HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus

And there's perhaps the No. 1 question stemming from our HTC One X review: Is it better than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus? It's easy enough to spot the similarities. Both have 4.7-inch displays. Both are running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. They're both pretty thin and not heavy for their size. Neither has a micro-SD card.

I've been using the Samsung Galaxy Nexus since November. I've been using the HTC One X for a week. So which one is "better?" Is the One X enough to get me to put down the phone that launched a new generation of Android?

Click on through the suspense-building link to find out.

The displays

The Galaxy Nexus has a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display at 1280x720 resolution. The One X has a 4.7-inch Super LCD 2 display at 1280x720 resolution. So the resolution is a wash. Having 720 pixels wide is still the spec to beat. But despite the similarities, this much is clear:

Don't let this picture here fool you: The One X's display makes the Galaxy Nexus look like an old yellowed newspaper. 

It's tough enough hopping back and forth between the two. But put them side by side and it's painfully evident. Maybe it's that there's virtually no air between the glass and the display, making the images on the One X look like they're floating on the surface. Maybe it's the difference between LCD and AMOLED. Maybe it's just tweaks in the color temperature (which can be controlled by software). I don't care which. Fact of the matter is the One X trumps the Galaxy Nexus in the display department by a pretty wide margin.

The buttons

HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

You can't talk about displays without talking about buttons. the Galaxy Nexus has its home-back-multitasking buttons on the screen itself, controlled by software. Sometimes you see 'em, sometimes you don't, depending on what you're doing. The One X has backlit (and stenciled) capacitive buttons below the display, as part of the phone's hardware.

Truth be told, I haven't had to think about this once. Whether they're on the display itself or just below it, so long as they're in a predicable place and behave predictably, either one is just fine. 

The bigger issue (though not really a big deal either) is how legacy menus are handled, which we detailed in our Sense 4 walkthrough

The processors

Admittedly, I'm not a processor nerd. I don't believe Android benchmarks are really indicative of a phone's overall performance, and I don't run Quadrant over and over hoping to eke out 10 more points from a device. 

In normal, everyday use of the Tegra 3 version of the HTC One X, it's performed admirably. If there's any lag in the UI, I've yet to notice it. The Galaxy Nexus "only" has a a dual-core processor. It performs just fine, too. Unless you're really watching frame rates while outputting video, it's largely a wash.

(All that said, I'm also a sucker for things just being "better" on paper. If I have the chance to buy a high-spec'd device, chances are I'll do it.)

Sense 4 vs. stock

HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

This one probably will be the biggest issue for folks. I've already seen comments from people who "hate Sense 4." And so again I ask: What is it you hate?

I was never a huge fan of earlier versions of Sense. I thought there was a little too much design for design's sake, and functionality suffered because of it, particularly with the home screen dock (which Sense basically turned into an oversized phone button) and the app drawer. So I always used a third-party launcher.

I haven't once been tempted to do that with Sense 4. Other than looking slightly different (but not grossly so), the dock looks and acts just like the dock in stock ICS. Folders look slightly different but are now more intuitive, thanks to the addition of an "Add" button. Widgets are done more like previous versions of Android than being put into their own section of the app drawer -- also a good thing.

Sense 4 really is like touching up an already excellent painting, instead of a forced redesign for design's sake. You do lose the dark, robotic effects that are in Ice Cream Sandwich, but that's hardly the end of the world. Sense 4 certainly is a little more friendly looking. And that's a good thing, as it's certainly a more consumer-centric device.

The cameras

HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

This is another no-brainer. Quality of images taken by the One X are vastly superior over the Galaxy Nexus. It's no contest. HTC also has a better camera app, with more features (like built-in HDR and macro modes, as well as filter effects). That's largely because you're less likely to see that sort of thing licensed for a Nexus phone. But if I have the choice between such features built-in, or my having to track down apps to do them, I'm going to go with the former.

HTC One X on the left, Galaxy Nexus on the right

HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Battery life

Good news and bad news here. On one hand, I've had pretty good results with the One X in regards to battery life. The downside is that it's the only battery you've got. You can't swap in a fresh one like you can in the Galaxy Nexus. And that's going to be tough for a lot of people, myself included.

Updates and hacking

To be determined. Presumably HTCDev will offer an unlocked bootloader. But it's tough to beat the Galaxy Nexus when it comes to proper custom ROMs. 

So which one wins?

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm pretty smitten with the HTC One X. For me, the Super LCD 2 display is too good to pass up. It will spoil you for just about everything else. It's that good. The camera is about as good as advertised, and that's with me using it on full-automatic. Start adjusting settings and paying more attention to white balance, and they'll get even better. Hardware and battery life are excellent.

So long, Galaxy Nexus. It's been real.

 
There are 155 comments

Pigman says:

So when do we get a One X like phone that has a removable battery? I won't have another phone without a removable battery after living with one for 2 years with the iPhone.

bulvine420 says:

No battery ruins the whole device.

NexusKoolaid says:

I disagree. A depleted battery can in fact render the whole device useless.

Sprint Version is rumored to have a removeable battery... I guess we'll find out Wednesday.

Pigman says:

Sweet, that would be awesome as I am currently on Sprint.

EvilMonkey says:

I hope so...but how long will it be before Sprint has it? I'm eligible for an upgrade from my EVO 4G now, and there's no phones on Sprint I want.

Also not sure if I'm big fan of the capacitive buttons....what happens when I root my phone and install an ICS ROM? I end up with double buttons (capacitive and the ones on the screen)? Or does ICS allow me to disable the on-screen buttons if my phone has the capacitive buttons?

Rumor has it the One X might come to Sprint in June as the EVO One though. At least their naming conventions with the EVO line aren't confusing :)

Sprint and HTC are having a big event to announce it on Wed. So you should be reading about it all over the blogs and then its scheduled to be released June 10th I believe. I belive that was the same release date of the OG Evo.

