HTC One X+ vs Samsung Galaxy S3

October 30, 2012

Although just one of the two following companies is financially successful at the time being, Samsung and HTC are probably the two best Android smartphone manufacturers in the world (with Google-owned Motorola arriving on the remaining step of the podium as far as I’m concerned).

Obviously enough, each one of these companies has a flagship Android smartphone that they claim is better than its competitors, but unfortunately for the Taiwanese manufacturer (HTC), the original international version of the HTC One X isn’t topping off the Samsung Galaxy S3 in too many areas. However, that is likely to change as HTC plans to soon release the HTC One X+, an improved version of HTC’s flagship for the main part of 2012.

Is the HTC One X+ a true Samsung Galaxy S3 killer? Join us as we try to answer that question by dissecting these wonders of Android technology into tiny bits and pieces!

Specs

Display

As the display of the original HTC One X is still considered to be (by plenty of experts) the best smartphone display currently around, HTC probably did the right thing by not making any changes to it in the HTC One X+. As a result, the One X+ retains the 4.7-inch Super IPS LCD2 of its predecessor, one that features amazing color reproduction, brightness and viewing angles. The resolution is somewhat standard for a modern flagship: 1280 x 720 pixels, meaning that the One X+ features a 312 Pixel Per Inch (PPI) ratio.

On the other hand, you can’t just go out and claim that the display on the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a poor display: you get 4.8 inches of Super AMOLED goodness running at the same 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, but one important aspect where the Galaxy S3 loses its display battle against the HTC One X+ is the color reproduction area. Another reason why we think of the HTC One X+ display to be better is the fact that Samsung has opted to use the PenTile arrangement in the S3 display, and not a regular RGB matrix.

The HTC One X+ takes this round despite the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has one of the top 5 displays currently available on a smartphone.

Build Quality and Design

While only a few very picky fellows might call the Samsung Galaxy S3 an ugly smartphone, the reality is that Samsung could really have done better in designing its 2012 flagship Android Smartphone. Build quality could also have been improved, as the S3 doesn’t feel like a flagship smartphone in most people’s hands.

On the other side, the HTC One X+ retains exactly the same build quality and design that have earned its predecessor the title of the sexiest Android smartphone to ever reach the consumer market. If it isn’t broke, why fix it? HTC seems to have no answer for that question, and this leads to a result that I personally applaud.

While this section of our comparison is the most subjective to personal taste, most of you guys will surely find that the HTC One X+ is a better looking device than the Samsung Galaxy S3, so HTC wins this round as well.

Hardware

As most of you already know, the international version of the Galaxy S3 runs a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 4 processor (the fastest processor currently available for an Android smartphone) alongside 1GB of RAM and a 2100 mAh battery. The U.S., LTE-enabled version of the Galaxy S3 swaps the Exynos 4 SoC for the slightly lesser Snapdragon S4, but also increases the amount of RAM memory up to 2GB.

The main improvement that HTC has brought to the HTC One X+ when compared against its older brother is a bumped up Tegra 3 quad-core processor running at 1.7GHz per core. Add 1GB of RAM and Jelly Bean in the mix, and some leaked benchmark results have shown that the HTC One X+ is actually faster than any other Android smartphone currently available on the market (with the exception of the Galaxy Note 2, which is actually a phablet and not a smartphone by the true meaning of the word).

However, the best thing about the HTC One X+ is that it will not switch the improved Tegra 3 SoC with a Snapdragon S4 one once it reaches LTE-enabled carriers in the U.S. (AT&T). This means that the HTC One X+ is bound to be the first Tegra 3 smartphone with LTE connectivity.

Both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X will feature a 2100mAh batteries, meaning we should expect similar battery life from the two smartphones. As both these flagships use an 8MP camera each, expect photo quality to be on par as well.

Performance wise, the HTC One X+ should be right on par with the international version of the Galaxy S3, with the U.S. version of the Galaxy S3 falling a bit behind HTC’s upcoming flagship. On the other hand, the HTC One X+ comes with a non-removable battery and does not feature a microSD card slot (features that are available on the Galaxy S3), so I’m going to call this round a draw.

