After months of waiting, the Samsung Galaxy S4 was officially unveiled last night during a press event held in New York. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is expected to become the fastest-selling Android-powered smartphone ever, but there are already lots of interesting smartphones out there that will try to stop it, and HTC One is one of them.
The HTC One saw the light of day a couple of days before Mobile World Congress 2013 event opened its gates for the public and its design and technical specifications are recommending it as one of the big overachievers of the Android segment. Of course, the Sony Xperia Z is also one of the smartphones that will perform well on the market in 2013, but we will talk about it in a different article.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One belong to the same generation of smartphones, so you will find a lot of similarities in terms of specifications. They are both running on Android Jelly Bean, but each company fitted their proprietary user interfaces on top of Google’s mobile platform.
Since Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One will definitely rule the Android smartphone segment, we though it’s time to put them head to in a Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One battle. It will definitely be an interesting battle between two of the most powerful smartphones out there.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One battle will consist of eight rounds where we will be judging the smartphones’ performance when it comes to Display, Dimensions, Design, Memory, Processor, Connectivity, Camera, and Operating System. We will award 1 point for the winner of each round and after the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One battle comes to an end we will draw the line and see which of the two is the winner.
To me, and I am sure that to many of you, the display is one of the most important aspects of a smartphone. Why? Because every time you do something on your smartphone, the display is what you are looking at, so, in my opinion, the user should always love the display of his/her smartphone.
Just like we predicted after the first flagship smartphones saw the light of day in early 2013, the 5-inch full HD displays have became the standard for the Android high-end smartphone segment.
In the red corner there’s the HTC One packing a 4.7-inch Super LCD3 display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorilla Glass 2 protection and a pixel density of 469 ppi.
In the blue corner is the Samsung Galaxy S4 boasting a 5-inch full HD display with Super AMOLED technology, 441 ppi, and a Gorilla Glass 3 layer that protects it against scratches.
Even though two displays are fairly similar when it comes to size (S4′s is slightly bigger), resolution and pixel density (One has higher ppi, but I am sure most of the users will not notice it), they are using different technologies for the screen panel.
As mentioned above the Galaxy S4 comes with a Super AMOLED panel, while the HTC One has a Super LCD3 screen. Both displays have their ups and downs. The Super AMOLED panel is unrivaled when it comes to brightness, or contrast, but the color reproduction is not as accurate as you would expect. Both come with great viewing angels, but the Super LCD3 display smashes the Super AMOLED panel when it comes to visibility under direct sunlight.
Because the two smartphones come with great displays and because this round was very tight, we will call it a draw.
The size and the weight of the smartphone is also important for many of the users, so let’s have a look at them.
The HTC One measures 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm and has a weight of 143 grams. On the other hand the Samsung Galaxy S4 is 136.6 mm tall, 69.8 mm wide and only 7.9 mm thin, while weighing 130 grams. Even though it has to accommodate a bigger display it’s not as tall as the HTC One, but it is wider than the Taiwanese flagship. Moreover, the S4 is 13 grams lighter than the One and 1.4 mm thinner.
Because the Samsung Galaxy S4 is thinner and lighter than the HTC One, the dimensions round is won by the flagship smartphone of the South Korean phone maker.
Well, we have a winner here even before starting to compare their design and construction, but let’s do it anyway.
Samsung Galaxy S4 continues the design language introduced last year on the Galaxy S3 and continued on the Galaxy Note 2. Looking like a smaller Galaxy Note 2, the Samsung Galaxy S4 uses policarbonate for the back lid that can be remove to grant access to the battery.
Samsung has kept the physical Home button in the low end of the front panel, have made the capacitive buttons less visible when not illuminated and placed the front sensors in line with the earpiece, changes that should offer a simpler, more unitary look.
The edges and the side buttons with metallic finishings are increasing the sensation that the materials used are more premium, even though Samsung used policarbonate for the Galaxy S4 case.
On the back of the smartphone you will find the camera and the LED flash that now sits jut above the Samsung logo. Compared to the Galaxy S3, the speaker was placed in the lower left corner, probably in order to enhance its usability while holding the smartphone in landscape mode or with various accessories.
Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available in two body colors, “Black Must” and “White Forst,” but Samsung also offers a series of multicolored cases and promised that the S4 will receive more body colors later this year.
On the other hand, HTC One has an innovating design, with visual elements that differentiate it from any other previous HTC model, or from competition’s smartphones. The HTC logo was placed on the bottom end of the front panel, between the Home and Back capacitive buttons.
The two dotted grills that cover the front stereo speakers are hinting towards a high-quality sound system, capable of fulfilling the dreams of the music enthusiast.
Just like it happened with other HTC smartphones, the sound is powered by Beats Audio, a fact confirmed by the logo visible on the back of the smartphone, the combination between the amplifying technology and the two speakers being called BoomSound.
The rounded and chromed edges were designed to make HTC look thinner and to highlight the display. Still, this aspect might not please all the users, and we are eager to see how the metal used for the unibody case will behave in time.
The back side of the HTC One was designed around the new camera sensor called UltraPixel, accompanied by the LED flash and, again, the HTC logo. The curved body should provide more grip, and the premium materials used by the Taiwan-based company should make HTC One one of the most stylish smartphones out there. One is available in two body colors: Silver and Black.
The internal storage is also important for many users. Just remember how many complained about Nexus 4′s 8 GB of internal storage.
On the HTC One we have 32 or 64 GB of internal storage and 2 GB of RAM. There is no microSD card slot, so without taking cloud storage into consideration you will be stuck on about 64 gigs of storage.
The new Samsung Galaxy S4 follows the recipe of its predecessors: 16, 32, 64 GB of storage plus microSD card support. Add 2 GB of RAM and that would be all about S4′s memory.
The point allocated to the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One memory battle goes to the South Korean flagship, courtesy of its microSD card slot.
The processor is the heart of the smartphone, and it’s the component that is makes the difference between a smartphone and a super-smartphone.
HTC One comes with a Snapdragon 600 chipset, introduced by Qualcomm at CES 2013, with quad-core configuration based on Krait 300 cores clocked at 1.7 GHz. The Snapdragon 600 also brings an Adreno 320 GPU and an integrated CPU, and the benchmarks have proven that the HTC One is scores twice as much points as its predecessor, the HTC One X.
Galaxy S4 will come with Samsung’s proprietary octo-core Exynos 5 Octa SoC, based on ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture. The chipset integrates four Cortex A15 cores at 1.6 GHz used for the tasks that require more processing power and four Cortex A7 cores for the basics tasks, meant to improve the battery life. The graphics processing unit is a tri-core PowerVR SGX 544MP3.
Because the LTE limitations of the Exynos 5 Octa chipset, the US variant of the S4 will come with the same Snapdragon 600 processor from the HTC One, but clocked at 1.9 GHz.
Well, the Exynos 5 Octa is obviously the more potent of the two, that’s why the Samsung Galaxy S4 scores another point in its battle against the HTC One.
Well, the high-end Android smartphones launched in 2013 are pretty much the same when it comes to connectivity features and the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One make no exception.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with 4G LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, infrared port, microUSB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack, and microUSB 2.0. Guess what, the HTC one has exactly the same connectivity features, so here’s another tie in the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One battle.
After the 41 megapixel sensor and the PureView technology introduced on Nokia 808, we thought that we won’t get any more innovation in the smartphone camera business.
But HTC introduced it’s own new technology on the One model, called UltraPixel, which uses a 4 megapixel sensor, but with higher dimensions, about 1/3 inch. The HTC One camera comes with optical image stabilization and a dedicated processor, being capable of recording full HD videos.
HTC claims that UltraPixel was the right choice in order to provide higher-quality photos. Even though the sensor only has 4 megapixels, it as the same size as an 8 megapixel unit, like the ones used on iPhone 5 or Nokia Lumia 920.
As a result, each pixel of the sensor is a lot bigger and it should provide better performance in low light conditions. HTC One’s UltraPixel camera is completed by two proprietary functions: HTC Zoe and HTC Zoe Share.
