Screen wars: The HTC One S vs the HTC One X

Screen-wars

A few weeks ago on Nothing But Tablets, Aaron took a closer look at the LCD IPS screen on the Kindle Fire and the Super AMOLED display on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. Basically, he concluded that the LCD screen was a bit brighter, with purer whites, while the AMOLED screen won in terms of color and overall clarity. Andreas later offered his thoughts on the iPad 3’s retina display versus other AMOLED devices, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to take a closer look at the screens on the top two phones in the HTC One series: the HTC One S and One X.

As you may know by now, the One S sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display (qHD, 540×960), while the One X has a 4.7-inch Super LCD2 screen, along with 720p HD resolution and a high pixel density reading of 312ppi. Despite the resolution difference, I do have to admit that both screens look really good and offer near 180 degree viewing angles.

The Super AMOLED screen on the One S certainly offers more vivid greens, reds, blues, and yellows (I ran a screen test side by side with the One X). There are also much darker blacks, but this is to be expected of all AMOLED screens.

However, in general, everyday use, I have noticed that images and especially text are not quite as crisp or sharp, which doesn’t make for very comfortable long-term viewing or reading. This shortcoming is of course due to the qHD resolution, but the superior colors of the AMOLED screen do not make up for this very noticable flaw. Additionally, I did notice some slight discoloration at extreme viewing angles.

On the other hand, the Super LCD2 display on the One X indeed has brighter whites that just look more white. In general, it is brighter all around, although that brightness does seem to cause some of the colors to be more washed out.

Still, clarity and sharpness are far better, especially for reading. This is definitely due to the 720p display, which is the really the sharpest I’ve seen on a phone yet.

So which is the winner? Personally, for me, it’s the HTC One X and its Super LCD2 display. However, I would not have known any better if I had never been exposed to the One X and was using only the One S as my daily device. Coming from the HTC EVO 3D, the Super AMOLED display seems much, much better, even though it’s the same resolution. And if you’re on T-Mobile, the One S is definitely the way to go.

I realize that different people value different things: to someone else, the more vivid colors of the One S could be more important than the higher-resolution of the One X. However, after seeing the screen on the One X, it would be difficult for me to go back to using the One S full time.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.