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5 Reasons the HTC One is Better Than the iPhone 5

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The HTC One is arguably the best Android phone available and bests the iPhone 5 in several ways. iPhone users who are on the fence between upgrading to an iPhone 5 and switching to Android should take a close look at the HTC One. Its excellent design and  build quality is something users must see in person to fully appreciate.

I’ve been using iPhones since the day Apple launched its first phone and have upgraded to each new model as they launched. I’ve been very satisfied with using iPhones as my daily drivers, but I’ve bought and used several Android devices over the past couple of years. While I certainly liked certain aspects of each Android device I tried, none of them was good enough to boot the iPhone from my pocket. Some of them had horrible battery life, a few had horrible cameras and others were built of cheap plastic.

As we mentioned in our HTC One Review, the device is a new class of Android phone. It is complete. It just feels good to hold and use. If Apple’s designers secretly built an Android phone this would be it.

Read: HTC One Review

HTC Has a Superior Camera App

The iPhone 5 camera is pretty good as far as smartphone cameras go, but the iOS camera app leaves a lot to be desired. One reason iPhone users download so many camera apps is because the stock camera app doesn’t do much beyond snap photos and shoot video, just like it has since 2007. Yes, Apple’s added Panorama and HDR modes, but users have to launch a photo editing app to apply filters or otherwise tweak photos.

HTC One Camera App

HTC One Camera App

HTC’s built-in camera app has dozens of settings to make it easier to capture the perfect shot. Holding down the HTC One’s on-screen shutter will take photos continuously until you release it. It then offers to let you choose the best shot out of the bunch. An HTC feature called Zoe captures three seconds of video (with audio), along with 20 images with a single tap of the shutter. The result is a mini multimedia collection rather than a single photo. HTC’s camera app also allows users to tweak settings like ISO and White Balance, things that can’t be tweaked in iPhone’s native camera app.

And then there’s Zoe, HTC’s secret sauce that adds a whole new dimension to taking photos. Enable Zoe and one tap on the shutter records three seconds of video and 20 photos in quick succession.  Zoe might sound gimmicky, but it’s perfect for shooting pictures of pets and fidgety toddlers. The Zoe feature will even stitch together highlight reels from a day’s worth of pictures and video automatically.

Front Facing Speakers

It’s pretty obvious that speakers should face the listener, but the iPhone 5′s single speaker sits on the bottom edge of the device next to the Lightning port. iPhone users will often cup the speaker while listening to music or video to redirect the sound towards them.

One of Two HTC One Speakers

One of Two HTC One Speakers

On the other hand, HTC put a pair of speakers on the front of its flagship phone that project directly toward the user. HTC calls the speakers and built-in amplifier BoomSound. The pair of speakers deliver stereo sound when holding the device in landscape mode, which is exactly what’s needed when playing games or watching videos.  The net effect is that HTC One users can actually hear whatever’s playing without scrounging up a pair of headphones.

HTC One’s Bigger, Better Display

Apple blessed the iPhone 5 with a very nice Retina Display that’s small enough for almost everyone to handle comfortably. HTC went a little bigger, but it didn’t cross over into crazy big territory like some of its competitors have.

HTC One vs iPhone 5 Display

HTC One vs iPhone 5 Display

The HTC One’s 4.7″ display is bigger than the iPhone 5′s  4″display, making it better for video, web browsing and most apps. The HTC One’s display has a resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels), matching most HDTVs’ resolution, while the iPhone 5′s display has a resolution of just 1136 x 640 pixels.  The HTC One packs 45% more pixels per inch (PPI) in its display than the iPhone 5 (468 PPI vs 326 PPI).

The physically larger display won’t please everyone. Those with smaller hands will have to stretch their thumbs to  tap on some parts of the screen, but it feels right in my big hands. More importantly, it’s just easier to read and view content on the HTC One than on the iPhone 5.

Better Gmail, Google Apps

Like other Android devices, the HTC One plays better with Google’s numerous services than the iPhone 5. Yes, Google makes some nice iOS apps, but the Android equivalents are more polished and have deeper hooks. HTC One owners can use Google apps such as Maps, Chrome and Gmail as defaults. HTC One users only need to log in to their Google accounts once and the device uses those credentials to authorize additional apps.

HTC One: Recognizes Google Accounts Across All Google Apps, Such as YouTube

HTC One: Recognizes Google Accounts Across All Google Apps, Such as YouTube

Those who must perform mobile email triage on mobile devices will truly appreciate the difference between the robust Android Gmail app and the simplistic iOS Mail app. Gmail on Android simply blows Apple’s Mail app out of the water.

