One X vs iPhone 5

Next up is the showdown between HTC's flagship One X and the iPhone 5. Much like the Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III), it's more than just differences in the tech specs, as Android has provided a great base for HTC to deliver a first-class experience that rivals what Apple has to offer.

It's best if you read the previous post showing the comparison between the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5, and there are a lot of similarities.

See the numbers, and our thoughts after the break.



This go around we're comparing both the North American version and the world version of the One X to the iPhone 5. As the One X world version is my daily driver, I'm more confident that I can do a fair comparison than I was with the quad-core Exynos version of the SGS3. But as mentioned, don't worry -- Alex will surely put his talent to work and do the whole battle of the Samsung built quad-core CPU phones up like nobody else can.

VPN Deals: Lifetime license for $16, monthly plans at $1 & more

The screen

As we mentioned, the new screen size on the iPhone 5 is a really big deal. It's simply better for watching video at 16:9 and we're glad Apple has seen the light. Of course there will be app compatibility issues that come with the resolution change, but we don't foresee anything major.

The real meat of this one will be how Apple's in-cell IPS matches up against HTC's Super LCD2. We've only seen the new iPhone's screen via the Internet, but we're betting it's a beauty. We know how nice the screen on the One X is, and it's pretty universally accepted that it is the best the industry has to offer. We're anxious to see how they match up, as specification-wise they look pretty damn even.


The differences in the SoC of the two One X variants really only comes into play when you're gaming. The Qualcomm S4 is as beastly with two cores and the Tegra is with 4. Both are very capable, and the Qualcomm manages to get great battery life even with a power-hungry LTE radio.

We're certain that Apple will also place a high emphasis on battery life, and we expect the new A6 to be a solid performer. We'll know more when we get an iPhone 5 in our hands to compare.

We can't ignore gaming. For the longest time, Apple was the king of mobile gaming. That's changed, as Tegra 3 optimized titles deliver the same smooth gameplay with higher resolution tiles and better specular effects. Whether you love Nvidia or hate Nvidia, you can't deny that they are flexing some powerful muscles on the mobile gaming front.


You can buy an iPhone 5 with 16, 32, or 64 Gigabytes of storage. HTC doesn't offer the same luxury, as they do not offer a 64GB model. AT&T's version only comes in a 16GB version, and with no microSD card that's going to make a difference to many of you. 

We're admittedly biased Android fans, but we recognize that more choice is better and that Apple has a leg up here. Score one for Cupertino.


Both models come standard with a full range of connection options, from Bluetooth 4 to 802/11 b/g/n Wifi in both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. They also both have a pretty competent array of sensors to cover anything you (or a developer) would need, but again we see where the lack of industry standards holds the iPhone back a bit.

AirPlay is dandy -- it looks really great. So does HTC's MediaLink HD function. Easy ways to share screen content are a  good thing. But HTC does follow the standards of DLNA and HDMI that Apple does not. We like standards, so we have to say the One X takes this category.

And no NFC on the new iPhone? Apple, why not include something that plenty of people want and use daily. 

Size and weight

The only person who can tell you if either phone is the right size and shape is you. They both match up pretty evenly, with the One X's bigger size offering more screen. Go to the AT&T store, play with them both. Decide which one feels better in your hands.


Again we see high-quality imaging components used by both companies, along with special firmware (and hardware in HTC's case) to bring excellent pictures to life. We know the quality of the One X camera -- I use it to take pictures for the blog here sometimes. It's good awesome. We expect Apple's new camera to be as awesome, especially now that they have stiff competition. 

We're not going to judge camera quality second-hand. We'll revisit this one when the iPhone 5 is available.

The Software

Sense 4

Lots of hate out there for Sense. We hear ya, but you need to know that there's also a whole lot of love for it. With Android 4.0 to build on, HTC has done a great job bringing their OS up to par with any other player in the field. Have a look at our comprehensive Sense 4 walkthrough.

Apple has brought some improvement to iOS 6 as well. Now you can set a do-not-disturb mode, or take a panorama right from the camera app. We can't say too much until iOS 6 goes gold and ships on the new iPhone, but the core issue of Apple's control isn't going to change. See what iOS 6 has in store from Rene and crew over at iMore.

There's a reason why so many people jailbreak their iPhones. The hardware is capable of so much more than Apple allows, and not all users are technically challenged and require big brother to hold their hands. The static grid of icons is stale, and having to void a warranty and visit Cydia is uncalled for in 2012. Those same Apple customers who were ecstatic over iOS 5's notification center would probably like some dynamic and useful content on the bigger screen. 

A fifth row of icons just doesn't cut it, and HTC is an easy winner here.

The ecosystem

Google Play

Google is trying hard to match Apple in content, but providers and copyright holders are taking things slow. You won't be missing any essential apps, as Google Play's appstore is well rounded and has over a half-million titles. But music and other media are more apt to be in iTunes, especially outside North America. Apple is the clear winner in the content of the ecosystem.

But we can't just ignore Apple's closed system. Call it a walled garden if you like, but for many of us it's more like a jail. Apple (the warden) decides everything for you, choose how you can get it delivered, then tells you how and when you can share it. That doesn't wash around these parts.

With the HTC One X you can get apps and other content from Google Play, or any of the other popular app stores, or even direct from the publisher. This is the kind of open we mean when we talk about Android, freedom to do what you like with the hardware you paid so much money for.

Until Apple changes this, HTC (and all of Android's diverse group of OEM partners) wins.


The One X has been around for a while, but we think it shines, even next to Apple's latest and greatest. Maybe that's why Apple was so adamant about getting the sales blocked in the US. 

We won't hate you if you choose the iPhone 5, in fact if that's what works best for you it's the device you should be buying. But we really do think that they One X offers things that Apple just doesn't, and would recommend it to anyone.

Have you listened to this week's Android Central Podcast?

Android Central

Every week, the Android Central Podcast brings you the latest tech news, analysis and hot takes, with familiar co-hosts and special guests.

  • Subscribe in Pocket Casts: Audio
  • Subscribe in Spotify: Audio
  • Subscribe in iTunes: Audio

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.