Share this Story

Video: HTC Sense 4.0 Overview on the One X

Well, it has been a full week since we got our hands on the HTC One X and are getting closer to a full review, but first, we wanted to do an intense look at Sense 4.0. As you may have heard, this version of Sense is supposed to be the lightest and most toned down yet, resembling stock Android much more than any other release. Whether that’s true or not is up for debate, but the changes are drastic enough that we wanted to point some of them out to you. This is technically the first OEM skin to be slapped over top of Ice Cream Sandwich that has been released to the public, so it is definitely worth talking about. Some of it is definitely good – some of it not-so-much. Overall though, I’d have to say that I’ve enjoyed parts of the Sense experience, just not the launcher itself. Prepare yourself for 20 minutes of glory.

  • The GNex takes pics while recording as well.  I’m sure the One X is nice (sense aside) but I am still totally happy with the Nexus and have no complaints so far.  I know two other people that have them and neither of them have had issues.  

  • blix247

    The Google Reader bottom overflow is an application specific problem.  Meaning it will manifest itself on any application that still uses legacy option menus.  HTC chose to make it appear above the capacitive buttons.  Since Google made their buttons software, it wasn’t a big deal to put it on the right hand side of the other buttons.  That definitely was a really stupid decision on HTC’s part.

  • Common_Dense

    So much stupid nit picking instead of just reviewing the phone and giving your pros and cons and let the watcher decide if they like Sense 4.0

    Him crying about the background is hard to change, really? How often do you change your background?  The end is the best part, Sense is more like stock android, but he’s gone away from it because he likes to customize things. So you don’t like Sense because it isn’t stock ICS, but you put a custom launcher on because you don’t like things stock.  

    • jroc74

       I dont know…

      One thing I dont like about my Rezound, thats not even on Sense 4.0. If I wanna set pics I took as the background…I have to crop it a certain way. On my RAZR it just fits on the screen.

      If I can just make it fit the screen….its hidden in some setting.

  • When are you going to post a full review of the One X?  Have you had a chance to see the Evo 4G LTE in person?

  • i would say the asus transformer was the first one to skin ICS as it isn’t purely AOSP 

  • HbGREAT4u

    Hey lets see a Camera showdown between the One X and the Nexus. I heard that after 4.0.4 the nexus’s camera is really beginning to shine.

  • Lucas

    After seeing this video, it just makes me appreciate my GNex that much more.

  • joe23521

    The partitioned storage is VERY disappointing.  Potentially deal-breaking.

  • This website has some serious identity issues. Have you given up on Android Life yet again? I can only speak for myself when saying I came to this site because it specialized in a particular segment of Android Smartphones. All encompassing Android sites are a dime and dozen. Ultimately it’s your site to do with as you please, just giving my 2cents. 

  • turdbogls

    Welp…4 months into this phone (galaxy nexus) and i STILL dont want another phone.  this has got to be some sort of record.

    • Jlmcc

      hate mine with a passion, worse phone i have ever had

      • turdbogls

         I’m sorry you feel that way….please send me your galaxy nexus and i will give it a good home 🙂

        • Jlmcc

          ive had 4 of them,bad radios,poor camera,mic cuts out,, a real hung of plastic crap

          • turdbogls

             i rooted and ROM’ed on day 3.  on 4.0.4 radios and ROM, i have no data hangs, never drop a call, have zero mic cut-outs, no dropped calls, phone takes great pics, i get 12 hours of battery, pretty strong 4g coverage, super smooth. 

            as for the number of returns…i think the thunderbolt was right on track with the nexus in terms or returns.  that phone had TERRIBLE signal issues when it was first released.  after 5 radio updates they got it right. 

            i hate to say this, as it is kinda a cop-out for manufacturers but,
            a, root and ROM will take care of most of your issues.  you can return to stock easily for warranty stuff, a new ROM and radios take 30  to do.

            b. this is a first Gen device.  you have the first android 4.0 device on LTE, there will be issues at the beginning.  the TB had them at first, then it became a great benchmarking device for signal.

            give the nexus a litte of your time (Root/ROM) or a little time to get the update to 4.0.4/5 and see where you sit.  if you cannot wait, get a new device.  verizon should be throwing the maxx at you after 3 devices with the same problem.

