PC Mag – It’s smartphone season, with manufacturers racing to release the latest and greatest handsets before the holiday rush. Not content with playing second fiddle to Samsung, HTC saw fit to revamp its flagship phone, the HTC One X. The new HTC One X+ boasts a variety of hardware and software upgrades over its predecessor, but is it enough to take down the Galaxy S III? Read on for a side-by-side breakdown.
From a design standpoint, not much has changed between the original One X and the One X+. It’s still slightly smaller than the S III, due in large part to the differences in screen size. The One X+ still uses the same polycarbonate unibody design as the original, which we preferred over the S III’s plastic body with removable back. The One X+, much like its predecessor, features a 4.7-inch 1,280-by-720 Super LCD 2 screen, a tenth of an inch smaller than the S III’s 4.8-inch 1,280-by-720 HD Super AMOLED display. Both screens offer the same resolution, but the One X+ has a slight advantage in pixel density, with 312 ppi vs. 306 ppi of the S III, thanks to its slightly smaller screen. An important distinction for some will be Samsung’s use of a PenTile display, which some will find fuzzy or pixilated.
Unlike its predecessor, and nearly every high-end Android smartphone right now, the new One X+ will be the first LTE phone to use Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 chip. The new processor is clocked at 1.7GHz, whereas the S III uses a more common dual-core 1.5-GHz Qualcomm S4 chip. Both are speedy, no doubt, but the One X+ has an advantage in gaming, with access to the exclusive Tegra Zone game library. The One X+, with its unibody design, comes in only one storage flavor, but it’s a generous 64GB. The S III tops out at 32GB internal, with the option to expand via microSD by up to 64GB for a total of 96GB. Both phones use a 2100mAh battery, but only Samsung’s is removable, providing a bit more flexibility. Both phones also have 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, along with Bluetooth and NFC. The One X+ will also feature HTC’s signature Beats Audio enhancements and a built-in FM radio—both missing from the S III.
A big difference between these two smartphones comes on the software side. The One X+ will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at launch, making it one of a handful of smartphones equipped with Google’s latest mobile OS. The S III is, for now, stuck with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is a fine option, but missing out on some of Google’s latest innovations like the smoothness courtesy of Project Butter and Google Now. Samsung does promise an upgrade for the S III, but there’s no exact timetable for release.
Both smartphones feature 8-megapixel rear-facing cameras that are capable of shooting 1080p HD video. The S III has a slight edge with its 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, to the One X+’s 1.6 megapixels, but both are good for 720p video. The lens on the One X+ opens up to f/2, which lets in more light than the S III’s f/2.6 aperture lens. The One X+ also features a 28mm wide angle lens, which should let you capture larger scenes from the same distance as the S III.
There is one big caveat for this comparison: HTC has yet to announce a price or release date for the One X+. Carrier compatibility will also be working against the One X+, as this phone is an AT&T exclusive. Both the S III and One X+ represent the top-end of the Android smartphone spectrum, and it’s hard to say which exactly is the best choice. The original One X was eclipsed by the S III, but its successor certainly looks poised to compete. Which smartphone do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned for our full review of the HTC One X+.