Updated 18 May, 2013, 5:40 pm IST
Mobile Grudge Match - Samsung Galaxy S III vs HTC One X
| by Roydon Cerejo
Last night, we witnessed Samsung unveiling, what they have been referring to as the “the next big thing”, when they launched the Galaxy S III smartphone. While this is certainly exciting news for the mobile phone industry, the new handset got mixed reactions from fans and others, alike, who took to social networks, like Facebook and Twitter to share their opinions on the smartphone. The S III certainly has some unique features that we are looking forward to, like the Smart stay and some other ‘S’ branded features. We'll first come to the more pressing question at hand and that is - how does it stack up to the HTC One X? We recently pitted the One X against the iPhone 4S, but that was a bit of a one sided battle. Finally, though we now have a phone that rivals it on price, features and on the performance front, making it a true competitor.
Now, in the past, we included those phones in our matches that we tested and reviewed, but today, we make an exception. We’ll be comparing both phones purely on the basis of the features and specifications and since some early benchmarks of the S III are already out, we can take that into account as well. So, let’s find out which handset offers one the most bang for buck.
Samsung Galaxy S III
Samsung’s marketing team are focusing heavily on the whole “inspired by nature” and “designed for humans” bit for the new S III. We will say this - it’s a good looking phone on the front and the sides, but the design is not ‘revolutionary’, as we had hoped it would be. It’s an evolution of the S II, more than anything else. One thing we really appreciate is that despite its super slim design, Samsung have still kept the battery removable and have shaved off as much of the bezel as possible, making it manageable. The HD Super AMOLED screen is great, but we wished they would have gone with the ‘Plus’ variant, instead. Connectivity wise, Samsung has you covered with everything, except the kitchen sink.
The rumoured 12MP camera didn’t make it to the final product, instead we get the same 8MP shooter, but with a BSI sensor to help with low light photography. The faster processor has also allowed them to add burst mode, which captures a series of snaps in quick succession, allowing the consumer to then select the best one out of the lot. We also have a Siri-like voice assistant that helps you automate mundane tasks. Samsung have shifted their focus on making the S III more intuitive and adaptable to your personal usage style. Whether they’ve succeeded or not, can only be determined once we have a go at it, so we’ll reserve our judgement on that till then. Overall, the S III might not be the ‘holy-grail’ everyone was waiting for, but it’s certainly a worthy successor of the S II. As for the design, that’s purely subjective, but I, for one, only have an issue with the rear of the phone, which looks way too bland and the arrangement of the LED flash and speaker grill just seem off. Ohh and, did we mention they are still using plastic for the entire body?
HTC One X
The HTC One X got off to a great start, with it being the only quad-core phone in the market. It enjoyed its time in the sunshine, that is, until we found out that its dual-core brethren in the U.S of A royally whoops its a**. This is also one of the reasons why HTC is delaying the One S in India. The U.S variant of the One X will eventually be available, internationally as the One XL, but we doubt if we’ll be seeing that anytime soon. What we loved about the One X is the way it’s put together. The polycarbonate shell feels strong and premium and it gives it a very nice feel, which is important to any handset. The screen may not be Super AMOLED, but the HD LCD 2 produces very good colours and since it’s a tiny bit smaller, the pixel count is more dense as well.
The reigning champion
One of the party pieces of the One X is the new burst mode and the short time it takes to activate and capture a picture. The Tegra 3 SoC may not be the fastest in terms of CPU power, but when it comes to processing graphics, it’s clearly in a league of its own. The main issue when we reviewed (that’s hopefully fixed with the latest update) the phone was the battery life, which, given the larger fabrication process of the SoC, isn’t too good. Just like the S III, it’s also packed to the gills with features, so there’s only one way to tell, which is better, by heading over to the charts.
Click for larger image
Let’s just clear up some of the doubts you’re probably having about the scores. Like we mentioned before, Super AMOLED may give you richer colours when it comes to accuracy, but the LCD 2 technology is better than the PenTile matrix used in the S III, as the sub-pixels are more densely packed. Also, Nvidia may have an upper hand when it comes to pure graphics performance, but Samsung’s SoC is built on the smaller 32nm fabrication, so it’s more power efficient and if the latest AnTuTu scores are anything to go by (where it beats the Transformer Prime, another Tegra 3 based device), then it should be faster than the One X in overall performance. The rest of it is pretty straightforward.
The bottom line
Samsung’s latest flagship comes across as a clear winner and we haven’t even included the unique features present in the S III, like Smart stay, S Voice, Smart alert and many more. We cannot say for certain without testing the S III, if it’s better than the One X or not, but all the evidence points to that. By the time the phone launches, i.e at the end of the month, the One X could get a price cut making it a very viable option. I guess it all boils down to how you feel from the moment you first hold the phone. After all, a mobile phone is a very personal device. We would recommend you get a feel of both devices before making the buying decision, since they are both very good handsets on paper; the rest is your personal taste.
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