Sony Xperia ion vs HTC One X

Introduction and Design

Alrighty people, we’re back with yet another comparison between two high-end Android powered smartphones for AT&T, which interestingly enough, has built itself one eclectic lineup of late. Reigning mightily for some time now, the HTC One X has been a bona fide hit for the carrier thanks to its chiseled looks and comprehensive Sense 4.0 experience. Oppositely though, the Sony Xperia ion is attempting to establish its presence by hinging on its contemporary hardware, combined with a killer price point right out of the gate. So without further ado, let’s find out how these two stack up face-to-face with one another!


Showing off their sturdiness, there’s no arguing that the two are solidly built all around to withstand even some of the harshest of punishment. However, we’re drawn to the HTC One X’s design for all the obvious reasons. Unlike the sharp feel and easily dirtied brushed metallic body of the Sony Xperia ion, the HTC One X exudes a more calm demeanor thanks to its clean unibody polycarbonate construction and rounded corners. In addition, HTC’s beauty is lighter and skinnier than Sony’s offering, therefore, it simply feels easier to handle in the hand.

As we’re constantly frustrated trying to activate any of the Xperia ion’s capacitive buttons, it’s actually not a concern with the HTC One X, since its trio of capacitive buttons are spaced far away from one another. However, we’re not fans of the barely raised power buttons and volume controls of both devices – plus, they’re not all that responsive either.

Indeed, there are no removable batteries with either handset, but we find that the Xperia ion benefits from having a separate microHDMI port and expandable memory via its microSD card slot. In contrast, we can still get video-out with the One X, but it requires the use of an MHL adapter.


Technically, the Sony Xperia ion boasts the higher pixel density thanks to its 4.6” HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine – whereas the HTC One X flaunts a 4.7” HD S-LCD 2 display. No doubt, it’s a win on paper for the Xperia ion, but when it comes down to it, the difference is nearly undistinguishable since both are exquisitely detailed when viewed close up or far away. Overall though, the HTC One X captivates us more thanks to its the punchier colors and wider viewing angles – even more, it’s easier to view in outdoor settings over its rival in direct sunlight.

Interface and Functionality:

Sony really needs to look at what HTC is doing right with its custom Android experience, seeing that Sony’s UXP NXT interface (from “next user experience) lacks the depth of personalization that HTC Sense 4.0 offers. Obviously, the main personalization elements are all there with both handsets, like their set of widget and shortcuts, but HTC has taken it further with its superior presentation value and functionality. Frankly, Sony’s custom Android experience seems rather flat and behind the times. Well, it’s literally true because it’s running Android 2.3 Gingerbread – while the HTC One X benefits from all the wonderful features attached with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Uncovering their core organizer apps, we can agree that they function in the same manner, but again, HTC’s offerings stands out slightly more thanks to the visual tweaks littered around that make Sony’s presentation look all too conformed.

Typing messages with their respective keyboards is an effortless process, due to the fact that they’re spacious and responsive. Still, we find the HTC Sense keyboard the more preferable one because numbers and punctuations are all available from the main layout by performing long presses.

Processor and Memory:

Already, we’re all too aware about some of the outdated aspects of the Sony Xperia ion, like Gingerbread, but we continue to find the same in the processing department. Specifically, it’s running an older dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor coupled with 1GB of RAM, while the HTC One X relies on the newer S4 chipset. When it comes to executing the same tasks, they’re fairly responsive with their actions, though, we see that the HTC One X boasts the more buttery fluid movements – such as navigating across the homescreen. Furthermore, HTC’s beast outperforms the Xperia ion in nearly all benchmarking aspects.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuNenaMark 2
Sony Xperia ion2833604436,4
HTC One X AT&T4958686357,7

Needless to say, there are people out there who are particular about the amount of free storage. Well folks, the Xperia ion has the advantage not only for its higher 11.24GB of internal storage out of the box, whereas the HTC One X has only 9.93GB, but the Xperia ion’s capacity can be increased thanks to its available microSD card slot.

Internet and Connectivity:

Naturally, it’s a win-win that these two are blessed with 4G LTE connectivity, and for the most part, we’re presented with a very tolerable web browsing experience – albeit, there are a couple of nagging things we find. With the Xperia ion, it exhibits some noticeable choppiness with its navigational controls, which is heightened when there is heavy Flash content. Meanwhile, the HTC One X moves faster with its operations, but we’re annoyed by the constant blinking action whenever we change the zoom. Nevertheless, they’re never too overbearing, and for the most part, we’re accepting of their performance.

If you’re traveling internationally, there’s no concern because these two are compatible to work with the many GSM networks around the globe – though, 4G LTE connections are obtained domestically via AT&T’s network. Lastly, they both share the same connectivity features such as aGPS, Bluetooth, mobile hotspot functionality, NFC, and Wi-Fi.


Picture taking aficionados will surely appreciate using both devices, as their qualities don’t stray far from one another – and overall, they can easily replace most point and shoot cameras. To tell you the truth, their 8-megapixel cameras produce the same adequate details, balanced exposure, and warm looking colors. Though, we do notice a subtle saturation with the HTC One X’s results. Although they might have some challenges in low lighting, their LED flashes are effective in lighting up the scenery. However, the HTC One X is undoubtedly the faster of the two with its near instant shutter speed. Oh, did we mention that the One X also packs a ton more shooting modes as well?

Even though they’re not the prettiest things we’ve seen, their 1080p video capture is good enough for most things. Yet, we still find a few qualms with the two. Specifically, there is more artifacing present with HTC One X as we pan very quickly – while with the Xperia ion, its audio recording is distorted at times.

Sony Xperia ion Sample Video:

HTC One X Sample Video:


Unlike the stock Android music player, the Xperia ion and One X are given some visual tweaks to their respective players to stand out amongst the Android crop. Setting their volumes at the maximum setting, we can make out that the HTC One X’s output is minutely stronger – though, it’s not by much. Nevertheless, both offer various equalizer settings to better adapt to the genre of music that’s playing.

Running the same video encoded in DivX 1920 x 1080 resolution, there are no issues found with the two as they play them. In particular, we’re treated to smooth playbacks, luscious colors, and clear details with both – making them more than worthy for the occasion. Sure, the Mobile BRAVIA engine of the Xperia ion adjusts the display’s saturation with videos, but honestly, the two are equally good looking.

Call Quality and Battery:

Loving the clear and tonal voices experienced on both ends of the line with the two, our only gripe in calling quality is simply their weak sounding earpieces, which is nearly impossible to use in noisy outdoor environments.

In our experience, we’re able to get more juice out of the HTC One X. In fact, it’s able to achieve over a single days of normal usage on a full charge, while the Sony Xperia ion taps out in less than a day. However, you’ll want to keep an eye out when connected to LTE, since both eat precious juice like it’s their job.


As we look at their specs and price point, most people would instantly agree that the Sony Xperia ion offers more value for the buck, which is true thanks to its attractive $100 cost. Therefore, if you’re limited with your budget, the Sony Xperia ion is undeniably a great handset that offers all of the modern conveniences of a top-shelf smartphone. However, as we look at the overall package, the HTC One X proves its worth through it all – and that’s despite being priced at $200! Absolutely paying double the price, it’s justified thanks to its more favorable design, stunning display, and newer processor. Well, it doesn’t end there, as it flaunts the most up-to-date Android version, while being enhanced thanks to Sense 4.0. So yeah, there’s a premium attached to the HTC One X, but surely enough, it’s worth every penny!

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