• Samsung Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X comparison Part ONE

    Well, the gloves are off now. This is a battle of the next generation quad-core super-phones.

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    Samsung Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X

    Samsung Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X

    On one side we have the One X, a slim-line beauty that’s held the Android top spot for a couple of months now. And on the other side we have the S3, a flashy newcomer, threatening to steal the One X’s crown. Which one will prevail? We’ll find out right here. Now, this head-to-head comparison is between the international versions of both phones. They’re both running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. And they both have the latest versions of their custom user interface, Touchwiz for the Galaxy S3, and Sense for the One X. At first glance, deciding between these two phones can seem difficult. So, hopefully with this comparison I can simplify the process for you somewhat, And help you decide which one you prefer. If you’re talking about just size and weight, then there’s really not much to choose between the S3 and the One X. The S3 has a slightly larger screen, 4.8 inch, compared to the One X’s 4.7 inch screen. So, the S3 is a millimetre or two bigger lengthwise and widthwise, but that’s hardly noticeable. The S3 is also very slightly thinner than the One X, but you wouldn’t see that looking at them both together. Because they’re quite compact and pretty much the same size, you’d be able to use both phones one-handed for most tasks. As for weight, it’s the same story. The One X is three grams lighter than the S3. But you really can’t tell the difference when you hold them both. When it comes to overall look and feel, Both phones have the same polycarbonate casing, so they both have a good solid feeling build quality. And both use the thinner second generation Corning Gorilla glass for protection. But I think the One X has the advantage here. Its curved, unibody design sits well in the hand, and looks nice with a waterfall like edging to the glass. The S3 has a more pebble-like look. It’s very much a Galaxy S2 that’s had its corners rounded off. It has a flat back with a smooth finish, so it feels more slippery compared to the One X’s matte finish casing. But, one advantage of this smooth finish is that the S3 is less prone to picking up dirt and scuff marks compared to the One X. Another advantage that the S3 has over the One X’s unibody casing is it’s removable back panel. This lets you replace the 2100mAh battery, and expand the onboard storage with a microSD card. You can’t do either of these things with the One X. If you look at the front of both phones, you see that the One X is nicely minimalist in it’s design, At the bottom, the One X has three capacitive buttons, back, home, and multitask. While, the S3 keeps the original look of the S2 right down to the physical home button, which on the S3 is slightly narrower than it is on the S2. The S3 only has two capacitive buttons, menu and back. To access the multitask window on the S3 you’ll need to long-press on the home button. Above the screen both phones have their front facing cameras, proximity sensors, earpiece grilles and LED notification lights. To the left, the S3 has its volume rocker, while the One X has it’s data and charging microUSB port here. The One X has it’s volume rocker on the right, and the S3 has its power button here. I like the S3’s placement of the power button better than the One X which has its power button at the top, making it awkward to reach on such a large screen phone. Along with it’s power button, the One X has its 3.5mm headphone jack and secondary noise cancelling microphone at the top. Same as the S3. But while the One X has its microSIM slot here at the top, the S3 has a small wedge here that helps to open up the back panel. At the back, both phones have their eight megapixel cameras, LED flash, and rear speakers. The One X also has its dock connectors here. One thing to note is that while the One X’s camera juts out a lot, the S3’s camera is not so prominent. And some people may prefer that look. Since both phones are more or less equal in terms of size and weight, it really comes down to a matter of personal preference as to which phone appeals to you more, design wise. Personally, I prefer the sleeker look of the One X, but you might like the bolder lines of the S3. Both the S3 and the One X screens have 720p HD resolution. They have identical pixel dimensions of 1280 x 720 pixels, And their pixel densities are very close, 306ppi for the S3 and 312ppi for the One X. But despite these similar values, both screens look noticeably different. And that’s because you’re actually comparing two different screen technologies here. Super AMOLED on the S3 and Super IPS LCD2 on the One X. Their difference is a matter of subpixels. LCD screens tend to be sharper because each pixel contains all three subpixels, red, green, and blue. This is the RGB subpixel matrix. Super AMOLED screens use a PenTile matrix, with pixels sharing one or two subpixels between them. This produces a less sharp image. But on 720p or more resolution screens, like that on the S3, you’re not likely to see any blurring on images at normal viewing distances. I’m going to show you some colour comparison tests for both displays. All these tests were done at maximum brightness on both screens. I’ve kept the original video at the bottom, So you’ll have an idea of what the two displays are supposed to show. The S3 screen shows saturated colours, especially in dark areas. Greens are very deep, and the flowers are quite vibrant. The One X isn’t over-saturating as much, but the colours are still a bit deeper than the original. But you do get to see more detail in the dark shadowy parts. This video really shows up the colour saturation on both displays. Both show a deeper than real colour. But the S3 version is by far the most saturated. The white flowers in this video are shown up against a bright sky. The One X comes close to the original, but it produces a yellowish tinge on the leaves and also in the white areas. The S3 is showing deeper greens again, and a bluish tinge to the whites. Here, both displays are over-saturating these lavender flowers. Dark purple is looking nearly black on the S3. And it’s also creating deep shadows where there aren’t any in the original. The One X is doing better at keeping things real. We get the same situation with this next set of flowers. Again, the greens are pretty saturated, especially on the S3. The One X is close to original here, most likely because it has a tendency to make light greens yellowish anyway. The S3 is showing orange-yellow in some places. And again lots of deep shadows, so some detail is being lost there. In this last video, both displays look pretty saturated with the reds and greens. But the S3 version is the most saturated. I want to take a look at a cartoon style live wallpaper now. The One X produces a yellow-green, While the S3 darkens all the