HTC's One X was the first mobile phone rocking a mega-pumped quad-core processor to hit the UK, but now two other contenders have stepped into the ring: Samsung's mighty Galaxy S III, and the LG Optimus 4X HD. Which of these super-charged smartphones will emerge victorious? Let's see, shall we...
LG Optimus 4X HD
HTC One X
Samsung Galaxy S III
The LG Optimus 4X HD looks a lot like the LG Optimus L7, with its slim rectangular build, metallic-rimmed body and full-frontal glass panel. It looks smooth and feels good in the hand, with a weighty 141g build.
The One X looks like a typical HTC phone, with pleasingly curved edges and a firm, slender frame. The camera lens juts out of the rear, but thankfully it never prodded our thighs when the phone was in our pocket. At 130g it’s pleasingly hefty.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is probably the best-looking of the bunch, with a solid, beautiful 133g body ‘inspired by nature’. That seductively rounded frame can be had in ‘Pebble Blue’ but we personally prefer the bright and bold white model, which proves stubbornly scuff resistant.
A spacious 4.7-inch screen makes it easy to browse through Android Ice Cream Sandwich’s intuitive interface, as well as surf the web and bash out emails and texts. An excellent notifications bar doubles as a toggle for the power features.
The Ice Cream Sandwich interface is smooth and intuitive as ever. A perfectly responsive 4.7-inch screen makes navigation simple and satisfying. There are tons of personalisation options to make the One X your own.
Ice Cream Sandwich runs beautifully, and Samsung’s excellent range of features and little tweaks make it even more enjoyable than usual. The 4.8-inch screen is brilliantly responsive at all times, a joy when browsing the web. We also love the nature-inspired themes.
Movies look amazing, thanks to the impressively sharp 4.7-inch screen. The densely-packed pixels keep images crisp, whether you’re flicking through your photo collection or relaxing with a movie, while colours are glossy and vibrant. The screen is pleasingly bright too, so you’ll have no trouble using the Optimus 4X outdoors. Excellent viewing angles make it possible to watch a show with a friend without enduring dark or fuzzy images.
With a mind-boggling 1280x720-pixel resolution, photos and movies look incredibly sharp. Movie fiends will be glad for the spacious display, as you can pick out tons of details that you'd otherwise miss, and colours are vibrantly reproduced. Wide viewing angles mean you can enjoy a video with friends, which we recommend purely to see their faces twist in envy. There's no microSD card slot, but you do get 32GB of internal storage for carrying movies and music around.
The brilliantly bright display is perfect for use in direct sunlight, and perfectly crisp too, to the point that you can see individual pores and blood vessels during facial close-ups. Colours leap off the screen, both bold and bright. Viewing angles are outstanding and there’s no motion blur, which makes it a great way of taking in sport or action flicks when you’re on the move. You can even watch video in a compact, moveable window while you browse the web or perform other tasks, which really shows off that impressive quad-core power.
We were massively underwhelmed by the eight-megapixel camera, thanks to a ropey auto-focus which often fails to latch onto a scene or subject, leaving them fuzzy. Poor evening/nighttime performance is another issue, while the built-in flash overexposes everything. Video is fine, but voices are a little faint.
The eight-megapixel lens shoots crisp, vibrant photos. Even more impressive is the f2.0 aperture, which allows more light in than standard phone lenses, perfect for evening shots. The multi-shot feature takes a host of snaps in rapid succession, and you can even take a photo at the same time as shooting Full HD video.
Photos take instantly thanks to the zero-lag shutter speed, and like the One X, you get a Burst Mode feature to take eight snaps in super-quick succession – perfect for action shots. Samsung has included a great range of editing tools to tweak your photos, and a whole barrel of ways to share snaps with friends and family, including great social media links.
Another of the Optimus 4X’s weak spots, the battery drains in just 3-5 hours when watching movies or playing games. You’ll be lucky to get a full 24 hours with moderate use, and the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X performed much better in our battery tests.
We were worried that the quad-core CPU would sap the battery in less than 24 hours, as it did with the 4X HD, but it took two days for the One X to die, even with regular calls, web sessions, camera use and more. That's well above average for a modern smartphone.
A full 24 hours even with heavy use means you’ll only have to charge nightly, which is all you can ask for when the screen is this big and bright. Expect just under seven hours of video streaming on a single charge, which is a much better effort than the 4X HD managed.