This is our the first smartphone we’ve seen with a 28nm SoC, and thus battery life is the big question. Further, the handset includes all the onboard MSM8960 radio goodness as we’ll mention in a bit. The problem with some HTC phones for the longest time was that they shipped with smaller than average batteries - while the competition continued up past 6 Whr, HTC would ship phones with 5 or so. That changes with the HTC One X, which includes a 6.66 Whr (1800 mAh, 3.7V) internal battery. I’m presenting the same battery capacity chart that we did in the Xolo X900 review for a frame of reference.

Like we did with the X900 review, we’re going to present the normalized battery performance - battery life divided by battery capacity - to give a better idea for how this compares with the competition.

Battery Capacity

As a reminder, the browsing tests happen at 200 nits and consist of a few dozen pages loaded endlessly over WCDMA or WiFi (depending on the test) until the phone powers off. The WiFi hotspot tethering test consists of a single attached client streaming 128 kbps MP3 audio and loading four tabs of the page loading test through the handset over WCDMA with the display off.

Web Browsing (Cellular 3G - EVDO or WCDMA)

HTC is off to an incredible start with our 3G web browsing tests. Even if you assume that Android and iOS are on even footing from a power efficiency standpoint, the HTC One X is easily able to equal Apple's best in terms of battery life. In reality my guess is that the 4S is at a bit of an unfair advantage in this test due to how aggressive iOS/mobile Safari can be about reducing power consumption, but either way the AT&T One X does amazing here. The advantage isn't just because of the larger battery either, if we look at normalized results we see that the One X is simply a more efficient platform than any other Android smartphone we've tested:

Normalized Battery Life - Web Browsing (Cellular 3G)

The Tegra 3 based international One X doesn't do as well. NVIDIA tells us that this is because of differences in software. We'll be testing a newer build of the One X's software to see how much of an improvement there is in the coming days.

Moving onto WiFi battery life the AT&T One X continues to do quite well, although the Droid 4 and RAZR MAXX are both able to deliver longer battery life in this case:

Web Browsing (WiFi)

There are too many variables at play here (panel efficiency, WiFi stack, browser/software stack) to pinpoint why the One X loses its first place position, but it's still an extremely strong performer. Once again we see a noticeable difference between it and the international One X.

Normalized Battery Life - Web Browsing (WiFi)

The big question is how well does the AT&T One X do when we're using the MSM8960's LTE baseband? Pretty darn well, when you consider that it's bested only by the RAZR MAXX with its gargantuan battery. Probably the most notable comparison point here is the HTC Vivid or Galaxy Note on AT&T which both are based on the APQ8060 + MDM9200 combination. 

As a reminder, the Verizon / CDMA2000 LTE devices here are at a bit of a disadvantage due to virtually all of those handsets camping CDMA2000 1x for voice and SMS. The AT&T LTE enabled devices use circuit switched fallback (CSFB) and essentially only camp one air interface at a time, falling back from LTE to WCDMA to exchange a call.

Web Browsing (Cellular 4G WiMAX or LTE)

This particular graph doesn't tell the full story however. In practice the AT&T One X seems to last a lot longer using LTE than any LTE Android phone we've tested in the past. Nipping at the heels of the RAZR MAXX, we need to look at normalized battery life to get an idea of just how efficient the new 28nm LTE enabled SoC is:

Normalized Battery Life - Web Browsing (Cellular 4G)

Now that we have 28nm baseband we've immediately realized some power gains. As time progresses, the rest of the RF chain will also get better. Already most of the LTE power amplifiers vendors have newer generation parts with higher PAE (Power-Added Efficiency), and such improvements will hopefully continue to improve things and gradually bring LTE battery life closer to that of 3G WCDMA or EVDO.

Using the AT&T One X as a WiFi hotspot is also going deliver a pretty great experience:

WiFi Hotspot Battery Life (3G)

WiFi Hotspot Battery Life (4G)

As an LTE hotspot the RAZR MAXX's larger battery is able to deliver a longer run time, however the One X does very well given its battery capacity and size.

Finally, our cellular talk time charts put the AT&T One X in the upper half of our results. Overall the AT&T One X appears to do very well across the board, but it's very strong in the 3G/LTE tests.

Cellular Talk Time

Normalized Battery Life - Cellular Talk Time

 

Software - ICS with Sense 4 Performance
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  • GTaudiophile - Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - link

    I personally bought my first smartphone last week when Google started offering the Galaxy Nexus directly for $399. At first I thought I wouldn't like the screen size but after having used it for a few days, I can't imagine having something smaller. I received the phone in two days and have so far had zero issues. It came with ICS 4.0.4 installed.

    The biggest selling point for me is the pentaband 3G radio. As someone who is loyal to TMO USA AND a frequent business traveler to Europe, the pentaband 3G gives me a lot of flexibility that no other phone to-date can. If either the One S or X came with pentaband, I would have bought one, even though I do like having a stock Google OS.

    I have no doubt the HTC One X and S are great, but I am happy with my Galaxy Nexus. I don't think it will have a problem getting me down the road for at least a year or two.
    Reply
  • ectoplasmosis - Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - link

    "I’m still waiting for a platform that can do 720p60 properly"

    That platform, here now, is an iPhone 4S paired with the SloPro app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/slopro/id507232505

    The paid version can export raw 60fps files in 720p.
    Reply
  • UltraTech79 - Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - link

    I wonder how high the 4S can go, and if it ends up being limited by the SoC or the flash storage. Reply
  • nitrousoxide - Thursday, May 03, 2012 - link

    3G time and LTE time are almost identical. Is the phone really running on LTE when you are testing? Reply
  • darklordkk - Thursday, May 03, 2012 - link

    9GB and 2GB?? Why?? Taking into account formatting, that's only around ~13GB at max. Where'd the 3GB go??

    Even the ye olde Galaxy S i9000 had 16GB partitioned into 2GB for apps and data (1.85 shown) and 14GB for data (13.43 shown)..
    Reply
  • One43637 - Thursday, May 03, 2012 - link

    I'm always amazed at how in depth your reviews are AT. Love them, please keep up the great work!

    Great HW, I'm just slightly disappointed that the US version gets a neutered 16GB of storage, with no micro SD slot for expansion. I know the big deal was to use Dropbox to help augment that, but with really no true unlimited data options for the majority of wireless providers, this seems like a very big trap door.

    I also have read somewhere that the AT&T version doesn't even include Dropbox like the international version. Great job AT&T and HTC... /facepalm

    At least give me the option to buy a 32GB version!
    Reply
  • vision33r - Thursday, May 03, 2012 - link

    No MicroSD card, what good is a 720p screen when I can't carry all my animes and movies on the device. That means I can only store DivX lowres movies in order to fit in the built in storage.

    Lame, SGS3 will dominate sales.
    Reply
  • glenns - Friday, May 04, 2012 - link

    "The phone is machined, not injection molded, from a single machined piece of polycarbonate plastic, and feels anything but cheap in the palm."

    Can I ask where this bit of information came from ? As someone who works in the plastic moulding industry its just seems very unlikely on a mass produced product. I cant see any benefit from machining a thermoset plastic like polycarbonate as opposed to injection moulding
    Reply
  • Mbonus - Friday, May 04, 2012 - link

    I thought HTC was one of the manufacturers that was going to provide unlocked bl. Not so for the early released units. Reply
  • ArmedandDangerous - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    They already have, couple of weeks ago :) Reply

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