HTC Sensation comes fully loaded; Honeycomb gets boost from chip-makers

by Kristen Nicole

HTC is all lined up for another major device release, announcing the HTC Sensation 4G’s availability later this month. T-Mobile customers will be able to buy the Sensation in stores on June 15, priced at $199 after the $50 mail-in rebate. Rumor has it the Sensation will hit WalMart stores June 12. So what’s special about the HTC Sensation? It boasts Android Gingerbread, with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, and a 4.3-inch 540x960 pixel display. It’s among the better of HTC releases this year, with software improvements like Sense 3.0, adding more functionality to the home screen. The Sensation also incorporates more media-centric features, including HTC’s new Watch movie service, HTC Listen for music lovers, T-Mobile TV, video chat (powered by Qik) and Slacker Radio.

The inclusion of HTC (2498.TW) movie and music services is a first for the manufacturer, harping on the need for new devices to offer media clouds to sell more devices. Released just last week, the LG Revolution comes with the Netflix (NFLX) app pre-loaded, marking a new era in software riding, and appealing to consumer demand. As you can see with the Sensation, HTC and T-Mobile are premiering their cloud services, taking advantage of new mobile trends as they look to differentiate themselves in a rather crowded market. While selection is low on HTC’s Watch store, it’s clear such offerings are becoming standard add-ons for today’s devices.

Chip-makers tout Honeycomb tablet strategies

The rising demand around entertainment media has incurred a chip war between Intel (INTC) and ARM (ARMH), both looking to dominate the emerging mobile device market. Intel revealed its Asus tablet yesterday, combining aspects of the tablet and laptop for our transitioning mobile scene. Part of the “ultrabooks” line-up, the Asus highlights Intel’s Atom chip push for Android Honeycomb, positioning its tablet strategy as one that can also help establish Google’s (GOOG) mobile platform.

While Intel and ARM are battling it out, the global tablet movement gets a boost from MIPS Technologies, which has a new partnership with Beijing’s Ingenic Semiconductor. The team-up will port Android Honeycomb to the Chinese chipmaker, to be used in an upcoming low power system-on-chip. "With its new chip, Ingenic is bringing a new level of MIPS applications processing to the mobile market," MIPS marketing and biz-dev vice president Art Swift said in the company’s announcement on Tuesday.