updated 03:15 pm EDT, Sun June 5, 2011
HTC Sensation could be plagued by LAN death grip
The HTC Sensation could be the latest phone to face the once-thought rare issue of a "death grip." Tests conducted by NordicHardware (video below) with a signal measuring app and regular audio apps showed the phone rapidly losing Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signal, even just by putting it on a flat palm. Access can drop by as much as 20 to 30 dBm and noticeably bog down connection speeds.
The unibody aluminum design is believed to be responsible. Similar to a few earlier HTC phones and the original iPhone, the shell requires that HTC make a certain piece of the phone's shell out of plastic as a window for the wireless signal. This normally hasn't been an issue on phones like the Desire or Legend, but the Sensation may be more vulnerable than usual.
Any problem may not be serious depending on the circumstances. All phones face a certain amount of attenuation from a natural hand grip because the water in a person's hands can block the signal. HTC hadn't commented on the findings.
The issue could nonetheless magnify the irony for HTC. During the iPhone 4 antenna debate, it had largely absolved itself of antenna issues. That defense lost momentum after users found an HD7 antenna problem that put HTC on the same reasoning as Apple.