Another layman comparison review. As before I will use simple benchmarks to assess each individual feature. A 10 point score being the best and a 1 point score for the worst. I would like to emphasized this is my personal assessment and you are free to disagree. This comparison will not tell you which is a better smartphone. Rather use it as a guide. Each of them has its pros and cons. The smartphone that meets your needs better will be your best smartphone. I have been using the Galaxy Note since Nov 2011 while the HTC One X just merely 3 days. So take my assessment of the HTC One X as just a first impression. In this review, the Galaxy Note will be referred to as GN while the HTC One X will be HOX
BUILD QUALITY :
The Galaxy Note is an obviously bigger handset with its massive 5.3 ” display versus the 4.7 ” display of the HTC One X and just weighs only 48 gm more. Pocket-ability goes to the HOX while those who used to wear jeans will find the GN a little too big to fit comfortably. The build quality of the HOX is much better than the GN. The HOX feels more solid in the hand and its gorilla glass is the latest generation and its seamless edge gives it an extra touch of class. Both phones the glass is scratch resistant and I have tested both by scratching it with keys, coins, ball pen point and even dragging a pen knife across. So no worry about these phones getting scratch by normal objects in your pocket. The HOX is a true smartphone in its class while the GN is more of a phone-mini tablet, a separate category I would say.
HOX – 9 : GN – 8
HARDWARE FEATURES :
The HOX lacks a external micro SD slot and has just a built in battery of 1800 mAh. This limit its expendability to additional storage but it comes with 32 GB internal storage. The Note has built in 16 GB ( 13 GB available to user ) and supports an external SD card up to 64 GB. Its 2500 mAh battery can be taken out and one can easily put in an additional battery when required
HOX – 5 : GN – 10
The HOX power button is placed right at the top unlike the GN which is located at the right hand side near the top. The micro USB port of the HOX is at a strange location on the edge of the LHS while the GN micro USB port is at the base. The position of the HOX micro USB slot will pose some inconvenience when you need to charge it in the car while using GPS as most generic car holders clasps will pose to be an obstruction to have the USB charging cable placed midway. Ergonomic wise, I prefer the GN positioning of these.
HOX – 8 : GN – 10
DISPLAY QUALITY :
The HOX has a Super IPS LCD2 capacitive touchscreen ( 16 M colors , 1280X720 pixel with 312 ppi pixel density). The GN has a SuperAmoled capacitive touchscreen ( 16M col0rs, 1280X800 pixels with 285 ppi pixel density). The GN colors shows up better and clearer with blacks more well defined. A close match I would say between the two
HOX – 9 : GN – 9.5
LHS – HOX : RHS – GN
PHOTO SHOTS QUALITY
LHS – HOX : RHS – GN
Both cameras are 8 MP ; the HTC one X photos are way much better with sharper and clearer and more natural colors. The HOX camera has much better features with its Image Sense technology which allows one to take multi shots simultaneously by just holding down the camera button and you have option to have camera select automatically the best shot. In addition you can take any shot while the video camera is recording simultaneously.
Quality : HOX – 9 : GN – 7
Camera features : HOX – 10 : GN – 5
Theoretically the quadcore of the HOX would surpass the GN dual core. Infact in all benchmark tests, the HOX wins. However in practice, I don’t see such significant gains of the HOX quadcore. Most probably, most of the apps are yet to be optimized for quadcore. Infact I find the GN open apps slightly faster and especially in browsing, the GN trumps the HOX
With about 150 apps installed on the HOX and the same set too in my GN , the HTC Sense UI shows slight lagging switching among homescreens and in the app drawers. At times I could noticed some slight stuttering too. It was seamlessly smooth on the GN. However this lag/stutter issue disappear when I replaced the HTC Sense UI with NOVA launcher . The disadvantage with NOVA launcher or any other 3rd party launchers, all HTC Sense widgets are no longer available . It seems to me HTC Sense is still a memory hogger causing such lags. However I would say HTC Sense UI by default is very smooth and is many times better than the HTC Sense UI in my previous HTC Sensation , which by default in stock condition lags and stutter slightly at the app drawers
Some results of browsing tests with both phones on same WiFi ( Streamyx ) : time shown in secs for web pages to be fully loaded. As you can see, the difference in fully loading the web pages is obviously slower on the HOX especially on graphics intensive sites
The Verge : HOS ( 32 ), GN ( 23)
CNN.com : HOS ( 12 ) , GN ( 7)
Malaysikini.com : HOS ( 5 ), GN ( 3 )
Paultan.org ( auto site ) : HOS ( 36 ), GN ( 22)
The Star : HOS ( 4), GN ( 3)
Phandroid.com : HOS ( 24 ), GN ( 21)
Android Central : HOS ( 35 ) , GN ( 32)
BENCH MARK Comparisons :
HOX – 9 : GN – 7
AnTuTu Benchmarks : HOX – 9972 , GN – 5543
Vellamo Benchmarks : HOX – 1415 : GN – 1008
WEB PAGES and TEXT DISPLAY
The HOX display on web pages and text appears very slight better compared to the Note. This could be due to the Note display is Pentile Technology.
