HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy Note – Whatphone’s in detail comparison

HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy Note – Introduction

Within the ‘best mobile’ category, the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Note stand out as two of Whatphone’s top 7 devices. Whatphone’s top 7 are the mobile phones that more than 90% of people buy.

These two devices are not direct competitors.

Samsung have diversified their portfolio of mobile phones to include different form factors in their ‘Galaxy’ range. The Note occupies the only 7 spot taken by a ‘phablet’ – a phone / tablet combination. Phablets are a cross between a phone and a tablet.

Similarly, HTC have their ‘HTC One’ range. The One X is the top end device in the range and it has one of the largest mobile screens. It’s not a phablet, however.

HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy Note – Overview

Naturally, some of Whatphone’s visitors will want to compare the relative merits of the One X and Note, alongside one another, despite the fact that they’re comparing phablet with non phablet.

So here’s Whatphone’s in depth review and comparison of the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Note.

Let’s start with the form factor / footprint. Form factor / footprint is insider, blabber that the telecommunications companies and mobile phone manufacturers use to describe the physical size of their products. It’s also the most notable difference between the 2 products.

The Note follows Samsung’s classic rectangular design. It looks similar to a close up of a Samsung Galaxy S2.

The HTC One range also has a common look to it to. The One X is the largest of the HTC One range.

The Note is a more imposing product. It’s a centimeter taller and nearly one and a half centimeters wider.

They’re pretty much the same thickness.

On the other hand, the polycarbonate ( expensive plastic ) body of the HTC One X has a ceramic feel. I prefer it to the matte plastic of the Note.

The HTC One X seems like a more durable device.

If I had to drop one, I’d prefer the One X’s chances of getting through unscathed.

HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy Note – What’s different

Alongside screen size, the differences between the products fall in to some obvious categories:

  • Screen size :
    The Samsung Galaxy Note has the biggest mobile phone screen in market right now. It was designed to own this space and to test the ‘phablet’ market. The Note screen is a 800 x 1280 behemoth, giving users 5.3 inches across the screen’s diagonal of HD Super AMOLED display viewing pleasure. This allows for a 5 x 5 grid of icons and applications on each page. It looks great. It’s hard, when you first get it, to avoid flicking around everything.The HTC One X has what, in other circumstances would seem a large screen too. It’s 4.7 inches which puts it within a gnat’s whisker of the other top end Smartphones in market right now, including the mioghty the Galaxy S3. The One X has a 720 x 1280 Super LCD screen. Personally, I prefer the color rendition on the HTC One X and the brightness of the screen when I’m out and about and using it in real life Australian sunshine. But overall, the Note’s screen is just too beautiful to take your eyes off.
  • Weight :
    Mobile phone weight is a funny thing. The Note is 178 grams compared to the HTC One X’s 130 grams. That’s a 35% difference. But holding them, one in each hand, there’s not a noticeable difference between the two. Perhaps it’s the larger size of the Note which makes you expect it to weight so much more. Both the 1X and Note fit fine in pockets / bags in normal every day use. The Note’s weight seems, on paper, to be a disadvantage but in practical terms it’s not.
  • Processing power :
    The One X has quad core 1.5 GHz  processors. The Note, dual core 1.4GHz. But using both is a slick experience. There’s little to tell between them ( just a slightly more smooth scroll on the One X ) when browsing web pages or flying around the icons on any of the home pages. Quad core insulates you for the future in case software houses find a way to use all that processing power but right now, the Note is not disadvantaged in any real life way.
  • Battery :
    With such a large screen, the battery is always going to be a concern. I rate the One X’s battery has one of the best available. In more than a month of having the One X as the mobile phone I used every day, I was never caught out. When I used the Note, there were a couple of hairy moments ( one described in the review I did of the product. ) But, again, this is mostly a paper difference. As always, if you can get a full day of heavy use out of a mobile phone’s battery, you get a tick and both of these smartphones meet that requirement.
  • Expandable memory :
    The HTC One X’s ‘unibody’ ( no removable back plate ) body does not allow for additional SD cards ( extra memory you can buy at a store like Dick Smith ) to be put in to it. You get your 32 GB, some of which is used for application storage and the Android 4.0 operating system. The remaining 85%-90% of that memory, you can use for your own purposes : Music and video. The Note has 16GB on board at purchase but also benefits from an expandable memory slot. To me, this is an obvious advantage. Lower scale users don’t get slapped with the cost of the extra memory and people that have big music collections / a heap of video they want to watch can buy, fill and carry as many micro SD cards as they want.

HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy Note – What’s the same ?

Everything else is about the same.

  • They’re both 3G devices. ( Although you can pick the HTC One XL up from Telstra at the moment and that’s a 4G product. )
  • Both have 8MP cameras – which is about the high end standard at the moment. Both take great snaps although the One X has ‘burst’ feature which is useful ( it allows you to take a series of pictures in rapid succession and pick the best. ) As outlined in it’s significant advertising campaign for the product, the One X can take a picture while you’re videoing which the Note can’t. I’ve already mentioned that I prefer the 1X’s screen so when you look at the pictures / video on your device later, I prefer playback on the One X. Consider your own preferences on that though, and remember, the size and vibrancy of the Note’s screen is nothing to be laughed at.

HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy Note – other influences

  • Operating System :
    Since both the Note and the One X run Android their capabilities have little to choose between them. The One X has the more recent ICS ( Ice Cream Sandwich ) operating system. The Note runs Gingerbread 2.3.
    On top of that, Samsung Devices run TouchWiz, HTC products use Sense. They’re both User Interface layers ( UIs ) on top of the Android’s default UI. Each has it’s own look and feel. Personally, I prefer the HTC for most things.
  • SPen :
    This is the stylus that comes with the Note. I found it a bit gimmicky and not to add much value.
  • Power on.
    The power on button on the Galaxy series is on the right hand side as you look at the face of the device. Compared to the One X where you have to get to the top of the phone ( and, to press it, put pressure on the bottom of the phone ) the side use is much more friendly. This might seem like a small thing but when you’re doing it 50 times a day, the convenience of the side version is preferable.

HTC One X vs Samsung Galaxy Note – summing up

What starts out as a battle between two products which should not perhaps be compared ends up being a much closer run thing than you’d think.

They’re both fantastic mobiles and you’re not going to go wrong with either.

The mental barrier of the extra size in the Note will put some people off but the practical use of the product shows that the size is not a negative at all.

It’s a really tough choice for me but I’m going with the One X and it’s an emotional decision.

I prefer the look and physical feel of the One X. The battery is so important to me. I’m prepared to compromise on the Notes, screen, expandable memory as a result.

But wow, it’s closer than I thought it’d be. I still can’t get the Note’s screen out of my head.Really!


Sept ’12

Written by:
Kurt Hands

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.