Today two smartphones compete in what I consider to be the end battle of a saga that has lasted months. You all know them: the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. Both fight it out to win the favor of Android fans worldwide. What each device can do and what makes them so different from one another will be shown in today's video.
Samsung hasn't wavered from its typical look. When comparing it to its predecessor the S3, the changes made to the S4's body are very minimal. The classic lines are clearer, the screen is now bigger at 5'', though the chassis has remained the same size.
In terms of material, the Samsung device is yet again made of polycarbonate and a glossy varnish. The speaker is on the backside, while the camera slightly juts out. The battery is interchangeable and the storage can be expanded with a micro SD card.
HTC has gone down a completely different road: the HTC One is made from a seamless aluminum unibody, which gives it a much more elegant look when compared to the S4. At 4.7'', the display is slightly smaller, adorned with a black border. The chassis has practically the same dimensions. The speakers are visible on the front side, while the camera lens has been blended right into the chassis. Though the unibody looks pretty sleek, it does have one disadvantage: you can't switch out the battery.
Both displays are head-to-head, each boasting a full HD resolution at 1080p. That being said, the HTC One's pixel density is slightly higher due to its smaller display, though this isn't even visible to the naked eye. When it comes to what type of display they've chosen, HTC went with a super LCD3, while the Galaxy S4 opted for a super AMOLED.
The HTC One is brighter, radiating sharper contrasts, which is optimized for day light. Nevertheless, its picture rendering is overall a little cooler. Back to the S4: it has stronger and fuller colors, as well as a deeper black. Both are in the same league for contrast and dynamic range, making for some incredibly sharp visuals.
Processor and Performance
Both speak the same language when it comes down to hardware, portrayed by their choice of the quad-core Snapdragon 600 processors and 2 gigabytes of memory. That being said, the S4 ticks faster at 1.9 GHz. Again, it's tie in the benchmark test and in practice as well.
The S4 is also faster with its stock browser, but with the Chrome browser, they're both equal in terms of speed. Browsing with the menu also proved to be fast and smooth. Apps started up without delay and there was no real difference in terms of performance.
The biggest differences are noticed within the software. The Galaxy S4 already has the newest Android version 4.2.2, complemented by the TouchWiz user interface. Like we've seen in our various tests, the S4 is really jam-packed with many new software features, an innovation that up till now, no other smartphone has ever had. The HTC One has Android 4.1.2 on board, but should be getting an update in the near future. HTC combined Android with its own user interface Sense 5, though it boasts significantly fewer special software features. The most important of the extras is BlinkFeed, a news feed that is always on the go.
Both devices went different routes with their cameras. Shudder bugs should be pumped about HTC'S choice of a 4 megapixel lens with Ultrapixel technology and luminous intensity. Though the camera was curiously not up to par during our first test, the One received an update which distinctly improved the image quality. Samsung brings a 13 MP camera to the table with a whole laundry list of extra features. With HTC's update, the cameras will be re-tested in a separate article, which will also include video test.
Now it's the final factor: which smartphone is better and which one should you choose? First off, hardware and technology for both are above and beyond, neither was crowned the winner. These are the questions you should ask yourself: Aluminum or plastic? AMOLED or LCD? TouchWiz or Sense?
The HTC One stands apart with its elegant craftsmanship and choice of material. It's LCD display and Sense interface design are my personal favorites.
The Galaxy S4 has the advantage of having an interchangeable battery and a microSD slot, not to mention its whole gamut of Software features.
Like any decision of this kind, it's definitely a matter of taste. Which one do you prefer?