The iPhone 4S is a multiple gold medalist in the Smartphone Olympics, beating every Android that’s taken it on – but has it met its match in the powerful, sexy HTC One X? We pitched the rivals into a fearsome course of hardware, software, media and OS hurdles to see which was left standing…
Apple iPhone 4S
from $649 apple.com
The iPhone 4S looks identical to the 4, which means we’ve been living with the design for almost two years. Still, its metal and glass construction is flawless and it’s the ideal size for one-handed use. Those hard edges are uncomfortable on the ear, though.
The 4S’ 800MHz dual-core A5 processor is weedy next to the powerhouse in the One X. It’s backed up by ‘only’ 512MB of RAM, but forget the figures – it’s a supremely snappy device, even if it doesn’t have the One X’s graphical grunt.
A 3.5in screen might be a bit on the pokey side, but the iphone 4S’ Retina Display boasts a still-unbeaten 326 ppi, and it’s beautifully punchy and balanced in the colours, too. That 1.2in that it gives away to the HTC hampers gaming and movie watching a bit.
It’s available with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB but that 64GB model costs a whopping £700. You get 5GB of iCIoud storage for free, and because nothing you buy from iTunes counts towards that total, it goes a long way.
We’ve grown accustomed to nightly charges, but while the iPhone doesn’t change that it does last longer than most high-end handsets – nearly 17 hours of relatively heavy use, in our experience. Intense gaming will shorten that somewhat.
HTC One X
£570 – htc.com
The primarily plastic One X is a very sturdy handset, and its matte white or black shell stands out in this world of gloss finishes. It’s pretty massive, but its slim profile and smooth curves make it pocket friendly and comfortable against the face.
With a 1.5GHz quad-core Tegra 3 chip growling under the bonnet, the One X zips through multitasking and can handle the most graphically intensive apps and games. On a day-to-day basis you’re unlikely to make the most of all the power on tap.
With a genuine 720p resolution and a massive 4.7in diagonal, the One X’s vibrant screen is a thing to behold -and at 316ppi, it only trails the 4S by a whisker. But all that real estate has a downside – your thumb will need to do a fair amount of stretching.
HTC clearly thinks one size fits all, and that size is a non-expandable 32GB – although you do get 25GB of free Dropbox storage. Google handles back-up of all of your settings, contacts and calendars.
While the One X can’t match the 4S for battery life, considering the power of the processor and the size and brightness of the screen its 13 hours of fairly heavy use is impressive. That should be enough to see you through the average day.