The HTC One X gets a surprise upgrade - is the HTC One X + now good enough to edge past the Samsung Galaxy S3?
The HTC One X+ is a revamped version of the HTC One X, bringing with it a better processor, 64GB of storage and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.
HTC One X+: Size and build
The HTC One X+ is the same size at the HTC One X. That means it’s a halfway house between the iPhone 5 and the, larger, Samsung Galaxy S3 with a 5-inch screen over this 4.7-inch display. You’ll also notice the black and red rubberized surround rather than a hard plastic casing.
The Micro USB charge point is at the top left which is awkward, as is the slighting protruding camera and iPhone 5-style SIM slot. There’s no MicroSD socket, meaning the unibody design looks slick - the speaker and volume rocker are discreet and, for fashionistas, the black on red design will be a perfect match for your Beats Solo headphones.
HTC One X +: Features
The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS is designed for powerful smartphones and it’s great to see it pre-installed on the HTC One X+. There’s a quad core A9 chip under the bonnet, backed by a NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip for graphic duties and 1GB of RAM. The 64GB of storage is welcome and makes up for the lack of MicroSD card storage options.
There’s NFC too, though, curiously, no 4G skills, so you’ll need to be confident that faster internet isn’t for you when upgrading. The camera is an 8 megapixel model with the usual panorama and HDR options.
HTC One X+: Screen
A 4.7 inch display feels large against an iPhone 5 and the 312 pixels per inch resolution is just behind the class leaders - the iPhone 5 clocks in at 326 PPI while the Galaxy S3 hits 330 PPI.
Will you see the difference? No, the display is excellent but the screen sensitivity is slightly behind both rivals. Overall, it offers a great sense of colour, depth and little reflection - the screen is particularly rugged too.
HTC One X+: Performance
The HTC One X+ is a great machine for games and the DLNA function means it’s quick and easy to play games on a smart TV and throw 1080P video to the same screen. Power users may miss the 5-inch screen of the Galaxy S3 to take advantage of such awesome processing power however.
It’s one of the fastest smartphones on the block. The AnTuTu Benchmark app gives the HTC One X+ a blistering score of 13425 against 12071 for the Galaxy S3. During our performance test, the HTC One X+ became very hot - the rubber is a better conductor for heat than the traditional casing.
Overall, you’ll struggle to find a phone that embarasses the HTC One X + in pure performance terms. In addition, call quality was clear, reception good and even the internal speaker is better than rivals. The supplied headphones are not Beats earphones, however, so we’d suggest spending a little more on a decent pair.
The 8 megapixel camera is fast (you can snap while shooting video) though we miss a dedicated physical button for quick shots. In terms of clarity and low light capture, it can’t quite match the iPhone 5 but there’s plenty of Android options to keep photo fans happy.
HTC One X+: Battery
The battery has been upgraded from 1800mAh to 2100mAh but, really, the pure processing demands and the large screen still mean the HTC One X+ only manages a day of use.
There are smaller smartphones with similar sized batteries and lower power demands such as the Motorola Razr i, for example, which leaves us disappointed that the battery isn’t bigger. The battery life if the only real disappointment in an otherwise impressive spec.
HTC One X+: Verdict
The HTC One X+ is a stunning Android phone which, on paper, beats the Samsung Galaxy S3 in many ways - it’s faster, more rugged and - arguably - has a better design and classic unibody style which remains a modern classic.
However, we think power users will demand a bigger screen and better battery however and these seemingly minor concerns prove to be niggles in an otherwise smartphone heavyweight...
HTC One X + release date: Out Now
HTC One X + price: £499