We compare one of the most powerful smartphones on the market – the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC’s first 3D glasses-less handset, the Evo 3D.
HTC EVO 3D – 126 x 65 x 12.1 mm, 170g
Samsung Galaxy S II – 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm, 116g
Visually, both these handsets appear to be part of a growing trend of very thin, long and angular high-end smartphones which look very sci-fi in their dynamic. Perhaps it’s not to everyone’s tastes but it certainly struck a chord with us and we can only hope it continues to take off, as we’re rather fond of the prospect of carrying more quirky ‘card’ style phones round in our pockets.
The Samsung has a slight edge in the looks department as the Galaxy is a bit thinner than the Evo which makes it the sleeker looking of the two and it is also considerably lighter.
Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II
The HTC has two fairly humble options for onboard storage with either
The Samsung is on the same level as the Evo when it comes to RAM also having
The 4 GB option for the Evo is not bad but for higher-end phones we’d expect to see at least around 16 GB and against the Samsung the Evo simply can’t keep up as far as storage is concerned.
Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II
HTC has provided quite well for the Evo with a 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8660 dual-core processor running on the Snapdragon chipset and featuring an Adreno 220 graphics processing unit (GPU).
The new dual-core Snapdragons are extremely powerful processor setups and it was a good choice by HTC particularly for a 3D-focused handset. There isn’t much this phone can’t handle with this much power behind it and we suspect this scenario won’t change any time soon.
Samsung has done an equally good job with the Galaxy S II its 1GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A9 under the Orion chipset together with a Mali-400MP GPU. The story is the same again, this setup will not flinch at pretty much anything at the moment in terms of apps and multimedia and it is powerful enough to be reasonably future proof – it should be a while before we see something to make the Galaxy S II sweat a bit.
The HTC does, however, have the slight edge in terms of raw figures with that extra 0.2 GHz rumbling away under the bonnet.
Winner – HTC Evo 3D
Being a stereoscopic 3D phone the HTC Evo’s primary setup is purpose-built with a pair of 5-megapixel cameras at 2560Ñ 1920 resolution. However, between the two cameras the 3D glasses-less images and video are captured at around 2-megapixel quality. Video capture quality varies depending on whether you use 3D or not. In 2D the Evo captures at 1080p while in 3D its 720p. The secondary camera is 1.3-megapixels and other features include dual LED flash and geo-tagging.
The Samsung doesn’t dabble with all that 3D business and instead opts for raw 2D power with an 8-megapixel primary at 3264×2448 resolution and 1080p. The Galaxy S II also has a secondary 2-megapixel camera. The additional camera features are fairly comprehensive with autofocus, LED flash, touch focus, geo-tagging, image stabilisation and both face and smile recognition.
Despite the fact that the Galaxy’s camera is superior for 2D images and video, the specific 3D role of the Evo can’t be ignored. The quality may not be the same but if you’re into your 3D technology it’s obviously going to be a substantial plus point to have glasses-less stereoscopic ability. If you’re not so fussed about 3D then the Galaxy is certainly the way to go.
Winner – Draw
HTC’s Evo 3D features a 4.3-inch capacitive LCD touchscreen at 540 x 960 resolution with multi-touch input, accelerometer and gyro and the HTC Sense user interface (UI).
The Galaxy S II comes equipped with Samsung’s own Super Amoled Plus capacitive touchscreen measuring in at 4.3-inches with a resolution of 480 x 800. The Super Amoled plus screen features reinforced ‘Gorilla Glass’ to help prevent scratch damage as well as multi-touch input and the usual gyro and accelerometer sensors. The Galaxy S II runs the TouchWiz 4.0 UI and features a Swype text input.
Overall the Galaxy’s display setup is more feature packed but the higher resolution of the Evo means HTC’s offering is not without its tricks. The Super Amoled Plus screen of the Galaxy does however have its advantages, namely being brighter than standard LCD’s and with more vivid colours, plus it is more battery efficient.
Winner – Draw
The operating system isn’t really any area where these handsets really lock horns as they’re both on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the latest smartphone build from Google, which is the most sensible choice these manufacturers could have made.
Whilst 3.0 Honeycomb for tablets shows up some areas in which Gingerbread could improve, on its own merits it is a very good system with many enhancements over its predecessors, not least of which are an improved and more responsive touch keyboard and better multitasking.
We’re hoping future iterations of Android for smartphones bring the browsing experience in line with Honeycomb on tablets but that’s pretty much its only pitfall. Both these phones have enough processing power to run Gingerbread with silky smooth performance.
Winner – Draw
Much as with the operating system category these phones are more or less equally matched when it comes to apps. They’re both powerful enough to run anything currently on the Android Market with no signs of a struggle and should continue to perform this way for the foreseeable future.
It should be noted that although 3D specific games and apps haven’t really taken off yet with only the Evo and LG’s Optimus 3D on the market, but in time it’s something we expect to see generating a lot of interest and the Evo will have the advantage of being ready to run them. However, the low on board storage capacity could be a stumbling block as you’re not going to be able to have many big, snazzy 3D titles on the handset at the same time unless you get a microSD card – and that costs money.
The Galaxy S II might not be 3D capable but it’s got a big enough capacity to hold as many apps and games as you could possibly want.
Winner – Draw
These handsets are both at the top of their game, in terms of comparison though their games are very different. They’re both very powerful but the Evo is a 3D-oriented phone and much of the design has of course been influenced by this. It has meant the camera, aside from its 3D applications, is not as powerful as it could have been, and for whatever reason storage space has not been given priority on the Evo.
The Galaxy is best at simply being a straight smartphone with a fantastic camera, loads of storage space and plenty of processing power to back it all up. If we were choosing what to spend our own cold hard cash on it would be the Galaxy S II, but then we’re personally not really bothered about 3D.
If, however, you’re a dedicated fan of all things three-dimensional the HTC Evo is a first-class choice.