Apple iPhone 5 vs HTC One X

Introduction and Design

Continuing our look at flagship devices, our comparison now focuses on the best thing from both Apple and HTC. Launching earlier in the year, the HTC One X seemingly got the year jumpstarted with its awe-inspiring presence – thus, establishing the benchmark of what would’ve been expected with other devices going forward. But now that Apple’s pride and joy in the iPhone 5 has finally made its landing, we’re taking these two formidable offerings into the ring to find out how they stack up against one another.


Donning very different design styles, we appreciate both for their solid constructions and eye-catching looks, but the iPhone 5 pulls ahead slightly for its premium feel in the hand. And of course, it helps that the handset is both lighter and skinnier than its rival – making it easier to handle with one hand versus the massive look of the HTC One X. Nonetheless, there’s no kidding that the polycarbonate unibody construction of the HTC One X would handle falls better, since the brushed aluminum casing of the iPhone 5 would be more prone to damage if it were dropped.

With its recessed physical home button, there are no accidental presses with the iPhone 5 – albeit, we didn’t have issues with the evenly spaced trio of Android capacitive buttons on the HTC One X.

However, when it comes to their respective power and volume buttons, we prefer the more distinct and tactile feel associated with the iPhone 5’s set, mainly because the buttons on the HTC One X feel a bit more flat to the touch. As expected, they both feature 3.5mm headset jacks, but it’s worth noting that there’s Beats Audio support with HTC’s baby – thus, producing some more head pounding bass than the iPhone 5. Alternatively, the more favorable microUSB port is available with the HTC One X, which also provides video-out with the aid of an MHL adapter. Conversely, the iPhone 5 relies on Apple’s newer proprietary Lightning docking port.

In their rears, both smartphones are packing the same sized 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash – with 1080p video recording in tow with them. Meanwhile, there’s a 1.2-megapixel front-facing snapper on the iPhone 5, while the HTC One X flaunts a 1.3-megapixel one. Honestly, they’re best reserved for video chatting.


Oh man! Can we say that these two pristine looking handsets also amaze us with their piercing displays? When they pack so many attractive elements, like their sharp details and high brightness output, it’s tough to concretely say which one we love more than the other. On one side, you have the 4” Retina Display of the iPhone 5, which packs a resolution of 640 x 1136 and is IPS-LCD based. Compared to the larger 4.7” 720p Super LCD 2 display on the HTC One X, the iPhone 5’s Retina Display exhibits color tones that are more natural in tone – while significantly warmer tones are evident with HTC’s offering. Throw in the fact that the two are viewable in outdoor conditions, it’s simply a matter of personal preference as to which of the two is more appealing.

Apple iPhone 5 360-degrees View:

HTC One X 360-degrees View:

Interface and Functionality:

Always regarded as having one of the more reputable customized Android experiences, the HTC Sense 4.0 experience is undoubtedly far more comprehensive than the iPhone 5’s latest iOS 6 experience. In fact, just looking at the surface is evidence enough, as its homescreen is blissfully occupied by many of HTC’s wonderful and useful widgets. In addition, there’s a lot more personalization attached to the HTC One X, since we’re given complete control in how the UI is laid out. However, despite its lack of personalization, the iPhone 5 has the distinct advantage as having the less complicated experience, since it’s simplicity that’s most prized with Apple. Therefore, if you want a hassle-free experience, the iPhone 5 is the way to go, but if not, there’s always the balanced experience of the HTC Sense 4.0 experience that’s always profoundly deeper.

Coughing up the same functionality with their core organizer apps, we’re finding ourselves liking HTC’s offerings a bit more for its more pleasing visual presentation – aided by slick layouts and nifty transition effects. Furthermore, there’s no arguing the deeper level of functionality found with the Gmail experience on the HTC One X, as it separates itself from the more basic functionality seen with the iPhone 5’s email experience.

Having the larger screen and all, it’s only natural to like the spacious layout of the HTC One X’s portrait style Sense keyboard. Making it even more likeable, we also like that numbers and some punctuations are accessible from the main layout by long-pressing on specific buttons. Still, the iPhone 5’s keyboard is equally just as usable, thanks primarily to its responsive nature and spot-on auto-correct feature. Overall, there’s no issues speed typing with either device.

