User Interface:

As flagships, the Galaxy S III and EVO 4G LTE are both running Android 4.0 at their base (Samsung has the slightly newer 4.0.4 to 4.0.3 on the HTC.) It is a fantastic base to work from, but both manufacturers feel the need to slap a custom skin on top of it in order to differentiate themselves in the market. They don’t, but let’s compare the two skins.

Nature UX is the latest attempt from Samsung at their TouchWiz interface, and there are definite improvements. Things are more customizable, such as the ability to hide applications in the app drawer. The interface is deeply integrated to the point that you don’t see any stock Android on this device, which means a unified design language is found throughout the device. There are motion gestures galore that let you do anything from panning around on a webpage to taking a screenshot. S Voice is a fairly decent stab at the automated assistant (read: Siri) market. Smart Stay watches the users eyes to determine if the screen should go to sleep or not. A lot of the included S apps are cool, but there is a lot going on and that’s a problem.

HTC has admitted that they overreached with Sense, and have scaled it back in Sense 4. While keeping the same basic design language, it has been refined and is much more grown-up than the cartoony TouchWiz. The clock and weather widget, a mainstay on homescreens everywhere, is a perfect example in the difference between the two. HTC’s main widget offers the familiar flip clock, but has gone with a naked background and uses high contrast for easy readability of the time, date and weather. Samsung uses a very pretty picture of the current weather condition on the background of their widget, but text readability suffers as a result and in general the layout is poor and cramped.



Both devices use the standard 4x4 grid for the homescreen, but Samsung uses nearly the bottom quarter of the screen for the launcher, making the rest of the interface more cramped than necessary. This is apparent when slowly flipping between homescreen pages and seeing how much remains stationary. These are just two of many examples where Sense is a better thought out, better implemented UI than TouchWiz.

It would seem that Samsung is getting too cute with TouchWiz- a hole HTC admittedly went down- and it is negatively affecting the Galaxy S III’s performance. Things like the toggle widgets sliding into place when you pull down the notification bar remind us of the spinning Sense homescreen; those animations are nothing but eye candy that take up resources, and frankly they get annoying by the third time you’ve seen them. Sense has also updated some things to stay in line with the ICS design language, such as larger contact pictures in the People app or deleting items from the homescreen by dragging up and not down, something Samsung has not changed.

We realize that a lot of it comes down to personal preference with these skins, but where we take issue with them is that they take up resources which slow down even these incredibly fast phones. If we had a choice we’d run pure Android on both of them, but outside of that Sense offers better performance with a more professional look.

Processor and Memory:

Thanks to LTE connectivity, neither of these variants run the quad-core processors found on non-LTE versions of the phones. That’s OK, because Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 SOC seems to perform just as well while offering impressive battery life and LTE connectivity to boot. The Galaxy S III and EVO 4G LTE are both using this dual-core chip clocked at 1.5GHz, though the Galaxy is backed by 2GB of RAM whereas the EVO only has 1GB. So, these two devise should perform about the same, right? Surprisingly the EVO had its way with the Galaxy S III, beating it convincingly in all three tests we ran it through.


Quadrant Standard AnTuTu NenaMark 2
Samsung Galaxy S III 4733 5740 59.6
HTC EVO 4G LTE 5459 7151 62.1


We really expected the Galaxy S III to come out on top here due to the increased RAM, but that was not the case. Given that the devices run such similar hardware, the only logical conclusion we can come to is that HTC has done better with the software on the phone. These differences were slightly noticeable in real world usage too; while both of the phones fly in general there were things here and there that the Galaxy momentarily stumbled on and in general the HTC was more responsive.

The EVO 4G LTE comes with 16GB of internal memory, 25GB of Dropbox storage for 2 years and microSD expansion. The Galaxy S III does the EVO one better by offering a 32GB version (for $50 more) and giving 50GB of Dropbox storage, and also offers a microSD slot.

Connectivity and Internet:

You will not be hurting for connectivity options on either of these devices. The highlights include LTE, EVDO Rev. A, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and Wi-Fi Direct (which Samsung dubs S-Beam.) Right now there are no Sprint LTE cities, but the first ones should go live in about two weeks and the rest of the country will be upgraded over the next year and a half. Still, that means many people are stuck with a 3G phone and right now Sprint’s 3G network is hurting.

The stock browsers are as you’d expect on the phones. They are are plenty capable, but each had their issues. The HTC has the blink issue we’ve talked about in the past, where it re-renders the page for optimal viewing after you double tap in certain areas. The Samsung browser doesn’t zoom in nearly far enough on a double tap. This is a relatively moot point however, because if you have an ICS device you should be running Chrome, and if not that something like Dolphin or Firefox, all of which offer more features and better performance than stock browsers.





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76 Comments

1. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

I like how your video samples show on my YouTube Subscription feed before the review is released --- I always know the smackdowns before hand lol. Because of this Jellybean mania, I kinda got my eyes of the Galaxy S III. I want a JB device! First device to get JB wins (between the smackdown) :))

19. DonkeySauce

Posts: 194; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

If you want Jelly Bean, I'm not sure about Samsung. They're notorious for taking forever to updated their Galaxy phones in the US. I waited forever for updates to my original Epic, and the GSII still has no ICS.

31. phoenixpr

Posts: 167; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

Agree! SGSIII will get JB first, Loved the Evo LTE, was going to get it. However my #1 things of MUST HAVE on a phone is a removable battery. Sorry Evo LTE your lost...

