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Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. HTC One X

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has finally been unveiled, and it’s looking a mighty fine handset. But it’s not the only Android smartphone vying for your attention, and your cash. HTC made good on their promise to deliver a more concise, quality handset portfolio this year, with the HTC One X the stunning new flagship device in their range.

But which is better, the Samsung Galaxy S3, or the HTC One X? We break down the key specs of each device to find out!

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Design and Build Quality

HTC One X
The HTC One X is a pretty big phone, measuring 134.36 mm x 69.9 mm x 8.9 mm. Despite the size (which allows for a generous 4.7 inch screen, the weight stays low at just 130 grams. Thin and let then, you won’t have to squeeze this into a pocket. Three touch-sensitive buttons sit on the lower edge of the screen, while a volume rocker sits on the right hand side, a microUSB slot on the left (which doubles up as a Mobile High-Definition Link to hook up to a TV) and power a power button flanked by a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top. With a white unibody design, the HTC One X is quite a looker (there’s also a grey option if you prefer that shade). It does require a microSIM card however, which may put off those looking for a simple SIM swap from an earlier handset.

Galaxy S3
Thinner than the HTC One X at just 8.6mm and comparably light at 133g, the Galaxy S3 is a surprisingly comfortable size in the hand, and slips almost without notice into a pocket. Available in Pebble Blue and Marble White, its curved edges are inspired by nature. However, its plasticy “Hyperglaze” finish feels a tad cheap next to the HTC One X, and some may decide (unfairly) that the Galaxy S3 is a little bit on the flimsy side for their liking.

Winner – HTC One X

Screen

HTC One X
A breathtaking 4.7 inch Super IPS LCD 2 screen, running at 720p HD resolution sees the HTC One X shine. What’s more, it uses the super-tough Gorilla Glass to keep it from getting too scuffed or scratched.

Galaxy S3
A 4.8 inch Super AMOLED HD 1280×720 display sits on the front of the Galaxy S3 and it’s a stunner. Though its extra size and resolution mean it “only” hits a 309ppi pixel density, to the naked eye that won’t make a difference. It’s a more than a match for the HTC One X, and with our personal preference for AMOLED displays’ deep contrasts and vibrant colours coming in to play, it just edges it here.

Winner – Galaxy S3

Processor

HTC One X
The HTC One X makes use of a 1.5Ghz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU. It flies through even the most intensive apps and multitasking moments with ease, comfortably streaming HD video and pushing 1080p content to a big screen. It’s a joy to use in this respect, though the extra power does put a strain on the battery.

Galaxy S3
A 1.4Ghz Exynos processor powers the Galaxy S3. From the numbers alone, that’s a little less power than the HTC One X, but from what we’ve seen there wasn’t ever a hang or stutter, so it might not make that much of a difference. Either Way this phone performs impressively; the Pop Up Play feature that offers true picture-in-picture multitasking, offering windowed HD video playback in particular should just how powerful the handset was.

Winner – Tie

Storage

HTC One X
32GB of storage is built into the HTC One X, but without any microSD card support, that’s all the space you’re ever going to get on the phone. However, there is integrated cloud storage support through 25GB of the excellent Dropbox app, which alleviates this problem somewhat.

Galaxy S3
Samsung’s have been incredibly generous when it comes to storage options on the Galaxy S3. For starters, you’ve got the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB handset options as standard. Then note that you can add in an extra 64GB from a microSD card. Then pile on top of that again the 50GB of Dropbox cloud storage that comes as standard with every Galaxy S3 purchase. It’s more storage than you could possible need.

Winner – Galaxy S3

Software and Apps

HTC One X
The HTC One X pops Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) into the handset, the latest version of Google’s easily-customizable mobile operating system. On top of that, they’ve laid their very own HTC Sense 4 UI. We’re big fans of HTC’s Sense, which intelligently tweaks Android to make it not only more user-friendly, but better looking too.

Galaxy S3 
The Galaxy S3 runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top.
Likewise, it excels in offering customisation options, but still feels a little clunky when compared to the HTC Sense offering.

However, Samsung have also gone a long way to stamping their own touches into the software of the phone too. Things like the picture-in-picture Pop Up Play feature, superfast data sharing over NFC with S Beam, intelligent facial recognition and photo tagging capabilities, eye-tracking screen dimming tech called Smart Stay and Samsung’s own Siri rival called S Voice make the Galaxy S3 stand out from the Android pack.

Winner – Tie

Camera and Video Recording

HTC One X
HTC’s flagship handset has an 8MP camera on the back of the device with a single LED flash. It’s also capable of shooting 1080p video, while there is a 1.3MP front-facing camera for video calling onboard too. Both video and still images are captured crisply, particularly stills which have plenty of tweaking options too, as well as HDR, Macro and Panorama modes.

The HTC One X also has an impressive burst shooting mode, which arguably influenced Samsung’s own decision to include the feature in the Galaxy S3.

Galaxy S3
Samsung’s have pulled no punches with their latest smartphone camera system. Again, it’s an 8MP offering, with impressive start up speeds of 990ms, and the ability to fire off 3.3 photos a second. A burst mode capable of 20 shots in a row, at a rate of six photos per second, also features, alongside Best Shot, which takes 8 pictures and picks out the best based on framing, lighting and blur, as well as elements such as open or closed eyes on the subject.

There are intelligent facial recognition features too. Capture a photo of a pal, tag them in one image, and every subsequent picture you take of them should automatically be tagged accurately by the handset in the future. Groups of associated people can be tagged in this way too, making organising large photo libraries simple. Images can quickly be shared via email or social networks using this feature too.

Elsewhere, more standard features like High Dynamic Range (HDR), panorama, Smile Shot and Beauty Modes are onboard too, as well as full access to lots of manual settings for things like Exposure values.

We haven’t spent as much time as we’d like with it, but 1080p video recording capabilities also feature. Just like the S2 before it, the results from our early tests looked superb, with video stabilisation options working very well. Up front, a 1.9MP camera for video calling and shooting 720p video is also available.

Winner – Galaxy S3

Battery

HTC One X
An 1800mAh battery keeps the HTC One X ticking, but it struggles to survive a whole day’s worth of typical usage. It’s about average by smartphone standards, lasting till the early evening on a standard working day’s worth of use. Doing intensive tasks like playing 3D games will drain the battery faster too; powering that crisp screen seems a challenge for the HTC One X.

Galaxy S3
Samsung have popped in a giant 2100mAh battery in the Galaxy S3. That sounds massive, but remember there’s also massive screen to run, as well as that powerful Exynos processor draining juice all the time. Touches like the Smart Stay tech should keep battery usage down a bit, but we can’t pass judgement here till we’ve stressed the phone a little longer. Based on the numbers alone, we’ll go for the Galaxy S3 for now.

Winner – Galaxy S3

Price

HTC One X
SIM-free, you’re looking at around £425 for the HTC One X.

Galaxy S3
We’re still waiting for official pricing for the Galaxy S3, but if the Galaxy S2 was anything to go by, expect premium pricing. The S2 started at around £500 SIM-Free too depending on retailer, so we’d imagine things to be similar with the Galaxy S3.

Winner – HTC One X

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Overall Winner

From what we’ve seen of the Galaxy S3 so far, it’s easily the most advanced Android phone money can buy. It bests or matches the HTC One X in nearly every category here, and that’s no mean feat considering how good HTCs latest handset is. If Android is your mobile OS of choice, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the phone you want running it.

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