Prowling the infested lanes of one of Delhi’s grey markets in this relentless summer heat isn’t quite rewarding. You come across a little shop, neatly hidden, almost too well-hidden from the prying eyes. But what sets this shop apart is its inhabitant.
I shall like to call him “Po”, not the one you might be familiar with, but who too has an insatiable appetite (no, not for dimsums) — for cell phones.
In his words, he changes more phones than he would his socks (that is supposed to be funny for him). Quick to dismiss while open to suggestions, he’s a true businessman in his own right. He and I may not agree at times but that’s what calls for a good debate
“So ‘Mr. Po’ what do you make of the new HTC One X”? I asked him, calmly.
“Good, good phone, but in now, won’t last long”.
“I tell you, new Samsung Galaxy will steal One X market soon”.
“What makes you say that, you a Samsung Galaxy fan or something”?
“No, I am using HTC One X too! But Galaxy S III is going to be better…bigger screen, bigger processor, bigger battery, bigger this, bigger that…”
“So what you’re saying is the bigger they are, the better they are, right”?
That was a small conversation.
I walked away, confused than sorted thinking it’s not that simple. It never really is, not when the stakes are so high.
Let me tell you how.
Two droid dreadnoughts, two very capable handsets, two of the season’s hottest-selling smartphones, only one should walk away with the crown, right?
Well, the answer is not that ‘simple’. This battle is as grey as the market they sell in.
The Galaxy line-up is a litany of one conquest after another. From the deepest chasm of Samsung’s ultra-tech laboratories comes a new stallion, the S III, ready to conquer the galaxy as its predecessors have.
The HTC One X —isn’t just made by engineers working tirelessly to end competition — it’s designed by artists.
We, therefore, break this tête-à-tête in terms of specs.
Hardware – Design and Build Quality
The One X sits at 134.4mm x 69.9mm x 8.9, while Galaxy S III is a tad bigger at 136.6 mm x 70.6 mm x 8.6 mm. The droids weigh 130g (One X) and 133g (SIII) respectively, though it isn’t something you could tell apart just by holding them.
Encased in a polycarbonate unibody and sported by a matte finish, the One X is one heck of a looker, with either Black or Gray tint to go with.
With the S III, you can either go Pebble Blue or Marble White. Inspired by nature, the S III has ecstatic curves molded into a hyperglaze finish which some might feel is on the “plasticky” side of things.
Advantage –HTC One X
Let’s be clear here, both the HTC One X and Galaxy SIII sport massive screen estate but not at the cost of compromising how compact they would really feel.
The HTC One X offers a grand 4.7” Super IPS LCD screen at 720p HD resolution. On the other hand S III has a gorgeous 4.8” super AMOLED screen at 720p HD resolution.
Pixel density of both phones is nearly alike – 312ppi (One X) vs. 306ppi (S III). But the S III edges here, AMOLED does justice to outdoor lighting over an IPS LCD screen.
Advantage — Galaxy S III
When it comes down to sheer horsepower, these beasts are evenly matched. Galaxy S III ups the ante with its super-fast quad core 1.4 GHz Samsung Exynos processor, two times faster than the Galaxy SIIs’ dual core. Its Pop-up-Play feature that showcases picture-in-picture windowed HD playback is a prime example of what feats this phone accomplishes.
The HTC One X provides a quad core NVIDIA Tegra3 1.5 GHz chipset that seamlessly walks through intensive apps, easy multitasking and streaming 1080p HD videos without flinching or flickering. Even against a barrage of graphic-intensive, processor-heavy applications, it holds its own.
Advantage — Odds are even
With great power comes greater battery back-up. Super phones like these with quad-core processors and gargantuan displays need that extra power to cover that extra ground. The HTC One X packs an 1800 mAh battery optimum for everyday use, while Galaxy S III comes with a big 2100 mAh battery. The S III’s giant 2100 mAh steals the show.
Mind you, the One X has a fifth low power core for stuff that doesn’t involve a whole lot of CPU processing. A neat little feature by the Taiwanese company, save that the Galaxy S III clinches the deal here — that extra 300 mAh should surely come in handy.
Advantage — Galaxy S III
Camera and Video Recording
Both flagships carry an 8MP camera capable of shooting 720p and 1080p video recording with an LED flash at the back.
Samsung cuts no corners with its cameras and the S III is a prime example of that. The S III introduces BestShot, a burst mode, which takes 8 photos in a row and picks out the best based on lighting, blur and noise.
The One X’s ImageSense adds effects to photos and does well under low light, while the S III keeps low noise in outdoors with little oversaturation. The front cameras differ by 0.6 MPs; One X carries a 1.3MP snapper while the S III sports a 1.9 MP.
To go with either one is a matter of taste than tech.
Advantage— Galaxy SIII (thanks to its features)
Software — Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0
It is all a great matter of an astute “Sense”, of appeal, or of “Touch” aesthetics over technicalities that tell them apart.
The Sense 4.0 on the HTC One X adds a new dimension to the critically acclaimed Android OS.
The Sense UI is a benchmark — this is how an Android should look like. Samsung Galaxy S III shows its new teeth with TouchWiz UI. Smart Stay is a screen-dimming tech that tracks eye movement, Direct Call that dials the person who you’re either messaging or looking up under
contacts, and S-Voice, Samsung’s take on Apple’s SIRI.
The S-beam, an NFC-like file transfer application, is an exclusive addition to S III’s entourage of innovative new add-ons.
The TouchWiz could be the new trend — this is how an Android should function.
HTC One X – approx. Rs. 36,500. Samsung Galaxy S III – approx. Rs. 38,000. That was simple enough. It would not hurt to pay a little more for more features. Is Rs. 2,000 a deal breaker here? That comes down to what you seek in these phones. [Update: The Galaxy S III has been priced at a staggering Rs. 43,180.]
Another person’s choice is nothing more than another alternative for you to consider. Ergo, there is no choice here, for there are no winners in this battle - no victor, no defeat.
Companies such as Samsung and HTC don’t make phones like the Galaxy S III and HTC One X so that you can compromise over one another. Phones like Galaxy S III and One X don’t lock horns to win accolades from critics and consumers so that the choice is simply a matter of yes or no, good or bad, yesterday or tomorrow.
The Galaxy SIII, for now, is the mother of all spec sheets. But it’s too early in the day to declare it a winner here. The skirmish is far from over; it has just begun. And it’s all too soon to count the One X out simply based on specs.
So Mr. Po, it isn’t that simple as it seems now.
It’s not a matter of how many phones you’ve used or how many pair of socks you own!
We’ll wait and see how this plays out when the S III waltz into the Indian market in June. I’m also hoping for a round two with dear friend Po.
And you who are waiting to get a crack at the Galaxy S III, go right ahead, but might as well look around. You never know, the One can impress in far many ways.
Till then…May the Choice be with You!