T-Mobile USA said it will begin selling the HTC Sensation 4G Android smartphone June 15 for $199.99 after a $50 mail-rebate and a two-year contract.
The Sensation 4G features a 4.3-inch quarter high definition (qHD), WVGA TFT capacitive touch-screen display (960-by540 resolution) powered by a 1.2GHz qualcomm Snapdragon processor and HTC’s Sense user interface.
Sensation 4G will also be T-Mobile’s first smartphone to run Google’s Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” smartphone. Gingerbread sports several improvements over the “Froyo” build, including a better virtual keyboard and copy and paste features, and native NFC (near field communications) support.
However, the Sensation 4G does not have an NFC chip to leverage the forthcoming Google Wallet mobile payment service when it becomes available in New York and San Francisco this summer. Wallet relies on the NFC chip as a “secure element” to hold users’ credit card information.
Google has said it could work around this by offering NFC-enable stickers to ensure phones can support other forms of NFC-enabled tag reading. It’s unclear how the sticker approach would enable Wallet without a chip to store account info.
The Sensation 4G should perform up to 4G standards in the 184 markets T-Mobile currently offers 4G mobile broadband.
T-Mobile’s 4G speeds, which offer up to 14.4M bps download speed and up to 5.76M bps upload speed, will enable media applications, including the HTC Watch movie and TV library and HTC Listen music library.
The HTC Sensation 4G also has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with dual LED flash, digital zoom and auto-focus, paired with a front-facing camera and 1080p HD video recorder. Consumers can leverage the two cameras with the preinstalled Qik application to conduct video chat sessions.
HTC Sensation 4G, fitted with a 1520 mAh lithium ion battery, also supports Microsoft Exchange email, contacts and calendar, social networking, and instant messaging, and a preinstalled 8GB microSD card.
The HTC Sensation 4G will be sold at T-Mobile retail stores, online here and through some national retailers and dealers. The HTC Sensation 4G is also expected to be available as early as June 12 at select Wal-Mart locations.