Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One: 5 New Things to Know

After weeks and weeks of waiting, consumers were finally treated to the releases of the two biggest smartphone launches of the year in the form of the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. Even though they are now on shelves, available to buy, their stories have not ended. Indeed, the match up between the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 will wage on far into 2013 and beyond.

While 2013 will likely be chock full of smartphone releases, we’ve already seen two of this year’s powerhouses arrive. In April, after a bit of a delay, HTC finally released the HTC One onto AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the United States and to carriers around the world. The device takes over for the HTC One X and the HTC One X+ and does so with confidence.

The device sports a fantastic, full-metal design that rivals that of the iPhone 5 in terms of quality and also features some high powered specs, chief among them a 4.7-inch full HD display, quad-core processor, Ultrapixel camera, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the new Sense 5. It’s a package that should be enticing to consumers. Of course, it’s not the only option available.

Around the same time, Samsung released its Samsung Galaxy S4 which has replaced the popular Samsung Galaxy S3 as the company’s flagship smartphone model. Like the HTC One, it also has a bunch to offer consumers.

Features include a 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core processor, 13MP camera, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and a host of smart features from Samsung including one that allows owners to manipulate content on the display without physically touching the display.

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Needless to say, these are two devices worthy of attention from consumers and they are two devices that are on a competitive collision course for the months to come. Many consumers are likely weighing the two, soaking in all of the information. And while much of that information arrived with the devices themselves, we’re now also learning a great deal more about these two flagships and their battle for Android smartphone supremacy in the United States.

Here now, we take a look at what we believe are the five most important new things to know about the match up between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and its rival, the HTC One.

Verizon Galaxy S4, HTC One Remain Unreleased

The Galaxy S4 and HTC One remain unreleased on Verizon.

The Galaxy S4 and HTC One remain unreleased on Verizon.

Despite being the nation’s largest 4G LTE provider and one of the most popular destinations for consumers, Verizon has yet to release either the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One. And while the tale of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is clear cut, the saga of the Verizon HTC One is as confusing as it ever has been.

In March, Verizon confirmed the Samsung Galaxy S4 for arrival. And while its competitors starting lobbing release date information several weeks later, Big Red remained mum, even with rumors pointing to a May 30th release.

Sadly, that date turned out to be the real deal as Verizon confirmed it as the Galaxy S4′s in-store and likely online release date. That date means that Verizon will get the device just about a month after the other four big carriers in the United States. Currently, the device is up for pre-order through Verizon, Best Buy, RadioShack and premium retailers. Staples will also have the device on hand when it arrives.

As for the HTC One, well, the situation isn’t clear at all. There have been rumors swirling around since before the HTC One launch about a possible HTC One release on Verizon. As the weeks have gone on, the situation has unfortunately unraveled into something extremely confusing.

Neither HTC nor Verizon is saying much but rumors suggest that Verizon will carry some type of HTC One device in the future. It’s unclear whether it will be the same exact device as the other carriers, only several months later, or whether Verizon will opt for something else to replace the Droid DNA, perhaps, a supercharged HTC One.

At any rate, the most recent rumors suggest a release date that’s several weeks away at best so consumers should know that they could be waiting awhile for answers to these mysteries.

16GB is the New 8GB, 32GB the New 25GB

As we have pointed out several times, both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One have come under fire for their storage space issues. While it’s nothing new, Galaxy S4 and HTC One owners are a bit peeved by the fact that their devices don’t come with the amount of advertised storage space. Manufacturers and carriers warn consumers about storage being taken up in the fine print but with the limitations that both of these devices have, along with the increasing size of files, the problem has never been more in focus.

The problem with the HTC One is that on some carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile, it’s only available in 32GB form. And with about 7GB of that storage space eaten up before it’s even powered up, and with the lack of a microSD card slot, users are only limited to about 25GB of storage space to go with the cloud. For people shooting photos and video and those that can’t shift to AT&T’s 64GB HTC One, that’s an issue.

The Galaxy S4 and HTC One both have storage limitations.

The Galaxy S4 and HTC One both have storage limitations.

It’s even a bigger problem with the Samsung Galaxy S4 as the device only comes in 16GB at most carriers, AT&T being the only carrier that’s offering a 32GB model, at least for now. The device comes with about 45% of that storage space eaten up at the start which means it’s essentially an 8GB device. Fortunately, the device has a microSD card slot. But as we’ve learned the microSD card for the Galaxy S4 is worthless as much of the data that consumers would want to move to the microSD card can’t be moved at all.

