Welcome back to part two of my Galaxy S3 and One X comparison. I hope you’re all still comfortable. So let’s carry on, with audio/sound quality first.
Call quality on both phones was very good. And really, I expected that on these super-phones. I didn’t experience any loss of signal or dropped calls with either. I want to give you an example of how calls sound from the earpiece of both phones. I’m going to call both phones and read out ‘Our Deepest Fear’ a poem by Marianne Williamson. The S3 has an in-call sound equaliser, so you’ll hear the call at three of its settings. The One X doesn’t have any sound equaliser f or calls. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness That most frightens us. We ask ourselves Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small Does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking So that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, As children do. We were born to make manifest The glory that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; It’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness That most frightens us. We ask ourselves Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small Does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking So that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, As children do. We were born to make manifest The glory that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; It’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others. You can hear that the in-call sound quality of the One X is quite loud and clear. The S3, at it’s default setting with no equaliser, matches the One X for loudness but doesn’t have as much sharpness to the audio. The S3’s soft setting muffles everything. Its clear setting gives a better sharpness to the audio, but lowers the volume a lot. So in general, In-call sound was loud on both phones. The One X had noticeably sharper sound compared to the S3. And it also seemed to reduce background noise a bit more, producing a cleaner audio. In terms of music from the loudspeaker, the S3 is louder than the One X. While the One X has integrated Beats audio software, The S3 features the Wolfson Audio System. The S3’s rear speaker is positioned up at the top, next to the camera. I like this position compared to the One X, which has it’s rear speaker down at the bottom. It just means that when I’m holding the S3, my hand’s not covering the speaker. So the sound’s not muffled. The S3 is the louder phone for music, even when you’re using headphones. And I found that for playback quality, I actually preferred the S3 over the One X. I realise this will be a personal preference for everyone, But for me, the S3 manages to match the quality of the Beats audio in the One X, and even out-perform it in terms of depth of sound. A new feature for the S3 that I quite like is the water style sound effects for screen unlock and other interface gestures. There’s this game, I don’t know if any of you have played it, it’s called Pocket Frogs, and you get to breed your own species of frogs in there… Well, anyway, the S3’s new watery sounds remind me a lot of the sound effects in that game. I guess it’s part of their inspired by nature things. But it’s certainly different from the standard clicky sounds that the One X produces. So, sound quality between these two phones is a bit of a mixed bag in my opinion. I like the loudness of the S3, and I prefer it for music play-back. But the One X stands out with it’s clarity for calls. The S3’s Touchwiz camera interface felt more intuitive to use than the One X’s. Mainly because all the menu options are large, and well spaced out. On the S3 you can edit the four shortcuts on the left, which is a handy feature. One drawback on the S3 is that the camera and video buttons are separate and you’ll need to toggle between one and the other. The One X is better laid out in that the camera and video buttons are always together on the right. Also, the One X gives you a lot more effects with which you can customise your shots, And these can easily be accessed from the lens icon on the right. Photos can be taken in a maximum resolution of eight megapixel on both. The S3, however, offers a larger pixel dimension of 3264 x 2448 compared to the One X’s 3264 x 1840. You also get a greater choice of image resolution on the S3, six compared to the One X’s five. Both have burst mode, taking three shots per second. The S3 shoots up to eight photos in one go, and twenty if you turn the best photo option off. The One X gives you the option to continue shooting until you lift your finger off the button. Both then suggest a best shot for you to keep. On both phones, you can capture 1080p and 720p video, and shoot photos at the same time. And both record in stereo sound. So let’s check out the image qualities from these two phones. These first photos were taken on a fairly bright day. The S3 camera does pretty well here, the clouds, ground, and water are more true to life. And you can tell it was a sunny day. Everything is darker through the One X camera, So it makes the whole day look duller. Those fields in the distance look more saturated and deep yellow through the One X camera. When we see the 1080p video recordings, There’s still that dullness in the One X video. Also while the S3 recorded at 30 frames per second, the One X only managed 23 frames per second. Now these shots were taken in indoor low light conditions. And these are some samples from my recent junk food weekend with friends. You can see that in the lower light, the S3 camera is saturating things a bit more than the One X. And yes, the pizza was tasty. Here again in the S3 shot, the tabletop is quite saturated, as is the fish fillet in the centre. The chillies are a deeper green too. And if you’re wondering, Those chillies were part of a dare. A couple of shots taken in the dark with flash. It’s quite impressive how the S3 manages to catch more detail on the Russian Doll. It produces a much sharper image. Even in the dark its autofocus works brilliantly. The One X is losing a lot of detail, as well as over-saturating the colours. You can see how in-focus the bell looks on the S3 picture compared to the One X. So the S3 camera does far better in outdoor bright light conditions, Producing a more true to life picture, While the One X picture is more