I’m carrying on with Part 2 of my HTC One X and Galaxy Note comparison. I’m going to quickly compare these two phones as PDAs.
Looking at the desktop version of a webpage on both, With the One X, you can read titles and enough of the content to give you an idea bout what’s there, But you’ll need to zoom in for small text, sooner than you would with the Note. The Note shows much more without having to zoom in. It’s a lot easier to read things on this large screen. If you compare a Word document on both phones, without zooming in, Again the One X gives you enough detail, But you’ll need to zoom in for the smaller text. The Note handles this as well as it did the webpage. You’ll see more at a glance before needing to zoom in. With the Excel sheet, It’s not so clear on the One X. It’s more difficult to read comfortably than the word document was. The Note handles this better. And of course the Note has the s-pen, which hasn’t been matched by any other smartphone out there. With the s-pen, you can write out quick reminders or text on s-memo and share them with others, You can also draw with it, and there are several good drawing apps on Google Play like Zen brush to try out. You can take screenshots, And use it to navigate around the phone interface. The s-pen itself, despite being quite slim, is very comfortable to use. And even though it’ll never come close to actual pen on paper, It still offers a lot of useful features. The One X has FreeNote, and this application comes close to what the s-pen offers. You can use it with your finger or any capacitive stylus I tried it out, but didn’t find it to be as smooth and intuitive as the s-memo and s-pen are on the Note. The stock keyboards on both phones were good. The large screen on the One X meant that the keys were well spaced out and easier to use. And you may even be able to type one-handed on it. Spacing out of the keys was even better on the Note because of its larger screen size. I wasn’t able to use the Note keyboard one-handed. Though, Touchwiz does have the option to set the keyboard for one-handed use. However, I found this setting to be more uncomfortable. Ultimately, I don’t think keyboards are an issue with either phone. And there are many third-party keyboards available on Google Play if you want to try something else. I also want to show an example of voice recognition on both phones. They were both similar in what they could do, Not too bad, but not one hundred percent accurate all the time. Don’t forget to buy some flowers. Buy some wine too. And I will need some candles. And I will need some candles. Don’t forget to buy some flowers. Buy some wine too. And I will need some candles. Ultimately, as a PDA, the Note takes the lead here. In benchmark tests, both phones score high compared to other phones on the market. But as you can see from the results, the One X did better than the Note in nearly all of them. So as far as processing power, graphics performance, and webpage rendering goes, the One X outdoes the Note on specific tests. But in real use, both phones are fast and powerful. And in most cases you wouldn’t find a major difference in performance between the two. So here we have a dual core phone vs. A quad core phone. The Note has a 1.4 GHz dual core processor, While the One X has a 1.5 GHz quad core processor. The difference between dual core and quad core is more about performance than speed. And at the moment it only comes into effect when you’re talking about lots of multitasking and HD gaming. The One X is really a future-proof phone more than anything else. Because right now there aren’t many apps that need so much processing power or even properly make use of all four cores. Even the One X with its quad-core processor actually has a smaller fifth core that’s more power efficient. It’s a battery saver core that takes care of background and all low power applications on the phone. And when this core is working, the other four main ones are not. A lot of the One X’s potential is going to remain unused until app developers actually start programming for quad-core processors. And really I can’t see that happening in a hurry, At least not until most phones on the market become quad-core. And that may take another one or two years. So right now, the One X’s real performance isn’t significantly much faster than the Galaxy Note. Which means that the Note will remain a fast and capable device for a two year contract. Carrying on from the processor, I want to get to gaming on both these phones. Games look good on both phones, But some games like Dungeon Defenders that have a lot of vibrant colours, Stand out on the Note. Nvidia have been promoting some Tegra 3 enhanced games like Riptide To showcase the capabilities of their quad-core processor. Playing Riptide on both phones was a smooth experience. I didn’t experience any lag on either phone. The One X showed more realistic graphic effects