ICS is supposed to be smart enough to disable the soft buttons if your device has hardware ones.

EvilMonkey says:

That's good to hear. I'm eligible for an upgrade now, but my contract with sprint is up on June 7th, so maybe I'll just switch to Verizon.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Would like the better network, but data caps suck.

Actually thats not true. Sprints version will have a non removeable battery, but they did up the Mah from 1800 to 2650 I believe. But it will have a removeable SD Card.

icebike says:

citation needed.

frettfreak says:

i love it when people take a RUMOR and state it as FACT. Which its not.. That same EXACT rumor also pegged the sprint version as having an AMOLED screen. Not Super Amoled or super amoled HD.. AMOLED.. the same one my nexus s has...

This is just a rumor. that is all. Would be nice though

I second frettfreak's words here. Also not mentioned by Frett, the One X AT&T and international variants both use Super LCD 2 for the 720p screen and not AMOLED which the rumor stated the Sprint version would. I'll believe the facts when they actually come out.

voiceonly says:

Anyone hear of the OneX will be coming to VZW anytime?

sunlifexxx says:

HTC has a long history of miserable battery performance. if they have fixed then I would consider it. I too like to switch my batteries.

jmagnt7 says:

Good to hear. I'm an OG evo4g Guy and am eagerly awaiting the next evo?x? Or whatever. So iassume most all the goodies from this one X should basically apply.
Thanks for the review!

n25philly says:

Neither

Nosferatu524 says:

I agree. I'll take my Galaxy S2 with Ice Cream Sandwich on it already.

Superior hardware to the Nexus, removal battery the HTC is missing, and very good 3D performance (Mali) and still a very potent processor (Exynos). Oh yea shoots phenomenal pictures/video for a phone.

Oh it's a one year old device too lol.

r1fo says:

Dangit Phil, the Galaxy Nexus isn't even out yet on Sprint and already it will be outdated... I'm running my OG HTC Evo 4g and was ready to upgrade, looks like now I'll be waiting a bit longer lol

Blame Sprint for being slow.

jonyah says:

They're holding it back till they get lte up and running obviously. But yes, it'll be late, then again so will their lte network. Another 6 months and they'll both be outdated, that's life.

Dame95 says:

They will probably sell the Nexus for ~$100 less than the One X, so that will pretty much be the only draw to get people to buy it over the One X...

Dame95 says:

They will probably sell the Nexus for ~$100 less than the One X, so that will pretty much be the only draw to get people to buy it over the One X...

NexusKoolaid says:

Blame Google for a botched Nexus Roll-out. I'm still waiting for the GSM version to officially come to the states.

Yep - it is getting harder to be excited about a phone that will be 6 months old when it is finally released on Sprint.

(Yes I am one of those strange people who actually keeps their phone for the full term of the contract and won't pay extra to upgrade to a newer model)

djomega971 says:

Great breakdown on the features, similarities and differences! I too have an OG EVO and won't be up for an upgrade until December. I've been debating getting a Galaxy S series phone as my next one, but I've been on HTC phones for around 4 years now.

Unless Samsung comes out with a real game changer (which is a possibility) I think I'll be sticking to HTC for this, or the next EVO iteration if it really packs some heat!

Shay D. Life says:

I have to wonder why so many companies are going this route with the non-removable batteries. Nobody wants to have to send their whole device (data/info/pics/etc) back to the manufacturer should something go wrong.

icebike says:

Maybe because battery failure is so incredibly rare?

Lame old iPhone 3 sitting on my desk for three years fetching stock quotes/alerts over wifi gets like 5 days. Its replacement, a Nexus One, gets 38 hours with wifi/3g/GPS all on all the time, with a couple hours per day of phone calls.

This whole "I gotta swap batteries" mentality is mostly nonsense. Plug it in when you are driving in the car. Get on wifi where ever you can.

Pigman says:

"Plug it in when you are driving in the car. Get on wifi where ever you can." <--- Pain in the butt. It is so much easier to never have to worry about these things, just pop in a fresh battery when the one in the phone dies. Put the dead one on the external charger when you get home. Much more convenient.

icebike says:

Yank your phone appart, and have to reboot it is easier than entering a WiFi password ONCE in the life of the phone for each place you visit? Car chargers cost like 5 bucks these days.

Pigman says:

Well we are going to have to agree to disagree. I don't like plugging my phone in when I get in the car. My phone is in my pocket and it stays there. I don't like plugging my phone in at work. Changing my battery ONCE a day is much better than trying to find a power cable to plug into, making sure I remember my phone when I get out the car or leave my desk. WiFi isn't available everywhere, so you may be lucky that you have it available and it saves your battery, not all of us are that lucky. That's the way I see it anyway. So yes a removable battery is a deal breaker for me.

stanlm2 says:

If you travel, a spare battery spares the decision to a) be entertained on a long flight or b) have plenty of power for gps/poor data signals at the destination.

vcarvega says:

I have an OG EVO and do use a car charger... still, there are those rare occasions (like if I forgot to charge the night before) that the car charger is not enough, and half way through the workday I find myself w/ a battery that is soon to die. Having a car charger did cut down on my need for a spare battery.... but it didn't eliminate it.

Still, I'm tempted to upgrade to the One X anyway. Even though I do prefer the look of stock ICS to Sense, the better specs, display, and camera of the One X are a big deal to me.

Synycalwon says:

No thanks. I don't want to deal with a cable attached to my phone, especially when trying to use it, or be limited in mobility to the nearest charging outlet. As to Wi-Fi, the only one I trust is my own home network which I never use anyway as Verizon's LTE network is faster and allows greater mobility around my property!

