One of the best phones for 2012 was the HTC One X. It was almost the total package. It was fast and had an amazing display. The camera was a blast to use. The only problem with it was that it only came with 16GB of storage. Itís like a sports car that can only seat one person. Itís a blast to use but itís not very practical.
Thankfully, we now have the One X+. Itís similar to the One X but ups the storage to a much more useful 64GB of storage. You also get a quad-core processor, a slightly bigger battery, and Android 4.1.
The One Xís Super LCD was well known for being one of the best displays of any mobile phone. It has super-wide viewing angles, nice colours, itís bright and it works really well in outdoors. The One X+ appears to have the exact same display.
Did I mention itís bright? When I forget to turn on auto-brightness it actually hurts when I look at it at night! Itís truly an awesome display.
headphone jack, power button, microphone
While the X+ has a polycarbonate body like the original X, the X+ís is covered with rubberized paint. The One X is a slippery phone so the new finish is a welcome change.
I wish HTC would have put better volume and power buttons on the X+. They donít stick out enough and feel cheap when you press them. Itís like they were a design afterthought.
Both the X and X+ have beats logos on them, however, HTC has clearly done some work on the X+ in the headphone department. The X+ís headphone out is much, much louder than the X. Itís not as loud as the 8X I just reviewed but itís clearly louder than the X. Itís loud enough that you might need to get new headphones if you want to your listen to music at maximum volume.
I admit, the headphone out of the X+ is a bit intoxicating. Just be careful, the X+ is loud enough to seriously damage your hearing in a short period of time. Like I said before, someday a bunch of deaf teenagers are going to sue HTC.
Burst mode has been beefed up. On the One X I got burst rates of around 4.5 frames per seconds. With X+ it averages around 5.5+ fps. Good stuff!
Iím glad HTC kept the same camera interface. Itís definitely one of my favorites. Both the camera shutter and record buttons are on the same page. You don't have to switch between camcorder and camera mode.
Thereís a new scene button which lets you choose between normal mode, HDR and panorama. Thereís also a slow motion video mode which captures at 120 frames a second at a resolution of 768x432. Neat!
Iím not sure if the X and the X+ have the same camera sensor. They do both look quite similar though. Iíll have to snap some more shots before I can say for certain.
At a glance, pictures are kind of noisy but thatís not necessarily a bad thing since you can always remove the noise yourself. Some cameras like the Lumia 920 remove too much noise and in the process, remove a lot of detail.
Video quality is decent but I was disappointed that the microphone picks up a lot of handling noise.
It excels at letting you take lots of pictures very quickly. It starts up fast and just feels much faster than most phones save for the GS3/Note II/iPhone 4s/5. The speed makes the X+ very intuitive to use.
While the One X will get a Android 4.1 Jellybean upgrade from HTC eventually, right now itís still stuck on Ice Cream Sandwich; Android 4.0. The X+ ships with Jellybean. Since the One X+ has HTC Sense and is pretty heavily customized it can be hard to notice the difference between the 2 versions. Then again, even on a Nexus device the difference isnít that big.
One of Jellybeanís main features is Google now. Itís sort of an automated personal assistant. I donít see it anywhere on the X+.
The other main feature is smoother transitions. Itís hard to tell but I think the One X+ is a little smoother than the X.
Thereís HTC Media Link HD support. Itís just a dongle that you can connect to your TV to display pictures, videos, presentations from the One X+ to a TV. Iím not sure if itís just DLNA, Miracast or something proprietary.
Otherwise, there are a few small changes here and there. I noticed that when you connect the X+ to your computer thereís no longer an option to mount it as an USB storage device plus it comes with Chrome in addition to the regular browser.
While I normally use SunSpider as one of my cross-platform browser performance benchmarks, Iíve decided to give PeaceMaker from Futuremark a try instead. Like SunSpider itís cross-platform so we can compared Apples to Androids but itís bit more comprehensive.
Peacemaker benchmark (higher is better)
Apple iPhone 5: 807
Samsung Galaxy Note II: 749
HTC One X+: 662
LG Optimus G: 505
Sony Xperia T: 502
Motorola RAZR HD LTE (chrome): 500
Samsung Galaxy S III: 476
Huawei D Quad XL: 433
HTC One X (Tegra 3): 264
The newer Tegra chip in the One X+ does well here, it scores higher than the Optimus G and is around 250% faster than the original X.
Vellamo is a suite of browser benchmarks. Itís only available on Android so weíre only able to compare the T with other Android phones here.
