Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One

May 8, 2013 •

The technology march continues and two of the best Android phones ever have just been released: the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. But what are the differences and which one should you get?

Both are premium, high-end devices; either would serve most people’s needs very well. However, there are some key differences that may swing your interest to one over the other.

Galaxy S4 vs HTC One

Fit and Finish
The Galaxy S4 does not stray from Samsung’s already established aesthetics. The S4 is made from polycarbonate and has the same basic look as the previous versions in the line. It is thin and light, and it is actually almost the same size as the S3, despite having a larger screen. It also has a removable back so you can change out the battery.

The HTC One is a fairly big departure from HTC’s past efforts. It has a “Zero-gap” aluminum design with a curved back, which makes it feel very nice and solid to hold. The design is reminiscent of the iPhone’s well known premium finish and materials. The phone does end up being slightly thick and heavier than the S4 because of the materials and design, but this is barely noticeable. The extra weight actually makes it feel more substantial.

Both of these phones use a 1920 x 1080 screen resolution, which is fairly standard on high end phones these days. There are a couple of differences in this area though.

Samsung is sticking with their tried and true Super AMOLED technology that they have been using on all of their recent Galaxy phones. It has amazing color saturation and deep black levels.

HTC is using a Super LCD 3 panel. It does not have the amazing colors of the S4, but it is quite a bit brighter making it easier to see in bright lighting conditions (such as sunlight).

Samsung’s panel is also slightly bigger at 5 inches versus 4.7 inches. This means more screen space but slightly less ppi (pixels per inch). The S4 has 441 ppi while the One has 468 ppi. Both outpace the iPhone 5 at 326 ppi, but most people will not notice the difference.

Both phones put their own skins on top of the Android OS. Samsung has the latest version of Touchwiz and HTC has Sense 5.0. The Galaxy S4 is running the latest Android version 4.2, but the HTC One is still stuck a version back at 4.1 for the time being.

Samsung’s latest Touchwiz has added many new features to the experience. The new Airview lets you preview things like emails by just hovering your finger above the screen. The S4 can also track your eyes using the front facing camera. So if you look away from a video, Smart Pause will pause it for you until you look back. They have also added Multiview (debuted on the Note line) which lets you view multiple apps side by side.

HTC has streamlined their Sense experience compared to phones of the past. The biggest feature is HTC’s Blinkfeed. It streams updates from news and social media into one place for easy access. You can add various news networks and categories as well as all of your social media feeds. The idea is to bring all the news relevant to you in one place.

There are very big differences in the cameras this time around. Samsung has gone with higher resolution at 13 megapixels. HTC has gone with what they call Ultrapixel.

HTC’s approach is fairly unique. They have lowered the Megapixel count to 4 while keeping the image sensor the same size. This means the individual pixels are much bigger than they used to be and can capture more light. In practice this means the HTC One has great lowlight performance and the resolution is good enough for most people. However, if you want high detail shots for more than just posting on Facebook you may be disappointed.

Samsung has gone with the opposite approach and increased the pixel count to 13 megapixels. So it can take very detailed, sharp pictures if there is enough ambient light. Samsung is also including a bevy of neat features. Like the ability to take photos and record videos from the front and back cameras at the same time. Samsung also has a feature called “Eraser” which lets you remove subjects from shots (photo bombers beware).

Overall both phones are great choices for anyone looking for a high end Android phone.

And ProClip will be providing custom mounting solutions for both!