The HTC One is a Remote Control

The HTC One’s power button doubles as an infrared port, allowing the phone to serve as a universal remote control. With a few quick taps I was able to set the phone’s built-in TV app to control my 60″ Samsung HDTV and Comcast cable box. The app doesn’t require users to look up codes and test them like other universal remote controls force users to. Instead, you just pick the type and brand of each device and the app asks you to try powering the device on. If your TV doesn’t turn on, the TV app tries again and again until it finds the proper settings. The app found my TV’s proper settings after the fourth try and my cable box on the first try.

The HTC One Can Serve as a Universal Remote

The HTC One Can Serve as a Universal Remote

The iPhone 5 doesn’t have an infrared blaster for control TVs, but it can control the Apple TV over WiFi. This is nice since it’s so easy to lose the tiny remote that ships with the Apple TV, but you can’t control your TV’s volume or other home theater components with Apple’s Remote app.

The HTC One isn’t the perfect phone for everyone, but iPhone users itching for change will find this Android phone refreshing.

Xavier Lanier is the publisher of Gotta Be Mobile and a photographer. He uses too many devices to count, but his current favorites are the iPhone 5s, HTC One, Nikon D800 and Sony RX 100M II. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

44 Comments

  1. Adam Parker

    04/22/2013 at 8:34 am

    Love the new One. Like the reviewer above I went from iPhones to the One. Pre ordered it and got it the day it was available. This phone is amazing. Went out of town and got to use the camera as well as the Zoe feature. Zoe is just awesome. I uploaded the small video to Facebook. By far the best phone.

    • Mark

      05/23/2013 at 11:13 am

      I realize your post is a month old, but I’m with you. I really like the Zoe and I’m like also the news feeds. You? Also, are you still enjoying or liking the HTC One?? Just curious.

  2. Larry

    04/22/2013 at 9:44 am

    Is the htc one really worth it to compare to iPhone 5?? The iPhone 5 sucks!! What’s the hidden deal in the htc one?? It sure looks sharp I will say that, that said, I’ll have to go get some hands on and check it out!!! I hope t mobile has it???

  3. Captain Sethi

    04/22/2013 at 11:46 am

    Does the iphone 5 really suck!? im not an apple fanboy but have had all the iphones and am also wanting to jump ship but just cannot find the right device. Infact i have bought a HTC One which is sat on my bookshelf in its sealed box. i have not even bothered to open it yet because im expecting to come back to iphone 5 as this has been the case for numerous android devices. Im not fussed about apps at all as i dont use them. In fact i prefer to use android app over ios apps due to the open source nature of the UI. The only thing that draws me back is airplay. I have an apple tv which is amazing for streaming video and photos. I actually have a smart tv with built in wifi but this is not a match for airplay. When will google launch something similiar? Shall i open the box?

    • Larry

      04/22/2013 at 6:39 pm

      I say open it, iPhone you have no cusmization option!! Android you doo, I’d buy that from you in a second, if u jailbreak iPhone than u can customize it, but than u loose warranty and if u download a bad item the iPhone is dust, my iPhone 5 was the first and last iPhone ever, they have had 6 models and the same UI setup?? Boring!! All the $$$ and the same old broken record year after year, android you have a wide choices to have as well as devices to choose from, iPhones are all look at what someone has and that’s it!! I thought I would try my first iPhone and was a big mistake, thank god I bought it on eBay so I’m not stuck in a contract, and its back for sale on eBay too!!!! In deciding in htc one or wait to see Samsung galaxy S4!! They both are very nice, the Sony Expheria was ok and I’m on that now, but its a overseas model so not all functions work, but its beats the ip 5 !!!

    • Mrrob

      04/26/2013 at 4:39 pm

      Ur an idiot. What’s this bullshit about buying a phone and then leaving it in the box?!? Get real…please

      • Larry

        04/26/2013 at 7:59 pm

        It was used new out of box duche, don’t matter it’s along the 405 freeway in Los Angeles , can u read

      • Larry

        04/26/2013 at 8:02 pm

        Go find it if u like!! All yours mr rob the knob!!

    • dfsafas

      05/14/2013 at 6:06 am

      you have obviously enough money (If you can buy a 500+ phone and sit it in its box on the shelf) why dont you buy the media link thing HTC offer for the One… From what I have heard the only issue is the price….which you don’t seem to have an issue with…

    • Mark

      05/23/2013 at 11:08 am

      Hey Captain! Nice post and I’m like you. I’m not an app guy so to speak, but I have to say. Since I got my HTC One delivered to me the day the phones came out that I have been playing with phone and like it so much that I have started using apps, lol. What’s opinion even today on the HTC One? Just curious to see if you like it and your favorite features for it?? Have a good day!!