Software and Ecosystem

As it should be the case for all Android flagships nowadays, the HTC One X+ will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, with HTC’s Sense 4+ custom UI layered on top. While I definitely welcome the inclusion of the latest version of the Android OS in HTC’s upcoming flagship, there is really nothing to be amazed about here.

Currently, in some markets, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is officially running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, although the South Korean manufacturer has started releasing Jelly Bean updates in various regions. While it is paining to see that the best selling Android smartphone ever is still not updated to the latest Android version (one that comes with significant improvements to the overall feel of the operating system), the Galaxy S3 somewhat makes up for this via its Smart Functions, a few software tweaks that are unique to Samsung flagships (the Note 2 also has them).

You can read more about the Smart Functions on the Galaxy S3 in our previous article here, but in the context of this Vs piece, it should be said that this range of unique features has received loads of positive feedback from the community.

The way I see things, Samsung is bound to update the Galaxy S3 to Jelly Bean in more markets at around the same time that the HTC One X+ launches. As the Smart Functions are a most welcomed software addition, the Galaxy S3 wins this round.

Pros and Cons

HTC One X+ Pros

  • 1.7GHz quad-core Tegra 3 + LTE
  • Awesome design and best display around
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Preinstalled

HTC One X+ Cons

  • Non removable battery
  • No MicroSD card slot

Samsung Galaxy S3 Pros

  • 1.4 GHz quad-core Exynos 4 processor (international version)
  • Smart Functions

Samsung Galaxy S3 Cons

  • PenTile display
  • The U.S. version’s Snapdragon S4 is not slow, but not the fastest around

Conclusion

If you’re living in the U.S. and planning to get a Samsung Galaxy S3, the reality is that you’re better of waiting until the HTC One X+ is launched.

The differences between the international versions of the Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X+ ultimately boil down to this: go for the HTC One X+ if you want the best display around in a sexy package, or go for the Samsung Galaxy S3 if the Smart Functions seem interesting enough. I would personally go for the HTC One X+ in this scenario as well though!

What are your thoughts on the matter? Is the HTC One X+ the real Samsung Galaxy S3 killer? Let us know in the comment section below!

Comments

  • Android Guru

    Galaxy S3 FTW!

    and i overclocked my Galaxy S3 with siyah kernel to 1.7GHz but i didn’t notice any diffrents because on jelly bean samsung has improved many things, even on 1.4GHz its super fast

  • http://www.facebook.com/iamk1ng David Breezy Komora Jr.

    ~HTC X+ Kills the S3. I do hate the no microSD issue but 64GB is impressive!

  • Randy Sylmar

    Why aren’t you putting up HTC One X + vs Galaxy Note 2. They are both the end of the year additions of their companies phones. Why bring a Galaxy S3 phone that was set to rival the HTC One X?

    Aside from that, a non-removable battery on a phone notorious for horrible battery life and no sd card slot vs a galaxy phone with improved life cycle thanks to the removable battery with multiple extended battery options with an option to extend space is only at a draw? I find that hard to believe. The Tegra processors are also way behind since they lag even on the Nexus tablets on the simplest games.

    You need to understand why the S3 is still the hottest phone on the market and the One X is already getting the price dump. I’ve used the HTC One X and not only does it get EXTREMELY hot, the battery dies quickly and I’m talking moderate usage. While the GS3 isn’t the BEST either you can make it better with an extended battery.

    If you are judging a phone by it’s looks the One X + does look better in terms of making it cool looking. The problem is when you count the fact that after maybe 15 minutes of using it you can literally start a fire and when that battery dies you are SOL then you realize what kind of phone you got.

    • openmindedguy

      I have One X and like it. I chose it over the S3 due to better display, build quality and design. The battery issue isn’t a worry. All phones aren’t that great. Secondly, the memory I have with dropbox, Google drive and Microsoft skydrive gives me 85gb. More than enough and all free. The comparison is not too important as size maybe a deciding factor not a release date. Either way both are better than Apple.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.tolisano Joe Tolisano

        You can’t compare cloud services that will eat up your data allowance ….to access your own files to a phone with removable storage. And while you have to buy that MicroSd card….you won’t be eating up data to access your own files. A larger display on the GS3 trumps the slightly smaller display of the HTC ONE X even if the latter is slightly better to some peoples eyes. I chose the GS3 a few weeks ago and I’m 100% satisfied with it and GLAD I didn’t go for the One X due to all it’s limitations.