ScottColbert says:

You miss the point though. By not having a removable battery, you take away a consumer's choice. No one's forcing you to switch out batteries so don't make others unable to do so.

Jacques says:

I wish I would've gotten that much battery life out of my Nexus One. At best, even with all the optimizations, I got only 12 hours at a time, and I don't even consider myself a heavy user.

I'm curious to see a CPU to CPU comparison with the X. Will the drop off in performance between the dual-core version vs. the quad-core international version be significant?

prediscover says:

It takes time to charge a 2000+ mAH battery. I'd rather take 1 minute and change my battery to get a full charge's worth of use than take two hours to charge and only get half a days worth. Plus I don't have two hour blocks of free time to spend charging my phone.

trivor says:

Actually, it's very simple - the Manufacturer's can build a much bigger battery into less space if they make it non-removable - see the Razr Maxx. As for me, I have never replaced my cell phone's battery and I am OK with getting a phone with a non-removable battery. I HATE taking the cover off my phone (Dinc 2) and can't imagine doing it once a day to replace a battery. If it ever becomes and issue there are lots of portable rechargers that are very similar in size to an extra battery. To each his own - we have to decide what our priorities are in buying any device (LTE, Screen Size, Screen quality, battery life, operating system/skin, etc.) I think the trend is toward non-replaceable batteries - hasn't seemed to hurt the iFans and by the way most tablets are non-replaceable and I haven't heard a huge uproar over that).

sunlifexxx says:

HTC has a long history of miserable battery performance. if they have fixed then I would consider it. I too like to switch my batteries.

hmmm says:

A big deal to me is notifications. My past HTC phone (EVO Shift) had one green notification light that would time out after 5 minutes even if you hadn't cleared the notification. In other words it was useless. Installing cyanogenmod fixed this as the light wouldn't time out any more but then I lose Sense which I kind of like sometimes.

The Nexus S doesn't even have a notification light but there are ways around it with the Amoled screen and an app called noLED or using the capacitive button backlights. Neither of these time out after any period of time so my notifications are useful again.

I really hope HTC has gotten rid of the 5 minute timer on their notification light with this phone. It is the only thing I am worried about. I want to use Sense 4 but I need my notification light and I need it to stay on longer than 5 minutes.

Knowing the bootloader is unlockable means ease of rooting/flashing isn't an issue any longer VS the Nexus phones like it was in the past. Also, I am on Sprint(cdma) so the idea that there is any benefit to updates on a device labeled Nexus is not true. In fact with an HTC device I can use an AOSP rom like cyanaogenmod or a Sense based ROM. Really using "stock android" isn't a reason to get one vs the other. A couple weeks after the phone releases thee are usually developers making really great ROMS that look and feel just like stock.

It really is a tough choice, I think mostly because I believe the Galaxy Nexus will be available very soon on Sprint and the HTC One X variant will not be out for awhile.

jean15paul says:

I have an Evo 3D running Sense 3.0. The notification light does not time out. I doubt they would have gone backwards with Sense 4.0, so I think you're pretty safe.

hmmm says:

Thanks, that is really good to hear.

impulse101 says:

The fanbo...reviewer failed to mention the HTC One ony has ONE GREEN LED light where the Nexus as a true RGB light which allows you to have unlimited amount of colors and notifications....

3rdpig says:

Am I the only one that uses a phone outdoors or who actually makes voice phone calls? I can read every review on the net but if I want to know if the display is viewable in bright sunlight or can make calls in low signal strength areas I have to either buy the phone myself or, like the Gnex, wait until enough people have them and start posting stuff on forums. I love pretty screens, but if I can't see it in the sun and can't make voice calls in outlying areas (where my D2 could), it's worthless to me.

It's in our review. :p

3rdpig says:

Dammit! Next time I'll wait until after the second cup of coffee to post.

Hand_O_Death says:

Don't worry, i was going to ask for a single sentence comparing both in the sunlight. My GNex is pretty easy see compared to most.

Simer03 says:

ill take the stock android 4.0.4 experience....why would anyone wanna cover up the beautiful holo theme of ICS??? ridiculous

Synycalwon says:

To answer your rhetorical question; because not everyone shares your opinion of vanilla ICS. :)

gizak says:

I've been smitten with AMOLED displays, so it's surprising to hear such praise for an LCD. Good to know that there's still competition between the 2 technologies. I do like the hardware buttons on the X just cause you do get more real estate, i mean, just look at the comparison shots! Regarding battery, you would think the companion core of the Tegra 3 would make a difference, but I guess only time will tell...

impulse101 says:

I get about 20-24 hours on the Nexus with about 2.5 hour screen time. The reviews I am reading on the One X is around 6-12 hours...

icebike says:

Where are you reading these reviews?

Over on Techspot they are getting 24 hours.

On Android Community they are getting 12 hours with 8 HOURS of heavy use.

All of the tests you see so far are done by people who can't put the phone down, not your daily use pattern. Give it a week, and normal users will start reporting more realistic battery life.

Premium1 says:

The nexus was overrated from the start. Camera is awful and way to many issues with it.

mapin says:

What "issues" do you speak of? My GSM GN is flawless, no issues whatsoever.

palmwebosfan says:

Failed to mention future updates into the equation. If you are not into rooting, good luck getting jelly bean in a timely manner on the HTC One. Sorry, but software is most important to me. Stock ICS works fantastic and I don't need Sense 4.0 getting in the way. I have no problem with the display on my Galaxy Nexus and the pictures have turned out fine for me. Remember when Android Central awarded the phone of the year to the Motorola Droid Razor and then they started back pedaling on the the podcasts? I love my Galaxy Nexus and wish all phones ran stock.