  4. Fancy Pants

    04/22/2013 at 2:06 pm

    These five reasons don’t seem “strong” enough to make me upgrade to the HTC One rather than an iPhone. The speakers and larger screen dimensions are pretty cool, yes. Even with these nice additions and the amazing build quality, there is nothing that really makes me say “wow” here. I have no problems with my iPhone 5, I think Apple did an outstanding job. This article seems based off of opinions, rather than facts. Granted, I still think this is the best-looking Android device I’ve ever seen, and in terms of build quality and audio, much better than any Samsung Galaxy. When you are choosing a Smart Phone to buy, it’s always a great idea to buy what you want. I still think the iPhone 5 is an amazing Smart Phone, and that’s simply my opinion, period. I wish we could all respect each others opinion.

    • Larry

      04/22/2013 at 6:43 pm

      Does a iPhone speaker have a clear crisp sound as androids do??? No they don’t!! And all the$$$ yet they still have the same crap year to year and iOS issues , battery etc, the list goes on!! Great job Tim crook oh Tim cook!!

    • Collin

      04/23/2013 at 8:07 pm

      I agree with you, its hard to get an honest opinion because the forums are full of vituperative remarks and an array of lambasting! I initially had andriod(Htc Evo) which I did love. I have had the iphone 4, 4s, and now the 5. I tried multiple phones while I had my iphone but I kept coming back. I do love to customize my phone and I always jailbroke my iphones to give me something to do; however, i’m disappointed with the i5. Does it suck? absolutely not, anyone that says that hasnt used one, it doesnt suck, its extremely fast, especially where I live, i pull 25-40 mbps over LTE often and there is literally no lag no matter what I do. But, it has apps and that’s about it, the UI is boring and im looking for a change. This is the only android phone that has struck me so I ordered it and am now waiting, im keeping my iphone 5 on standby until my verdict is out but Im hoping this will be the one to convert me back to android! We shall see. Regardless, who cares what people say? Get the phone YOU consider better.

      • Larry

        04/24/2013 at 6:41 pm

        Well said there, very good!!

      • Alvaro

        05/04/2013 at 6:25 am

        Hi Collin , i am an iPhone user and sold my iPhone 5 16 gb yesterday, I wanted an 32 bg upgrade until I found the htc one out, I would like to know if you already received your htc one and your honest opinion comparing both phones

        Thank you

      • Mark

        05/23/2013 at 10:45 am

        Collin! Hope you post how you your phone (HTC One) when you get it. I can’t to see if you like it or not?

  5. Larry

    04/22/2013 at 6:46 pm

    That’s your opinion, this is USA we have the right to comment on what we want there!! But good choice on your device!!

    • Mark

      05/23/2013 at 10:43 am

      Larry! Like you I went out of town, vacation to Mexico actually and the Friday that the phone came out my HTC One was delivered. I’ve been playing around with it and everyday I seem to find something new on it. I love it for a phone. What’s your favorite feature for the One?!

    • Mark

      05/23/2013 at 10:50 am

      Larry, what’s your favorite feature for the One? I don’t know much about phones but I am a phone addict. I have bought a phone every year for the past 6 years for the most part. Really liking the HTC One!!!! :)

  6. Phone Addict

    04/22/2013 at 11:14 pm

    The One is so far the best Android device I have used. Has the best of size and speed and the quality of the speakers is amazing. Not only is it loud, but it is very crisp and clear. Quadrant scores over 12000 and battery life is about what I got on my S3, but no where close to my Note II. Camera is great as well, now I await putting this up against the S4 and see which one wins.

  7. IOU812

    04/23/2013 at 5:30 am

    The idiot who mention that the front speakers are not the great, dude u want ur music in front of you not the bottom, this phone looks to be far the best yet!!!!

  8. Larry

    04/24/2013 at 6:53 pm

    Just got my HTC ONE today :))) was a early birthday gift unexpected my fiance suprized me, I was so sick of my iPhone 5 64 gb I said hell no more laggy Verizon speeds so I tossed it out the window on the freeway!! Was cool to see and iPhone 5 get tossed and ran over into bunch of pieces :))) the LTE speeds are great and the display blows any iPhone away 1920by1020 vs iPhone 5 1186by 640 hmmmm what’s better and a bigger screen and android customizing ya the iPhone blows Steve jobs c.ck sorry Tim crook oh Tim cook

  9. Chris J.

    04/25/2013 at 12:22 am

    I cannot believe that it took this long for a phone maker to put the speakers on the front of a phone. I think this in its self is an awesome feature. I watch a lot of videos and movies on my GS3 and I have to cup the back of the phone or put in my head phones to here them.

    I am not an apple junky in fact the only apple product I own is an ipod 80g. The point is I don’t think it is far to place this up against the iphone5 because this phone is better than a lot of other phones.

