Phones Review

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One, a question of timing

Under: HTC, Mobile Phones, Phone Debates, Samsung
Date: February 24th, 2013

Two of the smash hit smartphones of this year are likely to be the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. The HTC One finally became official at an event last week while the Galaxy S4 (S IV) hasn’t yet been formally introduced and so specs on this are as yet unconfirmed. We wonder how the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One will work out and consider this could all come down to a question of timing.

We’ve previously given readers a theoretical comparison of these two phones before either was official so now that the HTC One has been unveiled we’ll give you a brief rundown of the major specs of this highly impressive smartphone. We’ll follow this with some widely reported leaks and rumored specs for the Galaxy S4 but please bear in mind that we cannot confirm the S4 details yet. Nevertheless before a major product launch such as the Galaxy S4 we usually see an escalating amount of rumored specs, many of which turn out to be accurate. We’ll then look at the all-important aspect of timing that could turn out to be pivotal.

Firstly then the major specs of the HTC One are a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core Krait processor, 4.7-inch Super LCD 3 display with resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 469 ppi, 2GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of internal storage, non-expandable. There’s also a 4-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, LED flash, simultaneous video & image recording, 1080p video capture, HDR, video stabilization, stereo sound as well as a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p and HDR.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that this is ‘only’ a 4-megapixel rear camera as this is an UltraPixel sensor and HTC claims that every pixel can harness 300% more light than camera sensors on other smartphones. The HTC One also has a 2300 mAh battery, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 with AD2P, NFC and LTE connectivity (where applicable). It comes in three color options, black, silver or red and runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, upgradable to 4.2.2 with HTC Sense UI version 5. It also has some great features such as HTC BlinkFeed, HTC Boom Sound and the Zoe service.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is yet to be announced but we have some idea of what to expect. There has been plenty of talk about it using the Exynox Octa 5 processor but more recently there was rumor that this has been ditched in favor of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, the same as for the HTC One. We also think the Galaxy S4 could have a 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Other leaks mention a 2600 mAh battery and wireless charging and although many were hoping to see it launched on the next major Android OS, 5.0 Key Lime Pie, the closer we get to a release the more likely it seems it will launch on Jelly Bean with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI.

We’ve also heard of more factors that may come to the Galaxy S4 such as the handset including one of Samsung’s new flexible displays, using new 5G Wi-Fi technology, floating touch technology improved S Voice and new features including Eye Pause and Eye Scroll. It does seem likely that it will be launched in two color options, black or white. We already know then that the HTC One is a mighty-impressive smartphone but we also think the Galaxy S4 will be equally notable and are looking forward to finding out the details for sure.

galaxy-s4-htc-one2

Moving on to that all-important question of release timing and when the HTC One was introduced last week we asked readers if they were likely to purchase it straight away on release or wait to find out what the Galaxy S4 has to offer. Now it seems there may not be any time at all between the HTC One hitting the shelves and the Galaxy S4 being announced. HTC revealed at its big HTC One event that the phone would be released in March in some markets and we have since learned that in the UK it seems set to release around March 15 with a release in the US about one week later.

For some time we had heard that a Samsung Unpacked event to officially announce the Galaxy S4 was to take place on March 22 and then this date suddenly shifted to March 15, or even March 14. Of course the more cynical among us might think that Samsung is attempting to steal HTC’s thunder by announcing it’s next flagship at the same time as the HTC One is set to release but perhaps this is purely coincidental? In a way many consumers may benefit if this is accurate as they will then be able to make an informed decision about both phones before they decide which to purchase.

One thing to remember though is even if the Galaxy S4 is debuted on March 14 or 15 the release is unlikely to be immediate. It’s more likely that the Galaxy S4 will hit the stores in the UK and the rest of Europe in April while those in the US may have to wait several weeks later until May or June, as has customarily been the way with the last few Galaxy S phone launches. We know that US consumers get pretty frustrated with having to wait so much longer but can’t see much chance of the launch being any different this time around, of course we could be wrong!

Either way then it looks as though the HTC One release will collide with the formal introduction of the Galaxy S4. Potential customers should at least have at their disposal the full specs and prices of these phones before making a choice but if they opt for the Galaxy S4 may then have to wait a while longer to actually get their hands on it.

It will be very interesting indeed to see how the Galaxy S4 and HTC One fare against each other then. We think the HTC One is highly desirable but we also know that each Galaxy S phone release goes on to dominate the Android smartphone market. HTC may well wish it had released the One as soon as it became official to give it a bit of a head start in sales.

We’re really interested to hear your thoughts on this. Are you a potential HTC One customer but will check out what the Galaxy S4 has to offer first? Might you choose whichever one releases first or are you willing to wait several more weeks or months for the Galaxy S4? Let us know with your comments.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/blake.konrad Blake Konrad

    I’ll be picking up the HTC one in march whenever its released since that’s when my contract ends, I’ll be switching from Verizon and my droid bionic for at&t and an HTC one

  • Jim Hammond

    HTC’s lack of expandable memory is a deal breaker for me. I’ll stick with samsung.

  • Adam Fakirni

    I will go after the best phone. I will buy the HTC one if its the best one which i hope cause it comes out faster. But i can w8 if the S4 is better.

    • Walter Gomez

      I doubt HTC could be any better than any body.
      I’ll prefer to wait a bit longer rather than have headaches with the HTC hardware all the time

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.chambers.505 Alex Chambers

    I’ve had the same phone for 3 years now, and I can’t take it anymore. I’m getting the HTC One since it will be the first to be released. So Samsung loses on timing for me. Also, HTC swept me away with the design of the One. I know Samsung makes quality devices, but I want to feel wowed every time I take my phone out of my pocket, and plastic doesn’t do that for me.

