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Samsung Galaxy SIII vs HTC One X – Ultimate Smartphone Showdown

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Samsung’s latest and greatest smartphone is now on the market – the Galaxy SIII. It’s already facing stiff competition from its main Android rivals, the HTC One X and the Sony Xperia S. As the One X has a quad-core processor and similar features to the S3, we thought we’d pit them both against each other.

Looking at the specifications sheets for both phones will initially show that they’re awfully alike – both with quad-core processors, both with Super AMOLED displays and both running Android 4.0. However, if you delve a little deeper you can find the differences between the two and find out which is best. Read on for the lowdown.


Processing Power

Galaxy SIII: Quad-Core 1.4GHz Exynos

One X: Quad-Core 1.5GHz Nvidia Tegra 3

WINNER: Galaxy SIII

Both handsets opt for a quad-core processor, as has become the norm for top-end smartphones these days. HTC opted for Nvidia’s popular Tegra 3, while Samsung created its own solution. In terms of clock speed, the One X is marginally faster than the S3.

However, benchmark tests prove that the Exynos processor in the Samsung easily outstrips the One X in pretty much every instance. We’ve ran the AnTuTu, Velamo and Quadrant benchmarks on the S3 and as you can see from the screenshots, it’s plenty faster than its HTC rival. Not only is the processor faster, the memory and input/output ratings are also far higher. The S3 will blaze through every game, download fast and save and access files very quickly. It’s one of, if not the fastest phones out there today.


Screen

Galaxy SIII: 4.8-inch Super AMOLED (Pentile Matrix), 720 x 1280 pixels, 306ppi pixel density

One X: 4.6-inch Super LCD 2 (Non-Pentile Matrix), 720 x 1280 pixels, 312ppi pixel density

WINNER: One X

Despite being big and colourful, the screen on the Galaxy SIII is the one particular area where Samsung could have done better. Both devices have screens of a similar size and type, with the same 720p HD resolution, although Samsung opted for a lower quality type of screen.

Because Samsung use a Pentile Matrix display, the S3’s screen isn’t as sharp as the One X’s – if you look closely at text or icons, you’ll see the individual pixels around the edges. It’s also not as bright, and whites generally appear more yellow or blue. Looking at the Google homepage on the One X gives you a crisp, bright white background. The same on the S3 appears to have a yellow-tinge.

Don’t get us wrong, the S3 has a big and very vivid display, where blacks are very black and colours are vibrant. It’s just not quite as good as the One X’s display.


Form Factor

Galaxy SIII: 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm, weighs 130g

One X: 134.4 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm, weighs 130g

WINNER: Galaxy SIII

The form factor category is a tough one to call with these two phones involved. They’re both big, so there’s going to be a demographic that they simply won’t suit. They both weigh the same, and they’re both made from polycarbonate – the One X being made from a thicker single piece of material, and the S3 being made up of a layered polycarbonate material with a “hyper glaze” on top for toughness.

Samsung wins this category as the S3 is marginally slimmer and better designed to fit comfortably in your hands – the “natural” emphasis has paid off for them here, with curves in the right place. You may feel differently when you’ve tried both phones though, so try your best to get hands-on with both before you buy just in case.


Software

Galaxy SIII: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) + Samsung TouchWiz Nature UX

One X: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), HTC Sense 4.0

DRAW

This one is very tough to call, as both phones run the same software with a customised skin running over the top. HTC and Samsung try very hard to add something extra to Android with their TouchWiz and Sense skins, so it’s going to come down to personal preference.

However, there are distinct positives and negatives with both. For instance, TouchWiz Nature UX has removed the ability to create app folders on the homescreen, which is a pain. It’s also more ‘cartoony’ compared to the sleek look of Sense 4.0.

TouchWiz seems to flow better, is less cluttered and features more intuitive tricks here and there. We prefer TouchWiz, but Sense is still a great UI, and one that you may prefer, especially if you’re already a HTC user.