This won’t be a deal breaker for some people but for others, it’s something that could potentially drive them to other phones that don’t have these limitations.

Prices Have Already Dropped

One fantastic thing that prospective HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 buyers should know is that prices for both devices have already dropped, just a few days after their release on their respective carriers.

Retailers like Amazon, Sam’s Club and Walmart are currently offering discounts on select models of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One which means that those not looking to pay the $199.99 and above price tags on these device’s have alternatives.

We fully expect the prices to drop even further as the months go on, particularly around the time that Apple announces a brand new iPhone 5S, and we also believe the Verizon Galaxy S4 will be discounted almost immediately after it arrives.

Galaxy S4 Mini & HTC One Mini & More Are On the Way

Those who aren’t interested in the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, whether it’s due to needs, price or something else entirely, have some alternatives on the way.

This is said to be the Galaxy S4 Mini next to the Galaxy S4.

This is said to be the Galaxy S4 Mini next to the Galaxy S4.

Both HTC and Samsung are thought to be coming out with smaller versions of their flagship smartphones. In the case of the Galaxy S4, it’s the Galaxy S4 Mini that is rumored for arrival in July with a 4.3-inch display, speedy processor, 8MP camera and a design that looks like the Galaxy S4′s. Samsung is also thought to be debuting a device called the Samsung Galaxy S4 Activ which will serve as a rugged version of the device.

The Galaxy S4 Activ is thought to be resistant to dust and water, just like the design of the Galaxy S4 competitor, the Sony Xperia Z. It’s also thought to be coming in July.

This is said to be the HTC One Mini or, the HTC M4.

This is said to be the HTC One Mini or, the HTC M4.

As for the HTC One, HTC is rumored to be coming out with a device called the HTC M4 or HTC One Mini that will take the HTC One’s full metal design and shrink it in size.

Rumored specs include a 4.3-inch 720p display, dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, 1700 mAh battery and the same Ultrapixel camera found on the HTC One. A release date is unknown but HTC is thought to be trying to get it out this summer.

Android 4.3/Android 4.2 on the Horizon

The next version of Android could be Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

The next version of Android could be Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

As for current owners of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, there are good things on the horizon in terms of software updates. For the HTC One, it’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean which has been pegged for release sometime in the weeks ahead. We imagine that HTC is hard at work trying to get the software out and we’ve heard that it was planning to get it out one to two months after its release.

HTC still hasn’t confirmed anything but we fully expect the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update to arrive in the relative near future, at least for the unbranded version of the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S4 owners already have Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on board though they may be staring in the face of another Jelly Bean update as well.

Rumors suggest that Google may be introducing Android 4.3 Jelly Bean at Google I/O and not Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. The software has shown up in server logs already so it’s possible that it will be the next update for Galaxy S4 owners.

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Google in the past has released the software shortly after its announcement and Samsung has worked quickly to get its devices up to speed. So if all goes well, Galaxy S4 owners could be looking at a new major version of Android in just a couple of months time.

Comments

  1. Wayne says

    I’m having a tough time deciding between these two phones. It seems like both have their share of advantages and disadvantages. Better sound with one, better camera with the other. I’m leaving my decision up to the XDA development posts. I’m going to get the phone that has the most developer support.

    • Arjun Singh says

      Hi Wayne,
      The feature stack of Galaxy S4 overshoots HTC one almost in all respects. Only plus point with HTC is an aluminium body. S4 definitely puts some of the most advanced smartphone features in your hand. If you are not too particular about the screen size, then you must check out iPhone 5 as well. In fact you might want to check the face-off between Galaxy S4 and iPhone5 before making a decision http://www.brandcollage.com/faceoff/apple-iphone5-vs-samsung-galaxy-s4/

      • Les Moor says

        I would add to the One pro column the 64GB version. While AT&T has the upper hand on the other carriers it is possible to get the Developer Edition from HTC. As soon as TMO brings LTE to my area that version of the One will be my choice. I may go through the pain of living with EDGE until then just to get the One now. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the Dev One is SIM unlocked,has an unlocked bootloader, and is contract free.

    • david says

      the htc one kicks the s4 ass on most departments and 9 outa ten websites say so, techradar even gives it 5 outa 5 only the 3rd phone to get that. there is 8 roms out 4 it already , im using trickdroid atm and i got 39 hours and 8 hours screen time from 1 charge. do urself a favour and have a look at em both in shop like i did and i bet u buy the htc one, and wont look back. and htc say they will be 1 of the 1st phones with 4.3.

