Developing

LG Optimus 4X HD vs HTC One X

Whoa there ,smartphone cowboys. It's time for the quad-core boys to come rushing in. Faster than a pack of greyhounds, these new mobile powerhouses have Android snapping along at an unparalleled rate.

MWC has overloaded our brains slightly with quad-core goodness making it difficult to pick out the juiciest from a bunch of phones sweeter than a sugar-coated Tegra 3 processor. But before you commit your desires to the likes of one single handset, why not pick the most exciting two apart?

At a near microscopic level, we have gone into great depth about every single aspect of the show-stealing Optimus 4X HD and HTC One X. The result? The ultimate quad-core head to head.

Form Factor

Winner: Optimus 4X8.9mmLoser: HTC One X9.3 mm

Sadly as details on the actual dimensions of the Optimus 4X are fairly scarce, we are having to base this one on thickness alone. We know that the HTC One X is 130g in weight and measures 134.4 x 69.9 x 9.3mm, which to us makes it sound like a slightly bigger phone than the Optimus. HTC aren't exactly the masters of slim anyway so we weren't expecting the One X to be a dinky beast.

From our hands-on time with the 4X HD it appears to be a highly pocketable smartphone despite having all that power under the hood. To put things in perspective, the current king of Android thin, the Motorola RAZR, is 7.1mm, so neither of these guys are far behind. In fact we challenge you to really notice a 2mm difference.

Display

Winner: Optimus 4X4.7-inch True HD IPS (1280 x 720)Loser: HTC One X4.7-inch Super LCD (1280 x 720)

Both HTC and LG have squeezed a rather tidy display into their flagship smartphones - 4.7-inches is big and should provide plenty of screen estate for things like web browsing and gaming. But which one looks better? Well, given that we haven't had a chance to put the two side by side quite yet, we are basing this one purely on paper specifications.

1280 x 720 resolution smartphones look amazing enough as it is, so in the end it is going to be the actual screen tech that wins it. IPS is found in the likes of Apple's iPad and the Asus Transformer Prime. It is without doubt one of the best portable display technologies around, resulting in crisp, clear and balanced screens with fairly incredible viewing angles. This is why the Optimus wins this one. However HTC's Super LCD definitely has some tricks up its sleeve and looks brilliant up close.

Engine Room

Tie: Optimus 4X1.5GHz Tegra 3 Quad-core, ULP GeForce GPUTie: HTC One X1.5GHz Tegra 3 Quad-core, ULP GeForce GPU

The Tegra 3 chipset looks like it will be dominating the smartphone market this year just as Tegra 2 did last. Using a quad-core processor and powerful GeForce GPU, it packs quite a punch. Inside both the Optimus 4X and HTC One X is a virtually identical SoC, both with the same 1.5GHz clock speed.

Now this doesn't guarantee they will both feel identical in the hand, as each manufacturer places its own skin over the Android operating system, which adds processor load. Admittedly HTC Sense is slightly more processor intensive than LG's lighter skinning, but on paper there is nothing to differentiate the two. Until thorough testing is carried out we just can't say which one is the quicker phone, so it's a tie here.

Software

Tie: Optimus 4XAndroid 4.0, LG skinTie: HTC One XAndroid 4.0, HTC Sense 4.0

Ice Cream Sandwich did a lot to fix issues Android had with UI discrepancies and dodgy formatting. Bringing a lot more unity between tablets and phones, it is Google's latest and greatest operating system. Manufacturers know, if they want to make an impact with top-spec phones they are launching, that ICS is a must. So naturally both the HTC and LG feature ICS straight out of the box.

But what version of Android you're running isn't everything. Most companies will put their own skin on top of the operating system to try to make it a more individual experience. HTC's Sense has been brilliant so far and from what we are seeing, only gets better in its 4.0 form. LG's 4X uses a much lighter take on skinning Android, which means it will likely be quicker but not offer the same levels of customisation.

However, some now see HTC Sense as slightly over the top and LG hasn't had the greatest success with its tweaks, which added little to native Android. As such we think they both should meet in the middle and be granted a tie.

Imaging

winner: HTC One X8-megapixel, f2.0 lens, 1.3-megapixel on frontLoser: Optimus 4X8-megapixel, 1.3 megapixel on front

HTC wins this category fairly easily. The One X features a camera that truly takes advantage of the possibilities a quad-core processor can offer. This means snapping stills while simultaneously shooting 1080p video or taking and piecing together panoramic shots very quickly.

Both phones use a similar sized 8-megapixel sensor, however, HTC has a new ImageChip which promises to improve the images in their RAW form before generating JPEG files. There is also a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front of both the LG and the HTC, the latter however is listed as being capable of taking 720p video, which does mean higher res video calls. Either way, the HTC is clearly the winner in the imaging department.

Storage

winner: HTC One X32GB, 25GB free Dropbox for 2 yearsLoser: Optimus 4X16GB

HTC takes a clear win here. Why? Well not only is the whopping 25GB of Dropbox access impressive, but the built-in 32GB internal storage is double that of the Optimus 4X. Don't get us wrong, you can still pack quite a lot into 16GB of space, but music and photo fans will find they fill it up very quickly.

To give you an idea of exactly what 32GB gets you, Apple says you can cram around 7000 songs into that space. Half that roughly due to apps, photos and video and you get a decent idea. 16GB is very different at 3,500, a lot less when you cut that number in half and usually less than what storing an entire music collection would take. It is important to remember that the HTC doesn't use microSD, so if you are abroad a lot or don't want to use lots of data, its Dropbox deal might not seem so sweet.

Battery

Winner: Optimus 4X2,150mAhLoser: HTC One X1,800mAh

The more cores you add to a smartphone, the more power it needs. Nvidia has worked all sorts of magic with its Tegra 3 chip and how it switches off parts of the processor to save power, but the bottom line is with that 4.7-inch display, battery life is going to take a hit.

You can combat this by adding a much beefier battery into the smartphone. LG has gone particularly crazy here, with a 2150mAh battery. This should in theory get the phone through much more than a single day without charge. Consider this for example: the battery for the iPhone 4S is 1420mAh in capacity. Worryingly, the One X is only slightly larger than the 4S battery but adds another two cores to its processor and more than an inch of display. This could mean a drastically reduced life between charges for the phone.

Connectivity

Winner: Optimus 4XmicroSD expansionLoser: HTC One X25GB dropbox

Both the HTC and Optimus 4X offer near identical connectivity options. This means things like Micro-USB, b/g/n Wi-Fi and DLNA. The only real distinguishing factor is that HTC's 32GB of storage is not expandable via a microSD slot. Sure it has 32GB built in, but the need to just use the Dropbox means its connectivity options are limited.

Conclusion

The LG claims the crown here mostly because of ts bigger battery, better screen and microSD expansion capabilities. Sure, HTC has cooked up a pretty incredible smartphone package with the One X, one which many will likely prefer the looks of. In a head-to-head battle thats 'll about specifications however, LG really has put together an incredible piece of hardware with the 4X.

We mustn't forget however that the pricing on both the phones is yet to be announced. LG is claiming the 4X to be its most premium phone yet, so expect it to boast a similar sort of price tag, which could likely exceed that of the HTC. If that is the case, then many may prefer what HTC has to offer.

In the end both handsets are incredibly impressive and its nice to see quad-core chipsets working their magic in smartphones already. It just seems that magic might be a tad better in the Optimus 4X than the One X.




© copyright Pocket-lint 2012