          • Jlmcc

            wish they would, the maxx is the best phone out right now,but  really dont care for the boxy shape of it

          • billy routh

            the razr is a pos. and like all ota done my moto when they update it to ics it will barelly be useable

          • Jlmcc

            and why void my warranty trying to fix someone elses mistakes

        • Jlmcc

          been to several verizon stores,since i travel a lot, they all said they have never seen so many phones being returned as they have with the nexus

          • billy routh

            sure they did. i have one and know atleast 5 people with one and no one has had a single problem. as a matter of fact its the only android phone that ive never even had to do a battery pull on. its also the only android phone with no lag. so go troll elsewhere

          • jroc74

            Only android phone you never had to do a battery pull on..

            Give it time. I didnt really have to either….it rebooted before I had to. Rebooted trying to put it on speaker phone once or twice. I take that back. I did have to do a battery pull or reboot: dialer either wouldnt show up or go away on calls.

            Not saying it sucks…but its far from perfect. No phone is perfect. My RAZR has got stuck in 3G recently, had to to hard reset on it once or twice cuz the screen froze. About lag…the RAZR and Rezound are nice. If the G Nex has no lag…the RAZR and Rezound arent far behind. Both my phones are stock.

            But hey….this isnt about the mighty G Nex…this is about Sense UI 4.0

          • Jlmcc

            so you and 5 others have never had a problem with their gnex?   yeah right, wanna buy a bridge?  aint nobody ever going to believe that story

          • 4.0.2 does have some issues for sure.  I’ve been using leaked stock 4.0.4 for almost 2 months now and it’s rock solid.   The only time it reboots is when I turn FoxFi off and on during occasional free tethering.   It pretty much fixed everything, although I think the running apps button still needs some tweaking.

            You know the problems themselves are probably due to ICS 4.0.2 itself, as much as it is the G Nex’s hardware.  
            This update should be given emergency treatment by Google/Verizon since it stabilizes the phone.  Blame Verizon because this leak is legit and at least 2 months old.  The build number is too low in leaked 4.0.4, so I imagine the OTA version will have even more minor bug fixes.

    • Q

      Same here..  The Nexus is the first phone Ive had in awhile that has kept me content.  In fact, it’s the only phone that’s kept me content.  Ive gone through the Droid X, Thunderbolt, and Bionic, and now Gnex.  Previously, I’d get really new phone envy when I saw the reviews of new devices…   Now I have ZERO desire to “upgrade” to anything…

    • billy routh

       i agree 100%

    • Stephen D

      I feel exactly the same. It’s an incredible device, and just might be the first Android phone I actually keep for a year(I’ve made it 10 months with every other one.)

  • Stock ICS is boring. Less disgusting than it used to be but still boring

  • Serpico

    Nice coverage, with one note: I just had 3 seizures with all the hands flailing around – why so much hand movement? Are you an aspiring magician (on crack)?

  • mustbepbs

    HTC did a really nice job on the entire package. This is something to be proud of. Great job, HTC.

  • The two examples of its slowness with the app drawer still happen faster than they do with my Galaxy Nexus. 

    I’m a fan of Sense, but it’s significantly behind stock ICS in terms of aesthetics.

  • jroc74

    The Rezound was my first Sense phone. I dont really like it. It has a ton of features and eye candy…but its some functionality stuff that kinda irks me.

    This seems to be a step in the right direction…will have to get hands on to see some things. Something small like finding battery use on my Rezound in Settings …its head scratching as to why its where it is.  

  • SummerHansen

    What’s up with all of the lag ?  I wanted to reach in to my monitor, grab the phone and smash it.  It that a sense problem or a tegra 3 issue.  I was thinking about this phone, but no more (but I may wait to see the Snapdragon S4 version with newer chip architecture before writing it off completely).  I doubt sense or ICS is optimized for quad core anyway.