HTC Zoe allows the user to record a 3 secons full HD video (30 fps) together with a 16:9 jpeg photo with a resolution of 2688 x 1520 pixel. The result is displayed as an animated preview of the photo in the gallery.
Then, you can transfer the photo via HTC Zoe Share, which will generate a link, available for 30 days, which can be sent to your friends.
Front-facing camera of the HTC One has a 2.1 megapixel sensor, 88 degree aperture and full HD video recording support.
Samsung equipped Galaxy S4 with two cameras. The primary camera has a 13 megapixel sensor with autofocus, LED flash and Zero Shutter Lag technology which promises… well, zero shutter lag.
The front-facing camera has 2 megapixels and support for full HD video recording at 30 fps, as well with Zero Shutter Lag.
Samsung also introduced a new feature called “Dual camera” that allows the user to simultaneously use both cameras for taking photos (Dual Shot), recording videos (Dual Recording) and video calls (Dual Video Call).
The primary camera has several pre-set modes for taking pictures, HDR, and panoramic photos. Among the Galaxy S4 camera features you will find Eraser – allows the user to remove objects from pictures, Cinema Photo – creates a photo where selected objects move, while others freeze, Drama Shot – takes several pictures of the subject and merges them into a single photo, and all the functions that were introduced on its predecessor, the Galaxy S3.
We have to Android-powered in the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One battle, but each runs a different version of Google’s mobile operating system out of the box, and each device has a different user interface.
HTC One comes equipped with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and HTC’s proprietary user interface, dubbed New Sense.
Even though the Jelly Bean doesn’t come with any notable changes, New Sense (or Sense 5) brings HTC One closer to the smartphones belonging to the Nexus tribe, as the new UI has simpler, flatter, less annoying, but visible and easy to recognise graphic elements.
May smartphone enthusiasts are appreciating HTC especially for Sense and the changes brought by the Taiwan-based company might bother some of them. Anyway, the Android is so popular because of its customizability and there are a lot of ways to change the user interface of the smartphone.
HTC One also introduces BlinkFeed which is HTC’s way of bringing a flux of information, news, photos and social network updates, on the homescreen of their new smartphone. HTC signed partnership deals with a lot of publications in an attempt to bring the best news for their users.
Samsung Galaxy S4 is equipped with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and the TouchWiz Nature UI, making the new flagship one of the few smartphones to run the latest Android version out of the box.
Samsung also included a lot of new features and apps that should make the phone usage easier and, in the same time, attract the users with new ways of interaction.
Samsung Smart Pause allows the user to never miss a second of a video. Therefore, the video playback will be stopped each time when the user looks away from the display and it will be resumed as soon as the user looks back at the phone.
Samsung Smart Scroll will scroll a web page, email, or a document without the user touching the display. The Samsung Galaxy S4 recognises the user’s face and hand position allowing page scrolling.
Air View is a preview function working in a similar way it works with Galaxy Note 2′s S Pen. The user can preview the content of an email, gallery, or video by simply hovering the finger over the item.
Air Gesture allows the user to change a song, navigate through web pages or accept a call using hand gestures, but, once more, without touching the display.
Even though HTC’s BlinkFeed is a feature that I would like to see on any smartphone, Samsung’s TouchWiz brings a lot of new features to the world of Android smartphones, so, this round of the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One battle goes to the new-arrival. +1 Galaxy S4.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One battle has come to an end and it’s time to see which of the two smartphones scored more points.
The fight between the two ended up as a draw when it came to their Displays and Connectivity, because both come with similar-sized full HD display, and because they both have all the connectivity features worthy of high-end smartphones.
HTC One’s premium Design with unique lines has brought a point for the Taiwanese smartphone, while Samsung Galaxy S4 outmatched its opponent when it came to Dimensions, Memory, Processor, Camera, and Operating System, because it’s thinner and lighter than the HTC One, has microSD card support, it boasts an octo-core processor, brings more camera features, and the TouchWiz UI comes with a couple of interesting innovations, scoring 5 points.
Summing up the Samsung Galaxy S4 wins the battle against HTC One 5 to 1. Feel free to let us know if the battle should have had another winner, or if the score should have been more thigh. The comments section below is all yours.