Kudos to Samsung; Shame on Moto & HTC. Why? Read on...
I went phone shopping today for my fiancee, and I finally got a chance to play around with the latest generation of Android devices. Coming from a Galaxy S 2, I had high expectations.
The highest expectations were reserved for the HTC One S. Of course the X is even more high-end, but the S remains highly-spec'd at the reasonable 4.3" screen-size form factor. The HOS is sweet-looking. Very nice industrial design, and a gorgeous screen. However, the OS transitions and web browsing were downright jittery. Not smooth at all in the transitions. Kind of like watching a 24fps movie on a 30fps TV without any conversion. It's disturbing.
Then we went to Verizon and saw the precise same situation with Moto's latest and greatest hardware. Now, animations like opening and closing the app draw were quite smooth and silky. But the side-by-side app screens, home screen, and -again- web browsing were jittery!
Compared to my "last generation" Samsung -- which is as smooth as butta' through and through -- I was quite underwhelmed. How could these phones have all this horsepower and still come up short on the animation smoothness?
I do have a theory: my GS2 has a quad-core GPU.. and is blessed (yes, I said blessed) with TouchWiz. I have a theory that TouchWiz, for all of it's aesthetic challenges, shines when it comes to optimizing screen/animation performance. I think Samsung software engineers have been overlooked as they continue to pump out the smoothest implementation of Android in the world... including stock.
I also wonder why this aspect of performance is not covered in The Verge reviews?