Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One
With last week's launch of the Galaxy S4, Samsung made the kind of splash that most non-Apple smartphone makers can only dream of. The company's glitzy reveal -- complete with tap dancing, theatrical sketches and a full pit orchestra -- drew criticism as well as praise, but the phone itself did much to justify the hype.
Tue, March 19, 2013
But is the Galaxy S4 really the world beater that Samsung says it is? The market is full of impressive smartphones, and the HTC One, released just weeks ago, must be considered a serious challenger to Samsung's supremacy.
FIRST LOOK: Samsung Galaxy S 4 ]
Although the Galaxy S 4 is marginally more svelte than the HTC One, critics have been raving about the quality of the latter phone's all-metal construction since its release. It's one of the few Android phones that challenges even the iPhone 5 for superlative fit and finish. Samsung's plastic-based construction, by contrast, is far less well regarded.
Both the Galaxy S 4 and the One boast high pixel densities and full 1080p resolutions. There's not much to choose between as far as the Androids are concerned -- they use different display technology (LCD3 for HTC, AMOLED for Samsung) and the Galaxy S 4's screen is slightly bigger, at 5 inches to 4.7 inches, but that's pretty much it. It's mostly a matter of preference -- the GS 4 offers more real estate, the One has better pixel density.
Camera hardware and software was heavily emphasized by both HTC and Samsung at their respective launches -- so this might prove to be an important differentiator. HTC's "ultrapixel" technology (each pixel is larger and more sensitive than normal) means that the One packs a top-end camera despite being rated at just 4 megapixels. Samsung's shooter is a more traditional design, packing a whopping 13MP. Both have the usual 1080p video recording and array of handy-dandy features like optical image stabilization on the One, 60fps video recording on the GS4, and so on.
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Both devices also pack innovative but ultimately somewhat gimmicky camera software features -- the One allows users to create what the company calls Zoes (automatically captured albums of stills from video recordings that can be set to music and shared), while the Galaxy S 4's dual camera recording capability lets the photographer get into the picture.