  • SurgicalTech

    The phone takes to long to load up 
    Your OCD is kickin in

  • A few screenshots of HTC Sense 4.0 (taken from a custom rom) here: 

  • I don’t really care so much about Sense 4.0; I can always get a new launcher (but I do like the way the Sense contact list brings together all of my sync’d accounts, and the lock screen is nice).

    What I care about is whether the stock launcher (and other stock apps and widgets) have been stripped. I thought that Google said that most of the stock stuff should at least be available on the phone (e.g., by clearing defaults) in order for it to use ICS.

    (I haven’t watched the video yet, and so maybe this is addressed there)

  • Guest

    The lag isn’t a big deal at all, there’s just as much on stock ICS. Sad to see the notification shortcuts go bye-bye though, and the roundabout wallpaper switcher thing, but I guess something like that can be fixed with an app

  • feztheforeigner

    Awesome review Kellex, I for one am very appreciative of all the hard work you put into this site without me ever even seeing an ad. Zeinzu should just go somewhere else.

    • Guest

      careful, your head might get stuck…

  • zaoche55


  • rakoskjc

    android lags even the nexus has lag when you go to fast. 

  • boohooo

    wahhh wahhh wahh $hitty samsung hardware i miss you wahh wahh

  • the first 8 minutes are really just complaining about how HTC offers more customizing than other overlays…if I didn’t want an overlay I’d root this and get rid of it…I think so far (again, now 9 minutes in) it’s a great way to do even more personalization than regular Android has…if it’s laggy and jittery get rid of it..

    And the change wallpaper problem isn’t really a big deal, it’s called Wallpaper Wizardril and its an instant way to custom make and change wallpaper in like 2 clicks.

  • getitoutme2

    Currently running Sense 4 on my Rezound and absolutely love everything about it. The little bit of lag that I have experienced is well worth the eye candy that is Sense 4. To me, stock ICS is a huge improvement of stock GB, but still too boring and minimalistic. With that said I’d much rather have stock ICS than TouchWiz, Blur, or LG’s whatever. For sure. 

    • jroc74

      I agree stock Android is too boring and minimalistic for me too. And stock ICS is a huge improvement of stock GB.

      But I have a RAZR, and Rezound….had a G Nex. I have a feeling the RAZR with ICS is gonna be real nice, surprise some ppl. Sense UI just seems to get worse for performance as the years go by.

      The UI’s add a lil something extra as far as features, functionality. They just need to get the performance issues under control.

      • tyler

        Wait, wait, wait.  So you traded in your GNex for a Razr?  Please offer some insight as to why one would ever want to do that…

        • Joe Buck

          im guessing his gnex is like all 5 that ive had. Its a pos worse phone ive ever had

          • Jlmcc

            I agree,my 4th one keeps losing 3g and 4g have to constantly reboot, hating it more everyday

          • Azndan4

            You’re doing something wrong or you live in an area with poor reception (in which case having a Motorola device will not help you), or you’re trolling.

          • PanicsWhenUbered

            Probably trolling. There’s a lot of G-Nex haters on here for some reason.

          • jroc74

            Its the other way around….A Moto phone would help in that case…

            I also have a Rezound, 2nd one…..and my RAZR does better where I live. Phone and data reception.

          • Tweekex

            In almost 6 months I have never had ANY of these problems..

          • PanicsWhenUbered

            4 replacements? Either you are in a fringe-coverage area or you need to watch a tutorial on how to use a smartphone lol

        • jroc74

          No I had the RAZR first….tried the G Nex for a few weeks. I traded the G Nex for a Rezound.

          Hate to say it but the Rezound hasnt been much better as far as reception. Keeps getting stuck in 1x among other things that are so so about it. This is my 2nd Rezound..same issues as the first. I probably shoulda kept my G Nex.

