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HTC launches next Sensation model, the XL

The XL has the same Beats audio technology present in HTC's XE Sensation model

HTC said on Thursday that its latest smartphone in its Sensation series, the XL, with the Beats audio technology, will go on sale at the beginning of November across Europe and Asia.

At a launch event in London, HTC CEO Peter Chou said the device is part of the company's continuing efforts to improve how music sounds on a mobile phone.

In August, HTC said it had invested US$300 million in Beats Electronics, a U.S. headphones company that rap artist Dr. Dre helped found. The XL will ship with a pair of Beats headphones, which have an external remote control.

"People are eager to have a new era of mobile audio," Chou said. "We really want something to fix that degradation of the digital music."

The XL follows the Sensation XE, HTC's first smartphone with Beats technology in it. Although the two devices have the same audio technology, the XL overall doesn't quite match up to the XE in specifications.

The XL has a single-core, 1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM 8255 processor compared to the dual-core 1.5Ghz processor in the XE. But the XL does have a 4.7-inch touch display, which is larger than the XE's 4.3-inch screen. The XL's screen is Gorilla glass with WVGA 480-by-800 resolution.

The XL has an 8-megapixel camera, capable of taking 720p high-definition video with dual speakers that record in stereo, said Phil Blair, product director for HTC Europe. By comparison, the XE shoots 1080p HD video. The camera on the XL is a wide-angle lens and comes with a dual LED flash.

Other camera features include a burst mode for action shots and a panorama function for stitching shots together.

The XL has 16GB of internal storage, of which 12.6GB is available for use. It has 768MB of RAM. The device weighs 162.5 grams with the battery, which HTC says will provide power for between 250 and 710 minutes of talk time on a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) network.

The XL only comes in white with an aluminum panel on its back. No pricing information was released, and an HTC official said that will be determined by the carriers, which were not announced.

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