In just a matter of days, two of the 2013’s biggest smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, will arrive in the United States to do battle for the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers. And as we approach their release dates, it’s now time that we take a full-on look at how the HTC One U.S. release matches up against the Samsung Galaxy S4 release.
Last year, two of the most popular smartphones on shelves were the HTC One X, which arrived solely for AT&T and the Samsung Galaxy S3 which launched on a handful of U.S. carriers including the five largest in the United States. The Samsung Galaxy S3 took the crown as the top selling Android smartphone worldwide as it crushed the competition with over 40 million sold worldwide, a figure that put it on par with Apple’s iconic iPhone.
As we got closer to 2013, the rumors about the successors to these two devices grew in number. By the start of the new year, both the Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X’s successors were the talk of the town and consumers looking to snag a new smartphone started waiting intently for their respective launches.
Dates for those launches fell into place in the early part of the year as both HTC and Samsung booked their tickets to New York. On February 19th, the HTC One arrived, and HTC promised to release it shortly thereafter in the month of March. U.S. carriers AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all confirmed the device for arrival and it looked like a March U.S. release was set.
A few weeks later, Samsung took the stage and debuted its Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that it said would be coming by the end of April and would be heading to big name carriers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon.
And now, as we march into April, both devices remain unreleased in the United States. And release dates coming up, consumers are likely trying to digest all of the information in regards to their pricing, their exclusives and more.
Here now, we breakdown how the Samsung Galaxy S4 U.S. release matches up against the HTC One U.S. release in terms of pricing, release date, storage options and more.
AT&T Galaxy S4 vs. AT&T HTC One
For many prospective HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, release details remain unclear. However, one of the carriers that has been very forthcoming with information in regards to both devices has been AT&T which has confirmed the details of both, minus one important thing.
Yesterday, HTC started taking pre-orders for the HTC One ahead of its release date. The company is offering up the 32GB HTC One for $199.99 on-contract while the 64GB HTC One, which is an exclusive, is going to be $299.99 on-contract. AT&T will release the HTC One, officially, on April 19th.
After a bit of confusion, AT&T has confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will come in two storage options, 16GB and 32GB, for which AT&T will charge $199.99 and $249.99 on-contract. The carrier will take pre-orders starting on April 16th, just three days before the arrival of the HTC One, and on the same day that the carrier will be shipping the device out to those that pre-ordered. The AT&T Galaxy S3 release date is unclear but we expect it to arrive a few weeks after the pre-order period.
As it stands, the 64GB HTC One will cost $300. However, a 32GB Samsung Galaxy S4, which is $50 less on-contract. The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with a microSD card slot for up to 64GB of expanded storage.
Sprint Galaxy S4 vs. Sprint HTC One
Sprint is another carrier that is going to be carrying both the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. However, unlike AT&T, the Galaxy S4 release details remain unclear leaving the HTC One as the only option at this point.
The HTC One went up for pre-order at Sprint today with the carrier offering the 32GB HTC One for $199.99 on-contract, same as AT&T. Sprint, unlike AT&T, will not have the 64GB model, at least not at launch.
Sprint will also be releasing the HTC One on April 19th, just a few days after it starts taking pre-orders.
So far, it’s unclear as to when these devices will clash on Sprint’s 4G LTE network as Sprint has not yet said when it will be taking orders for the Galaxy S4, how much it will cost, or when it will be releasing it onto shelves. The carrier is generally one of the first in the U.S. to offer devices so we expect that the release won’t come much later than T-Mobile’s May 1st release date.
We expect Sprint to follow AT&T and offer the 16GB Galaxy S4 at $199.99 on-contract and perhaps, offer the 32GB Galaxy S4 model at $250. American carriers don’t seem interested in the 64GB models of the Galaxy S4, likely due to the microSD card.
At this point, it appears that the HTC One will arrive before the Samsung Galaxy S4 on Sprint.
T-Mobile Galaxy S4 vs. T-Mobile HTC One
T-Mobile remains the only carrier with firm Samsung Galaxy S4 release plans as the device will be going on sale on May 1st, starting at $99. That $99 will represent the minimum down payment that consumers can make for the Galaxy S4 and it will likely be attached to the 16GB model. A 32GB model would likely be $199.99.
And while T-Mobile has confirmed the HTC One and its similar $99 down price for the 32GB model, T-Mobile has yet to announce a release date for the smartphone, despite AT&T and Sprint making their plans known.
All signs point to an arrival in April but thus far, a date is not yet known. We expect it to arrive before the Samsung Galaxy S4 though.
U.S. Cellular Galaxy S4 vs. U.S. Cellular HTC One
While AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will all be offering the HTC One, U.S. Cellular has not yet confirmed the device for its 4G LTE network which means that it will likely not be offering HTC’s flagship smartphone.
That’s likely disappointing to some consumers but fortunately, the carrier has confirmed that it will be taking orders for the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Like AT&T, U.S. Cellular will be taking Galaxy S4 pre-orders starting on April 16th for a release date and price that has yet to be revealed. We imagine that both the release date and price will fall in line with the other big players so that U.S. Cellular can situate itself as a viable option for those that are looking to buy on a smaller, regional carrier.
Verizon Galaxy S4 vs. Verizon HTC One
The Verizon Galaxy S4 and HTC One situation might be the trickiest of all. That’s because Verizon has confirmed that it will be carrying the Galaxy S4 but it hasn’t confirmed a release date, price or any type of pre-order for the phone. In fact, the carrier has remained mum since March 14th when Samsung announced the device.
And while Verizon hasn’t yet confirmed the HTC One, it’s looking like it will be offering a variant on its network at some point in the future to compete against the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Verizon did not join AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint in announcing the HTC One but we have heard that it has an HTC One-like device up its sleeve for a month or two after the other carriers get it.
Rumors suggest the device will be similar to the other devices with a 4.7-inch display 1080p, quad-core processor, and Ultrapixel camera, but so far, the device has remained out of the limelight.
At this point, given the timing, it looks like the Galaxy S4 could wind up beating the Verizon HTC One to shelves.
How We Think It Will All Play Out
The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 battle in the U.S. is looking like it will play out much closer than anyone first expected. HTC was initially supposed to release the HTC One in March, giving it some breathing room away from the Samsung Galaxy S4, but now, it will be released in April, which is much closer to the perceived Galaxy S4 release date in the U.S.
So far, Galaxy S4 details are scarce and we also have T-Mobile lagging on information about the HTC One. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t make some bold predictions.
The HTC One on T-Mobile will more than likely arrive in April, before the May 1st Samsung Galaxy S4 release date. It would be odd to see T-Mobile do something different. At this point, a pre-ordrer might be out the question.
Look for the Samsung Galaxy S4 models on AT&T and Sprint to arrive a few weeks after the HTC One so that the carriers can space things out. We think May is a likely release month for the Galaxy S4 models, despite AT&T’s pre-order.
As for U.S. Cellular, it will likely be in the mix sooner rather than later due to the fact that it’s not releasing an HTC One. A late April or early May release date seems likely.
And finally, Verizon. The HTC One will more than likely arrive in some form or another, but we don’t expect it to arrive until late May or June. As for the Galaxy S4, given Verizon’s past releases which come weeks after the competition, early-to-mid May seems like a good bet at this point.