Exclusive: HTC One X vs HTC One XL – Tegra 3 vs Snapdragon S4

We pit the the European and American versions of HTC's flagship beast against one another. Click on for the quad-core vs dual-core battle

If you've read our HTC One X review then you'll be well aware of the firepower on offer within its slender frame, thanks to Nvidia's impressive 1.5Ghz quad-core processor.

The US version of the HTC One X, the HTC One XL, differs in that it's powered by Qualcomm's new dual-core Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor, which may initially seem like an odd, under-powered choice given its dual-core label.

As with megapixels however, more isn't always better. Although a dual-core affair, the 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 chip in the HTC One XL has actually shown in recent online benchmarks to outgun its quad-core Tegra 3 rival in most areas, thanks to Qualcomm's newer and more advanced chip architecture and optimisation.

We've run some benchmarks of our own on our HTC One X review unit and compared them with the benchmarks available for the HTC One XL to see how the two chips fare against one another in the benchmarking arena.

Vellamo

Vellamo is Qualcomm's very own benchmarking tool and has been designed to measure which Android devices deliver the best real-world performance.

The Snapdragon S4-toting HTC One XL results were obtained from Android Central's forums, and give an overall score of 4,952, trouncing even the mighty Tegra 3-powered Asus Transformer Prime.

Our results for the Tegra 3 HTC One X served a comparatively low 1,661 in the same benchmark, despite the extra cores on offer.

AnTuTu

The Snapdragon-packing HTC One XL scored 6,388 in the AnTuTu benchmark (obtained from Android Central). The Tegra 3 HTC One X on the other hand scored a noticeably larger 10,143. This time the winners are reversed, so what gives?

We sent Qualcomm our results and asked them for clarification on the conflicting scores. Its response was to state that "The Vellamo benchmarking tool measures real-world performance, as opposed to AnTuTu which uses all CPU cores available to it".

Tegra 3's extra cores therefore appear to give the HTC One X an advantage in the AnTuTu benchmark, as it has more cores than the Snapdragon S4. According to Qualcomm's lab boffins, the AnTuTu benchmark doesn't accurately represent real-world use, at least in comparison to its own Vellamo tool.

It's also important to remember that most current applications still don't make use of all four cores, meaning that the Snapdragon S4's newer, more advanced core architecture is able to give Tegra 3 more than a little run for its money when running apps which run on two cores or less.

These tests of course can't truly replicate real-life use – a bunch of numbers can't beat living with a phone on a daily basis – but either way, it's safe to say that there's never been a better time for gadgeteers looking for a slice of pocketable mobile firepower.

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