    • Larry

      04/25/2013 at 7:54 pm

      Ya I was so happy to smash my iPhone 5 and toss it out on the freeway, the day I got my htc one ya front speakers R way cool I love it, and was a great IDEA!! Finally!!

  10. corleyman

    04/25/2013 at 10:27 am

    My wife just asked what I want for my birthday and the HTC One was my immediate response. This phone looks awesome! And I’ll be using it on my unlimited-4G-everything plan that costs me next to nothing! Check it out: http://www.GetServiceFree.com

    • Larry

      04/25/2013 at 7:56 pm

      Got mine for my birthday too lol

  11. Jose A.

    04/26/2013 at 9:41 pm

    Larry, instead of selling your phone you threw it out the window? Wow, that is so cool of you. What a lesson. You could have sold it and offset the cost but you are a rebel. hats off to you, so full off shit and still act like its true.

    • Larry

      04/27/2013 at 8:16 am

      Yes it’s true pendejo!!!

    • Larry

      04/27/2013 at 8:19 am

      Besides I got a new sealed in box from Verizon I had the iPhone isn. So now I can sell it for more than a used one!!

  12. Kris hamer

    04/27/2013 at 11:58 am

    I have iPad 3 and iPhone 4 , loved my iPhone 4 but have just upgraded to HTC one and absolutely love it. To buy the ip5 would of been like having an iphone4 for 4 yrs, they just ain’t different enough. HTC one is excellent phone.

    • Larry

      04/30/2013 at 10:33 am

      iPhones have not changed in 6 years since 2007 the same old UI etc they need a overhaul ios 7!!! Ya htc one is great!!!

  13. bakeaffairs

    05/07/2013 at 12:46 pm

    changed to htc one from iphone 5, it is an amazing difference. all i wished to have in the iPhone is now possible. there is close to no complain about the htc. Fast, beautiful design, user friendly, more freedom then with apple, easy to sync with my music and photos, perfect size of display (samsung is too big for my opinion), cool camera. the only flaw if it is one..the battery is not changeable but i guess i will have a new one before it gets bad. The battery holds up three times longer then with the iPhone. Just love it!! Thanks to HTC for this one.

  14. N

    05/22/2013 at 6:32 am

    The speakers on the iphone have actually a better position than HTC one. No matter how you put your phone down (table, sofa.. etc) you always hear it ringing clearly.

    • Aus

      06/01/2013 at 2:54 am

      That’s a lie. The speakers on the HTC One are a million percent better and better positioned. You are a lying twat of a fanboy.

  15. Mark

    05/23/2013 at 10:37 am

    Collin, I think you will be very satisfied with the HTC One! I absolutely like the HTC One over any phone that I have had in the past. Right on for a Smart Phone!! BTW, the sound is awesome!!!! Thanks to you all for your post.

  16. ASED

    06/17/2013 at 10:10 am

    suck my dick suckers…………

  17. Hammy

    06/22/2013 at 1:05 pm

    After reading this article I made the switch. Love the HTC One. Learning curve was a full week with no android experience. One regret is iTunes-iCloud sync is easy and in one place. All my current apps sync in several places ie: HTC Sync, Evernote, Inkpad, avast, Google drive. Have to remember where everything is if had to replace the phone.

  18. samibitab

    09/29/2013 at 3:17 am

    htc one is the best

  19. zziwa allan

    10/15/2013 at 11:59 am

    i wish to get one

  20. chantelle

    01/07/2014 at 8:29 am

    Not sure what to get iphone5s or htc one “/ can anyone give me the pros and con’s for each phone?

  21. Perks

    01/23/2014 at 11:16 pm

    I have both – a new HTC One and a year-old iP5 running iOS7. Make no mistake, the One is very, very good, in the main because (1) it has tried to emulate the iPhone’s design, and has a premium feel to it, and (2) Android 4.2 and/or the Sense 5 UI is such a huge step up from my previous experience of Android, V2.3 and a Samsung skin.

    The One is let down by small details. Tiny gappage between screen glass and aluminium case. Overly complex settings and interrelatedness of apps. No single tap to get to the top of a page in most apps. No notification preview in locked screen mode. Permanence of BlinkFeed. Lack of consistency of look and feel, across apps. The abysmal HTC Sync Manager software.

    By contrast, everything about the iPhone 5/S, iOS7, the app store, the apps, integration with other Apple devices, screams ‘polished’.

    On iOS6.x, Android Jelly Bean and the premium handsets (One, Galaxy SIII and S4, Nexus 4 and 5 etc) had the iPhone licked. Today, I’m not so sure. Make me pick one, and I’ll choose the Apple, every time.

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