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Samsung Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X - Software, Camera and Media


Samsung Galaxy S3 - Android 4.0 with Touchwiz

HTC One X - Android 4.0 with HTC Sense 4.0

From here on in, any non-budget Android phone worth its salt will come with Android 4.0. Both Samsung's and HTC's next flagships do.

The difference between them is in the custom user interface slapped on top. HTC's One X uses Sense 4.0 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 uses and updated version of TouchWiz.

HTC Sense remains the prettier of the two (we just don't know how to quit those clock widgets), but Samsung has packed-in some impressive-sounding connectivity features into its take on Android in the Samsung Galaxy S3. New software bells and whistles include S Beam and S Voice. S Beam uses a mix of NFC and Wi-Fi to let you transfer files, large or small, between devices. S Voice is Samsung's latest voice recognition software. Predictably, it's very Siri-like, turning your phone into a "best friend" - according to Samsung at least.

Both phones also make neat use of the user-facing camera, but in different ways. The HTC One X lets you unlock the phone with your face, scanning your features to recognise you, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 searches for your face before switching to standby - so it won't switch off while you're reading a page (in theory). It's a double gimmick-feat, but they do sound handy. Samsung gets our vote for its anti-standby feature - who do you side with?


Samsung Galaxy S3 - 8MP, LED flash, 1080p video capture

HTC One X - 8MP, LED flash, 1080p video capture

Both these phones have good cameras, but - in true HTC style - the One X doesn't beat the best of last year. The iPhone 4S still tops it.


However, Samsung has produced some fab cameras over the past two years, and its 8-megapixel sensor in the Galaxy S3 could become the new standard (until the iPhone 5 comes out, at least). It probably won't be the megapixel count supplying the goods, though.

As a way to counter the diminishing returns of just adding pixels onto phone cameras, manufacturers have also put an increased focus on sensor size and aperture. There are also a handful of great advanced modes in the phone. Burst mode lets you take 20 shots in quick succession, there's HDR built-in and a best shot mode, which snaps a handful of shots and picks the best of the bunch. The HTC One X also offers a number of advanced photo features, including best shot, panorama and HDR and the better user interface of the two. Both have powerful flashes, however, the Galaxy S3 surpasses the HTC One X when it comes to picture detail.

Media skills

Samsung Galaxy S3 - MHL microUSB, DivX/XvdD/MKV support, OGG/FLAC advanced audio support

HTC One X - MGL microUSB, Android basics of H.264/WMV, basic audio support

Samsung's last big Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, missed out on the phone maker's usually superb video support. But the Galaxy S3 has won it back. This means it'll let you play all sorts of files, including MKV, Xvid and DivX, all without resorting to an inefficient (and probably pretty buggy) third-party media player. More unusually, it also supports OGG and FLAC audio files, which are popular among audio nuts.

With an MHL-capable microUSB slot on-board, which will output HD video and surround sound, the Samsung Galaxy S3 should become the best mobile phone media player to date. Its processor has the power to decode 1080p video, and with a microSD slot on-board, its potential has very few limits.

The HTC One X is… not so hot. It will output video and audio through its microUSB port, but the video types it can play fresh out of the box are very limited. HTC hasn't added additional support, so you're left with the Android basics - for MKV, Xvid and so on, you'll need to seek out a third-party player.


The Samsung Galaxy S3 is more powerful than the HTC One X. It has expandable memory and much better audio visual abilities too. Technically, it is the victor. However, the neater body of the HTC wins it back some points, casting doubt on whether it's really the winner. If you're into your multimedia, the Galaxy S3 is clearly the phone to go for, but otherwise we recommend heading to the high street to get your own hands-on with these handsets.

Vague Boy

April 4, 2012, 6:40 am

4 mentions of Apple or the iPhone in a (supposed) comparison of 2 Android phones.

"It's not going to challenge the status quo, as we hope the iPhone 5 will."

It will be interesting to see how much such a device would weigh.


April 4, 2012, 1:36 pm

Unfortunately, Apple won't buy us a golden toilet unless we reference them in every other paragraph.

Not really. Those iPhone nods will probably get the chop once this article is updated with officially-confirmed specs. It felt appropriate to take a "step back" approach given this is a pre-unveiling piece.


May 2, 2012, 4:34 pm

This reeks of traffc grabbing. The phone hasn't even been released yet and you're comparing rumoured specs to a device that's been on the market for over a month.

Yeah, give the impression that you have an exclusive early reveal to get all the lovely ad revenues.



May 4, 2012, 8:14 pm

Hang on, you haven't mentioned that the HTC will throw HD video to your TV wirelessly with a simple swipe of three fingers, and that it will output lossless audio via its pogo pins... that's a feature we need to see more of if Android is going to compete with Apples docking/music prowes.


May 18, 2012, 6:44 pm

This review hasn't helped unfortunately. I'm torn really between the One X and the S3. I have an HTC Desire S and I love Sense 3.5; I'm told Sense 4 is lighter and more subtle which sounds ideal. Touchwiz isn't supposed to be as good. However it's 2 years until I can upgrade again so I've got to live with whatever I get for a while!


May 24, 2012, 6:41 pm

First of all the galaxy s3 uses the 4412 exynos processor not 4212. Secondly what sources are you using? why havent you listed the original authors. Thirdly I can tell you that the 4412 is not faster than the tegra 3. They both run at the same frequency (the only diffference is transistor size, which makes the exynos more power efficient 32 nm and software optimization). The difference is in the gpu. The gpu is faster in the exynos, however its vertex and pixel shading performance is poor and this is where tegra 3 dominates. Its 3d capabilites are substantially better (more texture, shading, lighting effects). So in games such as gta 3, the game will look substantially better. If you look at Gl benchmark it will show you the difference.

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