D4RkNIKON says:

I agree completely. I used to use the EVO 4G with Sense and now I have the Galaxy Nexus and I am loving the stock ICS rom. I have absolutely no need to flash a custom rom even though I could if I wanted to. Vanilla stock roms where every feature works and OTA updates come quicker vs Sense where you are lucky to get the update 6 months later.

svinyard says:

Evo4g to EVO 3d. 4g was awesome for its time. 3d was ok...SGS2 is better if you can put a new ROM on it I think but who knows. I've been a big fan of Sense as its better for businessmen with good Exchange integration and contact coagulation that the SGS2 just doesn't have or doesn't do nearly as well. ALSO, HTC speaker phones and cameras have SUCKED in the past and who doesn't use these alot?? I dunno, I felt like last year HTC lost track and I'm ready to jump to another phone manf. I'd need to see what the Dev support is like and how read a few reviews. If there is solid Dev support for the ONE, I might consider going with it as long as the other stuff doesn't suck and the battery is SOLID. I'm tired of piss poor batteries. I'd probably wait for new EVO or SGS3 if I were anyone looking at the ONE. Why not? In a few months we'll have a better idea as to what is coming based on the big conferences. Skip them both if your contract is up.

BigDinCA says:

The new EVO is the One X. Supposedly a specific Sprint version w/ a bigger battery and micro-SD slot, but a One nonetheless. The EVO ONE. Maybe you meant wait until June 2013 for the NEXT next EVO.

hmmm says:

HTC is getting ICS updates out before the Nexus S has even been updated completely. Fast updates are a huge myth with the Nexus phones.

Wookie Claws says:

I can't say I hate Sense 4 as I haven't used it. I got pretty disgusted with the version of Sense on the Mytouch 4G. I did however really enjoy the camera app on that phone.

I recall a post about loving the phone you have... I'm going to do my best to love my Nexus for the next year at least (that's when my next upgrade is, lol). HTC has some nice hardware though, sounds like people will enjoy that phone.

One thing I can say good about sense, is that it helps people who aren't used to Android as it does lots of things intuitively.

alp44 says:

Very thorough review, and considering I just upgraded 2 days ago, from my unlocked HTC Dinc to the Nexus, a little sad.

But, with a closed battery, it's a no-go for me, since I always carry extra batteries or swap out for larger capacity ones. The closed battery does have one upside: Thieves cannot remove it to stop tracking apps like FIND MY DROID or SEEKDROID, which is what's happening now.

Also, you don't mention the call quality which - let's face it, these are PHONES - is really important. My HTC Incredible had fantastic features, but lousy call quality.

And like 3rdpig mentioned, which one is easier to see in full sun? My DINC sucked there too.

But thanks for the review.

alp

icebike says:

Two days?
Doesn't that mean you can still un-do the upgrade for like zero dollars?

As for call quality, I suppose Phil didn't mention it because its just incredibly rare to have quality issues these days, unless one end is on GSM and the other on CDMA in the backwoods somewhere. Call quality is usually not a handset problem, its a carrier problem.

And power off means off. You don't have to do a battery pull to stop tracking software. A sim pull, and wifi off, followed by a phone wipe and your thief now owns your phone. Fixed battery is no theft deterrent.

stoneworrior says:

At the end of the day it's about getting work done. With the traveling you do Phil good luck with that battery. Hope you carry a spare phone with you just in case ;-)

We'll find out Wednesday and Thursday.

And I always have a spare. :p

crxssi says:

We are all very anxious to know about the One X battery life. But the problem is that there are TWO VERY DIFFERENT VERSIONS of the One X, one with Tegra 3 and one with Krait. Then, if the rumor is right, the Sprint Evo One will be the Krait but with a huge battery.

So that will be THREE different One X models have to be looked at to know about battery life...

Lanhoj says:

Are you using 4.0.4 on the Galaxy Nexus? My camera looks much better than the ones used in your GNex pics.
IMHO vanilla wins over Sense, sorry. I hate the whiteness of Sense, ICS' blue is beautiful!

SomeAudioGuy says:

The more I use these devices, the less I care about the hardware, and the more I care about support. Since HTC has to skin their phones, it means we will never see updates like we will on Nexus. Already my Galaxy Nexus has received more support than my Epic 4G has (if you take into account the updates that were pulled for bricking phones).

Hardware is great. Comparing a phone not yet out, to a phone that was released last November, I'd be shocked if we didn't see improvements. However, hardware alone is not enough for me to make a purchasing decision...

BigDinCA says:

You mention HTC being slow at rolling out updates because they have to account for "skinning" the phone, but I received several updates for my EVO and EVO 3D. Froyo, Gingerbread, security updates and app updates. Would I like more? Sure. I think even Nexus owners would like more updates. But your example is the Epic 4G. That's Samsung, not HTC. And I feel your pain with the Samsung phones. My wife's Epic 4G got squat for updates and I still haven't seen a single one for her launch-day E4GT. That's a Sammy thing, not HTC.

lightyear420 says:

HTC is a royal pain in the ass to work on. apps are moved to different locations, scripts are re-located, sense is several hundred megabytes, and it slows down the whole damn phone.....yeah....let me jump on that turd-covered ship....

I think I'll stay with nexus if it's only between these two lol

birdturbo says:

Software is king for me. Looking through all the Sense 4 articles and reviews,though while an improvement over previous iterations, it still seems too overbearing. The stock ICS Holo theme is perfect for me - from everything from the CRT screen-off animation to the gorgeous icons to the Tron-eque blue details - all of which Sense 4 removes. I prefer simple and that's what stock ICS has for me. There's something I noticed in Sense 4 that still contain Gingerbread elements and it's kind of annoying. The only downside of the GNex for me is the camera, but that still won't keep my from picking one up on Sprint to replace my OG Epic later this month! :)

Dhalgren says:

So we should expect the HTC One series to compete for phone of the year come December, right? :-) This blows the RAZR out of the water, correct? :-)

taha24 says:

One X sounds awesome, but I like stock Android too much. I don't want to bother rooting and installing a AOSP ROM on the One X, so i'll stick with Nexus till the next Nexus comes out.

