We invented this category for Samsung. As much as we like HTC, it did not add any significant voice or motion features to the One X or EVO 4G LTE. Samsung has gone out of its way to try new things with the S3. S-Voice is an attempt to copy the iPhone 4S’s Siri, but it also adds a few useful universal commands. Here are a few: Snooze by yelling “snooze,” wake up your phone and turn on S-Voice by saying “Hi Galaxy,” find out the weather by asking “how’s the weather in [Insert place here],” or you can take a picture by saying “shoot.” S-Voice can give you the weather, set an alarm, or set a calendar event, or give you rudimentary answers to snarky questions easily enough, but it will forward you to Google Web results for difficult questions. It doesn’t have the wit of Siri.
Winner: Galaxy S3
Finally, though it isn’t yet activated and will only work with other Sprint phones, the EVO 4G LTE does have HD Voice, which drastically improves (in our limited experience with it) the sound quality of phone calls. This technology will be implemented partially on Sprint’s end, but the phone has several improvements built in as well, to better capture sound and eliminate background noise.
Winner: EVO 4G LTE
There are a lot of features in both of these phones that we cannot get to, but Samsung appears to have the most of them. The S3 is packed full of small features, like the ability to shrink a video and continue watching it while you do other things on the phone, or “Smart Stay,” which uses the front camera to see if you’re actively reading something on screen. If you are, the S3 won’t dim the screen or shut it off — a common annoyance in touch phones.
HTC also doesn’t have any motion features, but the S3 is full of them. While some of Samsung’s motion gestures are hokey, we do like it that music or sound will stop if you place your phone face down, and that if you’re texting with somebody you can simply lift the phone to your face to give them a call.
Naturally, both HTC and Samsung have NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, wi-fi hotspot support, GPS, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a digital compasses, and Wi-Fi.
Winner: Galaxy S3
Samsung has a battery charting stand, an S Pebble music player, and an AllShare Dongle which lets you wirelessly connect your phone to your TV. HTC has a similar Media Link HD accessory that does the same thing as well as some useful connectors for using your HTC One X or EVO 4G LTE as a GPS unit in your car, hooking it to your car stereo, and connecting to your home entertainment system. Both companies have stepped it up in the accessory arena. Unfortunately, few of you will buy these accessories because they are all quite expensive.
If you’re into GPS and car-specific features though, HTC has the upper hand.
All three of these phones have better battery life than we’ve been seeing in the last year (except for the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, which is so wonderful). However, The Galaxy S3 has both a larger internal battery at 2100mAh and its battery is removable, which means you could buy extras and swap it out if you had a battery crisis. The HTC EVO 4G LTE has a 2000mAh battery and the HTC One X has a 1800mAh battery, but both of them are non-removable. So while they both seem to get decent battery life, when you run out of juice you will need a charge. All three phones charge off of Micro USB cords, which is the industry standard. All three phones are also rated for about 10 hours of talk time.
Winner: Galaxy S3
All three of these phones start at $200 with a two-year contract, though the Galaxy S3 is much more expensive on T-Mobile (we give it a pass since the One X isn’t even on T-Mob). Check out our “How to find a Galaxy S3” article to find the best deals on the phone.
OVERALL WINNER: Galaxy S3
Though the One X and EVO 4G LTE both fought bravely, the confines of this article require me to declare a winner and I must give it to the Galaxy S3. All three of these phones are great, but the S3 outshines the competition in more categories and keeps up fairly well even in areas (like the cameras) where it falls behind.
Here’s the official scorecard:
- Design: One X
- Feel: Tie
- User Interface: Galaxy S3
- Music: One X
- Rear Camera: One X
- Front Camera: Galaxy S3
- Screen: Galaxy S3
- Processing power: Galaxy S3
- Storage: Galaxy S3
- Voice commands: Galaxy S3
- Voice service: EVO 4G LTE
- Extra features: Galaxy S3
- Accessories: Tie
- Battery Life: Galaxy S3
- Price: Tie
All-in-all, the One X and EVO 4G LTE won 4 out of 15 categories, while the Galaxy S3 managed to win 8. The phones all tied in Feel, Accessories, and Price.
While I have personally tested out all three of these phones, everyone’s wants are different. Hopefully this gave you a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of these phones. If you value more of everything, the Galaxy S3 is your phone. If a great camera is your top priority, then we recommend the One X or EVO 4G LTE. Kickstand lovers, you’re going to need the EVO. But mostly, you’re probably fine choosing any of these. HTC and Samsung have stepped up their game. Now all we have to do is wait to see what Apple pulls out of its hat for the next iPhone later this year.
Article originally published 5/25/2012
Update: Made a couple of corrections after astute readers pointed some things out. The Galaxy S3 has a 1.9-megapixel camera and it has been confirmed that it is also constructed of polycarbonate plastic.
Update 2: Shifted some wording in the Voice commands category to Extra features. Added a Voice Service category.
Update 3: The Galaxy S3 US release pricing and info has come out. It will be released on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and US Cellular in June for $200. Despite manufacturing issues, Pebble blue will be a part of the launch.
Update 6/22/2012: Since all three of these phones are released and reviewed by us, I’ve updated the article accordingly. The Galaxy S3 is the winner for processing power due to its 2GB of RAM and when it comes to price, it’s a tie.
Update 7/06/2012: Made a correction. The One X and EVO 4G LTE appear to have the same screen.