Video: 9 minutes and 19 painful seconds explaining why HTC Sense 4.0 is garbage

People give me a lot of shit for saying that the only Android devices worth buying are the Nexus handsets. There are few exceptions to that rule, namely the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Samsung Galaxy Note, but for the most part … I simply can’t deal with the atrocities that handset makers commit for the sake of differentiation. Brandon Miniman from Pocketnow made a beautiful 9 minute and 19 second video demoing HTC’s new flagship device, the One X, and how it compares to the latest Nexus device: the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. HTC, looking to make themselves standout compared to everyone else making an Android device, created a software skin called “Sense”. At first it was incredibly welcome since Android was such an immature software platform. Times have changed though, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is downright beautiful. HTC acknowledges this and admits that their latest version of Sense is incredibly light. Are they right? Watch below and reach your own conclusion:

Apple controls iOS and the iPhone. Google makes Android and will let damn near everyone use it, but you have to follow a certain set of rules to get access to the Android Market and Google’s services such as Maps and Gmail. Microsoft controls Windows Phone with an iron fist, to the point that they even dictate the spec sheet that everyone has to use, but they let everyone go crazy in terms of hardware designs. We prefer Microsoft’s model. There’s no reason that HTC, Samsung, LG, Huawei, anyone really, can’t compete on hardware alone. By hiring engineers and designers to pretty up an operating system that doesn’t need a layer of makeup, phone makers are not only cranking out inferior products, but they’re also reducing their own margins.

What do you think, are you for or against skinning?

  • Lord Badger

    I am sick to fucking death of Samsung/Nexus fanboys running every single Android blog on the internet. Really, the bias is incredible. Samsung do great hardware and I’ll give them that any day of the week, and stock ICS is indeed beautiful but this is ANDROID. Part of the reason that hideous, slow, buggy OS (Cupcake through Froyo, Gingerbread to an extent) was that people could do what they want with it without being told what they want, which is exactly what is happening now. “hurr this is shit because Samsung didn’t make it”. Honestly, it’s taking a leaf out of Apple’s bad habits book. By the way. Wanna know why the SII/Note actually sold so well? Ripping off the iPhone’s design and putting it on the market cheaper sells.

    • Neo

      Samsung do great hardware? Really? You mean that cheap plastic you overpay to get? It’s like holding a toy. Touchwiz is as bad as Sense, it might even be worse. Hell, I even hate Android and all it’s bugs who needs superquadruppelcores to almost run smoothly, yet still doesn’t function more than 6 months before the OS itself hates you as a user and makes your phonelife a living hell.

      And IOS is for dumb people. Enough said about that. Give up your control and happyness, buy an iPhone. You don’t ever have to think for yourself again.

      • T-bonet

        So basically your an apple fanboy

    • Someone

      I am sick to fucking death of Apple fanboys commenting on every single Android blog on the internet. Really, the bias is incredible. The SII/Note are an evolution of previous Samsung designs, since pre-iPhone. In fact, they actually use the same production earpiece (which is easily the most iPhone-like design element). In fact, every single element that Samsung was sued over existed in the F700. Black surface, single hardware button, grid of icons, shiny border. Pre-ICS (which is almost flawless stock), Touchwiz added a lot of useful features. Power toggles in the notification tray, customizable icons on the home tray, and an excellent contacts system. Post-ICS, I would say for the most part they could dump it. Still would like the power toggles back though.I’m stuck with them, since they have the best screens, processors, and they don’t even try to lock down their phones. I just wish they would change their finishes though. Plastic is great for phones, it’s light, thin, and it withstands shock well…. but don’t gloss it, it looks and feels like crap. Soft-touch plastic is IMO the best surface you could build a phone out of.

  • Android 4.0 has come a long way, but it’s “downright beautiful” in comparison to what it was. There are still plenty of problems and inconsistencies that we’ve known Google and Android for all along, all the way down to the “they seriously had to try to fuck this up” placement of the 3 dot menu button being all over the place.

    While I think a few hardware manufacturers would be able to successfully compete based purely on hardware, design and the fact that they offer stock ICS, there’s no way 4 major players and what, 8 smaller ones, could. Skins make sense and Motorola, HTC and Samsung legitimately add better functionally, visual flare that Android has always needed, and an unique touch.

    I’m all for skins, everyone just needs to find a quicker way to apply updates to skins faster.

    Honestly, Android has looked like a basement man’s coder project for so many years. Manufacturers have had to make it appealing visually and performance wise. We can’t expect all the manufacturers to throw away their investments and brands just because 4.0 is the closest version to quality yet.

  • I’m actually a huge fan/proponent of HTC Sense. It adds actual features that you don’t get in stock Android – specifically, the camera app is MILES ahead, the music player is better, and the Email support (for Exchange, for instance) includes a host of features, including peak/off-peak settings, subscribing to folders, etc. Real actual features.

    That being said, I really really hate the Sense launcher. I would challenge anyone who says they hate Sense to try using a Sense phone but install a different launcher. I user LauncherPro, but if you want a stock launcher experience, there are a bunch of options out there.

  • Anonymous

    Meh. I encourage Android skins but do wish they could make the update cycle faster. The problem with just relying on Google is that Google isn’t that great at design, even with ICS. Everything seems to be dorky, Tron-stuff. The general goal of having this innovation layer on top of Android is to find companies that create cool stuff that’s finally implemented at the core, like the swipe to dismiss notifications or having quick-access to WiFi, GPS in the notification bar. 

    The Microsoft model works too but you also complained that “Microsoft doesn’t need to buy Nokia, it already did” because Nokia could only compete with hardware on the Lumia line. 

  • Anonymous

    Really? You took someone’s opinon peice and turned it from “fluffy” to “garbage”. I think you’d have a  hard time selling garbage…The skin may not be as lite as stock android but it is not garbage. It is “thick” or “fluffy” in the wrong places…..but sensationalism gets clicks i guess….

    • The word “fluffy” isn’t as sensational as the word “garbage”.

      • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Prompter: Say “Folder.”
    Miniman: “Fohder.” 


    Prompter: “foLder.”
    Miniman: “Fohder.”

    *SHOCK* *SLAP*

  • Stripey

    Okay Stefan, i’ve got one for you here. Trawling for some kind of answer to my problem, i found your vid, and it seems to answer my question. I’ve just bought a new htc one x, from carphone warehouse here in the uk, unlocked, just the handset. no provider attached, as far as i can tell. so the Sense 4.0 on this should be stock Sense 4.0, without any carrier modifications at all.

    having spent the afternoon just trying to familiarise myself with the operating system a bit, with all of the great hype and the obvious hardware improvements it clearly displays over my old apple 3gs, i think i must be missing something.

    just getting from an application – ANY application – back to the Home screen – except for the Settings panel – takes four seconds at a time. a small “Loading” panel appears over the background, and you end up waiting. also, trying to navigate back to a browser window, reloads the browser page every single time. i’ve never seen this before. my old iphone switches between apps and the general os pretty seamlessly. it lags a bit on mail apps now, but in comparison to this supposed beast of a mobile phone, it absolutely murders the htc machine hands down. is there any way i could install stock ice cream sandwich on the thing? i’d like a change from the apple ecosystem, but at the moment, android just doesn’t seem to cut the mustard.

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