Processor and Memory:

Frankly speaking, these two premier smartphones are speed demons with their performances. On paper though, the HTC One X is sure to get more looks with its 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor (it’s a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 with the international version) with 1GB of RAM, which looks a bit more attractive than the 1GHz dual-core Apple A6 processor with 1GB of RAM in the iPhone 5. Regardless, the two pretty much perform handsomely with all functions – though, there’s a miniscule amount of stutter with the HTC One X that rears its head every now and then. Well, taking into account the graphical intensity of the One X’s interface, it’s only expected to see that.

Looking at the base models of the two smartphones, they size up evenly with 16GB of internal storage, but there’s no expandable memory with them – meaning, you’ll need to really monitor what you save. However, the iPhone 5 is also available in 32GB and 64GB capacities to serve those who require it.

Internet and Connectivity:

With 4G LTE connectivity in tow with these beauties, there’s no concern about data speeds, as complex web sites are loaded very quickly. Although they both exhibit smooth navigational controls, the iPhone 5 simply does a better job at rendering on the fly or when scrolling very fast. Oppositely, we’re still pleased with the experience on the HTC One X, but it lacks the effortless execution found with its rival, since there is a momentary delay attached to rendering pages when we’re zooming or scrolling quickly.

In almost all corners of the world, you’re sure to find a specific variant of the two smartphones that’ll be compatible to work with local carrier – though, the HTC One X is only equipped to run off 4G LTE through AT&T’s network. Beyond that, they share many common connectivity features a s well – like aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality. However, the HTC One X manages to pack NFC as well, which gives it a one-step advantage when it comes to mobile payments and easy sharing.


Camera snapping aficionados will surely appreciate to know that these two titans are more than capable to capture some good looking photos. In terms of functionality though, the HTC One X undeniably has the advantage with its extensive list of shooting modes and manual settings – whereas the iPhone 5 merely offers the basic essentials. Outdoor image quality is really sharp looking with the two, as they maintain a solid amount of detail, but the HTC One X seems to produce colors that are significantly warmer in tone. With low lighting conditions, the iPhone 5 is better able to distance itself from its rival, since its shots are sharper looking with sufficient lighting being cast over its shots. With the HTC One X, it doesn’t handle dynamic range as well, which results in over-exposure with lighter areas.

While the Apple iPhone 5 has the slight edge when it comes to taking still shots, it’s significantly the preferred handset for shooting 1080p videos. Basically, it has all the lovable qualities we’d want to find – such as sharp details, natural colors, clear audio recording, and a smooth capture rate. Generally speaking, the HTC One X’s 1080p video recording quality is still visually pleasing, but it’s marred by some duller looking details and artifacting.

Apple iPhone 5 Sample Video:

HTC One X Sample Video:


Running their respective music players, neither one actually jumps at us having the better looking interface – since they’re both functional and employ some slick visual cues. However, when it comes to the audio quality of their internal speakers, the iPhone 5 has an edge with its louder tones. The One X features Beats Audio support, but it is not something an EQ cannot do.

Primarily due to its significantly larger display, the HTC One X is the ideal handset to go with when it comes to watching high definition videos. Well, it’s still pretty good on the iPhone 5, but there’s something about the warmer glow of the HTC One X’s display that really captures our attention more – plus, the larger size cements the experience.

Call Quality:

Emitting weaker tones with its earpiece and speakerphone, it’s a little bit more of a challenge having conversations using the HTC One X – especially in noisier environments. Well, that’s not much of an issue with the iPhone 5 thanks to its stronger output, but even better, its noise-cancellation feature mutes out any wind distortion to present us with audible voices.


For the most part, we’re able to get through a solid day with our normal usage – while heavy usage seems to permit us a little bit over 10 hours on a full charge. However, you can expect the numbers to drop considerably if you happen to be in a 4G LTE area.


If we were to go down the list and find out which handset wins in each specific category, it would seem as though the iPhone 5 would be the one to hoist a golden trophy in the end – especially when it has the better design, camera quality, calling quality, and faster performance. Regardless of that, the HTC One X is still an admirable offering with its well-rounded performance and expansive platform experience. Taking age to consideration as well, there’s no denying that the iPhone 5 has the fresh factor attached to it – thus, making it the more appealing handset at the moment. We’re not saying to stay away from the HTC One X simply because it’s been available for many months now, as it’s still a powerhouse smartphone in the landscape, but when it’s being edged out by the iPhone 5 in all of the aforementioned key categories, it’s not going to be standing as high as it once did on the pedestal.

Apple iPhone 5 vs HTC One X Video Comparison:

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