May 11, 2013

One versus Four

Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One

Galaxy S4 versus HTC One

No, this isn’t some odd fighting mismatch! This is our head-to-head of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4. Two flagship devices pitted against one another. Who will come out on top?

Both these devices have been closely followed by fans for well over six months. And with good reason. The One represents a paradigm shift for HTC and their design philosophy (although some UI elements could have been improved further) whereas the S4 hopes to build on the mind-blowing success of the S3 and imbibe some good qualities of the Note II. It is also possible to consider the Sony Xperia Z for this match up, but it fell short on a wide range of parameters… including user anticipation! So here we go…

Design

Even the most die-hard Samsung fans will agree that the HTC One trumps almost all existing devices in this department including the iPhone 5. The unibody aluminium design with the tasteful speaker and mic ‘dots’ across the top and bottom make this a gorgeous piece of hardware. The S4 on the other hand continues the plastic tradition of the S3 and Note II. Disappointing. While there have been minor adjustments to fit a bigger screen within the same size device, the S4 doesn’t stand out in a crowd. Round 1 to HTC!

Features

This was a close fight. But the S4 emerged victorious!

It has a bigger screen and works with gestures, a 13 megapixel camera (as against 4 on the One) and it’s running Android version 4.2.2 out of the box. The HTC One ships with 4.1.2 and there’s no word on an upgrade as yet. The One does have its own unique offerings like Zoe, BlinkFeed and the outstanding Beats Audio, but the sheer customisation options on the S4 make it a winner. If you are a power user, you will love the level of customisation available on the S4.

The screen on both phones is quite fabulous. If we go by numbers alone, the One packs a better screen than the S4. But you’ll be hard-pressed to prove it!

Camera

Frankly, 13 megapixels versus 4 isn’t much of a fight. HTC One tries to stay in the reckoning with some mumbo-jumbo about ultrapixels, but this one situation where bigger is better! The detail and quality of the S4’s camera is simply brilliant. HTC missed out a rather obvious feature here.

Battery Life

Smartphones – until the Note II emerged – were battery hogs. On a full charge, most regular users would struggle to make it till evening. Power users had started living with their chargers! And a whole industry of portable power supply spawned! Conspiracy, we say! But the Note II’s massive 3100 mAh battery corrected this.

With both the phones under consideration being next generation, expectations are high about the battery performance. The S4 packs in a 2,600 mAh battery against the HTC One’s 2,300. While the battery ratings itself won’t be enough to declare a winner, initial reports suggest that the S4 is doing better than the One. Let’s just call this a tie!

Conclusion

Sure, the parameters above aren’t all-inclusive. There’s a whole host of additional features on both phones. But we’ve selected the key ones. The final parameter would be price. The S4 has launched in India for about Rs 41,500 while the One is expected to be here soon costing about Rs 39,000. Not much to choose from… But if we had that kind of money to splurge on a phone, we’d choose the One. Just because it’s not plastic!

Originally published in The Goan.

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