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Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One smartphone comparison review

Around £500 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is here so we've looked at how it compares to the HTC's One smartphone. Read our Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One comparison review to find out more.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One

The Galaxy S4 is the Samsung's latest flagship smartphone for 2013 but how does it stack up against the well-received HTC One? We investigate in our Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One comparison review. See also: Samsung Galaxy S4 review.

Despite a bit of a delay, the HTC One has launched in the UK and in a month the Galaxy S4 will be released for some fisticuffs. See also: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 comparison review.

If eyeing up these two heavyweight Android smartphones then this comparison review will point out the differences which will help you decide which is the right one for you. See also: HTC One review: a fantastic high-end Android smartphone.

We haven't seen the Galaxy S4 yet but we can accurately compare it to the HTC One based on specs, and as usual we'll throw in our observations and opinions. See also: iPhone 5 vs HTC One comparison review.

Take a look at the following two articles for more details on each smartphone:

HTC One review

Samsung Galaxy S4: details, what you need to know

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One: Design

At one point Samsung's phones were accused of looking too similar to the iPhone, but with the Galaxy S4 and HTC One it's the latter which looks more like Apple's smartphone. The HTC one has a squarer look but with rounded corners and a curved back. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S4 has a more rounded pebble-like design similar to the Galaxy S3.

See also: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Apple iPhone 5 comparison review.

Materials are quite different since the Galaxy S4 uses a predominantly plastic build but the HTC One has an iPhone-esque combination of glass and aluminium. HTC's smartphone has a uni-body design and the Galaxy S4 has a removable rear cover.

If size and weight is important to you then it's the Galaxy S4 which comes out on top at 7.9mm and 130g. The HTC One is 9.4mm and 144g, according to our own measurements.

HTC One smartphone

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One: Screen

Things are similar in the screen department. As predicted, the Galaxy S4 has a 5in display with a Full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920. The HTC One also has a Full HD resolution but on a smaller 4.7in. See also: Group test: What's the best smartphone?

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. Put simply, these are two of the best displays on the smartphone market.

Technology in use on each phone does vary, though, as Samsung uses SuperAMOLED while HTC employs Super LCD3. We haven't seen the two side by side so can't comment on which we think is better.

Another minor 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.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One: Processor

The HTC One is our current record holder in the GeekBench 2 test with a score of 2721 thanks to its 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, quad-core, 1.7GHz processor with 2GB RAM.

When we heard the Galaxy S4 was coming with an octa-core processor we thought, that will be our new record holder. However, the UK model will come with the same Snapdragon 600 chip. It's clocked slightly higher at 1.9GHz and there's 2GB of RAM so we still expect it to beat the HTC One, but not by as much as it could have. Each has the Adreno 320 GPU so there should be little difference here.

We'll bring you benchmark results from the Galaxy S4 as soon as we get our hands on it.

Ignoring benchmark results, it’s a similar situation as the screen – both are at the very top end of the smartphone market.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One: Storage

It's swings and roundabouts when it comes to storage. There're more models on offer from Samsung as the Galaxy S4 comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities. HTC offers just 32GB and 64GB for the One.

However, you have to pay more for less – the 16GB Galaxy S4 costs £629 SIM-free while the HTC One costs around £510 for the 32GB model. The Galaxy S4 is the only one with a microSD card slot which swings things back Samsung's way somewhat. (See also: Samsung Galaxy S4 price in UK; Galaxy S4 UK network availability.)

There's no obvious clear winner here as it depends on personal needs. I would personally rather spend less for the 32GB HTC One, going on storage alone.

HTC One Ultrapixel camera

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One: Cameras

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. We found the camera to be good and 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.

Results are key here so look out for our Galaxy S4 review soon.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One: Connectivity

There's nothing to split the HTC One and Galaxy S4 when it comes to connectivity. Both offer what we expect from a high-end smartphone: dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, NFC, microUSB with MHL output, GPS and support for 4G LTE networks. Plus they both have infrared for controlling your TV and other gadgets in the home.

Samsung Galaxy S4 TouchWiz interface

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One: Software

Both of these smartphones run Google's Android Jelly Bean, albeit slightly different versions. The HTC One comes with 4.1.2 (upgradable to 4.2.2) while the Galaxy S4 will ship with version 4.2.2.

More and more smartphone makers are using a more and more vanilla version of the Android interface so we would say that software is not an area of great difference. However, the HTC One and Galaxy S4 have modified versions so this is not the case.

Samsung's TouchWiz user interface is largely the same as previous versions so fans will likely want to stick with it. HTC has gone a little crazier with Sense 5.0 including the BlinkFeed which sits next to the regular homescreens and a completely different app menu and recent apps layout to other Android smartphones.

Each firm offers plenty of their own apps and services which you'll only find on their handset, too so this area is worth investigating and trying out for yourself so you can see which of the two you prefer.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One: Battery

It's the Galaxy S4 which has a larger battery at 2600mAh, which is removable if that's important to you. HTC's battery is smaller, at 2300mAh, and non-removable. With similar core components we would expect the Galaxy S4 to go further on its battery although the clock speed of the processor is higher so the difference may not be huge.

Stay tuned for our full Galaxy S4 review.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Expert Verdict »

Samsung Galaxy S4 Scores 8.7 out of 10 based on 2090 reviews
Display: 5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
Processor: 1.9GHz quad-core
OS: Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
Camera: Main(Rear): 13 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag, BIS
Sub (Front): 2 Mega pixel camera, Full HD recording @30fps with Zero Shutter Lag, BIS
Video: Codec: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, DivX, DivX3.11, VC-1, VP8, WMV7/8, Sorenson Spark, HEVC
Recording & Playback: Full HD (1080p)
Audio: Codec: MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/AAC?/eAAC?, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AC-3, apt-X
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80), GPS / GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth® 4.0 (LE), IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0
Sensor: Accelerometer, RGB light, Geomagnetic, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer Temperature & Humidity, Gesture
Memory: 16/ 32/ 64 GB User memory ? microSD slot (up to 64GB), 2GB RAM
Dimension: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, 130g
Battery: 2,600 mAh

Until we get our Galaxy S4 review unit, things to look out for between these two are price, design and customised Android interface. Both are at the premium end of the smartphone market so you can't go too wrong with either.


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