    • Jeff says

      I’ve owned a s4 for ten days. Trust me when I say it is a waste of money very laggy. And random alarms go off that you don’t set. Sure the stats look good but the phone does not perform. I am now the proud owner of an HTC one and I couldn’t be more happy. It’s the perfect phone. Great design and snappy and the camera is fast not shutter lag. And the pictures kook great too!

      • onemansopionion says

        And I thought it was just me. I returned the S4 for the exact same reason, it was just way too laggy. Even with 4G LTE service and getting blazing results on SpeedTest, the phone was still too laggy. The HTC is not laggy at all and just feels refined in the hand. Plus battery life is amazing.
        Keep in mind Im moving from an iPhone 5 to an Android, so I’m COMPLETELY unbiased. The HTC one blows my iPhone 5 out of the water.

        • Larry says

          I told everyone that, the HTC ONE is the # 1!!! That’s why I sold the laggy iPhone 5 !!

    • william says

      On the surface it does appear that the s4 has many more features. However, some reviewers are calling these features gimmicky and/or seriously flawed. You have to ask yourself if you will use these features. The nice part about the HTC is that the screen is much more viewable outside, the camera is far better in low light situations, and the beats audio/boom sound is the best available on any phone and makes quite the difference for gaming and videos. The one is a seriously impressive device.

      • JC (@soleil3gs) says

        The S4 camera is much more detailed and is a better all around performer, the S4 allows you to expand storage, has a replaceable battery, a bigger screen with Amoled tech and has so many features. Great thing is if you dont use many of those features you can turn them off. With blinkfeed, it is not possible at this time to remove it so you are forced to have it as one of your homescreen. The S4 is definitely the better choice.

  2. john says

    Someone is recommending an iphone5… Did I just read that right?

    Never fails, as soon as the iPhone is forced into the conversation all credibility is lost.

    If you want a 3 year old phone with a screen you need a magnifying glass to look at it with then sure the iPhone.

    If you want a phone that represents technology in the present day then it’s between Xperia Z, HTC one, or SGS4. The Z is the best dev phone for modifying experience and overall feel in the hand plus it’s nice to take a shower with it while playing music, waterproof yep like it. The One is probably the best overall smartphone ever made… Period. Speakers are ridiculously awesome although there is a mod for the Z to make it close. The build quality of the One is unmatched. The SGS4 is highly overrated. Way to many software gimmicks. Touchwiz on it makes it an abomination. If you plan on stripping off touchwiz and go ASOP… CM10.1 then it’s a decent phone but no HTC One.

    Just my .02 cents… Btw, I own all 3 phones.

    • Christina L. says

      My contract with tmobile is up june 1st and I’m debating wether to stay with them and get either HTC one or SG S4, since you own them both what are some pros/cons (I’m not technical at all so pretend like you’re talking to an 8 yr old ;) I currently have HTC my touch 4G and use my camera a lot and listen to my MP3 player and just do some basic internet things. If you have time to respond I would greatly appreciate it, thanks in advance!

    • Ryan M. says

      My wife has the S4 and I have the One. At first I had some phone envy of her S4 – It seemed more approachable to turn on for starters where the One was a bit awkward and might even require two hands for some users. It also has more screens than the maximum of 5 screens on the One, including non-removable Blinkfeed page. After a few days of playing with both phones, I’ve had less envy of the S4. Some of my observations:
      * The screen seems less bright on the S4 than the One when both are in Power Save Mode.
      * When she’s driving and on speakerphone on the S4, I really cannot hear her over the road noise in her fairly quiet Honda Accord.
      * While it may be a network thing, even with all notifications turned off, she hears a beeping or cutting out of the volume while she’s on a call, which is a bit annoying to her and may even be a deal-breaker for her.
      * We have both phones in cases. Subjectively, the S4 almost feels too light to me, almost toy-like while the One feels more substantial.
      * While the One is not the perfect phone either with respect to its software, the Samsung to me feels more like a mess to me now. While it may offer more features in total than the One, the S4 feels more cluttered to me.
      * As a musician and music listener, the sound quality of the One is far superior to the S4. If that’s important to you too, I’d really give the One a shot.

