Samsung Galaxy S III vs. HTC One X: Head-to-head

Which is the better Android phone, Samsung's Galaxy S III or the HTC One X?

If you're in the market for a new smartphone and decided that you don't want an iPhone you'll most likely want an Android phone instead. Two of the hottest phones in 2012 are the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X.

Both of these Android powerhouses have similar specifications and features, but which one is right for you? Let's compare!

Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III Android phone (preview)

HTC One X

HTC One X Android phone

Verdict

?
Operating system
Google Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Google Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Draw
UI overlay
Samsung TouchWIZ
HTC Sense
Draw
Screen size
4.8in
4.7in
Samsung Galaxy S III
Screen resolution
1280x720
1280x720
Draw
Display technology
Super AMOLED HD
Super IPS LCD2
Draw
Pixel density
306ppi
312ppi
HTC One X
Front camera
1.9-megapixels
1.3-megapixels
Samsung Galaxy S III
Rear camera
8 megapixels w/single-LED flash
8 megapixels w/single-LED flash
Draw
Camera features
Simultaneous HD video and image recording, Autofocus, geotagging, touch focus, face and smile detection
Simultaneous HD video and image recording, Autofocus, geotagging, touch focus, face and smile detection
Draw
Video recording
1080p HD @ 30fps (720p HD front camera)
1080p HD @ 30fps (720p HD front camera)
Draw
FM radio
Yes
Yes
Draw
Internal memory
16GB/32GB/64GB
32GB
Samsung Galaxy S III
Expandable memory
Yes, microSD
No
Samsung Galaxy S III
Thickness
8.6mm
8.9mm
Samsung Galaxy S III
Weight
133g
130g
HTC One X
RAM
1GB
1GB
Draw
Processor
Samsung Exynos Quad (Cortex A9) quad-core 1.4GHz
NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core 1.5GHz
Draw
Australian 3G networks
HSDPA 850/900/2100
HSDPA 850/900/2100
Draw
Australian 4G networks
Unknown
No (One XL only)
Unknown
Wi-Fi
802.11a/b/g/n
802.11a/b/g/n
Draw
Bluetooth
4.0 with A2DP
4.0 with A2DP
Draw
HDMI-out
No (Yes with MHL adapter)
No (Yes with MHL adapter)
Draw
Quoted battery life
Up to 11h 40 min
Not quoted
Unknown
Battery capacity
2100mAh
1800mAh
Samsung Galaxy S III
Removable battery
Yes
No
Samsung Galaxy S III
Major carriers
Unknown
Optus, Vodafone
Unknown

Samsung Galaxy S III vs. HTC One X: Display

The Samsung Galaxy S III has a 4.8in Super AMOLED display with a HD resolution of 720x1280. It has a pixels per inch rating of 306ppi — slightly less than the market leading iPhone 4S and just behind the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. We are yet to get our hands on the Galaxy S III for a direct comparison, but if it is anything like previous Samsung super AMOLED screens the company has another winner on its hands.

HTC One X

The Galaxy S III's screen will certainly need to be a winner in order to challenge the HTC One X. It is without doubt one of the best smartphone screens currently on the market. The 4.7in SLCD display, also with a HD resolution of 1280x720, is slightly crisper, brighter and sharper than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus' display. It has excellent viewing angles, great sunlight legibility and good colour reproduction.

Samsung Galaxy S III vs. HTC One X: Design

Samsung says it worked hard on the ergonomics of the Galaxy S III. Despite a 4.8in screen that is 22 per cent larger than its Galaxy S II predecessor, the Galaxy S III is only 16 per cent bigger and weighs just 133g. It will come in "marble white" and "pebble blue" colours, though the rumoured ceramic design did not come to fruition — the Galaxy S III has a largely plastic build.

While many potential buyers may be put off by Samsung's insistence on a plastic finish, the company has tried to allay those fears by using what it calls a "hyperglaze" finish. This is best described as an additional layer of plastic on top of the casing, creating a brushed metal look.

The HTC One X's design, a single block of polycarbonate plastic, makes it one of the best looking phones on the market. Like the Galaxy S III, the One X has a slightly curved profile and this makes it comfortable to hold. HTC's attention to detail in construction and design is very impressive. The One X simply feels elegant, a phrase not often associated with Android phones.