          You make it sound like the G Nex is some great phone and the RAZR is nothing. No phone is perfect….none. And everyone doesnt have the same wants n needs. Reliable reception was my want n need, not stock ICS, not an unlocked bootloader, not a higher screen res.

          • LiterofCola

            You mean people might have different tastes ans interests from other people?  That’s crazy talk!!!!

            Yeah I agree If stock ICS and an unlocked bootloader is what’s more important to you then the Nexus is your phone, if not, that’s why there’s other options.

          • jroc74

            lol!! Exactly….for some reason the Galaxy line has bought out some iPhone fanboy traits in some ppl. Started with the Galaxy S 1.

            Whatever happened to choice? Isnt that one of Android biggest strengths?

          • LiterofCola

            There’s extremists everywhere

  • Sobr0801

    I think I like sense 3.6 better? 

  • Liderc

    Great looking phone, too bad about Sense still being about the same.  Just shows how much better the Android market could be if all these phones just used stock ICS.

    • jroc74

       I hope they never all use stock. If the would go that route….let folks install a custom UI then from the Market or the manufactures website.. or let folks customize the custom UI alot more….give it a clean slate and let us add what we want to use, see.

      I tried stock ICS…its still missing some things that the custom UI’s add that make the Android experience a lil bit better.

      I kinda like how HTC did the add widget, shortcuts to the home screens thing. I like how they added Play Store to the app drawer as a static icon…like Moto did starting with the GB update for the Droid X. I’m sure T9 dialing is there, they shoulda kept all that stuff in the notification shade tho…or kept some of it. Was useful to have some right there, like Kellex mentioned the Wifi toggle.

      If the custom UI’s got performance issues under control…the handset market could be much better.

  • forpar

    Hard buttons???? Hello anyone home????  Its ridiculous to still have them.  I love the soft buttons on the nexus!

    • Tim

      Why’s it ridiculous? because you prefer on screen keys? Who are you and why should I care what you prefer?

    • Drummer62

       you do get more screen real estate with hard buttons. That 4.7″ is all screen for home, apps, whatever. So in that regard the hard buttons is a little nicer I think.

    • jroc74

      Like the other 2 folks said….on screen buttons isnt for everyone. That was my least fav thing  about the g nex. They didnt really matter to me.

      Menu button in apps….now that was nice.

      And I actually miss the hard buttons on my Droid X1.

  • Looking forward to the Incredible 4G….a lot may not like it, but I for one will be getting one!

  • Kenmckean

    That should have read ‘wankers’ Not ‘bankers’

  • Zeinzu

    Your review sucks. You claim lag and stuttering where there is none, your terminologies are incorrect, and you don’t even know how to properly exit an application. Go get an iPhone and leave the Android reviews to someone more competent.

    • F150Fan

      Wow. You mad bro? Kellen actually does a rather good job with his walk-throughs. I agree that the lag is a little exaggerated but everyone has their own likes and dislikes. 

    • C-Law

      Zeinzu, i saw the lag clear as day. You blind bro? That jitter and lag annoys me too.

    • Mack

      How does he not know how to properly exit an application? As far as I know there are only two ways to do this and they include using the back button or hitting the home button. Last time I checked neither of these methods were labeled as the only “proper” way to exit an application. Yeah some parts of his review are opinion based but he clearly stated that those parts were a “dislike” of his. Kellex’s reviews are very thorough and if you don’t like them, don’t watch.   

    • billy routh

      you must be blind if you didnt see the lag. all htc phones are laggy pos

  • I like the Incredible 4G more.


  • Apostrafee

    That ESPN update was Aldridge’s injury….LAAAMMEEE

  • Kenmckean

    Good thing about life is that you will always have bankers around to give you a laugh!

  • FIRST OF ALL: Stupid comment about why this should be on androidlife. (not my opinion, I honestly don’t care)
    that phone is hawt. i’d tap that. (see what I did there?)

  • Thelegendofdavid

    How are you dealing with the constant lag of the phone kellex?

    • PaulK

       That lag was horrible.  Cross another phone off my list.

