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iPhone 4S Rival Alert : HTC Sensation XE 12-Month Contract Costing £481

After the disappointing HTC Sensation XE deal of last week (which proved to be a misprice), we've got a glimmer of hope as two online retailers have put HTC's top of the range smartphone on sale on a one year contract with a total cost of ownership of only £481.

Available from Phones4U, the monthly contract plan costs £36 with an initial outlay of £49 and includes 300 minutes, 3000 texts and 500MB data allowance with 2GB Wi-Fi and Vodafone Passport (25 texts and 25MB data every day in Europe).

As for the phone itself, it is the shoe-in replacement for the HTC Sensation and comes with a black and red colour scheme. Audiophiles will be happy to know that HTC has included a pair of Beats by Dr Dre earphones (following the acquisition of the company by HTC) worth a pretty penny by themselves.

Other key features include a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC clocked at 1.5GHz, 768MB RAM, 4GB onboard storage, a 4.3-inch qHD capacitive contoured screen, an eight megapixel camera with LED flash, full HD video recording and a front facing VGA camera.

HTC has also included a number of proprietary features like HTC Sense UI, Beats Audio technology, an active lockscreen plus what HTC coins an immersive experience when consulting weather forecasts.