HTC One X vs iPhone 5 – video comparison

by: Bogdan PetrovanSeptember 22, 2012

htc one x vs iphone 5

The iPhone 5 became officially available on Friday, and everybody rushed to see how it fares against the best of the Android world. On our part, we drop-tested the new iPhone and the Galaxy S3 and brought you the results in the first ever iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 drop test. Plus, we showed you how the Galaxy S3 does against the iPhone 5 in our hands-on comparison video.

Now it’s time for the magnificent HTC One X to face the mighty iPhone 5. We looked at all the important stuff, from specs and hardware, to software and ecosystem. Check it out.

In a hurry? Jump straight to the Video Comparison or the Pros and Cons.


one X vs iphone 5 specs


The displays of the HTC One X and the iPhone 5 are both IPS LCD. While the resolutions are slightly different (the One X is 720 x 1280, while the iPhone is 640 x 1136), the pixel densities are close enough to call it a tie.

The beautiful Retina display on the iPhone 5 features in-cell touch technology, but that will have little impact on the user experience. With in-cell touch, the touch sensors are built right into the display, instead of on a separate glass substrate, thus allowing for a thinner device (Apple claims the iPhone 5 is the world’s thinnest, but we are not convinced).

The much larger display of the HTC One X has been praised for its crispness and great color rendering (being an LCD, colors are less saturated than on AMOLED). HTC used a true RGB pixel pattern, which is sharper than the Pentile layout on the GS3 and other phones. Being laminated, it appears that the image floats on the glass, rather than sitting beneath a chunk of glass. That’s something I love about the HTC One X.

Build quality and design

I’ll say it from the beginning – both phones are exquisitely designed, although their design philosophies are markedly different. The One X features a sleek unibody made of strong polycarbonate, which makes it more likely to survive accidents and water splashes. HTC did a wonderful job designing their flagship, and the resulting product is modern, solid, and a joy to use.

The Apple iPhone 5 is equally solid – that aluminum casing and the front glass did amazingly well in our drop test. In terms of appearance, the only qualm you might have is the somehow boring design. The phone is essentially just an elongated iPhone 4S, so if you got bored with that, the iPhone 5 might not be satisfying. Other than that, it’s hard to find a classier phone than the iPhone.


Although the One X was launched over six months ago, the hardware on it is actually pretty similar to the iPhone 5. Apple was never on the cutting edge in terms of raw specs, and this shows with the iPhone 5. Both phones feature powerful processors: a quad-core Tegra 3 on the international version of the One X and a dual-core custom design on the Apple 5. Early benchmarks suggest that the iPhone 5 beats the One X, but again, Apple had time on its side.

In terms of features, the One X and the iPhone 5 are quite similar. Both phones feature non-removable batteries and no microSD card, so if you want that, better choose a GS3 or something else. Because of the larger display on the One X, it’s beefier 1800mAh battery will offer about the same uptime as the iPhone’s 1400mAh unit.

Software and ecosystem

HTC’s Sense overlay used to be praised as a great enhancement to stock Android, but these days, we don’t see how it improves on Ice Cream Sandwich. Anyway, some like it, and the latest variant of Sense, which is featured on the One X, is lighter and more subtle than before. Plus, HTC baked some unique features into its implementation of Android, including the Beats Audio software (a fancy equalizer basically) and ImageSense, HTC’s custom camera firmware.

The iPhone 5 features iOS6, which critics say it’s not Cupertino’s best effort in terms of software. The half-baked Apple Maps app is a particularly jarring misstep, one that has even spawned websites dedicated to exposing its shortcomings. Other than that, iOS6 is business as usual – a polished user experience that sacrifices some features and flexibility for the sake of ease of use. If you like the “it just works” philosophy, you’ll just love the iPhone 5.

Video comparison: iPhone 5 vs HTC One X

In a nutshell

HTC One X Pros

  • Large 4.7-inch display
  • Android 4 is a flexible, powerful OS
  • NFC
  • Beats Audio
  • Cheaper
  • A thriving enthusiast community that produce custom ROMs

HTC One X Cons

  • Android updates are slow and unpredictable
  • Larger and heavier than the iPhone 5 – might be a problem for some

iPhone 5 Pros

  • Lightweight and thin
  • Solid and stylish design
  • Simple, clear updates for iOS
  • Great support
  • Great ecosystem

iPhone 5 Cons

  • Small screen by today’s standards
  • iOS is a bit dated and inflexible
  • Apple Maps is poor
  • More expensive if you buy it unlocked

Wrap up

Once again, we looked at two phones that are really hard to differentiate in terms of value.

The HTC One X has Android, a larger screen, and some unique features on its side. The iPhone 5 is a beautiful phone that is lightweight yet solid, but on the software side, it’s playing catch up. And, in terms of specs and performance, the six months old HTC One X is on par with the brand new iPhone 5.

I would definitely choose the HTC One X over the iPhone 5, although, I must admit that I really like the build and design of Apple’s phone. But I understand that some people want a smaller device, and for them I have no problem recommending the iPhone. For everyone else, go with the One X.

[poll id=”153″]

  • The Beats audio on One X international is crap. The sound quality is very harsh.

  • shero

    HTC one X is best in all smart phones….I kiss is

    • John

      I Disagree with you! For all i know galaxy s3 is the best phone! 2nd HTC One X!

      • Divinus FiliuS

        Wrong, all glalaxy s3s are DEFECTED! their screens don’t display white colors. Only light blue. To me that is a major shameless defect! OneX screen is superb tobanything else

        • JonSilvers

          All oled, and led displays haves white blue, cause all diode that emits lite produce a white with a blueish tint, like tft with ccfl will produce yellowish tint.

      • they are both very good just because they have android.For me sgs1 is better than iphone.Their specs are almost same,both have hd screens,quad cores(both very fast) and 8 mp full hd camera

      • JonSilvers

        Best is a little harsh word. There are no flawless phones. I am personally for one x, and already have it, one of my best friend have s3. With a close comparison, neither wins, its a tie, both have cons and pros. It is only which you prefer batter. I am talking about international versions. About US versions, If I were a heavy net browsing user, i would buy s3, for only one reason 2gb of ram, and for any version, the only thing where s3 haves lead is battery life and nothing else.

  • Damon Hart

    you forgot a pro for the iphone. “It just works” ;)

    • Kassim

      R-really?! How come I haven’t seen anything about a trading standards agency fining HTC for selling a phone that doesn’t work?! :o Are they paying off all such bodies to turn a blind eye?!!

      Despicable(!)…They should NOT be allowed to get away with this!! >.<

  • My wife’s iPhone 4 is half the phone my one X is (in more ways than one), and I got my one X for $75.00. IPhones are good for the non tech minded, women, children, the elderly, those who don’t want to be bothered with “learning” how to use things.

    • Divinus FiliuS

      Beautifully beautifully said my friend!

    • Woman

      who says women aren’t tech minded?

    • SpiceInc

      5 days later and I still couldn’t have said it better

    • Martin Andersen

      I’m a middle-aged tech-minded guy who loves learning, and I have an iPhone. I just happen to love things that are well-made and polished. I know plenty of creatives like myself who are the same, perhaps because Macs are so prevalent in the creative fields, and iPhones integrate seamlessly with them. I’m in no hurry for a new phone, it will be another 1-2 years before I upgrade, we’ll see what is available then.

  • I’m sorry Bogdan but seems silly that you didn’t hold down the HTC One X shutter button when testing which takes pictures faster
    the HTC one x is faster. It’s burst mode with the shutter button being held down destroys your instant shutter press on the Iphone 5. That is what the HTC one X is known for. you should test that feature against Iphone5 camera. What you did just seems silly and makes you look stupid.

  • Bervick

    The iPhone has a much cooler/brighter white compared to the One X, which is also an LCD screen,

    • leoingle

      A cooler brighter white??? Um, desperate and reach much??? ok, you enjoy your cooler brighter white. lmao how pathetic…

      • Bervick

        Wow. Ok. Look at the 9:36 marker and compare the whites. I’m an Android fan and I have an Android phone as well. An AMOLED panel which is not as good as the HTC One for whites. Because LCD’s have better whites.

        A cooler temperature means a brighter white. It does not necessarily mean a purer/more accurate white. For eg. HDTV’s when calibrated, are done to a WARMER temperature of D65k. Computer monitors on the other hand have a different standard and are calibrated to a cooler white temperature. From memory 95K for monitors. I was not slamming the HTC device. Lastly, I do not know if the brightness levels were set fairly on both. But I stated what I saw. That was all. Chill.

  • mrdwaynee

    HTC EVO 4g LTE is best……hands down!!!!!!

  • Kevin

    The iPhone 5 shoots in 1080p. Look it up.

  • Divinus FiliuS

    Oh my God, iPhone STILL cannot connect to TVs etc as a storage device? That is CRIMINAL Apple! WoW! Allen Grady really said it best with his comment. about the camera they had different approach, htc has a burst mode faster than clicking individually while iPhone does it fast individually. But you can’t help but cry at the iOS, windows mobile 5 had way more features 7 years ago. My one x pops right out of the case, so I can switch between black or white. $40 for replacement case from HTC.galaxy s3 in my opinion is DEFECTED due to screen, unfortunatelybecause of the HORRIBLE whites. It’s always blue, its defected. And it trully is damn ugly. I’m glad someone came up with an all around polished and thought out device this time around, thanks HTC!

  • no comparison with one-x

  • Love the HTC One X the most! But I expected apple fanboys to vote Iphone up. Gave me a slight surprise when my fav phone is top :D

  • Nelan Thomas


  • Jared Persinger

    I don’t know I like the color saturation of AMOLED devices like the razr

  • Ido Shamriz

    HTC one x no dought !! I have it for a month and a half (The international version) and I can honestly say that this is the best smartphone in the world!!

  • htc one x looks beautiful