Yesterday, HTC launched its 2013 flagship, the HTC One, a phone that was long rumored as the HTC M7. The device will be a competitor to not only devices on the market right now, but to devices that will be coming to shelves in the future. One of those devices is the Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that like the HTC One, has been rumored to be coming this year.
Since late 2012, two rumored Android smartphones have dominated the news. One of those phones was the HTC M7, a device that was rumored to be replacing the HTC One X and HTC One X+, two of the company’s flagships from 2012. HTC was rumored to be announcing the phone at press events on February 19th, yesterday, and sure enough, HTC delivered.
The HTC One is a specimen to say the least, combining serious hardware including a 1080p display and quad-core processor with a new version of HTC’s well-known Sense software that will sit atop Android.
The device, unlike its predecessors, will also be coming to several carriers in the United States including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. HTC and those carriers still haven’t set a release date or pricing but the HTC One is slated to hit Europe on March 15th and rumors suggest that the U.S. may get the HTC One on March 22nd.
That March 15th date, while several weeks off, is extremely interesting given the rumors surrounding one of the HTC One’s likely competitors, the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Samsung has long been rumored to be announcing a Galaxy S4 to replace the wildly popular Galaxy S3, a device that went on to sell over 40 million units around the world, and it has been rumored to be doing so in the near future.
Current rumors suggest that the Galaxy S4 will launch at an event on March 14th, just a day before HTC is supposedly going to be releasing the HTC One in the UK.
As we’ve suggested, it might be a little revenge on the part of HTC as the Galaxy S4 launch date rumor/confirmation came just a day ahead of the HTC One’s announcement.
Whether or not the Galaxy S4 is coming on March 14th is up for debate. What’s not up for debate though is whether or not it will be a high-end smartphone, and one that competes with the HTC One. It will be.
Yesterday, we took a look at several ways that the Samsung Galaxy S4 could beat the HTC One and today, it’s time to do the reverse.
Here now are six ways wherein HTC’s latest and greatest smartphone, the HTC One, could beat the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that is already the most anticipated smartphone of the year.
6 Ways the HTC One Could Beat the Samsung Galaxy S4
While Samsung has been content on releasing smartphones with polycarbonate plastic designs, case in point the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2, HTC has taken a different route, an almost Apple route, to the design of its smartphones.
The HTC One X delivered one of the best smartphone designs of 2012 with its sleek aluminum unibody design that was as pleasant to look at as it was to hold. With the HTC One, HTC has gone down the same road.
HTC’s One is comprised of a full metal design that the company touts as minimalistic and rugged. HTC also claims it has no gaps in its construction and the result of this design is a device that keeps virtually the same texture throughout.
It also includes Gorilla Glass on the front, a camera ring on the back – something that HTC is known for, and curved glass. All in all, the device is quite the specimen and it’s one that, like the iPhone 5, feels like a device that costs $199.99.
Yes, the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 designs are sleek but for quite awhile now, consumers have been hoping for a change from the plastic. Unfortunately, there are no signs that indicate that the Galaxy S4 will sport anything but plastic.
Instead, the device is rumored to look like the Galaxy S3, and possibly the Galaxy Note 8.0, both of which should offer plastic designs.
One of the features that HTC touted at the HTC One launch was the new Ultrapixel camera that will be coming on board the device. For those that take a lot of photos and video with their smartphone, and many consumers do, this should be a huge plus and one that could potentially dwarf the Galaxy S4’s camera.
The Ultrapixel camera features a 4-megapixel BSI sensor with a f/2.0 lens. HTC claims that the HTC One’s Ultrapixel camera lets in 300 percent more light than the average smartphone which translates into better low light performance. Low light photos have been the downfall of many smartphone cameras, its certainly a weakness of the iPhone 5’s, so HTC’s inclusion of this new sensor is a big upgrade.
A photo sample from the Ultrapixel, in comparison to the iPhone 5, can be seen below.
