In 2013, the race for best Android smartphones is competitive than ever. While Galaxy S4 takes forward the legacy of Samsung’s successful Galaxy S series, One is HTC’s bet for bringing the top of the line features in a smartphone.
Both are getting good reviews from tech community and users alike, but which one is best for you. Instead of doing regular comparison between these two smartphones based on hardware specs, we bring to you what sets them apart from each other. For more details, you can check out our HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 review.
HTC One has been garnering appreciation for its sleek aluminum body giving it a very distinct and classy look. The body have been chiseled from a single aluminum which means there is zero gap between the body and its display, though it also makes the battery non-removable. The use of aluminum makes the body thick weighing at 143 g.
The use of plastic body Galaxy S4 design is very familiar with its predecessor- Galaxy SIII or for that matter other Samsung smartphones like Note 2 and Galaxy Grand. But, it seems Samsung has been able to make S4 slimmer and lighter than its predecessor weighing 130 g. Its back-cover is also removable to reveal battery and slots for microSIM and microSD cards.
Hardware at a Glance
|Parameter||HTC One||Samsung Galaxy S4|
|Dimensions (in mm)||137.4 X 68.2 X 9.30||136.6 X 69.8 X 7.90|
|Weight (in g)||143||130|
|Screen (in inches)||4.7||4.99|
|Screen Resolution (pixels)||1920 x 1080 (Full HD)||1920 x 1080 (Full HD)|
|Pixel Density (in pixel per inches)||468||441|
|Processor||1.7 GHz quad-core||1.9 GHz quad-core/ 1.6 GHz octa-core|
|Internal Storage||16 GB/ 32 GB||16 GB|
|External Storage||NA||up to 64 GB|
|RAM||2 GB||2 GB|
|Battery||Li-ion 2300 mAh||Li-ion 2600 mAh|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, IR, DLNA, NFC||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, IR, NFC|
While most of the configuration remains same, the biggest difference is HTC One’s inability to expand memory via memory cards. For processor, both HTC One and Galaxy S4 have a quad-core processor, but S4 is also available in an octa-core variant (Samsung will release only one of the variant at any place). But, the octa-core processor is actually two quad-core processors, and only one of them will work at a time.
Sound, Display and Imaging
HTC One has taken a bold step for its camera, instead of going after the number of mega pixels, the camera has 4 MP sensor, but packing in more amount of pixels, calling it as ultrapixel. The camera works well in low lightning conditions, though isn’t comparable with smartphones having better MP camera in normal conditions. Apart from basic features like face detection, geotagging, etc., HTC has introduced an interesting manner of capturing instances called as Zoes. Zoes are like a short video of 3.6 seconds which are shareable on HTC’s zoeshare website or to various social networks. HTC One also have a 2 MP front camera for video calling purposes. HTC has dual speakers at the front, which they call as BoomSound making the songs really loud.
The screen of Galaxy S4 is slightly bigger than HTC One’s. However, I prefer the Super LCD3 screen of HTC One because it looks brighter and it produces colors much more accurately than the Super AMOLED display on Galaxy S4. It makes the whole watching experience much better on HTC One.
Samsung has packed a 13 MP primary camera in S4 with auto focus and LED flash. It’s also capable of taking videos at [email protected]. Its secondary camera of 2 MP is also able of taking Full HD videos. S4 has a single speaker which is loud enough, but still incomparable to HTC One. It has lots of innovative features for camera like:
- Dual Shot: Capturing images from both rear and front camera simultaneously, so that the person taking the picture also becomes part of the picture.
- Sound and Shot: Adding up to 6 seconds of voice with the image.
- Eraser: While taking a picture, many a times a moving object gives the image a blurred look. With eraser, one can remove the blurry part by taking few images of the scene quickly.
- Drama Shot: It captures continuous moments to convert them into a time lapsed photo.
- Story Album: Creating an album based on the theme, location where it was taken, title, etc. and even adding themes to it. One can also order the print version of the album.
Software and add-ons
HTC One runs on Android 4.1.2 (JellyBean) with its own customization on its top called as Sense. HTC have added a Blinkfeed on One’s home screen- which is flipboard like magazine providing user with the latest happenings around the world (curated content based on user’s selection such as news, technology, business, etc.). It also provides friends update on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. HTC One has IR blaster, which makes it double up as a remote.
Samsung Galaxy S4 runs on the latest version of Android 4.2.2 with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. Samsung has added tons of features on S4-
- Air View: Hovering over the information like emails, messages, thumbnail of images in gallery, etc. without even clicking it.
- Air Gestures: Changing tracks in media player or seeing next and previous images by moving hand/palm over the S4.
- Smart Pause: Video is automatically paused if user’s eyes are not looking on the screen.
- Smart Scroll: Scrolling webpages by moving eyes in front of the smartphone.
- Group Play: Connecting up to 8 devices for sharing files or playing games or playing media by turning each of the devices as stereo speakers.
- WatchON: S4 provides an interactive TV guide about the shows running on the TV and can also be used as a remote due to its IR blaster feature.
- S Health: The smartphone acts as a health assistant by providing details about workout, eating, walking, and calories burnt, etc.
- KNOX: This feature is targeted towards enterprise customers who want a balance between their work life and personal life. It creates two separate accounts having apps, email accounts, etc. for the user.
Not only these, S4 has many more software enhancements. Though, many of these features seems to be gimmick and may not find use in practical situations.
Both of the smartphones are equally good as an overall package of powerful hardware and intuitive software features. If you’re looking for making a style statement, then look no further than HTC One, it’s really one of the best designed smartphones ever. But, if you’re looking for software enhancements and good camera, then Galaxy S4 can’t be beaten.
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The design of Galaxy S4 is better than the HTC One, and the overall performance will also be leaded by the S4. However, I’ve heard that the camera quality of the HTC One is much better than the Galaxy S4, and apart from that, it has got some good connectivity features. Both has unique advantages and benefits of their own, both are equally awesome.
Tuan Do says
Yes, I agree with most of your points.
I prefer the aluminum body of HTC One, it is just so gorgeous and different. I think HTC One has advantages in the design and awesome camera. However, the Galaxy S4 is still slightly better.
I’ve had a Samsung Galaxy for forever, and so I know that they can last a long time. I’ve never used an HTC before and I’m a little worried they might not last as long. Does anyone know how long HTC phones will last? I usually like to use my phones for a long, long time.
Tuan Do says
I don’t use any phone for more than 6 month, so I’m not sure how durable it is. However, I have seen some build issues with the HTC One and probably you won’t like it. You can check out my HTC One review for more details. One more thing, if you have any issue with the HTC One, it will be very difficult and expensive to replace components.