HTML 5 (higher is better):
HTC One X+: 1852
Samsung Galaxy Note II: 1841
Sony Xperia T: 1786
LG Optimus G: 1713
Motorola RAZR HD LTE: 1632
Samsung Galaxy S III: 1630
HTC One X (Tegra 3): 1608
Huawei D Quad XL: 1447
Another good showing though itís not that much higher than itís predecessor.
Metal (higher is better):
LG Optimus G: 643
Samsung Galaxy Note II: 628
Samsung Galaxy S III: 580
Sony Xperia T: 567
Motorola RAZR HD LTE: 553
HTC One X+: 526
HTC One X (Tegra 3): 492
Huawei D Quad XL: 398
Here the X+ is only slightly faster than the original.
GL Benchmark 2.5 (higher is better):
LG Optimus G: 4221
Motorola RAZR HD LTE: 2504
Sony Xperia T: 2431
Huawei D Quad XL: 2347
Samsung Galaxy S III: 2335
HTC One X+: 2042
Samsung Galaxy Note II: 1960
HTC One X (Tegra 3): 1650
I was pretty disappointed here. The X didnít do so well in GL Benchmark so I was hoping for a huge increase in performance. When I think about nVidia I think about 3D performance. So itís funny that their Tegra chips generally have inferior 3D performance to their competitors.
Iím still testing the X+ís battery. Iíll update this section in a few days.
As a phone:
I was pleasantly surprised that the earpiece maximum volume is similar to my iPhone 5.
I compared the X+ís RF performance with the HTC 8X. The 8X was noticeably better at hanging onto and using a weak LTE signal. The X+ is average in this regard.
Sound quality is pretty good. Itís clean with minimal hiss.
The built-in speaker is not very loud. Itís ironic that itís located right below the beats logo.
I guess itís no surprise that the One X+ is a great phone given itís heritage. You get the same great screen, slightly more processing power, a much needed bump in capacity, a minor upgrade in software and a few other things.
Itís a great phone but I am a disappointed that HTC kept it at 1GB of RAM. Such a great phone deserves more. Iíd also like to see a little more from HTC Sense. It feels a little dated compared to some of its competitors.
X or X+?
HTC markets the X+ as being faster than the original X. While the X+ does score higher than the X the difference isnít big. I tried surfing the web with both the original quad-core X and the X+ side-by-side and there is really no noticeable difference. Sometimes the X+ is faster and sometimes the X is faster. So donít get the X+ if you simply want a faster phone.
Iím still doing my battery testing so it remains to be seen if the slightly bigger 2100mAh vs 1800mAh makes a difference.
The screen are about the same and aside from a few bits of new software, the cameras are similar. The real story here is the improved headphone amp volume and the 64GB of storage.
Iíd argue that the headphone volume isnít a valid point because I donít advise anyone to listen to it at maximum volume for more than a few minutes. The 64GB of storage however is huge. The version of the X thatís available here only comes with 16GB of storage and of that, only 11GB is available for use. The X and X+ are both really powerful phones with great cameras so itís really easy to fill up 11GB. Take some pictures and videos, download a couple of games and boom, youíre of space. So the 64GB is welcome upgrade.
So, if you own a One X and are happy with the amount of storage then skip the One X+.
Galaxy S III:
When it comes to GS3 or One X+ itís a tough choice. Based on my observations, both are about the same speed, their about the same size and their cameras are similar. At 64GB the One X+ has a lot more built-in storage but, since the GS3 has a microSD card slot itís easy to add a 64GB card to it (thatís what I do).
Where the One X+ shines is its display. It just beats the GS3 at pretty much everything except for black levels. Itís better in the sun, itís brighter and itís less grainy.
The GS3ís strength is its software. While Touchwiz isnít perfect it feels more advanced than Sense. Iím talking the pop-up video, the ability to change settings from the pull down, etc. It also has 2GB of RAM which makes a huge difference when it comes to multitasking. The GS3 does a really great job of juggling lots of programs at once.
LG Optimus G:
The Optimus G is another close call. Again the One X+ has a better display and more storage. Unlike the GS3, the G comes with 32GB of non-expandable storage. Still, 32GB should be enough for most people. The Gís camera actually takes really good pictures but the camera is much slower which makes it feel less intuitive to use.
The Gís graphics processor is a lot faster than the X+. If you game a lot, you might notice this sort of difference soon as games get more complex. Like the GS3, the G also has 2GB of storage and is adept at handling a lot of programs at once.
I also find the Gís software more interesting though it only ships with Android 4.0.
- less slippery
- display looks amazing
- headphone amp
- only 1GB of RAM
- Sense is starting to feel kind of dated