59. Raymond_htc

Posts: 430; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

.....Man, you cant judge a phone by removable battery. thats the same way as you saying all the tablets in this world sucks, cuz they all don't have removable batteries.

60. phoenixpr

Posts: 167; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

I don't want a tablet ever for the very reason. I have my big iMac when I am at home, My big TV to watch my program, my smartphone to do basic email, web and some app. I know what kind of user I am. I removable battery is number 1 of MUST have on my list, then everything else follows down my check list.

40. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Wow, EVO LTE wins just about every round. I picked up both of them and I am testing them out. I have to say, I agree with the comparison review, in my opinion, the EVO is a more refined device and has the few extras that were missing out of the One X to be up to par with the Galaxy S III. I think I will keep the EVO and return the SGS3, both great phones though.

2. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Very good review! Wish that the htc evo 4g lte was sold internationally as it had better performance and specs than that of the one x. Now, the Samsung Galaxy S 3 has it's true competitor in the smartphone industry!

3. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

What's the point in doing a vs if you don't pick a winner? Come on PA

30. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Lol, they left us off with a cliff hanger. Its like a bad movie. I pick the Evo. Nothing against the SGSIII but still I like the evo.

37. pandakilla

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

They pretty much said who was the winner....HTC better over all...I like Samsung.........for thier displays

4. exidor01

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 17, 2011

I thought the galaxy s 3 had 2gb of RAM. Am I incorrect?

5. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Indeed it does, the US version anyway.

6. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

"The EVO had its way with the Galaxy S III, beating it convincingly in all three tests we ran it through." ...What? If basic mathematics serve me correctly (and for the most part they do), the GSIII's 12,016 on AnTuTu is just a TAD BIT HIGHER than the Evo's 6,973...

9. baldilocks

Posts: 1537; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

PhoneArena has a problem with reality lately...

13. Fallout09

Posts: 421; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Where are you getting 12016 on AnTuTu? Article states SG3 had 5740 vs EVO 6973.

17. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Brian changed it from what it was before.That's where I was getting it, to answer your question.

16. true1984

Posts: 869; Member since: May 23, 2012

thats the international version not the US version tested here

21. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

We had a mistake with the Galaxy S III benchmarks results; it is corrected now :)

48. ananya22

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 23, 2012

EVO 4G lte is better at everything. wow htc!

7. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

I've owned HTC devices for many years with no major issues. I can't praise their build quality enough. I'm not a fan of stationary batteries. I like the option to remove them. However, This review has helped me keep me in check that I maybe purchasing an HTC product once again. John B.

8. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

As far as not integrating Google's cloud storage into the music app, the app does allow you to add Play Music as a shortcut.

10. lzsbleach

Posts: 155; Member since: May 20, 2012

Just pick a winner.

11. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Why pick a winner? The comparison was done and it is up to the potential buyer to make their decision based on the info given. Picking a winner would be a matter of PA's personal opinion. Not necessarily the same interests of the purchaser. IMO, based on past experiences, I believe the HTC is a better purchase for shear build quality and Sense's ability to interact better with Android. TouchWiz seems to develope glitches after months of use. Constant factory resets seems to be the norm with TouchWiz/Android integration. John B.

32. SleepingOz unregistered

"Sense's ability to interact better with Android" HAHAHA YOU JUST MADE MY DAY! Oh really? based on what? I've been using my GSII for nearly a year now and I've never experienced any of these glitches you're talking about.

41. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

I think its pretty obvious they think the EVO is a better phone, they probably just don't want to pick it as a winner instead of the SGS3 as many will probably be upset about this. Having used both of them, I have to agree with the review, I like the EVO better.

12. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

With the results being so close between the two handsets, I have to wonder why the HTC snagged an 8.5 score while the Sammy got 9.3. I think the HTC is worthy of at least a 9.0.

14. Fallout09

Posts: 421; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Because Brian K. took off points for Sprint not having an LTE network, issues with camera and non removable battery. Funny because neither can get LTE right now. Accourding to this article, the EVO also had an edge on camera comparison and matched the SG3 pound for pound in battery dept. If you factor this comparison into the previous review.... EVO LTE should be a 9.5.

35. evoMike

Posts: 10; Member since: Jul 29, 2011

I agree with both of the above comments. Both versions of the S3 got 9.3. I wondered why the EVO review was so low after reading the comparison. The LG Viper LTE and Galaxy Nexus reviews both had pros as "LTE enabled" but for the EVO its a con.

26. mr. anderson

Posts: 92; Member since: Apr 16, 2009

I've been reading this site for years and I think the editors have a significant say in the scoring. What the articles say often don't jive with the final scores, and the EVO is a prime example. Brian praised it pretty much all the way around, but then it got a relatively low score. Even if you read this article it seems that the EVO comes out the clear winner, but at the end there they leave it open. The reviews on this site are usually great (with a one very biased reviewer as an exception), but the scores are often confusing. My advice is to not even bother with scores, and read the review (or at least the conclusion) for the author's true feelings on the phone.

15. thenoodge

Posts: 32; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

The Htc Evo Lte also has talk and surf at the same time over 3g which i thought was crazy that they are not promoting that makes it the winner to me being able to be on the phone and surf the web at the same time on 3g not wifi or LTE

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