Video: Oops… death grip takes hold of the HTC Sensation
The iPhone 4 death grip issues, will go down in history as the biggest hardware debacle of all time, and yet it did not harm sales or uptake of the Apple product, Go Figure? Then there was the fateful quote from Steve Jobs “Just don’t hold it like that”. What did come to light though was the fact that the same design flaw, could be demonstrated with other handsets,
“every phone has these areas of sensitivity, depending on the location of the antenna. Some phones even ship with labels warning customers to not cover certain areas with their hands.” – Steve Jobs
SO to see the problem arise again, was probably inevitable, but you wouldn’t expect it to be with HTC’s 2011 Android flagship device, the HTC Sensation. The reports have just started to emerge, but as the video from PocketNow demonstrates below, the Sensation has a rather curious design. Even though it appears to conform to that familiar HTC form factor that we have come to love, it seems the phone fit’s together with a new twist for HTC.
There’s more than that though, seems people are reporting that the radio signal drops if the top and bottom sections of the phone are bridged, whilst being held flat on the palm of the hand. HTC has a habit, of placing the antenna in plastic inserts in it’s unibody design aluminium handsets, you can see similarities in my previous video, upgrading the memory in the HTC HD7.
The image above from MobileCrunch, shows the antenna contacts inside the disassembled Sensation, I know with the Mozart, if the battery cover is not firmly in place, you can have signal issues, could this be the same as people are having trouble with the way the device assembles, or is their actually a short being created if the two portions if the cover are connected by human skin, which is electrically conductive. As of now, it appears it is affecting Bluetooth and Wifi, but examples of network connectivity, ie connecting to the phone wireless network have not come to light.
The problem seems to be stemming from the phone’s back cover, according to Nordic Hardware’s tests. The purported unibody design is actually a glorified removable battery cover, made mostly of metal with a few plastic patches that act as antennae. If one of those patches is covered by your hand, the radio units within the device perform at a much lower level, particularly the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios.
It’s hard to say if this is a limited problem, one bad handset delivered to a reviewer, or if it a general fault, that will be seen across all of the Sensations built. I would think it’s an anomaly on the test device that Nordic Hardware received. The signal attenuation for Bluetooth seems dramatic, while all wifi connectivity is not lost. The one thing that most have thought, and coveted about the Sensation, that it was a one piece aluminium unibody design, has also been busted big time. Let’s hope this is a fairly random occurrence, and not the norm.