Despite what you may hear coming out of the Apple-Samsung trial, there has been plenty of innovation in the Android ecosystem over the past year. With Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” reunifying the platform and a new generation of hardware in 2012, Android is easier to use, less buggy, faster, and more elegant.
That’s my conclusion after spending a couple months with two of the newest Android powerhouses -- the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X. I thought I’d briefly share my thoughts on the two smartphones, tell you which one I liked more, and why there are a couple other phones I’d recommend instead, in some cases.
The main point is that I really liked both the Samsung and HTC devices and I think both are solid smartphone upgrades for business professionals. As I’ve said before, I’m a daily user of both Android and iPhone. The iPhone is my personal phone and Android is my work phone. I’ve been using both platforms since their earliest beginnings and I was formerly a long-term user of Palm Treo and BlackBerry.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich really shines on these two new 2012 smartphones. Both of them have amazingly bright, crisp, and clear screens. Both of them are quick, smooth, and responsive -- moreso than almost any Android devices I’ve used. They’re also both remarkably thin and light, which makes them easy to carry and easy to slide into a pocket or a bag.
If I were forced to choose between the two solely based on the phones themselves (and not their respective wireless carriers), I'd take the HTC One X over the Galaxy S III because the body of the HTC feels more high-quality and less slippery and plasticky and the HTC Sense UI is a little more refined than Samsung TouchWiz UI. However, those are two very subjective things. I know people who prefer the plastic feel of Samsung’s phones and actually like TouchWiz. I’m just not one of them.
All in all, either phone would serve as an excellent upgrade for a business professional looking to trade in a BlackBerry or a previous Android device like the Motorola Droid or the HTC EVO or even a first-gen Samsung Galaxy S.
That said, for heavy-use business professionals, I'd still recommend the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx because the battery life is unbeatable -- even if the screen and the overall performance is a little less impressive than the S III or the One X. The new flagship phones from Samsung and HTC both have fairly mediocre battery life and will struggle to get through a full day on a single charge in some cases, so the Razr Maxx is a more practical device.
Also, for true Android fanatics I'd still recommend getting the Galaxy Nexus since it's going to get the latest Android updates a lot faster than the One X or the S III. For example, Google’s newly-released incremental upgrade, Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean,” has already started rolling out to Galaxy Nexus phones. It could be six months or more before the One X, Galaxy S III, and the Razr Maxx get Jelly Bean (although Samsung is rumored to be getting Jelly Bean before the end of the summer -- that would be a welcome development, but we’ll see if it materializes).
So there you have it. If you’re in the market for a new Android device , I’d recommend the HTC One X, except for heavy business users (get the Droid Razr Maxx) or serious Android fanatics (get the Galaxy Nexus).
Also read: Android's one killer feature that trumps the iPhone (CNET)