colours. The blacks are especially deeper on the S3. Let’s have a look at some text on the displays, And we’ll start with this PDF that’s showing quite small fonts. It’s clear on both. But the small fonts are really standing out on the S3 display. The One X’s display is washing out the fonts. And that’s pretty much because LCD screens are brighter than AMOLED even at the same brightness settings. Under normal indoor lighting, both displays are equally clear and sharp when it comes to showing text. Outdooors, on a not too bright day, both displays remain equally readable. And viewing angles are pretty good. In really bright sunlight, the AMOLED screen starts to become more reflective, and harder to read from. But when you switch to white text on black background, you get better readability on both in direct sunlight. Video playback in bright sunlight really shows up the difference in reflectivity of these two displays. You can see that the One X remains watchable. It’s quite clear that while both displays tends to saturate colours, especially deeper colours, The S3 does so much more than the One X. The One X screen won’t show you a true colour representation of things, but it comes closer than the S3. But again this is quite subjective, Since some people may prefer the saturation of the AMOLED screen, Especially for games and other things that use a lot of bold or dark colours. The new Touchwiz interface on the S3 has seen a lot of changes. A good example is the lock-screen. You get this water ripple effect along with the watery sounds. Just tap and drag anywhere to unlock. You also get the Sense UI style functionality of having four app icons on the lock-screen for quick access. These are customizable. And to open any of these apps, just tap the icon and drag. On Sense, you get this nice ring to pull and unlock. And to access any of the apps, you just pull that icon into the ring. You’ll notice that on Sense, the app shortcuts on the lock-screen are the same as those on the dock. So, when you change your dock icon, the same change affects the lock-screen. The S3 keeps the dock icons and the lock-screen icons separate. And that’s a feature I like. Another feature I like on the S3, is pressing the volume button brings up a new settings icon on the volume scale itself, So now you can change the volume settings without going into the main settings menu. On both phones, you get seven homescreens. The S3 has infinite scrolling, where you can keep scrolling through all the home-screens in one direction. The One X doesn’t have this, and once you reach the last homescreen, you’ll need to scroll all the way back in the opposite direction. To add a widget to the One X homescreen, Just long press anywhere on a blank area and this will bring up a scrollable widget drawer. You also get a choice of which homescreen you want to add that widget to. Tap the widget you want to add. It’s a little slower on the S3. You’ll need to go into the app drawer and then select widgets. Touch and hold to pick up a widget And then drag it over the homescreens until you reach the one you want to place the widget on. Some widgets are resizable on the S3, Like the music and calendar widgets. Creating folders on the One X homescreen is a simple case of dragging one app icon over another. On the S3 you need to do this by choosing a shortcut from the menu. Or by long pressing on the screen, then choosing add to homescreen. You can also drag an app in to a folder when you’re adding a shortcut from the app drawer. The S3 handles folders in the app drawer much better. You can go into the edit mode through the menu, Then drag an app into a folder. Once a folder is created, you can drag other apps into it. The One X doesn’t give you the flexibility of creating folders in the app drawer. But it does give you a search function, A quick link to the play store at the top, And you can edit the tabs at the bottom of the app drawer. Rearranging them, Or removing the ones you don’t want. The Sense keyboard is larger than the S3’s, Mainly because it has direction cursors at the bottom. However the keys on the S3 Keyboard seem to be spaced out better, And you also get more choice for types of symbols. Practically, I found the S3 keyboard easier to use. A lot of the One X’s interface limitations can be overcome with other launchers like Nova or Apex, And third party apps like Thumb keyboard. But the S3 still has some extra features up it’s sleeve. One I particularly like is ’Smart Stay’. With this activated the phone screen won’t turn off if it detects that you are looking at it. You get this eye symbol in the notification bar to show it’s checking. There are others like ‘Pop up Play’, ‘Direct call’, ‘Smart alert’, and of course ’S Voice’. I’ll be looking at these in more detail in my upcoming S3 review. The One X does not have these. But there are third party apps available in the Google Play store for some of them. Still, these new features might be enough to tip the scales in favour of the S3 for some people. The international versions of both the S3 and the One X are quad core phones with one gigabyte of RAM. The S3 uses an Exynos 4 chipset clocked at 1.4 GHz, while the One X has Nvidia’s Tegra 3 1.5 GHz chipset. Compared to other phones on the market, these two are the strongest of the bunch in terms of performance. Their quad core technology puts them light years ahead of the needs of current mobile apps. And if you’re looking for a future proof phone, either of these would be a good choice. But which is the more powerful out of them both? One way to find this is through benchmark tests. We can test things like CPU performance, graphics capability, and web browser performance. Generally, when you’re comparing benchmark scores, you’re looking for the higher value as a marker for better performance. One exception is the SunSpider javascript benchmark, where a lower score shows better performance. I carried out various benchmark tests on both these phones, And you can see from the results that the S3 consistently stands out as the better performer all round. It trumps the One X in terms of both processing power and graphics performance. It also shows the fastest web rendering speed. So let’s take a look at this practically… When it comes to web browsing experience, I found that using Chrome browser on both phones was an equal experience. Both phones had good page loading speeds. There was no major lag in scrolling, And text reflow with pinch and zoom was very responsive. Playing games was also similar on both phones. They have nearly the same screen size, so I didn’t notice any difference in terms of holding the phone, using the controls and such. Again, there was no lag. And I found there was little to choose between them So, as far as benchmark results go, the S3 is the stronger and faster phone. But for simple uses like browsing and games, I didn’t notice any major difference. So that was part one of my Galaxy S3 vs. One X comparison. In part two, I’ll be covering battery life, audio/sound quality, and camera for both phones.



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