like water splashes and motion blur. But other than these effects, I didn’t notice any improvement over playing the same game on the Note. Actually, I preferred playing on the Note, because of it’s bigger screen. The whole game just looked clearer, and felt easier to play. For in-call quality, both phones do well. But the One X takes the lead. The earpiece gives really crisp and clear sound, And the microphone picks up your voice really well. People I called said they could hear me clearly, even with background noise from a busy road. The Note has a good noise cancellation system too. But incoming and outgoing calls, while loud enough, sounded a bit more muffled compared to the One X. Also, the Note being larger, has the practical issue of actually holding it up to your ear and using it as a phone. It’s not the most comfortable thing, and can take some getting used to initially. It wouldn’t be a problem if you’re someone who likes to use Bluetooth headsets. And even if you don’t use a headset, you would eventually get used to the Note’s size and become less self-conscious about it. But the One X doesn’t have this issue at all. I’ve mentioned in my Galaxy Note review video that the Note’s speaker doesn’t live up to the size of the phone. The sound it produces is rather quiet and tinny, even at full volume. The One X does better here with the rear speaker producing a deeper and louder sound. Listening to music through earphones is a better experience on the One X. The Note does well when playing music, and it’s performance can be enhanced using applications like Poweramp that give finer controls for equalizer and tuning. But the One X with its integrated Beats Audio software gives music a deeper and more substantial sound, even if you’re not using the Beats branded headphones. Again, it’s personal preference, since Beats Audio is mainly bass boost. But you may like that effect, and if you’re in the habit of using your phone as an MP3 player a lot of the time, The One X may be worth checking out. So for sound quality the One X did better overall. Both phones have 8 megapixel rear cameras with autofocus and LED flash, and are also able to capture 1080p video. They also have front cameras that capture 720p video. Neither phone reaches the standard of a dedicated camera or camcorder, But the quality is good enough for quick shots. The One X offers some additional features. Main among these is something HTC calls Image sense. This is basically a dedicated chip for the camera that offloads its function from the main four-core cpu to the smaller processor core. So the system processes won’t interrupt you when you’re using the camera, And you can take rapid shots with quick autofocus. Basically, a burst mode of shooting photos. Also, the One X’s camera software will pick out the best shot for you from your quick shots. Another feature is the integrated photo and video modes So you won’t need to toggle between the two. You can take a photo then switch to recording a video with no lag time, You can also take photos while recording a video. All this is really useful, but ultimately you need to see the quality of images you get with both these phones. The Note’s is closer to reality, but still a little washed out. But the One X version is vibrant, look at the green, It’s like somebody came and turfed my lawn while I wasn’t looking. Again here, the One X version is more vibrant. This is a video of a white door frame and blue door, The blue is more vibrant on the One X video. Now with photos The Note’s version of the apples is more true-to-life, But a little yellowy. With the flowers, again the Note’s version is closer to original, But still too much green or yellow. The One X makes them look better than real with that eye-popping shade of white. With the magenta flowers, the One X is closer to original, but still saturated. Again, the Note seems to be adding a yellow tint to everything, especially the green leaves. The banana shots were taken indoors with less light. The Note’s version is duller. The One X version is vibrant and closer to original, but actually better looking than original. This last picture of a gem tree was taken in the dark. The Note does a fantastic job of lighting up the scene, Capturing more detail and true to life colour. So, the One X enhances colour and light in both photos and videos. You won’t have to worry about photoshopping your images, This phone does it for you. It’ll give you the perfect green lawn, and the most beautiful flowers, even the weeds look good. But none of this is an accurate true-to-life picture. The Note, on the other hand, tries to keep things more real. But the images you get tend to be a little duller compared to the original, And often has a yellow green cast. However it does very well with night shots. The One X has 32GB (gigabyte) internal storage, 1GB (gigabyte) RAM, and no microSD card slot. But you do get two years