  • sense sometimes does not make too much sense

  • sonicxml

    About the menu button, while apps may include an action bar button, if they state in the Android Manifest that they are compatible with versions of Android less than Honeycomb, then the menu button will appear. I think you should instead be blaming HTC for not using onscreen buttons.

    • F150Fan

      Exactly, which means that the app developers need to update their apps to reflect this and be more compatible with ICS. Now I do like the onscreen buttons better myself but this is still a problem with the devs too, as well as HTC I guess.

      • sonicxml

        But its not a fact of the apps being” more compatible” with ics, as they are. The thing is that if they wanted the menu button to disappear, they would have to restrict their app to honeycomb or ics only – so you wouldn’t be able to download the app from the play store if you were on gingerbread or froyo (or anything before).

        Therefore, it is more htc’s fault for not using on screen buttons as then the menu button wouldn’t take up any extra screen space

        • F150Fan

          As Kellen said I thought that Google said they wanted the developers to start utilizing the action bar, or new menu button, rather than the old menu button. I am not a developer but there has to be a way for compatibility with the newer way of handling this, rather than just blaming HTC. All they did was move the onscreen buttons and make them touch sensitive ones below the screen. That may be what is actually causing the problems but with other apps on the Nexus I have seen both the old menu button next to the onscreen buttons while there is the new action button up top. I still say that this is more of an app issue than it is hardware.

  • Unbelievable Check out the this qr.net/iiwe and click home .

  • yarrellray

    In my mind been their done that. I had a device with sense 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 and all sense is famous for is drastic CPU slow downs and glitches. Htc is also famous for browser crashes, friendstream syncing problems and sms texting issues these problems exist on all htc devices. I owned htc evo 4g and evo 3d these devices had software issues often. Now i roll with stock and stock only that will probably always be from this point on. I love my Galaxy Nexus and sense 4.0 the way google meant sense 4.0 to be not htc’s verison full of bugs and issues. Looks like that quadcore prossesor is having major issues operating with sense 4.0. Phone arena.com and pocketnow.com was also very disappointed in the tegra 3 quadcore performance of the One X against the Galaxy Nexus…I am happy for my GALAXY NEXUS on Verizon…Educate yourself people all that glitters isn’t always tech gold… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3a2s9xRbK0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    • imagine it stock though…. dang.

      • yarrellray

        This pure stock and Nexus then great..

  • Rickerbilly

    How about turn the “sleep after inactivity” to max BEFORE shooting a review. Just saying.

    • RadicalPie


    • John

      Heh…ya I agree. He knows better =P

  • I new the dammed physical buttons for ICS will screw up….. -.- Hopefully companies stay away from the dammed ting 

  • Trophynuts

    this video is a perfect example of why i think Quad Cores in phones is stupid. I’d rather have a very efficient dual core any day.

    • jroc74

       It might be more Sense than quad core being the reason for the stutter. Quad core in tablets isnt this bad, or is it…

      • QPHALO

        Not at all on my prime

        • jroc74

          Does it have stock Android? If not…yea we can probably put some of the blame on Sense UI.

          • QPHALO

            Yep, completely stock.

          • jroc74


            Verdict: Sense UI is guilty of making a quad core phone look bad. lol Might just be a bad One X tho. Benefit of the doubt n all.

  • Utleysknees

    Can someone help with an observation. At the 13 min mark storage is being looked at. Now the internal storage reads 1.3 GB used and 837MB available.

    Then at 13:33 he goes into the apps storage and at the bottom it’s reversed. It reads 837 MB used and 1.3 GB available.

    Am I missing something or reading that wrong?

    • F150Fan

      You know, I was wondering the same thing. Got anything for us Kellen?

    • tomn1ce

      I thought that was just me, but I see someone else noticed it as well. 

  • Joe

    Good video. Question…how are the contacts displayed? One of the things I like about Nexus is that contacts are beautifully displayed full screen. I have HTC Incredible, and contacts are so small on that phone which makes it hard for me to see. thanks

  • sgtguthrie

    I’m not a fan!