Bingo! Shouldn't have to root the phone to get the experience you want. If stock (or just that particular experience) is what you want, then get the phone that has it OUT OF THE BOX.

hybrid86 says:

I'm sorry, but the non-removable battery in the HTC One, means that once it loses it's charge after a year or so, the phone is garbage; Whereas the galaxy nexus can keep taking new ones.

The soldered battery is a deal breaker. That, and stock android can't be beat.

icebike says:

Two year old Nexus One - 38 hours runtime.
4 year old iPhone 3, 20 hours run time.

The myth of battery failure or reduced capacity is simply not true. I will grow tired of the phone before the battery grows too tired to get me thru the day.

lightyear420 says:

yes, it actually is. batteries only last so many charges before they stop a. holding a charge, and b. charging at all. eventually your battery will die and the device is garbage. meanwhile, when a battery dies from another device, you can just replace the battery.

icebike says:

He said "after a year" or so. And that is nonsense.

Further, they don't STOP holding a charge. After about a thousand charge-discharge the charge cycles (full cycles, not partial ones) capacity diminishes, but it takes about 10 years to get to the point where the phone will be unusable.

Do you seriously believe anyone will be using this phone in 10 years? Or even 5 years?

People who run their battery to exhaustion and then swap batteries are doing themselves a disservice. The full discharge followed by a full charge is hard on a battery.

Compare the following Depth of Discharge (DOD) percentage with the total number of Charge Cycles before the battery won't hold at least 70% charge:

100% DoD 500 Cycles
50% DoD 1500 Cycles
25% DoD 2500 Cycles
10% DoD 4700 Cycles

Maybe the reason people who swap batteries believe batteries have short lives is precisely BECAUSE they swap batteries!

Its just as easy and usually cheaper to get a small external power pack than it is to get an extra battery and an external battery charger.

If the battery lasts 5 years, the phone will be an antique before then.

rayjr13 says:

Looks like with either justification you still need a spare battery to swap out so your batteries last longer (DoD argument) or a replace after you deep discharge your battery to death. The battery to death argument is the better cost savings as you don't spend on a second battery until "one year" lol whereas you buy two up front otherwise in hopes that they both last much longer.

Sounds like either justification says fixed batteries yield a shorter USB tether for power users.

Synycalwon says:

You'll never convince me to give up a replaceable battery, the pros simply out way the cons! Besides, with five batteries (two 1400mAh, two 1620mAh Rezound, and one 2750mAh extended) for my Thunderbolt, the reduced charge cycle for each battery offsets any depth of charge impact to their longevity. As such, I'd expect the batteries to outlast the phone which I have no plans to replace anytime soon. :)

As long as you dont let they battery fully discharge it should last more years than you would want to use the phone for.

Here is a link to some interesting reading.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_...

Davest says:

Did you read your own post? 38 is almost double 20. That's a very significant difference. That doesn't mean that battery failure is the reason, but you're supporting his point, not disputing it.

icebike says:

Sigh...

The iPhone 3G is 1150 mAh.
Nexus One is 1400 mAh.

dimsdale says:

Is there software, as Phil was hinting, for the Nexus to control the color temperature? Would love to have a link.

lightyear420 says:

voodoo control

impulse101 says:

Franco's Kernal as well. Once you adjust the colors it looks 10x better than the pics on this review.

rob_ashsu says:

thanks for making me feel like my nexus is a p.o.s

Don't worry lol it isn't.

kinster02 says:

The Nexus and pure ICS is over rated and the early updates are a myth...no notification light on a flagship device...wtf. Right now I can't have either due to my carrier but if I had the choice it would be htc over Samsung every time. I like the extra features Sense adds to stock especially their lock screen and text reflow compared to Samsungs. I guess I have to see what Sprint is coming out with Wednesday since I'm an EVO fan. What would really be nice is an htc version of the Galaxy Note.

What's the issue regarding text reflow on Samsung vs HTC?

tsunami1609 says:

The gnexus has a notification light. Right smack dab below the on-screen buttons. As a matter of fact, it's the best one I've ever had save for the Nexus One and its giant trackball alerts.

The Nexus S didn't have one and I'll agree, that phone was no real flagship.

Oh, and early updates aren't a myth on real nexii, like the GSM variants. I've gotten 3 updates already on my GN, and many more on my NS (T-mobile). On sprint, however, that's a different story. I blame Wimax though.

Stock vs sense is a matter of opinion, though, so there's no arguing there.

*cough* *cough*

What I mean to say is TROLL! TROLL!

kinster02 says:

I stand corrected on the Nexus notification light. What I meant to say is that Samsung phones usually don't have them, including the mighty Note...which is the only Samsung phone I would love to have if it had htc's text reflow and the light.

n0obpr0 says:

I haven't gotten any issue with my Galaxy Nexus since I bought it. It rebooted itself couple times but that went away after I flashed 4.0.4. My device doesn't need any updates ever since ;)

One X is a great phone but HTC can suck it!

impulse101 says:

What are you talking about? Gnex not only has a notification light, it is the best notification light in the history of phones.

Chondog says:

I swore off HTC ever since they dissed the "low application error" issue on my Droid Incredible. That was the biggest pain in the butt and their support ignored it even though a large majority of Dinc owners experienced it.

Having a removable battery is key as well. I don't understand why some manufacturers are getting rid of this? Is it a cost issue?

