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Different people have different opinions when it comes to Android modifications done by hardware vendors. This writer hates them and will not stop bashing them until they’re banned, but the majority of folks are far less hostile. In fact, most people don’t care since they don’t know any better. They’ve never owned a stock device, so they have no basis for comparison.

But enough philosophy, today’s news has to do with what are allegedly two screenshots showing off HTC Sense 5. One shows the dialer, another shows the QWERTY keyboard. Both look rather muted and far less flashy than the current version of Sense. Anyone who has ever picked up an HTC device recently knows that the Taiwanese company’s color palette of green and black is a bit jarring at first glance.

So now for the important question: When are we going to see HTC Sense 5? We’d like to say next month at Mobile World Congress, but we’re not so sure. The version bump from Sense 4+ to Sense 5 makes us think that HTC is holding off this user interface until Google announces the next version of Android. We think that’s going to happen at Google I/O in May, but again, we’re not really sure about that.

Will we start recommending HTC devices over Samsung devices if this new version of Sense actually ends up delivering useful features? Maybe, it’s too early to tell at this point. 2011 was all about the Sensation versus the Galaxy S2, and we all know who won that war. 2011 was the One X versus the Galaxy S3, and while the One X was considered by many to be a highly qualified competitor, it was the GS3 that ended up in more people’s hands.

What will 2013 look like? We’re waiting to hear more about codename “M7″, which is supposed to be HTC’s Butterfly/DNA on steroids, and of course the GS4.

Funny how history repeats itself, right?

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