The HTC One X+ improves on its predecessor when it comes to raw processing power by using an upgraded 1.7Ghz quad core chip. As mentioned, it's also available with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage space (we had the 64GB version) though there's only 1GB of RAM where some phones now how 2GB - this isn't really a limitation yet, though.
This all helps to make it one of the fastest phones on the market at the moment. In the floating point number test, Linpack, it returned a score of 161.558Mflops compared to the 138Mflops of the One XL while the web browser-based benchmark, Sunspider, returned a time of 1001.6ms (lower is better) compared to 1956 for the Galaxy S3.
Meanwhile on the 3D graphics (i.e. gaming) front in the GLBenchmark Egyptian Classic test it managed to reach 53 fps, while the One XL topped out at 50fps. It was outperformed by Samsung's S3 LTE in Geekbench with the S3 scoring 17658 compared to the One X 's 1533, but it bests the S3 LTE in CFBench by reaching 14429 compared to the S3 LTE's score of 13,124.
What also helps the One X+ feel exceptionally fast to use is that it runs on the latest Jelly Bean version of Android. Jelly Bean has had a number of tweaks under the bonnet to make it much more responsive, finally getting rid of the lagginess that plagued most previous versions of Android.
As a result the One X really is a pleasure to use. Apps open with incredible speed and it renders even complicated webpages in the blink of an eye. The only real issue is that it can get quite warm, especially when you use it for intensive 3D gaming.
HTC has naturally also loaded the latest version of its Sense user interface on the handset. This brings a number of tweaks, such as the ability to launch apps from the lock screen by dragging their icons into the semi circle that sits at the bottom of the screen. You've got seven different homescreen to play with and if you hold your finger on a blank area on a home screen an editing window pops up. This shows your homescreens as thumbnail across the top with available widgets and shortcuts at the bottom. You can drag widgets and shortcuts onto the homescreens to quickly set up the phone as you want, which is quite neat.
The only annoyance is that the notification tab doesn't include the quick access buttons -- for turning on and off stuff like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS -- that you get on most Android phones these days. Instead you've got to tap a settings icons from within the tab to get to these.
The phone's camera is pretty impressive too. It's got an 8Megapixel sensor, but it's the speed at which it's able to fire off shots that help it stand out. It's also got a neat trick where you can take full resolution stills even when it's shooting video, with bot camera shutter and video record buttons always onscreen and at the ready - no need to change modes here.
The camera app has a whole host of varied shooting modes, as well as a number of real time filters for stuff like vignette, vintage and posterise effects. The shots it produces are very good, but we felt they weren't quite on a par in terms of sharpness and focus with what you get from the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3.
The phone also has an improved front camera with a 1.6megapixel sensor. However, you're unlikely to notice the different as it's most likely to be used for stuff like video calling in Skype, where the resolution of the cameras isn't the limiting factor on image quality, but rather the bandwidth available for the call.
Thankfully HTC has upped the battery capacity from 1800mAh on the older model to 2,100mAh on this version. It's still not a marathon runner in terms of battery life, but we found we could get a day out of it quite easily with normal usage. Call quality was first rate too, and it seems to hold on to weaker signals pretty well.
The HTC One X+ really is a top class high-end Android phone. It looks great, has bags of power and is rammed full of useful tweaks and features. If you're looking for a strong alternative to the Galaxy S3, then the One X+ is the phone to go for.