    I want to see what the Droid Fighter and SGS3 (if it comes to vzw) look like…

    • F150Fan

      I like that they tamed Sense down a tad, it was getting really out of control. But I do agree with you on the Droid Fighter. I am really interested to see what that is going to be. I really want to go back to a Motorola device. Thinking of getting a RAZR to tide me over. 

  • Only if you…..

  • Joe Buck

    a momentary delay drives him nuts?   dude you are so anal

    • Samvelavich

      lol when u think about the fact that u have a quad core + 1 tegra 3 processor, u would get frustrated too

  • ryanplusplus

    The phone is beautiful, but sense is awful.

    • Hoping for a stock ROM soon. that would be sick. overclock tegra 3? ohhhhh yesh.

      • An AOSP ROM will take 6 months at least.

        • I can dream right? 🙂

    • Laz

      Agreed. The device looks nice, but Sense makes me physically ill. Same for TouchWiz. ICS is way too slick to be cheesed up with these skins.

    • i concur.

  • Merci pour le partage, d’accord avec votre point de vue

  • Glen

    Would be my first choice (second choice Galaxy S3) if it ever came to Verizon. What is the sense of building the nation’s best 4G network if you only populate it with second and third grade user hardware?

    • Nick

      We got the galaxy nexus which is essentially the GS2 w/o touchwiz and with 4.0.  

      • @5913559b90a17780a047c7e3b2e77196:disqus  

        My Roómätë’s sťëP-sîsťėr mäĸes $75 hoûrly on the LāPtoP. She häs bėēn Läîd oḟḟ ḟor ėîght months bût Lāst month hėr încomė wäs $17382 jûst Wōrḱıng ōn thė LaPtōP ḟōr ą ḟėẅ hōûrs. Rėad mōrė ōn thıs wėb siťė.. SEE MORE

      • Asuriyan

        Exynos dual core and SAMOLED+ were the defining features of the GSII phones. The Nexus had neither. The only thing those series shared was a brand and flimsy plastic build.

        • Azndan4

          Do you own a gnex or have used it for more than five minutes? If not, you have no basis for making that claim.

          • Asuriyan

            The claim that they share no design lineage, or the claim that Samsung makes flimsyphones and that the GNex is no exception?

            I returned one because it’s important to me that a phone be well enough built to last the duration of my contract. The Nexus did not give me that vibe. YMMV.

    • Butters619

      Galaxy Nexus, Razr Maxx, and Rezound. All solid phones.  Us AT&T folk haven’t seen great new releases since the SGS2.  (Well and the skyrocket, but even that was just another SGS2 and nothing groundbreaking).

    • snowblind64

      How can you make a decision that the One X is better without seeing the GS3?

  • Nyreyn

    I don’t think I’d hate Sense as much as I do if it weren’t for the icons, especially those in the settings menu.  Some people may like them, but I think they’re ugly.  To each his own I guess….

  • G3spike

    Very sexy phone, but I think its a waste of space to place the navigation bar off the screen. If any app (80% of the apps) does not have the settings button, it takes up the screen space the default on-screen navigation bar does anyway.

  • jjrudey

    Once the GS3 is revealed we’re going to have a battle for the ages

  • Dan

    Idk who can even consider looking at the Incredible 4G after looking at this. This phone is gorgeous.

    • I’m definitely going to trade in my nexus for the inc4g. it’s so retro

      • C-Law


  • Blood

    That is the best looking phone i have ever seen

    • I would probably have to agree. It really is a hell of a design by HTC.

      • PhillipCun

        its a beautifully designed phone but HTC has used this same design over and over, they just removed a few lines and made it white. its a great step for HTC, but they should have done this last year.

      • possomcrast1

        Just wish htc would make a stock experience phone…but i guess they are sticking to their reputation of making “user friendly” interfaces”.

    • snowblind64

      Got to admit it’s a pretty nice looking phone. Only thing I don’t like about the design is the matte silver ring around the camera.