    • Joshua Johnson

      I don’t agree with some of your points. Not saying the one x is better than the S3 but i get GREAT battery life and my One X rarely gets hot. Not sure if you had a defective or if they fixed it with updates but i have been blown away by the power life of this phone. I think it comes down to the users. It was a hard choice for me but what won me over was the screen. I love the One X screen, i think its much better than the S3. I love the natural colors unlike the cartoonish i got on the S3. S3s have a lot of amazing features that if screen wasn’t the deciding factor for you it would win. But i wouldnt say one is better than another, it all depends on the user and what matters most for the user.

      • 6MinuteAbs

        I am pretty sure there are bad One X’s out there. The heating issues are not uncommon. Just as there are plenty of S3′s with strange wifi connectivity issues, while most do not.

    • EKfine

      why compare? coz the s3 is that good. on paper the one x+ wins.

      i love the colors of amoled on a phone! but wouldn’t want it on my tv.

    • Sinepa

      Because the Note 2 beats everything out there leaving no place for a comparison! lol

      • Marc

        Haha, it’s a phone we’re talking about, not a “phablet”. How stupid does it look holding the note to your ear ? Comical. Yeah, it’s got great specs, not to mention the good screen, fast processor and great battery life, but all of those things are present only because of the size of the phone. I would have picked up the S3, but after this released, i might just go for the One X+. It’s better, face it :-)

    • 6MinuteAbs

      Personally, I think the S3′s screen is dim and it has not-uncommon wifi problems. I had two of them before giving up on a third. The One X in the former North American British colonies is too weak – battery too small and memory too limited. The One X+ fixes all this. Samsung has not released the next S3 and so the One X+ comes to ring and takes it on. The Note 2 is a substantially different device. The One X and X+, and S3 are not intended to compete against it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/baldilocks73 Steve Hartsock

      Actually the battery life of the HTC One X (not + ) is great with ICS and Sense 4.1.

    • George

      The Galaxy S3 and HTC one x were not released at the same time remember. The One x was released several months latter, but still you want to compare the two. Obviously Samsung had to make sure they release a better phone than the original One X. Whilst these phones are all extremely good smart phones, the differences are not important for practical use. I know that for those who have looked at the HTC screen and the user interface, they will be tempted to buy this device, even the original One X. HTC Sence is just too great

      • George

        The Galaxy S3 and HTC one x were not released at the same time remember.
        The One x was released several months EARLIER, but still you want to
        compare the two. Obviously Samsung had to make sure they release a
        better phone than the original One X. Whilst these phones are all
        extremely good smart phones, the differences are not important for
        practical use. I know that for those who have looked at the HTC screen
        and the user interface, they will be tempted to buy this device, even
        the original One X. HTC Sence is just too great

  • lol

    Galaxy Note 2?

    • Holmes108

      I think the Pentile hate is a little overblown and outdated these days .On these new, high res, beautiful screens, you’d have to put the phone up to your nose, squint, and look at it through one of those jewelers eye pieces to even see a problem/difference.

      • butt hole

        not true at all. I had the S3 for about 2 weeks. I could tell how pixelated the font was when I opened an app or browsed the web. also the color wasn’t that great even comparing to my old iphone 4. I froze a movie frame while watching netflix on both phones and compared. I am just waiting for the Galaxy note 2 so i can finally get rid of my iphone. Just so sick of the boring ios and the new iphone 5 is a joke.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erin-Looney/100000259269401 Erin Looney

          Interesting, I think this might be a personal preference kind of thing. When I compare the screens, the S3 looks better. I can’t see pixelation with my eyes, wI see more vibrant colors and contrast. On the One X I see a more faded look. I see that 0.1″ smaller size really making a big difference, which is weird. Maybe because 5″ is my perfect size, so being .3″ shy instead of .2″ shy — makes the One X a whole 33% farther away from my perfect size. I think the One X+ is a stellar great phone and especially think the processor and styling are attractive. But not as attractive as the fact I can pop in 4200maH batteries at will, and upgrade to 128GB. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 2 is what really gets my heart pumping, with it dominating in every single way except PPI.

  • trebor

    S3 with jelly bean rocks! thank you!

