While much of the talk these days is about devices like the iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max, there are plenty of consumers that aren’t in the business of waiting to buy a smartphone. Instead, they’ll look to buy from the current smartphone market and two of the names that will likely pop up are the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Over the past few weeks, consumers have been inundated with rumors about next-generation smartphones set to debut later in the year. Among those are the successors to the iPhone 5 in the iPhone 5S, the Galaxy Note 2′s successor in the Galaxy Note 3, and a new HTC device called the HTC One Max which is said to be a larger version of the company’s current flagship.
However, none of those devices will be hitting shelves any time soon as they are all rumored for the month of September with release dates that could certainly come later than that. For some smartphone shoppers, waiting a few more weeks won’t be a big deal. Many others though will likely be searching for a new smartphone right now.
Two of the smartphones that consumers will likely encounter in their search for a new smartphone are the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4, the respective flagships from their respective companies. These devices, despite the rumors, remain two of the best smartphone options on the table to consumers right now.
While they have been out for a few months, their battle is an evolving one as things have changed drastically since they first arrived on American carriers back in April of this year. In fact, there are some extremely important details that consumers should know, right now, about the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 before buying.
Here, we take a look at the five things buyers need to know about the battle between the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.
Those looking to get the HTC One on AT&T or Sprint or the Samsung Galaxy S4 on AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon will find that their prices have dropped drastically since they first arrived.
While carriers continue to offer those models with their regular $199.99 price tags, retailers like Amazon have cut their prices immensely. For instance, the AT&T HTC One, right now, is only $50 on-contract. That price is for the 32GB option which is $199.99 on-contract through AT&T itself. Those looking to snag a Sprint Galaxy S4, will find that the device is a mere $140 on-contract at Amazon.
These prices should dip down once we start getting close to the Galaxy Note 3, iPhone 5S and HTC One Max launches and we should start seeing these devices dip well below $100.
And while they haven’t received deep discounts through carriers just yet, we could see some of those carriers make a move in the coming weeks in order to try to get a few out the door ahead of their new crop of smartphones.
Verizon HTC One
While the Galaxy S4 is currently available on Verizon, the HTC One is not, though that should change soon. For months, the HTC One on Verizon has been a thorn in the side of consumers, first as a rumor and now as an official device without a release date.
Indeed, the HTC One for Verizon is a real device and it will be coming to shelves sometime this summer. It’s looking like the device is likely going to be the same HTC One that we’ve seen on shelves already so buyers should not expect anything drastically different. Rumors suggest that it will be coming on August 1st though that remains unconfirmed.
Point is, those who are looking for more choices or a device on Verizon will likely want to wait a few weeks.
Two Galaxy S4 32GB Options
At the beginning, the Samsung Galaxy S4 only was available in 16GB form. Shortly after its launch, AT&T announced and released the 32GB for $250 on-contract. For weeks, it remained the only U.S. carrier with that option, that is, until Verizon launched its own 32GB Galaxy S4.
Right now, there are only two 32GB Galaxy S4 options, AT&T’s and Verizon’s. With Verizon’s price drop, both are now on equal footing, sitting at $250 on-contract.
These devices, while tempting, aren’t necessary for most users. The Galaxy S4 possesses a microSD card slot that allows users to expand their storage by up to 64GB. With 16GB, that means 80GB of storage, with 32GB that means 96GB. That’s a lot of space.
Of course, those looking to buy either the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 should know that the HTC One is stuck with either 32GB or 64GB of space. And thanks to an exclusive, the 64GB HTC One is only available on AT&T.
Equal But Different Software
The Samsung Galaxy S4 launched with the latest version of Android on board, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. That of course was complimented by the company’s TouchWiz software which delivers some unique features including Air View which allows users to hover their finger over content to get a preview and Smart Scroll which reads the users eyes and scrolls down or up accordingly.
The HTC One did not arrive with Android 4.2 but recently, HTC finally made the upgrade and the software is rolling out, in phases, around the world. The United States of course is likely going to be last and none of the HTC One’s carriers which include AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have rolled out the update. The Verizon HTC One is thought to have it stock.
So while both devices are now on Android 4.2, the HTC One doesn’t share the same TouchWiz UI as the Samsung Galaxy S4. Instead, it uses something called HTC Sense 5 which like TouchWiz, is laid over Android and changes the appearance, and features, drastically.Two of the key features of Sense 5 are HTC Zoe for use with the camera and HTC BlinkFeed, a social homescreen.
Key thing to know here is that while they both run Android, they run drastically different versions of Android, despite being on the same software version.
New Galaxy S4, HTC One Variants
Those who are intent on buying a Galaxy S4 or HTC One should know that there are, and will be, new variants of these devices that could be tempting to buyers.
Starting with the Galaxy S4, we’ve seen Samsung launch a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini – a smaller version of the Galaxy S4, a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active on AT&T which is both dust and water resistant, and a Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, a device with a 16MP camera. These are out on shelves and are available to buyers in the U.S. right now.
The HTC One is a little behind, but it too will be getting complimented by other One branded devices starting with the HTC One Mini.
The HTC One Mini is a smaller version of the HTC One and it should be out in just a few weeks time. August 9th, in fact, has been pegged as its release date in the United Kingdom, which could mean a release in the U.S. around then. The device has been rumored for T-Mobile USA thought it’s possible that it could be coming to other carriers as well.
While the HTC One Mini won’t be as powerful as the HTC One, it should be a cheaper alternative to the larger HTC One and thus, something that prospective Galaxy S4 and HTC One buyers will want to look at.