Imaging

Galaxy SIII: Rear camera: 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, Full HD Video @ 30fps. Front camera: 1.9 MP with 720p HD video

One X: Rear camera: 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, Full HD Video @ 24fps, stereo sound, video stabilisation. Front camera: 1.3 MP with 720p HD video 

WINNER: Galaxy SIII

We recently learned that the S3 uses the same image processor as the iPhone 4S, which would explain the high image quality. It’ll also do HTC’s much-touted simultaneous picture and video capture feature, and takes crisp and detailed photos. We’ve found that the camera in the One X tends to oversaturate colours, resulting in reds appearing more purple-ish for example.

The S3’s front-facing camera offers surprisingly acceptable quality images – something of a rarity in smartphones. Both handsets record Full HD 1080p video, and while the One X benefits from stereo sound and stabilisation, it records in a lower frame rate of 24fps. Provided you’re not especially shaky when holding the camera, the S3 will do a fantastic job.


Connectivity

Galaxy SIII: HSDPA (14.4Mbps), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, NFC, Wi-Fi Direct, Nearby Devices, Micro USB with MHL Support, USB On The Go

One X: HSDPA (14.4Mbps), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, Micro USB with MHL Support

WINNER: Galaxy SIII

With all the connectivity options you’d expect from a top-end smartphone on board with both phones, the battle for the best connected phone comes down to those extra and useful features. The S3 has an army of wireless file sharing features with NFC, S Beam, Wi-Fi Direct and Nearby Devices, which is useful for sharing music, pictures and videos with Samsung’s Smart TVs, tablets and computers.

The One X has everything you could want connectivity-wise, but the S3 offers that little bit more. Its USB On The Go feature means you can hook up a USB stick or USB accessory using a Micro USB to USB ‘OTG’ adaptor. This means that in theory you can connect a gamepad controller, keyboard or mouse for controlling your phone.


Storage

Galaxy SIII: 16/32/64GB Internal Storage, 50GB Dropbox Cloud Storage, microSD card slot up to 64GB

One X: 32GB Internal Storage, 23GB Dropbox Cloud Storage

WINNER: Galaxy SIII

The One X is no slouch in the storage department, coming with a solid 32GB of internal memory out of the box. Go through the initial setup and you’ll get a further 23GB (plus a few extra GBs for uploading files) of Dropbox storage. So, around 50-60GB of storage in total, which is more than most people need.

Purchase the 32GB Galaxy SIII to match the storage of the One X and you’ll also get a whopping 50GB of cloud storage thanks to Dropbox. Where the S3 really wins here is with its removable back cover, which gives you access to a microSD card slot. Most phones will allow a card of up to 32GB, but the S3 can accommodate up to 64GB.

If you’re a real storage abuser, you can have around 146GB of storage with the 32GB S3, Dropbox and a microSD card, which is very impressive.


Battery

Galaxy SIII: Removable 2100 mAh Li-Ion battery, 42 hours usage rating

One X: Non-removable 1800 mAh Li-Po battery, 37 hours usage rating

WINNER: Galaxy SIII

The hardcore smartphone user will tell you that a phone with an un-removable battery is a pain. Those who really use their phones like to purchase a second battery to carry around and be able to hot-swap them around to keep going. For this reason alone, the Galaxy SIII will appeal to a lot of people over the One X.

However, it’s not just the removability factor that helps the S3 win this category. Its huge 2100 mAh battery will also outlast the One X by a good 5 hours, going by average usage in tests carried out by GSMarena. The S3 will last you longer for talktime, web browsing and video playback according to their tests. In our real world tests, the S3 would last around 15-18 hours with heavy use, and 24 hours plus with very light use.


Conclusion

With the screen aside, Samsung’s latest flagship betters the One X from HTC in many areas. We feel it also offers a better suite of software and features with S Voice and the various natural interaction features. With that aside, if you’re looking for a phone with plenty of storage space, a super-fast processor, all the connectivity you could desire, and still a decent battery life, you won’t go far wrong with the Samsung Galaxy SIII.

The One X is still a fantastically designed phone; it feels very sturdy and well built, offers an impressive camera suite and what is probably the best screen on a smartphone to date. However, we feel that the S3 edges it with a plethora of useful features and asides from the screen, better hardware. For now, the Galaxy SIII is the one for us.

You can check out our “Compare Phone Prices” tool for the best Contract, Pay As You Go and SIM free deals on the Samsung Galaxy SIII by clicking the tab above.

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.
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