HTC One X

Samsung Galaxy S III vs. HTC One X: Software

Software is one of the biggest differentiators between rival Android phones. The Galaxy S III runs the latest Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android, but it also comes with the latest version of Samsung's TouchWIZ UI overlay. New software features include Direct Call, the ability to call a contact you are currently messaging by simply holding the phone up to your ear, Smart Alert, which vibrates and flashes a notification LED when you pick up the phone after a missed call, and S-Voice, which appears to be a Siri-like voice recognition feature that can be configured to control various features of the phone. Samsung also includes 50GB of free Dropbox storage for all users, while the popular Flipboard social network aggregator app will be exclusive to the Galaxy S III for a limited time before being made available on other Android phones.

The HTC One X also runs the latest Ice Cream Sandwich version of Google's Android software but includes the company's UI overlay, called Sense, over the top. The new version of Sense has removed some fancy 3D animations and redesigned other UI elements to tie in better with the vanilla Android theme. We love some of its less advertised touches, like asking you whether you'd like to save an incoming phone number as a new contact, the four dock icons appearing as shortcuts on the lock screen and the ability to automatically jump to a weather forecast when you've turned off your morning alarm. However, the interface is inconsistent due to HTC's insistence on capacitive shortcut buttons and there are a number of elements that have changed for the worse. The recent apps menu, the phone app and the on-screen keyboard are three features that we find far more intuitive on the standard vanilla UI of Ice Cream Sandwich.

Whether you prefer TouchWiz or HTC Sense will ultimately come down to personal preference, which makes it tough to call. Some users may prefer the style and UI of HTC phones while others may find Samsung's UI more intuitive or better looking.

Samsung Galaxy S III vs HTC One X: Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S III has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.9-megapixel front facing camera that also shoots 720p video. The rear camera doubles as a full HD 1080p video recorder. Numbers aside, Samsung has made a number of software tweaks to the camera in an attempt to create a better user experience. These include Best Photo, which takes 20 shots in burst mode (six photos per second) and uses software algorithms to select the best photo, Face Zoom, which recognises individual faces and zooms in to take a photo of them, Face Slideshow, which focuses on a single person in an image slideshow, and Smart Stay, which uses the Galaxy S III's front-facing camera to dim the screen when you aren't looking at the phone. The Galaxy III's camera can also take still photos while recording video, a feature HTC first introduced on the One X.

The HTC One X has 8-megapixel camera that is both slick and fast. The One X can snap a photo in 0.7 seconds with a 0.2 second autofocus, can take up to 99 photos in burst mode if you hold your finger on the on-screen shutter button, can take still shots while recording uninterrupted video, and doesn't require users to switch from camera to video mode or vice versa. We also like the ability to add a range of real time effects to photos including distortion, vignette, depth of field and sepia. The One X consistently captures images with high detail and its camera interface is well designed and easy to use.

Samsung Galaxy S III vs. HTC One X: Internals

The Samsung Galaxy S III is powered by the company's new 1.4GHz Exynos 4 quad-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and comes with either 16 or 32GB of internal memory. Samsung says a 64GB model will be available at a later date, while all models have a microSD card slot for memory expansion. The Galaxy S III is a quad-band HSPA+ smartphone, but Samsung will have an LTE 4G model available in the US, Japan and Korea. It is not yet known if a 4G model will be available in Australia.

The HTC One X is powered By NVIDIA's Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. The One X lacks a microSD card slot for extra storage and its 1800mAh battery is not removable. The One X is a quad-band HSDPA smartphone with no LTE 4G compatibility. However, Telstra will soon sell the One XL in Australia, a 4G version of the One X.

Samsung is expected to announce Australian launch details for the Galaxy S III smartphone later this month. The Galaxy S III is expected to be sold on all three Australian carriers — Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

The HTC One X currently sells through Optus and Vodafone. Telstra is expected to launch the One XL in the coming weeks.

What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X? Is the One X's lack of removable storage and battery a downside? Do you dislike the plastic construction of the Galaxy S III? Let us know in the comments below!

Related articles

Samsung Galaxy S III preview
HTC One X review
Where can you buy the Samsung Galaxy S III?
HTC One XL review
Samsung Galaxy S III vs. Galaxy S II: We compare Samsung's Android phones

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World

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