A note on Pentile technology : RGB layout offers better color reproduction, sharper images and higher subpixel density. Instead of the standard pixel being composed of three subpixels (one red, one green and one blue), individual pixels in a PenTile Matrix layout share subpixels, yielding a much lower subpixel count – roughly 33 percent fewer. This could mean more graininess on the Galaxy Note but is not so evident possibly due to its higher pixel density which compensates it.
HOX – 9 : GN – 8.5
BATTERY LIFE :
As I was only using the HOX for less than 3 days, I am unable to establish yet how long lasting it will be compared to the GN. The GN battery is 2500 mAh vs 1800 mAh on the HOX. So it might seem the GN will have a better battery life as its battery is about 38 % more even with just a 13 % increase in screen display. The operating temperatures of the HOX for the same tasks over similar time period is generally 3 to 5 degree C higher than the GN. This will also increase its battery usage. HTC has said is quadcore will offer up to 64 % better battery usage vs the HTC Sensation due to the efficiency of its quadcore. These are some simple benchmarks I have tested :
Browsing on WiFi : HOX uses up 18-20% per hour while the GN 10-15 % per hour
Watching same movies with same screen brightness ( mid way ) and same volume : HOX uses up to 10 % per hour while the GN uses up to 8 % per hour
Charging of the HOX battery from near empty to 100 % takes about 3 hours. The GN charging time is similar but it is a bigger battery at 2500 mAh vs 1800 mAh of the HOX
HOX – 8 : GN – 10
The GN locks up satellites within 2-3 secs while the HOX took about 5-7 secs
HOX – 7 : GN – 9
SWITCH ON and SHUTDOWN TIME
The HOX switches on in 11 secs, shutdown in 18 sec and rebooting takes a long 82 secs. The GN switches on in 32 secs, shutdown in 24 secs and reboots back in 65 secs.
HOX – 8 : GN – 7
MUSIC and AUDIO/VIDEO :
The HOX comes with the supposedly renown Beats audio which gives better sound. When I plug in my Samsung earset into it, Beats Audio is activated. One can disabled this if one wishes. With Beats Audio activated, the bass sounds stronger slightly. I would say the HOX sound audio quality is at times just slightly better than the GN. It would take an audiophile to be able to discern the differences. Both smartphones played my movie files ( mkv, mp4, avi ,mov ) equally well. I would call it a draw between these two
HOX – 8 : GN – 8
I do not play any games except Scrabble on my smartphone. But I’d supposed the HOX with its quadcore will please most gamers especially Tegra type games.
This is a video I took comparing the game RIPTIDE on the HTC One X and Galaxy Note
Riptide is a Tegra 3 optimised game where you jump on your jet ski and start racing against computer AI opponents. Graphically and game play wise, it’s one of the best racing games currently available for Android. The Tegra 3 version of Riptide GP has an extra THD on the end and features improved graphics and physics including a neat little feature where the water will actually ‘splash’ onto your screen – watch out near the 50s mark
Comparing the two, this water splashing effect is obvious on the HTC One X not on the G Note. However the colors looks much better and more natural on the G Note. The HTC One colors display a slight darker greyish tone. Speed wise I don’t see much difference between the two
ROOTING, UNLOCKING BOOTLOADERS and ROM FLASHING
It is freaking simple to root and flash roms or kernels/modems on the GN. However since the HOX comes with a locked bootloader, one cannot root it without unlocking the bootloader. HTC has provided a solution to do this at HTCdev ( http://www.htcdev.com/bootloader/ ). However HTC has warned ” We strongly suggest that you do not unlock the bootloader unless you are confident that you understand the risks involved. This is a technical procedure and the side effects could possibly necessitate repairs to your device not covered under warranty”. With the bootloader unlocked than one can proceed to root it and flash custom roms.
Difficulty level in unlocking bootloader, rooting and flashing roms :
HOX – 9 : GN – 5
The strengths in the HTC One X is mainly on its better and well featured camera functions. Its display is only slightly better than the G Note. I was quite disappointed with the HOX browsing performance as this is one of my main usage in the smartphone. With a coming software OS update to 1.28 news reported here , I hope this will bring better battery life and performance. The current OS on the HOX is 1.26. My GN is running on a custom ICS rom Stunner beta 4.2/4.3 when these comparisons were made.
SPECS for HTC ONE X : http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_one_x-4320.php
SPECS for Galaxy Note : http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_note-4135.php