Two titans of the Android smartphone world, and they're both on ATT here in the US. The specs are maddeningly similar-- both phones share:
- 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Krait dual core CPU with Adreno 225 graphics - 16 gigs of internal storage - a very large 720p display - LTE 4G with HSPA+ - $199 contract price - 8MP rear camera with BSI sensor - Android OS 4 Ice Cream Sandwich
So how do you decide? We've put together a comparison video that touches on key differences. The benchmarks are the same, gaming performance is the same as are data speeds since these phones run on identical core internals. We look at what sets them apart: display technology, build quality and materials, TouchWiz vs. HTC Sense, storage expansion and battery access.
Storage and Replaceable Battery
As you might guess, the Samsung Galaxy S III wins for both storage expansion and battery accessibility. That's important to many of you, and the HTC One X battery is sealed inside and there's no microSD card slot.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S III
Build Quality, Materials and Looks
You knew we were going to slam Samsung for their shiny and cheaper looking casing since you've read our GS3 full review. Though both are polycarbonate, the HTC One X looks and feels like an elegant and expensive piece of hardware. Samsung's flagship looks like another plasticky phone. It has nice curves but the finish and feel aren't up to HTC's.
Winner: HTC One X
If the eyes are the window to the soul, a smartphone, tablet and laptop's key to your heart and mind is the display. What looks good: colorful, sharp and appealing makes most of us enjoy the device much more. Both phones have 1280 x 720 displays that are sharp, colorful and attractive. Those of you who've grown up on Samsung AMOLED displays will likely prefer the Galaxy S III's better than life colors and high contrast. But Super AMOLED is getting a little long in the tooth and it uses a Pentile matrix with fewer sub-pixels vs. LCDs and Samsung's own newer Super AMOLED Plus technology. Because the color gamut is much wider that what the human eye can see, colors look oversaturated and Super AMOLED's color temp is very high, resulting in bluish whites. The HTC One X's Super LCD 2 display is simply very sharp with eye-pleasing colors that are natural yet lively.
Winner: HTC One X
Controversy is in the air here with the TouchWiz vs. HTC Sense battle getting as heated as iOS vs. Android. I've used both extensively for the past few years and witnessed the balance of power and usability bounce back and forth between these two. Right now, HTC Sense gets the win for me: it lets more of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich shine though, and the customizations are low key and helpful. HTC does a lot of little things to make using the phone quicker and easier. The best UI is the one you don't have to think about, and that's HTC Sense 4 right now.
Samsung has loaded heaps of software on the phone to combat the iPhone. Last year' mantra "it's about the software, dummy" must have hit them hard because we have S Voice, myriad camera-related mini-apps, PiP, S Memo, S Suggest, Samsung Kies overrunning the calendar and everything short of a virtual toaster here. It's too much stuff and the tool tips are pesky. I do love some features like sharing photos with friends at an event and Kies air syncing is handy. But overall I feel like much of it gets in the way of using the phone expediently and Samsung needed more time to get major features like S Voice working reliably.
Winner: HTC One X
In the end, some of you have a strong preference for Samsung or HTC and that will govern your decision. And though the HTC One X wins more of our comparison points, the Galaxy S III takes one that's so important it could easily have the weight of two: the microSD card slot and swappable battery.
Here's our Samsung Galaxy S III vs. HTC One X Comparison Smackdown video: