Samsung Galaxy S2 vs HTC One X – Last year’s best against HTC’s latest

May 6, 2012

So now I’ve had a good go with a Samsung Galaxy S2 and the HTC One X. Both are impressive phones, and they both have people swearing by them. Which is best though? Well, I’m going to give you my thoughts on this.

How do they feel in your hand?

What’s really important to me is that a phone should be powerful, but remain easy to hold in hand. If a phone is too large then using it becomes a clumsy and awkward experience. Myself, I prefer the Samsung Galaxy S2 to the HTC One X. Yes, that’s right. The Samsung Galaxy S2 may be inferior in hardware terms, with a lower resolution screen, slower processor and all the rest of it, but it remains easy to hold and quick to retrieve from your pocket. The HTC One X is huge and doesn’t meet this basic requirement of a phone – convenience. It’s a phone trying to be a baby tablet.

As you can see in the photos below, it’s very difficult if not impossible to touch every corner of the One X when you have it in one hand. It’s a stretch but still relatively comfortable with the SGS2.

I can just about reach the corners of the Samsung Galaxy S2

but, unless you are an absolute giant, that isn't true of the One X

In regards to thickness, the phones are equal. When lined up on a table or held in hand (see pic below) there is barely a millimetre of difference. The phones do feel different to hold but this is because of the One X case being polycarbonate plastic and the S2 being textured regular plastic. The screen sizes also mean you have to shape your hand differently and whilst the SGS2 is comfortable, the One X can’t be used sensibly with one hand.

They are the same thickness, it's the length and width that makes them feel so different to hold.

The displays?

These are the exact specifications: HTC One X – 1280×720 Super IPS LCD2 display over 4.7inches. The Samsung Galaxy S2 is SuperAMOLED 480 x 800 over 4.3 inches.

In the last section I supported the GS2, now it’s flipped over to the HTC One X. As I said in my One X review the display is unbelievable. Nearly impossible to pick out individual pixels, bright and sharp. The Samsung Galaxy S2 also has a decent display. Though you can pick out individual pixels if you stare hard enough, don’t be put off because it’s still very hard to do. The display remains High Definition and a treat to look at. However after prolonged exposure to one device or the other, you do notice the difference when you switch over.

How is the sound?

Once again the Samsung Galaxy S2 has to submit to the One X. The GS2 has a single speaker on the rear of the device, and the sound that comes out of that is ‘acceptable’. At least it seems that way in comparison to the Beats audio system on the One X. The clever system in there makes sound seem like it’s coming from a small stereo speaker set in front of you. Anything you play will be heard with great clarity and quality.

Processing power, general speed and benchmarks

Samsung Galaxy S2 Benchmarks

The One X is very impressive in this regard. To test out how the phones fair against each in this regard I cold-launched my favourite Reddit application (Reddit Sync) at the same time. Whilst the SGS2 takes about one second to load the application with it’s powerful dual-core Exynos @ 1.2 GHz, the One X tramples it with an undetectable loading time using the 1.5GHz nVidia Tegra 3 chip. As soon as I press the icon for the application, it’s on my screen. Check out how much more powerful the HTC One X is below.

Benchmarks of the quad core HTC One X. Insanely powerful.

When loading the Play Store, the One X is ready with a list of my installed applications in one second, but for the SGS2 it takes about five.

Camera Comparison

Rear-Camera

Here the phones should be evenly matched, both with an 8Megapixel LED flash camera. Interestingly, I found they are neck and neck when it comes to open landscape and general photographs, but when you go for something close up, the differences can be clearly seen.

The Samsung Galaxy S2's photo.

HTC One X's photo.

There’s no doubt that the SGS2 works better in low-ish levels of artificial light (where these were taken). I also think it has slightly richer colour, don’t you?

However even if the SGS2 does beat the One X for camera quality, remember that the One X has burst shot! I also noticed that while the S2 takes about 2 seconds to take and save a photo, it’s near instantaneous.

Front-Facing Cameras

While the One X has a 1.3MP camera, the GS2 has a 1.9MP front facing camera. Not a lot of difference and low quality really, but the difference is detectable to people viewing through video chats. I’ve been in a couple with both of the phones and people have commented that the SGS2 is better. Not vastly so, but there is definitely a detectable difference.

Battery Life

This is where the Samsung Galaxy S2 undoubtedly takes the gold. The HTC One X has a 1800mAh battery and the Samsung has a 1650mAh battery, however the smaller screen, less intense CPU and a variety of other factors mean the SGS2 can go for days without needing to charge the battery, assuming you don’t use it non-stop. The One X, alternatively, can do three quarters of a day at best. A smartphone should be able to last you from when you leave for work in the morning until you come home at night.

So which one wins?

It all comes down to what you want from a phone of course, but if you placed a Samsung Galaxy S2 and an HTC One X in front of me saying I could have either one – I would take the SGS2. It’s easier to hold, lasts far longer and is still a very powerful smartphone. The One X is fun for having a sleek design and a high resolution, but it’s also hard to use one handed and doesn’t last a day on a full charge. You can’t put it in your pocket and sit down.

As for which phone is more impressive in terms of speed and hardware (and if you don’t care much about battery life), then the One X will give you great satisfaction as you use it. What are your thoughts? Are you swayed by HTC’s new quad core speed demon? Or does the Galaxy S2 still hold a warm place in your heart (and hand)? Let us know your thoughts. We’d love to hear!

Comments

  • S2

    Got the S2, tried the OneX and while I was impressed by the resolution and speed of the camera, it was really hard to control single-handedly. But one thing about the OX is that it feels like a brick, whereas the S2 is light and maybe feels a little fragile, but as I checked a few drop tests, it survived enough. I have it for almost a year and I got only small dots and one small dent – dropped it a few times etc.

    • http://www.AndroidAuthority.com/ Darcy Alexander LaCouvee

      I’m inclined to agree with everything you said there. I’ve dropped my S2 over one hundred times, and while it did sustain some damage, it wasn’t that bad. I’m absolutely in love with the Galaxy Note, but I wonder about the trend towards 4.6, 4.7 and 4.8 inch devices. Will the market reject them? Are they too big? Women will probably hate them. Perhaps in the future we will see a return to the 4 inch form factor. Less bezel would be welcomed, i’m sure, if they could figure out a way for touchscreens to differentiate when a person is holding it, versus giving the screen a command. Time will tell.

      • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

        The majority of people I’ve seen who own the Note are women, my girlfriend included. And why not? They can better bring it along with them in their handbags, and the S-Pen seems to be a draw factor for them too.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hazel-Lyn-Malgapo-Mallare/1272347873 Hazel Lyn Malgapo Mallare

          I know three women who own a Galaxy Note. Women, I think, are more drawn to the bigger screen than men. Women love to show off and the Note’s screen size is perfect for that. We don’t keep phones in our jeans pocket like men.
          It’s probably why Samsung produced a pink Galaxy Note in Korea.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hazel-Lyn-Malgapo-Mallare/1272347873 Hazel Lyn Malgapo Mallare

        I am a woman and I certainly don’t reject it. I am petite with smaller hands than any of the men I know but I still prefer the One X. If not, there there is always the One S. I’ve had nothing but bad experiences from Samsung phones.

        • http://www.facebook.com/3cko257 Jerico Ortiz

          “Watch out, we got a badass over here.” My wife owns a Galaxy Note, and I on the other hand got the Galaxy S2. Judging by the way you present Samsung Smartphones, you clearly haven’t got the slightest idea of what you’re talking about. If every day usage is the topic, Samsung has the advantage. Battery life, ease of use, (HTC Sense is eye candy but a bit frustrating) and expansion. (support for 32gb MicroSD) Going back to the battery issue, I don’t think you can swap batteries with the One-X as easily as you can on a Samsung Smartphone when the situation calls for it. Now if you are a power user such as myself. Rooting and installing custom ROM on the Galaxy S2 is a joy, especially now that it has been out for quiet sometime. There are a bunch of ROM’s to choose from, making your phone even better than it was when it came out of the box. Goodluck doing that to your HTC, I mean you have to unlock the bootloader, root, and do a what they call “S-Off” then this, and that. I’m not against HTC, their Smartphones are awesome. I’ve had one and i have to say I loved it, but when it comes to everyday usage as the topic suggests, I’ll hang on to my beloved Samsung Galaxy S2 Smartphone.

        • http://www.facebook.com/3cko257 Jerico Ortiz

          Jesus!!!!!!!! I checked your profile, and we are well within a 50 mile radius!!!!!!!! Proud NOVO ECIJANO!!!!!! and oh another thing, I hope you don’t mind me looking at your album, but someone caught my attention on your Impulse family. Someone i was acquainted to, a long time ago. If you, by any chance ran to each other anytime soon, tell her I said hi. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jbscoelho Bruno Coelho

    Im starting to feel like everyone in this blog is Samsung oriented, come on, an HTC One X versus GS2?
    Thats as dumb as comparing an GS3 against iPhone 4, come on there is no comparacing… the two phone are from two different worlds…
    all the “bad” stuff you claim about HTC One X, are the ones you also can find in GS3, and what about that, do you feel them to be bad on Gs3? NOOOOO!, of course Not!

    If your doing a versus between phone, at least stay in the same kind of phones…

    • Guest

      This is a comparison between One X and GS2, that’s it, no GS3, no 4S, nothing.

      Read the title “Samsung Galaxy S2 vs HTC One X”. Is that not clear enough for you? Maybe if this was a comparison between One X and GS3 then those bad points will be the same for both the phones. But these are different phones, with different specs, so his take on the phones are different.

      Just because a phone has got more cores, doesn’t mean it’s the best phone hands down. What is needed is a balance between performance and user experience, hardware as well as software.

      There will definitely be a review between the One X and GS3 when androidauthority get their hands on a review handset around end may – early june.

    • Sam Cater

      There will be such a comparison at the end of this month.

    • lulluby

      i think this is good entry.. thnks to writer! yes the comparison is not between the same kind of phones, bt this is still relevant because sometime peoples are confuse to choose either Samsung GS2 or HTC one x…

  • Xoxma

    probably Samsung galaxy s3 will be baby tablet for you, too. S3 is more bigger and definitely not for you, stay with s2 forever.

  • Fredroid

    The article contains an error. The One X is not metallic, it is solid plastic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hazel-Lyn-Malgapo-Mallare/1272347873 Hazel Lyn Malgapo Mallare

      Polycarbonate plastic to be precise.

  • guest

    So if you think the one x is too big, im guessing you dont like the galaxy note too much? Lol

    • Sam Cater

      I have had a go on my friend’s one. I always laugh when he tries to put it back in his pocket.

  • Benjamen Meiers

    I am no giant and my thumb can easily reach all corners.

  • just saying

    My HTC one X lasts me a full day. I watch YouTube vids and play games at lunch. I read between meetings and browse my favourite websites. If you actually work at work then the HTC is fine.

    Of course if you really need more juice its not hard to use the mini USB to USB port cord to charge whilst working.

    A few of my friends have S2′s and any of them would swap phones but I wouldn’t.

    Yes I agree using the One X with one hand is a bit tricky. I think that’s why god gave me two of them.

    I love your website and its articles for the most part. this was the website that converted me from an IPhone, but this article is just lolz

  • Juzer Ali

    SGS2 all the way!

  • Mamoon Noorestani

    The HTC One X (International Version) is obviously wayyy better than the Samsung Galaxy S2.

  • http://yellowrex.com YellowRex

    I’m with you on the size. I just got a Galaxy Nexus and it’s a big phone. Bigger than I thought, and a quite a jump from my 4″ Galaxy S. I have a hard time using it one handed; I’m afraid I’m going to drop it since I don’t have a firm grip.

    Two-handed it’s brilliant. The keyboard is easier to type on since it’s bigger and I love the extra screen space for browsing.

    It’s just a bit too big to really be convenient as a phone.

    I’m sure I’ll get used to it though. I’ve only had it a week.

  • Guest

    SGS2 will be the best phone, even if the SGS3 comes with quad core. The price will half when the new phone (S3) is out and value for money will be unquestionable.

    • gueste

      theres barely any difference between the browsers of the s3 and s2….s3 is a waste of money if you have an s2, so i agree!

  • Mariomorant

    it too big i will say that the Nokia n9 is the best

    • lulluby

      personally said, nokia really outdated..

  • ddt

    I seriously think g2 is bigger than the one x

  • vala2

    Now I am totally confused !! I have a HTC Desire, and was going to upgrade to the X One, now It looks like it might be SGS2, What a dilemma !!!

    • Abbi

      Just go for the One X. I own One X and it is simply great. Don’t go by the above comparison. The are not at all of equal specs and design. One X is way much above the S2.

      • Marcuslcc

        Dont you get it? specs do NOT matter. what matters is the user experience. this review is based a lot on user experience, so if you only care about specs for some reason do not read this review then

        • REALITY…

          I agree.Faster,larger(whether its by 2mm over the entire phone),bigger price tag,@ least half the battery life when both are used for the same amount of time,lower quality pictures with all the speed….Need i go on.
          That was all about the one x.I should go buy one since I don’t have anything better to do with my hard earned $$$ and no sense on how to spend it.Who have a problem with my comment is clearly one that would throw their $$$.
          Its all about what you want,big brain with little sense or balanced(SG2).

    • Sam Cater

      I disagree with Abbi’s comment. On benchmarks they are not too far apart, and besides from a higher resolution screen and more powerful processor they are really not that dissimilar. The SGS2 is a lot cheaper too. I have both here on my desk and prefer the SGS2 because it is super-light and a good size while still able to play the biggest games.

      • Sam Cater

        Except for Tegra 3 games, of course.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hazel-Lyn-Malgapo-Mallare/1272347873 Hazel Lyn Malgapo Mallare

        They are dissimilar. This is again invalid. I have looked at benchmarks and performance tests from different sources for months now that this is just ridiculous. Or are you basing your “facts” on personal ordinary user experience?

        Okay. That’s it. I will not dignify anything from this site with a response from now on. But in case you hear a slapping sound, that’s me facepalming myself.

        • Sam Cater

          Personal ordinary user experience. I have both devices on this desk.

  • Abbi

    The author should consider buying the Samsung Ace or Samsung Young, because he is not bothered with tech or specs. All he wants is size and handy. Both are small, light, and his finger can reach all corners.

    • Sam Cater

      I had considered them when getting my previous upgrade. Unfortunately I do care about tech and specs and so went for the Desire HD, now the SGS2. I like to get the smaller phones which pack the biggest punch.

  • Hall111685

    I have a sgs2 and i have never had a better phone. I think that the sgs2 is plenty big i can barely text with one hand. i can now because important used to it but i don’t think that bigger is better in this scenario.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hazel-Lyn-Malgapo-Mallare/1272347873 Hazel Lyn Malgapo Mallare

    I’m more concerned about the clear-cutting bias to be honest.

    • Guest

      “He needs to improve upon his grammar, yes” – is that really how you talk shakespeare.
      But I don’t like how ridiculously invalid his points were. – can’t start a sentance w/ But and you mean to say you don’t like how invalid his points are…
      SMH

      • Some Guy

        It’s a perfectly valid statement. Honestly, stop bitching.

  • http://profiles.google.com/nathan.snyder nathan snyder

    Dear Sir/Ma’am,

    I am one of the Copy Editors on this site and have read your statement to be that I have not done my job correctly. We like to think at Android Authority that all information presented on this site is done so in a clear, concise manner. If that has not been the case for you thus far, we apologize and openly invite constructive feedback from all our readers. Thank you.

    • umadbra?

      You dont need to apologize to opinionated brats who probably know little to none about smartphones and done want the one they dished money out on to be bested. This was a great article with valid points. The meat of the phones were conscisely pointed out, the One X is a more powerful, nicer display containing phone. The S2 is also a powerful high end phone that is indeed solid and easy to hold. Whats there to bitch about? Oh right no girlfriends so nerd rage out on sites like this

      • http://twitter.com/niknak_7 Nikki ♫♡✌

        LOL, ‘ You dont need to apologize to opinionated brats’ … ‘Oh right no girlfriends so nerd rage out on sites like this’… Calling them opinionated however speaking your own ‘bratty’ opinion! Chyeaah makes sense! To the ‘opinionated brats’ stop being grammar police, the point of this article is to voice his opinions on which phone he thinks is better, not to impress people with his spelling skills! Go find something better to do than being grammar natzi’s and correcting peoples grammar! Back to the serious stuff: I have had the pleasure of owning both phones, at the time I LOVED the S2, impressive battery life for a smart phone, fantastic camera, felt good to hold like you said, not too bulky! However I now own the One X and am IN LOVE with it, I’ll admit that the battery life isn’t AS good as the S2 but it’s not bad with a few tweaks: AKA: Automatic brightness, manually syncing apps like GMAIL & Social networks etc… Game play on BOTH phones dramatically drain the battery so no difference there! I do prefer the One X battery to the S2 but only by a little, the One X seems to make the colours ‘warmer’ in my opinion! Love the quick burst and the option to choose the best picture! The customisable lock screen is brilliant on the One X, being able to choose one devoted to ‘weather’ or ‘agenda’ or ‘photos’ etc… Adds personality I think! The HTC One X seems to load apps insanely fast in my opinion! I think its just a better phone :)

  • Mandy 97

    wait it should last a hole day .wait it does my friend has one and it does. dah

  • Mandy 97

    woops im talking about the htc x i should have said that omg i am sooo silly

  • Zzzzzz12344

    get a galaxy s2! its very good in every way and it is already very fast, never lags. both phones are very sturdy and hard to break, however i dont see the need of having a quad core phone that consumes so much power that the phone dies in half a day with moderate to heavy usage. better to get a dual core phone that is already very fast

    • Marklcc

      i agree, samsung galaxy s2 forever <3
      and besides, value for money! also s2 has a better reputation, and it is still selling more than the one x in 2012

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NX77PYX26UM64SD4JC7F7LRQDE Michael

    Can any tell me their personal opinions of the HTC One.I plan on buying it in two weeks time and knowing that S2 has been in the market for a year now,I’d like to get something new and better.I have read that the HTC lags quite a lot after sometime and has a disappointing battery life.The phone does look nice indeed,have pictured the feel of an iphone 3gs considering the slimness of the HTC.So anyways please let me know about your personal views of the HTC soon.
    thanks

    • http://twitter.com/niknak_7 Nikki ♫♡✌

      I have had the pleasure of owning both phones, at the time I LOVED the S2, impressive battery life for a smart phone, fantastic camera, felt good to hold like you said, not too bulky! However I now own the One X and am IN LOVE with it, I’ll admit that the battery life isn’t AS good as the S2 but it’s not bad with a few tweaks: AKA: Automatic brightness, manually syncing apps like GMAIL & Social networks etc… Game play on BOTH phones dramatically drain the battery so no difference there! I do prefer the One X battery to the S2 but only by a little, the One X seems to make the colours ‘warmer’ in my opinion! Love the quick burst and the option to choose the best picture! The customisable lock screen is brilliant on the One X, being able to choose one devoted to ‘weather’ or ‘agenda’ or ‘photos’ etc… Adds personality I think! The HTC One X seems to load apps insanely fast in my opinion! I think its just a better phone :)

  • Roy

    Well, buying a phone now-a-days is more of like choosing a dress from Macy’s. You would get hundred of options to choose from and end of the day when you are back with some purchase you would definitely remorse on the stuffs you have not bought today and to counter that feeling you would brag more about the stuff you have purchased! But end of the day, its your choice, your liking, your sacrifices and your money that counts. SGS2 is no doubt the best phone last year/. It changed the entire game of cell phone perception, we used to think a phone with a compact design looks good, used to love Nokia for that. But now the game is different. Its Tablet age where we want our phone to be bigger than the old models but smaller than our iPad. So definitely, in that respect One X and S3 win over S2. Then the processors. How much speed would you need to open and run 2-5 applications? If your answer is the more the better then go for One X and S3. if you think its enough if my cell is opening the application before i change of mind opening it…S2 is for you. They will soon start developing plans to make a cell phone faster the fastest super computer we have, but does it really worth the buy? Are you gonna work on an NASA project with your phone? Well then comes the biggest thing!…a trade off with the money you are spending vs the specs you are getting….S2 is now 440 bucks, S3 is 680 and iPhone 4S is ~720 at amazon (all unlocked versions) and One X is 590 USD. If you are not a geek with silver, golden and all sort of metal spoons in your mouth i would suggest S2 for you since its the quality you get in that price range is well above the trade offs….rest is your wish…happy buying :)

    • Isheet

      This was perfect comment Mr.Roy.

  • Guest

    what about RIM products (serious face)…………..LOL…(for those who don’t know how to laugh, im obviously joking) why is everyone so critical about the article? I swear the article says “it all comes down to what you want in a phone” Like really, who cares, take a zoloft..lol j/k..really though, theres no need for the rude comments. This article obvious can’t tell you what you want in a phone. So take it for what it is…weirdos.

  • Guest

    *obviously. To those of you who are ready w/ your daggers I apologize for the error

  • Guest

    FYI – those of you who made comments about the grammer in this article should probably re-read your own responses.
    Everyones trying to be a scholar..lol weirdos, its a BLOG!

  • phone addict

    I have to agree with the guy below! The S2 is not even in the same league! You don’t have to use both of them for long before you notice a real difference. The S2 is not a contender and should not be compared! The S3 have an edge but the s2,,, meh!

  • Amsterdam

    I just got back to my sgs2 after using the hox for 2 months, the writer of the main article is right, the hox is too big, multitasking dramatic and battery life sucks.
    Indeed the screen ia great but thats it.
    All of my files on my 32G memorycard and not to forget a tiny spare battery in my wallet if I am away for the weekend.
    And not to forget almost half the price now.
    The galaxy S2 rocks!!!

  • assholes driller

    bastards dont comment on the grammer…This is a great blog… just fuck up and listen

  • Sam Cater

    well said

  • Sam Cater

    well said assholes

  • gilmar

    eu particularmente prefiro sgs2 por motivos obvios muito mais bateria e facil de usar valeu.

  • Guest

    haha S2 winning…this is so ridiculous and waste of time

  • rencole

    I just purchased an HTC One X on Sunday, after having sold a Samsung Galaxy S2. My personal experience was that the battery of the Galaxy didn’t last me even half a day, but I’ve yet to run out of battery on my HTC. I will say that I didn’t purchase the Galaxy new, so that could have something to do with the battery.

  • ali

    fantastic review!!

  • mnm

    I have the OneX and I absolutely love it! the size is a bonus I think… and my father who has the SGS2 wants my phone already.

  • oscdwyer80

    If they would bring quadcore phones over to the usa we would see true potential in both phones. Since the usa dont have quadcore i would say sgs2 wins the speed test. But its all good im a gs2 fan allday. but i love the way htc handles there touch wiz. As for the compairing of htc1 and gs3. Not a fight. Gs3 all around the board better. As for the camera theres a app called fast burst camera. It takes 107 phones under 4 sec. This is just my opinion. If usa can step there network up like china we could handle quadcore phones. Till then we r stuck behind our fellow earthly men . Peace be with u

  • Qadeer Khalid

    seriously guys, one x is the best