Ina Fried

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HTC Hopes its New Sensation Will Rise to the Top of the Android Pyramid

Taiwan’s HTC on Tuesday is announcing plans for the Sensation 4G, a new high-end Android phone destined for T-Mobile’s network this summer.

The Sensation, previously code-named Pyramid, will be among the first phones to utilize an improved version of HTC’s Sense software. The software, outlined by Mobilized on Monday, features new options for the lock screen and other tweaks aimed to make Android easier to use.

With the new lock screen, users can see a slide show, social updates, weather or other information even before logging in to the device.

The Sensation also taps a higher-performance eight megapixel camera and links to a new HTC Watch movie service. The camera also is capable of recording HD-quality 1080p video and stereo sound.

Although it features a 4.3-inch phone, like some other models, HTC has opted to go with a screen that is thinner and longer than earlier phones. Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera told Mobilized that the new shape should be easier to hold and to perform tasks one-handed.

“It fits much better in your hand,” Kodera said.

The Sensation is just one of a number of new products headed to the U.S. from HTC this year, Kodera said. The company has already announced several of these including the HTC Evo 3D phone and the 7-inch HTC View 3D tablet, which are both headed to Sprint.

At Mobile World Congress in February, HTC also showed off two Facebook-centric models–the Cha Cha and the Salsa. The phones should go on sale this spring in Europe, and AT&T has said it expects to have HTC models with similar dedicated Facebook buttons, if not those exact phones, in the second half of this year.

The phone maker has been on something of a tear of late, with its sales more than doubling from a year ago and its market value recently passing both Nokia and Research In Motion.