Synycalwon says:

They're both losers in my book; I wouldn't want either one. The One X for all it has going for it, fails for one simple reason: lack of a removable battery. The Galaxy Nexus fails for simply being a Samsung! /My 2 Cents...

smooth3006 says:

remember guys, android central is pro gnexus even though the phone in a whole is a POS from the get go. once the rezound and the one get cm9 it will blow everything about the gnexus away and then some.

tsunami1609 says:

Clearly you're biased, but no matter. I hear the "once it gets 'X' it'll blow the nexus away each year. The fact is, you have to wait. In some cases you'll get it, but in several cases you won't (like how the Sensation is getting Sense 3.6 with ICS). And then that's it. A year from now the GNexus will have the edge over all phones out right now when the next iteration of android comes out. Well everything except for the camera.......the camera will still suck.

Yes the hardware is better on the one X, but it doesn't make it a better phone, nor does it make the GNexus a POS especially when just a month or two ago the GN was rated as the best phone ever. That is a matter of opinion.

And by the way, the GN still gets a higher rating on The Verge than the S or X...just sayin

smooth3006 says:

yet the verizon gnexus has the highest return rate yet. just saying!

Sorry, still can't get behind a device with Sense. It truly is a great upgrade, but I'm not willing to settle with software that I don't prefer just to get a better camera. I use the software every single moment I'm on the device, I use the camera less often. ICS is great out of the box, thank you.

icebike says:

You haven't even used Sense 4, yet you lash out at it like a petulant child. Closed Mind much?

AnthonyTh says:

The Galaxy Nexus's yellow screen is pretty obvious, see here: http://www.stuff-review.com/2011-11/samsung-galaxy-nexus-display-has-a-s... , but none of the major blogs cared to note this in their all praise reviews.

The Galaxy Nexus was over-hyped and the tech blogs were scared to say anything negative back then. Too bad.

lightyear420 says:

voodoo control.

icebike says:

Hey Phil:

How bout an HDR mode shot of those back lit monitors pictured above. Its a perfect test for that feature.

And SpeedTest.net ? Did your international version get the full benefit of AT&T's so called 4G?

And while you are at it, how did you get this review out so quick? Did you get an advanced unit, and were sworn to secrecy? Any NDAs involved?

HTC is apparently angry over early unboxings (pre-release day unboxings). http://www.reghardware.com/2012/04/02/htc_sues_fan_site_for_premature_un...

Here's your HDR shot. As for the other stuff, this review wasn't "quick" by any means. Can't speak for anything any other site's done.

 

Personally i applaud Samsung I am proud to own my GALAXY NEXUS. I have owned the HTC EVO 4G and EVO 3D great devices for that time period. This HTC ONE X is a very good device TOPS in the UK since it won't arrive here as is GALAXY NEXUS OWNERS don't have much to worry about. The top devices here in the states are the GALAXY NOTE and GALAXY NEXUS. Snapdrafon S4 with LTE isn't too much better than what my GALAXY NEXUS is today. Plus when the GALAXY S3 arrives with Exynos and quadcore/Lte and on Verizon that will be CASE CLOSED FOLKS. Meanwhile GALAXY NEXUS owners are soing JUST FINE everyone is playing CATCH UP to our device last time i checked.

Wait.....did you say the Krait S4 isn't too much better than whats in the Gnex? Well thats an opinion, but one that isn't close to anything that has been reviewed on any Tech website. So I guess not too much better is a good thing unless you are refering to
Camera, Chipset, Screen, Benchmarks (If you are into those), Battery, etc....Because if you look at every review out there they all come to the consensus that the One X is on a completely different level than the Gnex. And that is the Tegra 3 version, and we know for fact that the krait S4 is even better than the Tegra. So sorry, I know you love your Gnex because you bought it, but it was outdated by the time verizon finally released it, and now its severely outdated. Just like all tech, it was nice while it lasted, but its an after thought today.

tailsthecat3 says:

Thank you.

I will say though, that if a device works for you, then it's perfect.

No doubt, personal preference should always take priority in phone buying. I hate it when people say stuff like im not getting this because its not dual core, and half of the time they don't even know what it means. If it makes you happy then it should be the phone for you.

Orion78 says:

Are you smoking crack? The S4 blows away your GN. And for your information this phone is coming to the states....so yeah you have plenty to worry about lol. For me its going to be between this phone and the GS3. As for you, stop trolling about the same crap. First you're an HTC fanboy...now you're all over Samsung. Just shut your pie hole already. CASE CLOSED.

Oh brother your the same THROB from androidandme they let you TROLL HERE also. Please lets see real world US usage not this abroad hogwash. Yes Htc One X quadcore is boss but that's in the UK not here in the states. Let's see what that dualcore S4 on at&t will do in real network usage. At least i have had many devices Evo4g, Evo3d, Lg Revolution, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket and then my Galaxy Nexus. What have you had these last 2yrs??? I doubt you roll as i do that's forsure. Stop clowning yourself your a JOKE here as well as on androidandme...

Bert336 says:

Why even Compare these 2 when they are on a totally different network? although it sure sounds to be better than Gnex, i will not be switching carriers to go in and jump on this HTC phone.

Translation -- 

Not on Verizon. But both available for hundreds of other GSM networks world-wide.

smooth3006 says:

is the one coming to verizon at all?

Kcaz says:

I am completely torn. I want this phone but I love the screen size and feel of the Note. I've been using the GS2 for nearly 11 months which is a record for me. My dilemma is that upgrading to the Note is silly because the hardware is nearly identical. Upgrading to the One X is a definite hardware upgrade but the screen, even though it's bigger than the GS2, isn't my ideal now.

spagmuff says:

This should be a poll

dcdttu says:

Very curious how the dev community is going to be able to successfully hack this baby, what with it's decicated image processor and all. If HTC doesn't release sourse code for that, then will the camera even work?

