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.
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.