  • ali

    the HTC one’s camera is a 4 ULTRAPIXEL camera, not megapixel. big difference lol

    • yee

      no its 4 megapixel with ultrapixel technology. get ur facts right.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000134155808 Pedro Gomes

      ultrapixel is not even a measurement… you have megapixel and then gigapixel… ultrapixel is just the name they gave to their technology when processing photos

  • OWStirling

    HTC One comes with 32 or 64GB of internal storage, not 16 or 32GB…

    • shreyans

      ^breaking news

  • applebite

    Need to get your facts right before publishing an article its 32GB and 64GB

  • otoverload

    Big mistake by Verizon by not offering the HTC One, DNA or not they should have offered it. I have been with Verizon for 20 yrs and now will be switching to ATT for the HTC One unless Samsung releases the S4 in March with Verizon, if they wait til April or May forget it. Also what does Google have in-store for us

  • Daleos

    Don’t want a ‘me too’ phone so I won’t be getting the Samsung no matter what. Whether I get the HTC One basically boils down to the battery life.

  • Arcmobile

    The last two Samsung phones I’ve had have stopped working after they got wet. I’m fed up with that. I went to the local phone shop and spent a long time playing with an Xperia Z. And that is definitely what I’m going to get. The screen is superb and at last a phone I can take out in the rain. Viewing e phones screen from the side isn’t that great ‘viewing’ angle. But I see that as a positive- I look at my phone directly and I’m not that bothered about people in the train around me being able to see what i’m reading! I had a go with a demo version of the HTC One. It does feel great- kinda of what a larger iPhone should be! But I like the feel of the Z so Sony gets my money this time round.

    • Walter Gomez

      LOL, You should NOT get your Phone wet PERIOD.
      get a case for it, or get a phone that you can submerge.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000134155808 Pedro Gomes

        but thats exactly what we did… xperia z can submerge…

    • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.anderson.988711 Eddie Anderson

      Then don’t get it wet?

  • malangee

    Htc one is the best choice because of display, battery, speed, design and user interface. And its already on three uk website for pre-order. I am surely getting one next month when my contract ends.

  • Walter Gomez

    The answer is easy, NEVER again HTC hardware

  • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.anderson.988711 Eddie Anderson

    Samsung mobile is the best

  • http://twitter.com/ALAIN01UK Alain Attias

    I’ve been a loyal HTC user for the past two phones and am likely to buy the new One upon release. However, the spec of the S4 do worry me, especially if the rumours are true about the bigger battery so I’ll check out the specs and try making the best decision which I hope I won’t regret, either way…

  • http://twitter.com/kwesi24 Olsen Jarvis

    I will wait for the S4. I love HTC but the non removable batter is a deal killer.

  • Braniac

    Love the spec on the galaxy S series but that generic rounded look on all their devices, hate it. If the S4 comes out looking the same I’m not going for it, no matter what the specs are. All other phones have question marks however and “the one” is no different, no removable battery, no exp memory, historic hardware issues but it does looks so damn good.

  • safina hussain

    iv just bought the s3 samsung and its the great phone,, now looks like am after the s4 cannot keep up.. samsung has really improved wouldnt change again for any other company,,,,,

  • http://www.facebook.com/plamen.cvyatkovski Plamen Kalchev Cvyatkovski

    I have HTC and I think my next one still be HTC ( better design, better quality, not plastic ) but Samsung looks like slightly take the edge- better screen, better battery life ( non removable battery on HTC ), 4.2 Jelly Bean ( 4.1 on HTC upgradable ), wireless charging, micro SD card which expands the storage while with HTC you have to stick with what you have got.

  • jlo

    I’m getting the htc one because I’m from Taiwan:) tho I do like the Xperia z as well!

  • Gigi

    The HTC One is an amazing looking phone and want to buy it badly but the worst experience i ever had with a phone was with the HTC Incredible S while i never had any issues with my Galaxy phones (sgs, sgs2, sgs3). Im kind of one the fence but i really like the HTC One.

  • Marlon Milligan

    Impressed by the HTC One & it will be my next smartphone

  • Tony Holmes

    It’s kinda like cars. BMW, MBenz, and Lexus sell the most and are great cars but amongst those who know, Audi is actually a superior car. Been doing a lot of research, and the comparison is quite similar. Samsung phones are great and will do everything expected of a smartphone if you’re willing to have the same phone as 30 million other people (or is 40 million?). But if you want greatness and you don’t want the same phone as every teenager in America ($50 on contract for S3), HTC is the ONE! Pun intended.

  • joao

    sorry but steel is really different than plastic …. i think the htc one is the cel phone…. fantastic design …

  • joao

    if we look for both pictures htc one and samsung s4 – for me the htc one made what samsung did not…. the design , htc is really a beautiful cel phone , working for me both are similar and i do not believe that this makes much difference , but a such beautiful and quality cel phone ne yes makes a lot of difference…

  • gadgety

    It does look exquisite, and my experience with HTC is they feel good in hand. That said, I’m holding out for the Note III, or if Nokia ever launches a TRUE Pureview WP.

  • The Directory

    Mehh, That’s easy Htc One of course ! Look at it’s beauty and build quality

    i mean common do you have …. in your eyes
    Or are you manipulated by Samsung’s hype/commercials

  • TomasHunter

    Both phones have great specs, but I will have to wait until I can try out some apps on each before I make my decision. I am leaving on a business trip for DISH early next month, and I was thinking about upgrading my phone before I go. When I travel, I use DISH Anywhere to stream live TV shows and DVR recordings; it is a great way to pass time during flight delays and layovers. Which phone I pick will depend on how well it runs that app, and the front facing speakers of the One have me leaning HTC’s direction.

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