  • Hazard

    Samsung Galaxy S3 with Jelly Bean is super fast dont make compare with other phones with S3 until he get official JB. When it does do ur compare and tell us ur opinion after that

  • cycad007

    *IF* the HTC had put a removable battery *AND* SD Card into the One X+…this comparison would be a no-brainer. I personally would pick the HTC One X+ but I can see why others would get the Galaxy S3. It all comes down to what features are important to the user.

  • Hassan

    why are you comparing Galaxy S3 that came in the mid of this year surely it will not include jelly bean… and many other things but if it would come in October then we could see a clear difference….. non removable battery, no extendable memory doesn’t make one x a good cellphone but galaxy s3…will provide u with it….. compare HTC One X with Note 2 which was released with it… then you will see the difference….. Galaxy S3 as it came earlier is still far better than One X… I have seen your videos regarding shock tests of S3 vs I-5… it clearly depicts that android authority is a non supporter of Samsung Galaxy S3……

  • Jeffrey Crist

    I’m a power iOS + AT&T User that has been waiting a long time to jump the Apple ship and leave behind the days of waiting and waiting for jailbreaks. But the Android competition has always fallen short in some area be it app availability, O/S reliability, build-quality, support, etc. I read many reviews of S3 vs HTC One X and concluded the One X was the better phone for me with the better UI and better screen. But I needed more than 16GB on AT&T! Bummer.

    HTX One X+ to the rescue! I will buy one the day AT&T offers it and kiss my iPhone goodbye.

    • red red

      Well Mr. power iOS user. Let me just let you in. There is no such thing as a better UI on an android. Yes, in your iPhone world you are used to being held down and told what your phone will look like. If you don’t want to root we have launchers that will make your UI however you want it to be. It makes your phone look like how you want it to look like. You will be free finally when you discover that there are much more apps that you can find online and download on the fly. Playing any type of media file without having to convert it!

      By the way, what are you talking about OS reliability? ICS has been out for over a year and was the game changer UI for Android making it look much more polished and stable. Build Quality? You mean like the iPhone’s 1 drop glass breaks build quality.

    • http://www.facebook.com/derrick.mcgalliard Derrick McGalliard

      well let me say, as far as UI YESSSSSSS, sense is great better best, i am a sense head, and going with any other UI makes no “sense” to me, btw, i hate stock android, its too dull and plane to me, ill take htc sense only, but thats me, no changing my mind, and i have done more than enuff research on androids

  • cristyn lieo

    You have given nice comparison but I think both the phones have their separate club of fans or else I can say users. Samsung Galaxy S3 becomes much popular world wide with extra ordinary features.

  • jsehn

    Leaving out the 64GB memory that will come with the US release HTC ONE X+ is a real oversight not mentioned in the commentary. Versus the 16GB offered with the S3, at least at the base price point, further widens the gap.

  • PoopSinyourmouth

    MIKE ANDRICI thats bc your a fag is why you want the htc + it was made for butt chocolatetears like you

  • Guest

    HTC ONE X+ hands down, and for anybody who wants to disagree with me over a phone, aye Kiss another hairy ass, cuz i aint with that gay stuff, but if u a woman, then you can pesonally kiss my booty, i wouldnt touch touch no phones with a ugly touchwhiz UI, and feels cheap as kids toy, i personally held it, and once owned a One x 16gb but decided to bring it back in time so i can wait for the X+, not the mention watching multiple videos showing how much durable the X is over the galaxy, yo screw that, ATT hurry yalls asses up and release this dam thing, before i head over to verizon and own that sexy and sleek HTC DNA or whateva its goin to be

  • Guest

    HTC ONE X+ hands down, and for anybody who wants to disagree with me over a phone, aye Kiss another hairy ass, cuz i aint with that gay stuff, but if u a woman, then you can pesonally kiss my booty, lol, but i wouldnt touch any phones with a ugly touchwhiz UI, and feels cheap as a kids toy, i personally held it so yes i know how it feels, and once owned a One x 16gb but decided to bring it back in time so i can wait for the X+, not the mention watching multiple videos showing how much durable the X is over the galaxy s3, yo screw that, ATT hurry yalls asses up and release this dam thing, before i head over to verizon and own that sexy and sleek HTC DNA coming out or whateva its goin to be

  • Steve Muller

    What all these reviews seem to forget is that the removable storage on the Samsung Galaxy S3 is heavily limited unless you root the phone and use ‘directory bind’ – you can’t use it install any games (except for Bard’s Tale that I’ve seen so far) so you’re still limited to the internal storage. You can get around it but I don’t think you should have to hack your phone to do so. With the size of the games coming out on Android now you need all the ‘SDCARD’ storage you can get, the S3 presents the MicroSD as ‘ExtSDCARD’ or similar so unless programmers get on board you have to root your device to get around this, in my opinion, massive limitation.