of 25GB (gigabyte) cloud space with Dropbox, free. This might be enough for many people, But with the Galaxy Note you suddenly get a lot more choice. It has 16GB (gigabyte) internal storage, 1GB (gigabyte) RAM, and microSD card capacity. So you can add an extra 32GB (gigabyte) using a microSD card. So altogether, with the Note, you can get 48GB (gigabyte) onboard storage. I haven’t had problems with connectivity on either phone. Whether it’s wi-fi or roaming data, the Note and One X have performed equally well so far. I didn’t experience any issues with GPS performance on both phones. Both have assisted-GPS function, and this helps speed up initial lock-on times through wi-fi or data network. The Note is able to lock on to the Russian GLONASS satellite network as well. You can see this with the GPS test app. Both phones saw 15 to 16 satellites. The One X locked on to half of these, And the Note locked on to nearly all of them. The first fix times were pretty close for both. So, the Note’s GPS lock may be more reliable in some areas. But driving around were I live, I found that both phones performed well with no signal loss. But another plus for the Note here is its large screen, Which is going to give you a better view of the maps. The One X has NFC and the international version of the Note doesn’t. There have been some rumours that the LTE Note may have the NFC chip. But I haven’t been able to confirm that. It’s a technology you might want to keep in mind if you are concerned about future proofing. However, it may be a year or so before NFC actually makes an impact on how we pay for stuff in the shops. Right now, NFC equipped devices running Android Ice Cream Sandwich can use Android Beam to transfer files to each other. So you can touch the phones together and exchange things like contacts, images, and webpages. I’m sure as it’s developed more, we’ll be seeing a lot more features for it. When it comes to battery life, the Note takes the lead, no question. It has a 2500 mAh battery compared to the One X’s 1800 mAh one. And the bonus is that the Note’s battery is removable. During normal use, I typically get about 15 to 16 hours out of the Note. With the One X, I originally only managed to get 6 to 7 hours before needing to charge. But there have been some software updates recently, And I now get 9 to 10 hours out of the One X. Now, I have some battery usage figures for both phones. This is based on ten minutes of different activities. All of which were done at 5o percent screen brightness, and with wi-fi and other network connections turned off. I’ve arranged them so that the biggest battery-hog activities are at the top of the chart. So, ten minutes of recording a 1080p video drained 9 percent battery on the One X and only 4 percent battery on the Note. Playing a graphic intensive, tegra 3 enhanced game for ten minutes drained 6 percent battery on both phones, While a less power demanding game only drained 3 percent battery. Web browsing, with w-fi turned on obviously, drained 6 percent battery on the One X and 5 percent on the Note. Watching a 1080p HD movie for ten minutes drained 4 percent battery on the One X and only 2 percent on the Note. Reading a Kindle e-book for ten minutes drained 2 percent battery on both phones. A ten minute phone call drained one percent battery on both. And twenty minutes of listening to music with the screen turned off drained one percent of battery, which works out at half a percent in ten minutes. So comparatively, the One X drained twice as much battery as the Note when it came to watching HD movies or using the camera to record a video. And it also drained slightly more battery while web browsing. Otherwise both phones performed the same. However, the Note has the further advantage of having the larger capacity battery. So, in conclusion. I really like the One X for its audio quality, great design, picture-like screen, and photoshop camera. Even though it scored poorly against the Note in terms of battery life, the One X still stands out as a really useable smartphone. But the Note’s a very special device too. It’s the Swizz Army Knife of smartphones. It’s a phone and tablet combined, And even though it does neither function extremely well, it does well enough that you’ll never need to carry a separate phone and tablet with you if you have the Note. Also, add to that its large capacity battery, and the ability to swap it if you need to. If I was going on an expedition to the North Pole, the Note’s the phone I would want with me, Along with a sackful of spare batteries. But if I took the One X, Then I’d always be hunting for an igloo with a wall socket. So, if you’re looking for a functional PDA type device that won’t let you down, then go for the Note. But if what you want is mainly a phone, And you don’t mind giving it a top-up charge midday, Then go for the One X. Well that’s it for my comparison I hope it was useful.