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Best Ice Cream Sandwich Experience: S3, One X Or RAZR MAXX?

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The Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX got its Ice Cream Sandwich update earlier this summer, making it the first of Motorola’s phones to get it. The update means that the MAXX has recent apps support, as well as multi-tasking, the people app and folder creation through drag and drop. Motorola included some of its own apps, like one for the camera, as well as an enhanced browser and a new series of lock screens. So how will ICS on the Motorola RAZR MAXX measure up to the one’s that came ready in the top two Android phones this year – the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X? Let’s have a look to see who offers the best Android experience from a software angle.

Best Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience: Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX, Samsung Galaxy S3 or HTC One X

The MAXX’s lock screen uses Face Unlock, like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X. Users can unlock their phones with a ring of shortcuts on the display while the phone is locked. HTC goes a bit further with a themed lock screen that lets people use social media without unlocking.

Lock screen winner: HTC One X.

Multi-tasking with the RAZR MAXX by using a long press on the home button will bring a recent apps overlay like that on the Samsung Galaxy S3. Holding down Search launches voice search, and long pressing the menu gives a list of options dependent on your location. The HTC Sense multi-tasks better than the MAXX due to its 3D scrollable menu which helps you to move between apps. It’s also fun to close app windows by flicking them into the air. One drawback to the HTC One X is that it’s more aggressive in closing apps than the other two. If you’re a serious multi-tasker this can be a pain. For this reason alone the Samsung Galaxy S3 wins here thanks to its balance of form and function.

Multi-tasking winner: GS3.

On the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the MAXX, the browsers sync to Chrome, which keeps bookmarks up-to-date. Camera-wise, the MAXX lets you take photos and record videos at the same time, like the other two. The phone’s volume keys double as a camera shutter, and they can also be used to zoom. Samsung edges ahead due to features like Best Shot and Share Shot, which rapid-shares photos over Wi-Fi. The One X has rapid fire shooting that’s better than any third party app on the Google Play store.

Winner: HTC One X and GS3.

Looks-wise, the MAXX’s ICS Blur user interface looks just like stock ICS – beautiful. The HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3 are lagging behind a bit as it still looks a bit like Gingerbread.

Winner: Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX

To sum up, with Motorola running ICS, users will have a similar experience to TouchWiz, but Samsung goes one better in the Samsung Galaxy S3 with added-features like S-Voice, S-Beam, Buddy Photo Share and Smart Stay. The HTC One X is designed well, with better camera filters (although Samsung’s photo software is better for editing shots). TouchWiz squeaks ahead of the others in the Android 4.0 skin because of its innovative features and overall implementation of them.

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy S3.

Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.