    And that’s coming from an S3 owner.

  • David Bouley

    This is a comparison of the two top Android phones, not phablets. When HTC decides to enter the phablet market, I expect to see a comparo with the GN2. As it is, a OneX+ vs GN2 comparo can be found elsewhere, but it’s an apples/oranges comparison in many ways.

    As for the processor enhancement in the OneX+, one thing that I can’t believe is rarely mentioned is the fact that the Tegra3 AP37 is a 4+1 core – it’s a quad core when it needs the power, but when idle and performing mundane, easy tasks, the fifth, low-power core is the only one working. This, more than the slightly larger battery, is the main reason for the significantly increased battery life in the +.

    I’ve been a big fan of HTC of late (and never a Samsung fan), but the paltry 16GB available in the standard X really turned me off. The 64GB + is exactly what I need, and I can’t wait for AT&T to start offering it stateside.

  • denmarkG

    There is none of you have had so many mobiles like me, I am a rich man in 23, I have several phone and use all of them because I have a lot of work and a lot of friends, and I have three right now, Iphone 5, Galaxy S III and htc thunder bolt .. listen here friends, we agree on that the htc is the oldest?! well, but believe me it is the best and it is the one I use on my daily basis because I can much better like it, it’s perfect, nothing wrong and can all things, has lost it a few times and still without a scratch on the screen . I do not like my samsung because the image is not great, slow, fast battery die, and the cover looks like something I’ve done at home, cheap PLASTIC, but everything else is fine!!haha!!! Iphone 5, it is good, a little bit slowly and costing more money because you have to buy the apps, but its okay!! BUT HTC you can not say anything negative about it, it is PERFECT…. and do not discuss it with me, I have them all …… from my facts must now choose what you want, and if you are idiots and not understood a damn thing of what I said then buy in probably a SAMSUNG .. But I can not say anything but GOOD LUCK ;)

  • geejay008

    ..if you’re EU/UK region based. Go for the Samsung Galaxy S3 i9305 LTE… Xeynos Quad CPU AND the 2GB ram as well as the nifty titanium colour… it is imho the best GS3 variant available besides the korean model.

    Non-removable Battery & no external SDCard support meant a dealbreaker for me vs the HTC One X…

    …which is a significant thing since I’ve been an HTC supporter since the Kaiser… =/

  • Htc one x +

    I have the one x+. It is the fastest phoneI have ever used, the gaming is incredible!! Over all I love this phone well done htc!I recommend this device to all who like fast gaming no lag at all great video and camera front and back and yes jelly bean!!! Its an all out winner in my book.I can’t wait to see what’s next.

  • V.L123

    Its all about personal likes and dislikes to be honest in the world of smartphones..not Phablet!!! so Note 2 is off the table because it cannot be compared..i personally like htc better due to design and software etc and if u read other reviews online or on youtube, experts will say that the extra features on the S3 eg:face reconition to unlock screen, pop out video while multitasking..all these features are bare useless in day to day usage of the handset! 64G of memory in the one x+ is way enough for many people and on terms of battery usage…as if ur not going home at the end of ur day to re-charge it!?! all smartphones nowadays barely last a full day from unplug! FACT!! a few years back the Iphone was the benchmark in the world of smartphones…now with devices such as S3, one x+ etc..not even iphone 5 can compete because everyone is getting into the trend of having big screen phones!

  • Nsha

    Samsung s3 in one x+ hardware = heaven

  • http://www.salatiso.com/ Salatiso

    I’m happy with my HTC One X+ , as I was with the Desire S and Flyer it replaces.

    I tried Samsung with the I900 but found their customer service atrocious and built quality terrible, HTC is yet to fail be on both. Besides, never really been the one to follow crowds.