in 2010, had been "positively received by consumers."

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HTC has struggled in the Indian market, where Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S2 dominate the charts.

Faisal Siddiqui, the Country Head of HTC in India, said the company hopes to build the mobile experience around the user.  Part of this effort includes improving the experience provided by downloaded applications, or apps.

"The device has an 8-megapixel camera with zero lens timing to allow users to point-and-shoot without any time lag and a 4.3-inch qHD display screen which gives the users twice the speed to watch apps," Siddiqui said.  The phone uses the Android operating system, which makes it compatible with apps that are already available for Android online.

But with Korean and Indian rivals having over-crowded the Indian android market, it's unclear whether the HTC Sensation can win over India's finicky smartphone consumers.

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