What Android Phone to buy this Summer 2012, in the UK.
So many people ask me what is the best phone to buy now, or what’s the phone I should by. While there is no definite answer for anybody; some conclusions can be made, and when you narrow it down to Android the decisions become fairly simple if you know where to start. The main competitors of course are the HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy SIII, and the lesser known Galaxy Nexus and the HTC One S.
So which offers the best build quality?
The HTC One series devices are extremely well made and make use of high quality materials, out of these devices it’s hard to make your mind up which one is better made. In the case of the One S it uses an aluminium unibody, which has been micro-arc anodized making the aluminium into a ceramic material, with a rough but comfortable texture. The One X uses a polycarbonate body akin to the Nokia Lumia 800 and 900 devices giving it a unique but comfortable feel, and a lovely solid feeling device. Compared to these two devices neither the Galaxy Nexus or Galaxy SIII comes close, both with a plasticky build, and although it feels relatively solid, you do hear the occasional creek which can be disconcerting.
All 4 of the devices offer pretty miraculous performance, but the Galaxy Nexus is definitely outclassed here, in fact although I hate to say it the Nexus device is already out of date. The others though offer pretty much impeccable performance, the Tegra 3 in the One X, the S4 on the One S and the Quad-core Exynos on the SIII. Between the two quad-core SOCs; the Tegra 3 and the Exynos, the Tegra 3 seems to offer better battery life and the Exynos slightly better performance. Although the S4 is not quad-core it is just as quick because of it’s 22nm architecture. In terms of performance alone we will have to go with the Galaxy SIII but the One series devices run in a close second.
The real competition is between the Galaxy SIII’s 720p Super AMOLED, and the HTC One X 720p SLCD2 display, and we sure that the One X aces it, with a full RGB matrix compared the pentile one present in the rest of the devices, this makes whites truer and reduces the risk of blur and discolouring effects caused by the Pentile matrix. The One S though does have by far the worst display of them all; the only qHD device here (a lower resolution) combined with a poor SAMOLED pentile display means that pictures and webpages appear less sharp, mind you it is also the smallest display by quite a margin at 4.3inchs compared to the 4.7 of the One X and Nexus and 4.8 of the SIII.
The camera on the Galaxy Nexus is poor to say the least, but is incredibly quick, unfortunately for it, so are the HTCs and the SIII which offer far greater performance. The sensor inside the One series devices is exactly the same, so is the software, and the SIII has practically the same image quality. HTC do pull ahead though because of the imaging software which offers a nicer interface and a greater array of features than that of the SIII.
All of the devices offer Android 4.0 ICS, but the One Series feature the HTC Sense 4.0 skin and the Galaxy SIII features the new Nature Touchwiz, thankfully the Nexus is left stock and gives you the best experience in terms of software out of all these devices. However both skins are much improved from their previous versions, but because Touchwiz is slightly less in your face it wins in terms of skins. However this shouldn’t really both you as you can use a third party launcher e.g. Nova, our personal favourite.
The One X and SIII are priced similarly on contract, as are the Galaxy Nexus and the One S.
Considering the minor differences between the One X’s performance with the SIIIs we’d be inclined to suggest the One X because of it’s superior camera experience and it’s better build. However we’d recommend the SIII to power users as it does have that performance advantage and the skin is slightly less interfering. Between the Nexus and the One S, it’s clear the One S is the better phone in terms of specs but if you want the full Google Experience with timely updates, then the Galaxy Nexus is still the device to get. For the sake of clearing this up we recommend for the average user the HTC One X, a fabulous device, with a lovely build.