By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 18, 2013 10:19 AM EDT
This year already packs plenty of smartphone excitement, with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One as two of the most enticing new powerhouses.
Samsung just unveiled its next Galaxy flagship, the almighty Samsung Galaxy S4. While the handset doesn't exactly break any barriers or mark a huge breakthrough, it is nonetheless packed with the latest and greatest smartphone features.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a powerful Android flagship bringing the best Google and Samsung have to offer, but is it enough to trump HTC once again? The HTC One is also a great contender and can definitely hold its own, so which one will win in the specs department?
Truth be told, leaving everything else aside (such as brand, design, price and other aspects) and judging strictly by the specs, the two smartphones are actually very similar. Both the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 boast powerful quad-core processors and sharp 1080p displays, but a few notable differences might seal the deal.
First of all, the Galaxy S4 has a slightly larger screen at 5 inches, compared with the HTC One's 4.7-inch display. In turn, this results in a tighter pixel density for the HTC One. Samsung also sticks with Super AMOLED in the Galaxy S4. The Super AMOLED display, while praised for its high contrast, is also criticized for its inaccurate color reproduction and PenTile subpixel arrangement that makes texts appear less than desirable.
HTC, meanwhile, went for Super LCD technology, which is an equally risky bet. Super LCD is no match for AMOLED's contrast, but it does offer superior color reproduction — upsides and downsides. As both handsets sport high resolution, however, they're quite similar in clarity and sharpness.
The HTC One packs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset clocked at 1.7GHz, while the S4 (U.S. version) uses the same Qualcomm 600, but clocked at 1.9GHz. It's a slight difference and overall both processors should able to crack down any task at blazing speeds.
Build quality is the greatest and most obvious difference between the two handsets. Samsung went for the same all-plastic build it used in its older models, while HTC went all in with a stylish unibody aluminum construction. On the other hand, Samsung is still offering the micro SD card slot and removable battery that made the Galaxy S3 so popular with Android fans, while the HTC One lacks both these options.
Samsung went up the megapixel ladder once again, packing the Galaxy S4 with a 13-megapixel camera. HTC, meanwhile, believes that megapixels are not everything, and instead places its bets on its new ultrapixel technology. Technically, the HTC One's camera has only 4 megapixels, but those pixels are considerably larger and deliver better low-light performance.
Each user has his or her own habits using a smartphone, which can make it difficult to judge battery life. Looking at the numbers, however, the HTC One packs a 2,300mAh non-removable battery, while the Samsung Galaxy S4 uses a 2,600mAh removable battery. Both devices should be able to offer roughly one day of solid use on a full charge, but the Galaxy S4's removable battery might be a selling point for many.
Software Features & Customizations
Android smartphone manufacturers are increasingly seeking to distinguish themselves through particular software features and customizations. In this department, Samsung has its TouchWiz and HTC has its Sense. Neither of them will sweep Android purists off their feet, but they both offer a few intriguing features.
Samsung, for instance, offers compelling features such as hover-over email previews and dual camera capture, while HTC introduces its BlinkFeed content aggregator. Both handsets offer universal remote control capability as well, and each has its own accompanying apps to help users browse through their TV selection.
The two handsets are too fresh to make definite calls and say with all certainty that one performs better than the other. The two powerhouses still have to make their way into labs and undergo various tests, but one thing is clear: both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One are truly powerful beasts and are worthy of being flagships.
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