saturated. Also, the S3 has the better flash and camera for taking pictures in the dark. Producing images with such focus and retaining the sharpness and detail. It also captures 1080p video at 30 frames per second compared to 23 frames per second on the One X. Low light, indoor condition is the only time the One X camera produces a more true picture, While the S3 is a bit more saturated here. There really isn’t much to be said here. Because if it’s storage you want, then the Galaxy S3 is the phone to go for. The S3 comes with three options for internal storage 16, 32, or 64 gigabyte versions. The phone also has an expandable micro-SD card slot that can use 64 gigabyte cards. And as if that wasn’t enough, you’ll get 50 gigabyte free cloud storage space with dropbox for two years. Compared to this, the One X has a mere 32 gigabyte internal storage, no expandable micro-SD card slot, and only 25 gigabytes of dropbox space for two years. Connectivity on both phones has been very reliable. I’ve been able to pick up WiFi and 3G without a problem, whenever I needed to. Like the One X, the S3 also boasts high-speed bluetooth 4, and NFC capability. So both phones are able to use Android Beam to transfer files like images, webpages, and contacts to other NFC enabled devices running Ice Cream Sandwich. Basically, to transfer files, you just bring the back of both devices together and then tap the file on the screen of the device you want to transfer from. I’ve used Android Beam to share between the S3 and One X. Both phones quickly recognised each other when placed back-to-back, And sharing a page from the Google Play store was a quick and simple process. Samsung have augmented Android Beam with their own S-beam. But you need two NFC-enabled Samsung phones to make this work, So I haven’t been able to test out S-beam’s performance yet. Android Beam only works with some apps like contacts, maps, and internet at the moment, But it’s a great start for on-the-go wireless sharing without bluetooth. You won’t need a separate dedicated SatNav unit if you have either of these phones. Both have large clear screens and the S3 is as good as the One X in getting a quick satellite lock. Both have assisted-GPS, so initial lock can be sped up through a WiFi or data connection. I didn’t experience any signal loss with either during my tests. The S3 picks up the Russian GLONASS signals as well. You can see in this GPS test how the S3 sees and locks onto eighteen satellites, while the One X only sees twelve satellites and even then locks on to only nine of them. It could mean that the S3’s GPS lock may be more reliable in some places, But from what I’ve experienced, the One X seems to be putting in an equally good performance in most places. The S3 has a slightly larger screen than the One X, 4.8 inch compared to 4.7 inch. But to compensate it has the larger 2100mAh battery while the One X only has an 1800 mAh battery. The S3 has the better battery life, simply because it’s battery is removable and the One X’s is not. But I’m not going to just leave it there. I do have some battery usage figures from tests I carried out on both phones. Again, these are based on ten minutes of activity at 50 percent brightness and all connections switched off. Ten minutes of recording a 1080p video drained nine percent battery on the One X and only six percent on the S3. Playing a graphic intensive game drained six percent battery on the One X and half that, three percent, on the S3. A less intensive game drained three percent on the One X and two percent on the S3. Internet browsing drained six percent on the One X and two percent on the S3. Reading e-books drained the same on both, two percent. A ten minute call drained one percent battery on both. And ten minutes of music playback drained half a percent on both. You can see from these results that the S3 did better in most cases. With normal use, I typically get around nine hours out of the One X on a single charge. With the S3, I managed to get more than fourteen hours on a single charge. Now bear in mind that the S3 is pretty new, in that I just got it about a week ago. I spent the first few days charging and discharging the battery, just optimizing it basically, And with all the tests I’ve been doing on it, my use has been fairly heavy. So, I’m assuming that the S3’s battery could do even better than fourteen hours with normal, moderate use. Now, both are quad-core phones. And the S3 doesn’t have the extra power saving core that the One X has. But even despite this, the S3 seems to be better optimised for battery use. Now, I want to do another test. A very kind person was good enough to remind me that no comparison is complete without a proper scratch test. Apparently, we need to know how strong these phones really are. So in the interest of completeness, I guess It has to be done. I was going to use this knife, it’s very ladylike. But I’ve been told that quad-core super phones need a quad-core super knife. Sooo… Meet Rambo! I’ve fought lions with this knife. Trust me, nothing stands in its way. Well… I guess it has to be done. I knew this was a bad idea! Okay…Rewind! Now, I want to (cough) wrap-up. The S3 came to the market after the One X, So Samsung’s has time to fin-tune their flagship phone so that it properly answers the competition. But the One X isn’t far behind. It’s beautiful unibody design is a definite eye-catcher. It’s brighter LCD screen gives good colour rendition and brighter sunlight legibility. It’s call quality is impressive. And it’s camera does well with low-light shots. With the S3, it’s more a case of function over form. It has a larger, removable battery, so battery life is never going to be an issue with this phone like it can be with the One X. It has expandable microSD card storage, so plenty of space for all your music and videos. The reworked Touchwiz interface has some interesting new interesting features like Smart Stay, and S-voice. And it’s camera outperforms the One X in most cases. There’s also another point in the S3’s favour, which will make the world of difference to some people; It has an unlocked boot loader, so it’s a router’s dream. Unlike the One X, the S3 is one phone you can truly customize and make your own. Well, I hope I’ve been able to give you enough information to make a choice between these two phones.