      There’s 4 cents worth between the two of us…

      • Christina L. says

        Thank you so much! I am leaner more towards the One, I just really love that you can take panorama pics with the galaxy, and since we’re in Lake Tahoe I would use that feature A LOT! But I think I would enjoy the One overall. Hard decision!

        • Ryan M says

          The One also has the panarama feature. HTC calls it “Sweep Panarama” which is one of the Photo Capture Modes. I just used it for the first time and it works well. Does that make the decision any easier? Good luck with your decision!

          • Christina L. says

            I didn’t know the One had that feature, that does make things easier, thank you so much!

    • Keegan says

      Just a heads up, .02 cents is 1/50th of a cent. You probably meant 2 cents. Also I strongly disagree with your reviews of the sgs4 and Xperia. The htc one is great but not quite as good as the sgs4.

  3. Susan R. Brown says

    Since I freelance I’ve been bringing in $90/h… I sit at home and i am doing my work from my laptop. The best thing is that i get more time to spent with my family and with my kids and in the same time i can earn enough to support them… You can do it too…. http://www.Jax3.cℴm

  4. Larry says

    The GS4 looks great but don’t own one but checked one out and was impressive but chose my HTC ONE better metal case not plastic like Samsung but it’s a close tie for me the HTC wins!!

  5. Kiwitech says

    No doubt Samsung has done a nice homework before releasing S4, including more than 100 features from S3 makes it pretty attractive to the world but HTC One looks more convincing to me. Compared HTC One with Xperia Z few days back and found One to be the winner when performance is the criteria.

  6. Jim WArrick says

    I definietly looked at both phone at AT&T (I’m a Verizon customer so it’s a bit of a moot point) and would pick the S4 in all but two areas. Harware finish and software look (not usability. The hardware finish again is a moot point as 80% of the population (including myself) will put a case on it (I’m an iPhone 5 user now) and while the software look is important it isn’t as important as the ultimate feature where the S4 again wins. The screen is a no-brainer S4 all the way, it was stunning!

  7. albertyouwrong says

    I really like my S4, but out of all the features, Air View is the only one I find myself using. And I do have some issues with it. Out in the sunlight, the screen is hard to read(especially with sunglasses on). Coming from an iPhone 4S, I feel like I always have to baby the S4– feels fragile. When the phone vibrates, even on low intensity vibration, you can hear the phone rattling. In quiet areas you have to put the S4 completely on silent or everyone near hears your phone rattling around.

    Then for the screen, you have to turn off Samsung’s ridiculous color saturation to get the screen even somewhat accurate. The screen is still nice but if color accuracy is important, I suggest you go look at the phone in person. Turn off auto color adjustment, and set to movie mode…. Then, go look at the One or the iP5′s screen.

    The HTC One was originally my first choice, until I got wiser. There’s many stories about misaligned parts of the body, such as the speaker covers snagging clothing and what not. Check the phone before you pay for it! If you plan on keeping it, remember that HTC made it almost impossible to replace the battery without damaging the metal case and other internals. A certain tear down site gave it their worst “repairable” rating.

    In my opinion, iOS still offers the simplest, easiest, seamless experience. Yea, I agree Android offers more features, and openly supports roots and custom roms– I love that. But it’s in the day to day details where iOS wins in my book. I have to wait for a quick second when I do anything on the S4, compared to the snappiness of the iPhone. Sometimes the Android keyboard doesn’t want to pop up. When the cursor is blinking, why isn’t the keyboard already open? it’s easier to select all/cut/paste, and its just faster to use with less screen taps. It also annoys me that Android stopped allowing app installs to the SD card. 9GB available on the S4? That’s horrible. Big name 3D games are already over a gig. I’m going to switch to a 32GB S4 tomorrow, then 18 months from now, it looks like I’ll be switching back to iOS.

  8. Lucas Haines says

    I have the HTC One. I came from an iPhone and I have to say I am very impressed with how far htc has come since IA last owned one. I compared it very thoroughly to the SG4, both in and out of the store, and found the HTC to be a much better overall experience. The Samsung has a heavy software that makes the phone seem sluggish at times and quite frankly and little gimmicky, out dated (in terms of software look and feel) and toyish. The Samsung has great specs on paper with the exception of real world storage but the HTC is in another league in terms of everyday usability, look and feel. The screen itself is amazing. I find myself consistently amazed with the speed and quality of the image rendering. Extremely clear, lifelike and accurate. Great job htc. Very happy with my decision.