Rumors suggest the Galaxy S4 camera will be 13MP, an upgrade over the cameras on the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2. Based on the past though, there is reason to believe that HTC’s camera could potentially best the Galaxy S3’s.
The HTC One X camera from last year was far and away better than the Galaxy S3’s and Samsung didn’t even bother to change the camera in the Galaxy Note 2 from the original Galaxy Note’s.
We could see more emphasis placed on the camera this year with a new sensor, but HTC has the proven track record and it could be that the HTC One’s biggest advantage is its camera.
Wide Angle Front-Facing Camera
For some a good front-facing camera doesn’t matter. But for a host of other people, a fantastic front-facing camera is important.
The HTC One will certainly appeal to the latter group as it contains a wide angle front-facing camera that is able to capture far more on-screen content than the HTC One X and many of the other phones from 2012.
The inclusion of a wide angle camera will make for better conference calls with multiple employees, improved chats with a son or daughter with a new born, or just silly video chats with groups of friends.
There is no evidence that Samsung will be including anything similar on the Galaxy S4 and given its past with cameras, it could be that it comes with a simple front-facing camera, perhaps 2MP in nature.
For many people it will do the trick, but for those that are constantly using Google+ Hangouts or Skype or any of the other video chat services out there, a wide angle front-facing camera will be preferable. So again, this could be an area where the HTC One bests the Samsung Galaxy S4.
While other smartphones often making sharing videos and music with friends a hassle due to their poor performing speakers, the HTC One comes with some impressive audio that could put the Galaxy S4 to shame.
HTC is calling its new dual front-facing speakers HTC BoomSound which the company says will deliver louder sound with far less distortion than typical smartphones. They also utilize built-in amplifiers which should mean that owners won’t have to cup the speakers in order to share a song or video with a friend nearby.
There is no evidence that Samsung will include something similar with the Galaxy S4 and in the past, we haven’t seen the company focus on the audio of the smartphone as much as HTC has.
So again, the HTC One’s audio, which also utilizes a dual-microphone for better phone and video quality, could best the Galaxy S4’s.
One of the lesser talked about features of the HTC One is actually, in our opinion, one of the features that many users are going to actually care about.
Rumors suggested that the HTC One might come with an IR Sensor on board, and sure enough, HTC announced the HTC One with that very ability only it didn’t announce it in that way.
Instead, the company refers to the feature as Sense TV, and it will allow users to use the HTC One as a universal remote, much in the same way as remotes like the Logitech Harmony. Those who love watching content on their television without the clutter will come to appreciate being able to flip channels with their phone while keeping the clutter around the TV to a minimum.
An IR sensor has not arisen in any of the Galaxy S4 rumors thus far and it’s entirely possible that Samsung skips out on including one in the Galaxy S4 which would make the HTC One a better choice for those that wish to be able to control their home theater, very easily, with their smartphone.
With the HTC One, HTC revealed its brand-new software dubbed Sense 5.0. It’s the latest in its line of Sense software and it also is a big departure from the previous incarnations of the UI.
The software, in line with the hardware, offers a more minimalist version of the HTC Sense skin which should be familiar to anyone that has owned an HTC smartphone. The HTC Sense 5 skin though features new flatter looking widgets that are reminiscent of Windows Phone 8 design.
Along with the new design, it also features some new software including a feature called BlinkFeed that HTC touted on stage. BlinkFeed is a widget news that aggregates news and photos from a variety of sources including ESPN, MTV, LinkedIn and others. Think of it as a more ambient version of Flipboard.
Users can also still access the standard Android home screen simply by swiping to the left.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 will almost certainly feature new software though it’s unclear exactly what it might have on board. There are whispers about some bold news features and it could be that Samsung delivers some fantastic new functionality to its Nature UX.
However, we can’t count HTC Sense 5.0 out as it appears to be close to if not HTC’s best effort yet and the addition of new features won’t necessarily translate into a better UI which means that HTC Sense 5.0 could still top anything new in TouchWiz.