Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. HTC One X (EVO 4G LTE): In-depth comparison

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HTC One X music player with Beats AudioAll three of these phones come with standard headphone jacks, making them great as MP3 players. However, HTC has gone above and beyond by including Beats Audio and a useful music hub in the One X and EVO 4G LTE. While the Beats Audio works best if you buy Beats by Dr. Dre branded headphones, it will also enhance the sound of any audio coming out of the phone, whether it be a podcast, Spotify track, downloaded MP3 file, or YouTube video. It just all sounds better.

The music hub is also nice. Instead of trying to just sell its own tracks, HTC has created an app that attempts to aggregate and bring together every music-related app that you install on the phone. If possible, it lists all of your music in one place too. It’s not perfect, but we love that HTC has chosen to embrace competing apps instead of trying to do everything itself as it has in previous models. Kudos to the pleasant change in strategy.

Samsung’s enhancements are great as well, but only if you use its default music player app. The player has built-in support for music filters (similar to Beats) as well, and will also display lyrics and let you pick music based on your mood (kind of). But again, these enhancements are limited to the Samsung app, so if you use Spotify, Pandora, Google Music, Amazon MP3, or any other service, you won’t see any benefit.

The S3 comes with headphones, but they aren’t the best quality. HTC has chosen not to include headphones in its newer handsets.

Winner: One X and EVO 4G LTE

Rear camera

Both the HTC phones and the S3 come with 8-megapixel rear cameras and new camera apps. While Samsung has done its best to mimic the features that HTC unveiled for the One X back in February, HTC still takes the cake. The EVO 4G LTE and One X have better cameras and better camera software than the Galaxy S3, as best we can tell based on our limited hands-on experience with Samsung’s phone. HTC has included a custom “ImageSense” chip in its phones to enable great new features like burst shots, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), and many other features. The One phones have an f2.0 aperture compared to the f2.6 aperture in the Galaxy S3, which also does not have a custom chip. The EVO and One X can also continuously autofocus in a video as well.

HTC’s lens and photo hardware is cool, but the new camera app is great. A new design puts the video and shutter buttons right next to each other, allowing you to snap photos while you record video, or even snap stills while you watch a video you just recorded. It seems like a silly feature, but sometimes you want to record a video but capture a single moment in a photo. Holding the shutter button also allows you to shoot up to 99 photos, one right after one another.

Samsung Galaxy S3 camera app

Samsung has included an HTC-like burst mode, but you have to tap the shutter button a bunch of times. And though I didn’t see it in my time with the device, there is also supposedly a way to shoot photos while you record video as well. The Galaxy S3 definitely doesn’t have a bad camera, but it’s not as great as HTC’s where it relates to software or hardware.

Winner: One X and EVO 4G LTE

Front camera

I’m not sure that anybody uses front-facing cameras, but if they are important to you, the One X and EVO 4G LTE have 1.3-megapixel front cameras. Samsung has slightly topped HTC by including a 1.9-megapixel camera, capable of recording 720p video at 30 frames per second. Not bad, though none of these front cameras are great.

Winner: Galaxy S3


Samsung Galaxy S3 screen

The HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE each have a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 pixel S-LCD 2 screen. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 4.8-inch 1280 x 720 pixel Super AMOLED screen. There are downsides to both of these displays. HTC’s LCD screens are sharper, but AMOLED produces stunningly deep blacks and overly vivid colors (a good and bad thing). The downside to AMOLED is that there are often visible black subpixels that checker the display. The S3 has minimized these weaknesses to a degree and because of that we prefer the Galaxy S3’s AMOLED screen, but visual geeks may disagree with me. In any case, both screens are fairly awesome.

Winner: Galaxy S3

Processing power

Processing power is pretty clear cut. The international versions of all of these phones have quad-core processors, but 4G LTE isn’t yet compatible with any mass produced quad-core chips, so here in the US we will probably get dual-core designs. The AT&T version of the HTC One X runs on a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor with 1GB of RAM, as does the Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE. The Galaxy S3 has the advantage of RAM. It also runs on a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and 2GB of RAM. When it comes to processing power, it’s a dead heat, but when you add in the double RAM, S3 takes the prize.

Winner: Galaxy S3


This category is also by the numbers. The HTC One X has 32GB of internal flash memory storage with no microSD slot; the HTC EVO 4G LTE comes with 16GB of internal storage with a microSD slot; and the Samsung Galaxy S3 has 16GB and 32GB models, which each come with a microSD slot.

Winner: Galaxy S3

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