HTC One Vs Samsung Galaxy S4 – Battle For Android Supremacy

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HTC One Vs Samsung Galaxy S4 – Battle For Android Supremacy

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We may only be three months into 2013 but it’s already been a big year for phones. One of the biggest stories so far is that of the HTC One – a no-compromise handset from the Taiwanese firm that aims to make amends for the last couple of years and bring HTC back to the top of the Android heap, where they once stood with the help of the HTC Legend.

It’s a remarkable phone in so many ways, but now it faces its biggest threat yet – the Samsung Galaxy S4, the latest flagship phone from the current king of Android. 

How do these 2 fare against each other? Let’s find out!

1. Build Quality And Design

Do we even need to discuss this one? Even the most ardent Samsung fanboy would agree that the HTC One is much better in terms of design. On one hand, we have the light, plastic body of the Galaxy S4, and on the other – the heavy, metal one of the HTC One.

htc one

The disadvantage of this design, though, is not only that metal will get slightly hotter than plastic, but that the unibody design also prevents the handset’s battery from being removed.

htc one

Samsung took a step in the right direction by utilising a little bit of metal around the edge of the phone, but it’s still mostly plastic and still nowhere close to the quality of the HTC One’s build.

Verdict – HTC One 

2. Display

This is a tough category, as both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One have excellent screens. The Samsung Galaxy S4 features a 5″ HD 1080p Super AMOLED touchscreen, which on first impressions proved pretty impressive, while the HTC One features a 4.7″ HD 1080p Super LCD3 touchscreen.

Going purely on numbers, the HTC wins here since its pixel density is 469ppi against the Galaxy S4’s 441ppi. In real life this difference is not noticeable by the human eye.

HTC One Hands On iGyaan 7

Put simply, these are two of the best displays on the smartphone market. However, Samsung’s AMOLED displays have been criticized in the past for having a blueish tint on them, but the contrast and deep blacks on this display are amazing. 


Another difference is that the Galaxy S4 uses Gorilla Glass 3 which its maker, Corning, says is up to three times more damage resistant than Gorilla Glass 2 which the HTC One offers.

Depending on how you plan to use each smartphone, there are clear advantages to some of the screen technology. It’s hard to pick an overall winner here, one has a slightly bigger screen the other has a slightly higher pixel density, but both are fantastic through and through so it’s a draw and really just comes down to a matter of personal preference.

Verdict – Draw

3. Software And UI

The Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One are pretty evenly matched when it comes to software too, with both running Google’s Android Jelly Bean operating system. Saying that, the Galaxy S4 has a later version, Android 4.2.2, while the HTC One has Android 4.1.2. 

There is a vast difference between the custom user experiences found on both devices.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with the latest version of Samsung’s Touchwiz UI, giving a horde of custom features. As well as a barrage of software features such as Air Gesture and Smart Scroll, Samsung’s Touchwiz UI offers a fairly heavy custom skin, which is not good for those who are fans of the vanilla Android 4.x Jelly Bean.

The HTC One, on the other hand, offers a much simpler user interface skin. Blinkfeed is its standout feature – a unique take on Flipboard – and beyond that, the HTC Sense 5.0 UI is fairly stripped back and easy to use.

However, Samsung clearly wins this one with its onslaught of software tricks and custom features.

Verdict – Samsung Galaxy S4

4. Processor

The HTC One packs a lot of power under its shiny metallic shell, with a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM. But impressive as it is the Samsung Galaxy S4 goes one better with a 1.9 GHz quad-core processor, though it merely matches the HTC One for RAM. Both phones are true next generation handsets and both have more power than you’re likely to know what to do with.

Early benchmark results of these 2 smartphones reveal that they’re neck to neck in performance.

So it’s a draw for us!

Verdict – Draw

5. Memory And Storage

Memory is another win for the Galaxy S4, as while the HTC One comes with up to 64GB of on-board memory (a 32GB version also exists), there’s no micro SD card slot, so no way to expand on it. The Galaxy S4 meanwhile matches its on-board memory with 16, 32 and 64GB versions up for grabs, but also includes a micro SD card slot on top of that.

Their connectivity options are identical as both handsets provide Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G/LTE, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and an infrared port. It’s about as comprehensive set of options as you could hope to see.

Verdict – Samsung Galaxy S4

6. Camera

HTC has gone in new direction with the One’s camera. The Ultrapixel camera is only 4MP in resolution but captures 300 percent more light than a regular smartphone camera. The camera is good especially in low light situations.


HTC’s bold move makes it pretty difficult to compare with the Galaxy S4’s 13Mp camera which we expect to be a good camera. Each rear camera can record video in Full HD 1080p quality.

Things are almost identical in terms of front facing cameras between the Galaxy S4 and HTC One. They have 2MP and 2.1MP cameras which can each record video in Full HD. 


HTC Zoe is the big camera feature that is grabbing the headlines when it comes to the HTC One. When you record a ‘Zoe’, the HTC One takes a 3 second video and 20 single frame shots. Not only do you then have the Zoe clip itself, but also the functionality for some very impressive features: remove unwanted people and objects from the background of a shot, make sure everyone is smiling and has their eyes open for group shots and combine several frames in a sequence shot to create a ‘slow-motion’ photo.

The S4 also has some nice camera features and some that are similar to the HTC One. Eraser also let’s you remove unwanted photo elements, sound and shot lets you record a sound clip with a photo and drama shot will take 100 photos in 4 seconds. There are plenty more features to talk about for both these handsets and you’ll have a great experience with either.

So while the HTC One is likely to fare better in low light conditions, the camera in the Samsung Galaxy S4 seems the better bet overall.

Verdict – Samsung Galaxy S4

7. Audio

When it comes to sound the HTC handset wins without doubt. You will have heard HTC BoomSound mentioned by now, which is the technology that makes the HTC One so loud. It’s the first handset to feature dual frontal stereo speakers, plus it has Beats Audio technology built in. This results in louder music playback, ringtones and notifications.

HTC One Hands On iGyaan 34

The S4 speaker is also of a good quality and is a close second to the HTC device.

Verdict – HTC One


Both of these handsets are truly remarkable and it’s a tough call picking one out as the best. They both have incredible displays, loads of connectivity options, great cameras and a lot of horsepower.

There is no real winner in this article, and it should only be used as a reference to how the devices perform in each of the sections discussed above. 

This will be one of the most exciting fights in the premium segment this season.

Which one will you choose? Let us know below!

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Shivaank Rana
iGyaan's Carlos Santana! Shivaank loves Apple products! He stays up to date with the latest happenings of the tech world and gets his hands dirty with the latest Gadgets! Follow Him on Google Plus : Google+