  9. Jim Warrick says

    This is great feedback Lucas for someone like myself that has to wait for Verizon to get off their behind and get both phones in stock. Thank you.

  10. Daniel Alexander (@dalex7777) says

    For Wayne, when it comes to recommendations, everyone has different use cases and requirements. For me, I looked at both the HTC One and the Galaxy S 4 side by side at a store. I decided to go with the One. Whereas last year the Galaxy S3 was known as a speedy performer, this years model makes do with the same amount of RAM but many more questionable features.

    The lag in the Galaxy S 4 is apparent and obvious.

    On the other hand the HTC One is speedier in day to day use than not only the GS4 but even the Nexus 4 with pure Android. I don’t know what @htc did in Sense 5.0 but their hard work and dedication shows!

    I also looked at both of the screen side by side and I preferred the natural colors and whiter whites of the Super LCD 3 screen on the One than the non-lit pixel, deep blacks on the GS4. Again this is a preference and opinion.

    Try them out for yourself.

    • Jim Warrick says

      I seem to have stumbled into an HTC One Love Fest. Not a criticism, simply an observation. Food for thought but luckily (I guess) Verizon has made the choice for me. Thanks for all of the great input!

  11. Naz says

    I had a htc one it was awful its lagging so much and isn’t that clear. It hardly has anything new. I bought the s4 it is way more better than htc one or iPhone its perfect and so diverse than other phones.

    • Jim Warrick says

      Finally someone who isn’t an HTC fanboy! Not that that is an issue. Everyone is allowed to have a favorite but this was getting way one sided. People who aren’t fortunate to have access to either phone right at the moment (but once they do will almost certainly have a better all around experience, yes Verizon even though you are ticking me off I give you props for the best reception and consistent data) are genuinely curious what the pros and cons of each are. These threads that go on and on about the earth shattering virtues of one phone and nothing but disdain for another don’ t offer much perspective. Sigh.

      • Larry says

        Better to be a HTC fan boy than an I fag iPhone boy??as for Verizon they are ok for voice call but suck on data!! Just like AT&T !! I went from Verizon to t mobile and no more issues and money to save!! Not Verizon breakin the bank!!

        • Jim Warrick says

          Well Larry I’m sure we all appreciate your useful and intelligent feedback. I for one find you to be a revolting and unintelligent person who clearly suffers from extremely low self esteem. It is the only thing that can explain your unwarranted attack. Do you think your pathetic comments were constructive?

          I hope that someday you can become a productive and constructive member of society. For now I can’t think of a single reason anyone would care for you. I wish you the best, something you clearly withhold through your utter disdain for human decency. Please consider in the future being more constructive and less universally and disgustingly offensive. I fortunately do not have to defend my comments but you have no defense for yours. Thank you.

  12. xkappuccino says

    Galaxy S4 is far superior to the One in nearly every aspect. I used the One for a couple weeks when it was too laggy and the camera was just bad in general compared to my iPhone 4S. My friends and I bought the S4 (our first time using a Galaxy phone) and I must say, it nearly blew our minds away. It is sleek-looking, has amazing UI, extremely comfortable to use, and very fast.

    If you have trouble deciding which smartphone to use, my peers and I highly recommend buying the Galaxy S4. There is a reason why Samsung is currently the top of the electronics (and beating HTC pretty badly). You won’t regret it. :)

    • Lucas Haines says

      I call BS. The HTC has ZERO lag. Sorry but I have had it was a few weeks now and have never experienced a slowdown. I played with the s4 in the store and experienced many periods of micro lag within the first few mins. The camera on the one takes a bit less vibrant photo than I’d like, but tHe software runs much much better than the fugly gs4.

  13. cheryl says

    I would be nice if you could delete Larry and John’s comments. As you said they are not intelligent and therefore make irrelevant any points they may be trying to make. I am really enjoying reading the discussions regarding the phones. Thanks

  14. Tech Geek says

    Samsung Galaxy S4 is full of features apps and tech , its poor build quality as compare to this range phones like HTC One or IPhone 5 leaves S4 at 2nd position in this comparison So only Silver for Galaxy S4. Now the winner the HTC One is a masterpiece from HTC. The build quality is superb which gives quite a competition to Iphone 5, and enshrines a really top-notch screen that really takes the fight to Samsung. Boom Sound and Ultrapixels are novel and useful concepts, and the Zoe functionality brings a twist to cameraphone use. This phone is really a best android phone in market for 2013.

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