Also, no mentions of HTC giving updates to this phone for 2 years, vs. Google updating the Nexus. That's kind of important too.

But GAWD, that camera. The Nexus should have at LEAST come with the GSII's camera sensor. It's sad that this $300 'super phone' has such a frankly shitty camera.

The same way they did all the previous HTC phone prior to this one. HTC offers their HTCUnlocktool on this to unlock the bootloader if you wanted to use their tool, but I would expect the dev's to have their own method of unlock/root.

And HTC will release the source, as they are required to do so under the GPL. And lately they have been releasing quite fast.

And as far as updates, well its never easy to tell, but HTC released ICS to the Vivid before the Nexus S got the update from google. So that says alot in itself.

smooth3006 says:

meh... i dunno about that. it's locked bootloader and no s-off limits devs. i know as i own a rezound and it doesn't even have aosp yet.

biggbrother2 says:

Well, won't be trusting an HTC device for quite a while thank you very much. I bought an HTC Sensation based on Phil's review http://www.androidcentral.com/t-mobile-sensation-4g-review and that phone was horrendous. It lagged more often than not, constantly had to reload the Sense home screen, and the screen (yet another Super LCD) had horrible viewing angles and blacks looked like a off-gray color especially in dark rooms. It was so bad that one night I actually held it side by side with my original Nexus One and the screen on the Nexus One screen blew it out of the sky.

Yet in that review, Phil (sorry Phil!), was enamored with the Sensation and Sense 3.0, yet here he is knocking it, saying he was never a big fan. What's scary to me is that many of the same accolades I read in the Sensation review, are also present in the HTC One review. Maybe HTC, has cleaned up their act, or maybe these guys haven't had to live with the HTC One daily for a few weeks.

I like how this review glosses over tiny things like the capacitive buttons not being a big deal. But it is a big deal, for example, when you are watching a movie and the capacitive buttons stay distractingly illuminated, whereas on the GNex, the movie fills the entire screen except for a few barely noticeable software dots where the buttons once were -well-done Google.

How about the "Recent Apps" button? HTC decided that pretty card tiles would be better? Are they? I would rather press the recent apps button on my Gnex and see my last 4 apps on the screen instantly, then see a single app and then having to scroll horizontally. They used to have this option in the browser bookmarks in Sense 3.0 and I would always switch to list view because it took forever to find a bookmark that way.

I spent 6 months in Sense 3.0 HELL. I sold that Sensation and bought a GNex. What a world of difference. The GNex truly is more than the sum of its parts. Sure, the One might have a better camera, processor, and lots of fancy Sense "enhancements", but when you hold the phone and use it everyday... lots of people prefer the Gnex. It's not perfect, but it's a great performing device.

Well it would be hard for lots of people to say they prefer the One X, when it just got released outside the US today, and won't be in the US for atleast a few more weeks, and in June for Sprint. But I am certain that will change once its actually released. Its just a better phone. Happens in tech all the time. There is always something better released a couple months after something else.

ScottJ says:

"They're both pretty thin not not heavy for their size."

Fire the editor.

ricokyle says:

Calm down grammar Nazi, this is not the New York Times. And if you want to get all high and mighty, you are lacking citation for the quote you just referenced.

ScottJ says:

I don't expect people who comment to have perfect spelling and grammar. I do expect that a site that is alleged to represent real tech journalism to have basic standards of readibility. It's especially egregious when the mistake is so bad that you cannot discern what the writer meant.

By the way, it's been corrected. If only they'd proofread every article before they post it then corrections wouldn't be necessary.

ScottRx82 says:

I was already leaning towards HTC. Thank you for the reassurance!

misterfan says:

I'm not surprised, HTC has been known largely for making excellent hardware.

I think the Nexus brand is more appealing for me though, for faster software updates which is why I went with the Galaxy Nexus instead of some better hardware available out there.

Irvgotti says:

My gnex takes great photos. Just have to use it right. Stop trying to take fast photos . Its better than my thunderbolts camera and my friends iPhone cam. And my whites look crisp and sharp . I'm running a 4.0.4 rom with the color changes. I don't think either phone is better. Its just what u want.

TheBigFerret says:

I love the plain Android OS experience. I will never go back to Sense reloading and crashing.

Personally i applaud Samsung I am proud to own my GALAXY NEXUS. I have owned the HTC EVO 4G and EVO 3D great devices for that time period. This HTC ONE X is a very good device TOPS in the UK since it won't arrive here as is GALAXY NEXUS OWNERS don't have much to worry about. The top devices here in the states are the GALAXY NOTE and GALAXY NEXUS. Snapdragon S4 with LTE isn't too much better than what my GALAXY NEXUS is today. Plus when the GALAXY S3 arrives with Exynos and quadcore/Lte and on Verizon that will be CASE CLOSED FOLKS. Meanwhile GALAXY NEXUS owners are doing JUST FINE everyone is playing CATCH UP to our device last time i checked.

bworley50 says:

Don't like non-removable battery. Not a big deal. Don't like the buttons on the phone. You can't change them. Looks like another awesome device Verizon won't be getting any time soon. Correct me if I'm wrong, but won't the LTE versions not have Tegra3?

kinster02 says:

No, the lite version will not have Tegras 3 because it currently does not support it...it will have the Krait S4.

icebike says:

That's what he said in his double negative sort of way:

won't the LTE versions not have Tegra3?

cowboys2000 says:

By the time Sprint launches LTE, there will be many competitors to the Galaxy Nexus.

Coming from an HTC EVO 4G, having a removable battery was essential for my daily routine even with an extended BRICK attached.

