The rumors can be laid to rest, because HTC has officially announced its Sensation XE handset, replete with some upgraded specs and Beats Audio. Powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, this Android device features a 4.3-inch touchscreen with qHD (540 X 960) resolution and boasts a larger 1730mAh battery that promises prolonged run times. As the first smartphone produced under HTC's partnership with Beats Audio, this special edition Sensation also ships with a special pair of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, along with an 8GB or 16GB microSD card and remote control that allows users to flip through tracks of take calls without ever reaching inside their pockets. Once these headphones are plugged in, the phone will automatically activate a Beats-optimized sound profile that, according to HTC, will deliver fuller bass, sharper vocals and broader range. The Sensation XE is slated to launch in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East sometime this month, though price and a possible North America launch date remain unclear. Scurry past the break for more details in the full press release, along with an extra shot of Dre's in-ear headphones.

Update: We've just been ears-on.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

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HTC AND BEATS INTRODUCE NEW HTC SENSATION XE™, THE FIRST PHONE WITH INTEGRATED BEATS AUDIO™

New 1.5 GHz dual core processor and longer battery life extend the HTC Sensation XE's sophistication and overall experience.

TAOYUAN, TAIWAN – September 14, 2011 – HTC Corporation, a global designer of mobile devices, today unveiled the new HTC Sensation XE – the first in a new line of HTC smartphones to feature Beats Audio technology to deliver studio quality audio. Taking HTC's flagship handset to a new level of high fidelity audio, the HTC Sensation XE offers consumers the ultimate multimedia experience, setting a new standard for audio quality in the mobile market. In addition, the HTC Sensation XE boosts performance and battery life even further with the addition of a blazing fast 1.5GHz dual core processor and an extended battery that enables you to listen, watch, speak and browse for even longer.

"Audio is a crucial part of any consumer's mobile experience and we are continually pushing the audio boundaries to encompass not only improved voice but music, movies and games," said Jason Mackenzie, president of global sales and marketing, HTC Corporation. "The HTC Sensation XE offers a truly incredible experience that demonstrates our commitment to place consumers at the center of their mobile worlds."

The ultimate audio experience

The HTC Sensation XE is the first handset to offer a Beats Audio experience - a combination of software & hardware that allows you to hear music the way the artist intended. When used with the exclusive Beats by Dr. Dre in-ear headphones, the handset automatically switches to the bespoke Beats by Dr. Dre sound profile, delivering audio tracks tuned specifically for the headphones.

Whether you are using any of the many music services available in the Android market you will notice fuller bass and crisper vocals and a new level of clarity and range offering audio the way the artist intended it to be heard.

Beats Headphones

The HTC Sensation XE also ships with a microSD card (8GB/16GB) allowing you to carry thousands of songs. The exclusive Beats by Dr. Dre in-ear headphones feature a remote control, allowing you to pause, play or skip through tracks and answer/end calls while the phone is in your pocket.

Availability

HTC Sensation XE will be available across EMEA and Asia Pacific from late September