If HTC can improve battery life (re: Moto Razor Maxx) and have it non-removable, I may reconsider.

crxssi says:

The Sprint version of the phone is rumored to be the "Evo One", it will have a MUCH bigger battery than the stock One X.

That still doesn't tell us what the battery life is like, however.

BigDinCA says:

I know that the battery is a big deal-breaker for some, and I totally get it. Not as much of an issue for me because I dock my phones at home and when I'm driving. But when people start talking about the battery just dying and becoming unusable I get confused: most people on here are geeks and nerds to some degree and I would assume a majority of us could swap the battery if ever required. I know: it's not removable. So are the iPhone and iPod batteries. You can buy replacements for those, pop the case open and install a new battery. It doesn't work for the quick swap, I know, but if the EVO ONE does have the 2650mAh I think that's a pretty great spec. At least they're not releasing an 1800mAh version, then screwing everyone a few months later by releasing the 2650 version (do you hear me RAZR and RAZR MAXX?). If the EVO ONE is equipped with the micro-SD slot: WINNER!

samba says:

Does it have NFC?

trivor says:

The Razr Maxx is a perfect example - you can't put that much battery into that thin a phone (it's only 8.9mm - still damn thin) unless it's non-removable. I will take a good sized non-removable battery over the huge extended batteries that I've seen on Dinc/Dinc 2, EVO, Thunderbolt and Rezound. I know HTC has a bad rep on batteries but the new S4 on 28 nm with integrated LTE will be MUCH, MUCH better than anything else out there. Still, I am hoping the stock battery is at least 2000.

IceDree says:

Sorry but NO for both of em
I wont buy a phone without an SD-Card !
Plus, After using a vanila Eclair (2.0 & 2.1) & Froyo I swore I'll never buy a Vanila\Stock\Pure phone again !!!! I'll get a damn symbian before buying anthor one

caleb40 says:

When it comes to picking one, the camera is definitely a deal breaker.

mapin says:

How about NFC or lackthereof? How about official and faster updates direct from Google? How about battery drainage of LCD vs AMOLED ? How about removable battery advantages ? There are lots of things you didn't cover/compare here.

MthII says:

Where's that "official and faster update" for the Nexus S 4G owners? Oops....

mapin says:

Touche. But surely you don't think that adding Sense will *speed* up software updates :)

A fair review Phil, but does your network work? I just can't justify leaving Verizon, as evil as they may be, when every other carrier's coverage is so awful.

finanandroid says:

Htc one FTW, NO QUESTION.

TBolt says:

They both suck. I value having both >> removable batteries and expandable storage.

I hope HTC doesn't make this mistake again.

infg3570 says:

Coming to Sprint/Verizon? Thought this was a GSM phone? If they make a cdma variant, I think I'm in. Sorry Samsung...

infg3570 says:

Coming to Sprint/Verizon? Thought this was a GSM phone? If they make a cdma variant, I think I'm in. Sorry Samsung...

tedsc says:

If the Sprint version has a removable battery, problem solved and done deal!

15israellai says:

As a Nexus user, I HATE the One X. Purely because it's too good and I can't get it.

Klotz says:

If HTC is gonna have unlocked bootloaders, why can't they just make available a stock ICS rom with everything working. Obviously there is demand for stock android. Its sick we still have to choose between top hardware and unmodified android. (Written on my home built Pc with vanilla Windows)

jaye3rd89 says:

I can upgrade this very minute... but since sprint doesn't have anything I like atm. I'm waiting... One X seems a tad more promising then the Nexus (once it comes out) it depends on what the US version of the One X is like...if the call quality is good, and has external storage.

As for the battery debate. I can do a non-removable but i feel more comfortable with being able to take the battery out. Like computers, stuff can just go stupid anytime... and the internal battery possibly go stupid and can't do anything with the phone.

Oh yea. According PCMAGs article some of the state carriers will have a HTC One variation. Suppose to be:
HTC One X: AT&T and Sprint(possible renamed EVO One)
HTC One S: T-Mobile
HTC one V: MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile, and U.S. Cellular.

Didn't see one for Verizon...

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402484,00.asp

impulse101 says:

It's simple folks.. Sense is a bloated disgusting pig.. A phone could have quad six core cpus on it with 4gb ram but put sense on it and I won't touch it. Not to mention the non removable battery and hardware buttons. Then let me know if the one x gets even 5 percent of the roms and mods gnex gets.

RenoD2010 says:

@Phil Nickinson. Nice article; direct and to the point. Not saying the Nexus is junk just that you like the HTC better. I am an Inspire user, so I would like to be able to stick with HTC. I was all "Ooh SGS III" until the One series was introduced.

Sadly, I will probably not be able to upgrade any time soon (long story).

I still have one question about something that is often overlooked (or at least not mentioned) in reviews of all these new, super display handsets: How is it in the sun?

My Inspire is HORRIBLE in direct sunlight. Probably THE worst thing about the phone. I've heard good things about Sammy in the sun. How do the One series phones do in daylight?

LV23 says:

" I've had pretty good results with the One X in regards to battery life"

How much is this "pretty good"? (comparing with GNex GSM version)
This is one of the most important thing... and you say "pretty good".

Moirae#AC says:

I would love the HTC One X but i have to stick with the nexus phone no matter what. I can't break to far from hacking and roms and the nexus devices always have the largest community behind them and that's the only reason I'd stick with my Gnex. Aside from that HTC has a MUCH better looking phone and a with no flaw over the Gnex other than no removable battery which i can live with given a long stock battery life.

mamoon650n says:

HTC One X is wayyyyyy better than the Galaxy Nexus, even with it's non-removable battery. It comes with 32GB of internal storage and Beats Audio built in to it, even though the Beats headphones won't be coming with it anymore.