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Galaxy S4 vs iPhone 5 vs. HTC One: Best Smartphone Screen Battle



The Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and the iPhone 5 are some of the best smartphones available on any carrier in the U.S. and one of the most noteworthy parts of each phone is the display.

These three top smartphones offer a range of sizes, resolution and screen technology that offer shoppers a lot of choice. Depending on how you plan to use each smartphone, there are clear advantages to some of the screen technology.

A new collection of screen comparisons with close-ups, viewing angle tests and brightness comparisons show where the iPhone 5, HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 shine.

These new set of photos come from PhoneArena, a mobile site with early access to the Samsung Galaxy S4, offering a round of comparisons to not only the HTC One and the iPhone 5, but also the Nokia Lumia 920, Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S3.

The iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S4 screen.

The iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S4 screen.

In the following photos we can see how the screens of the best smartphones of 2013 compare to each other, which can help shoppers plan which smartphone they want to buy. The Samsung Galaxy S4 pre-orders start on April 16th in the U.S. and the first Samsung Galaxy S4 release date s just two weeks later on May 1st.

Read: See What The Samsung Galaxy S4 Looks Like Next to the Best Smartphones

The iPhone 5 is already widely available, as are the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Samsung Galaxy S3. The Sony Xperia Z is available in the UK and other regions, but may never make it to the U.S. The HTC One was originally planned for a U.S. release date by now, but delays are pushing the phone back into late April.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One vs. iPhone 5 vs. Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia Z Screen Comparison

The collection of images below show a close up of the Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 5, Sony Xperia Z, HTC One, Galaxy S3 and Nokia Lumia 920.

These phones feature varying resolutions and screen technology which results in varying looks and screen quality. The biggest thing we notice in Samsung displays is the lack of a bright white, something these images show. This is thanks to the Super AMOLED technology used in the display. The overall look of the screen is not as green as shown below when viewed in person, but there is less than white look to the display while viewing text on white backgrounds.

This image shows the Samsung Galaxy S4 screen compared to the best smartphones on the market.

This image shows the Samsung Galaxy S4 screen compared to the best smartphones on the market.

The image also makes it possible to take a look at the difference in screen quality. The Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z and HTC One offer slightly sharper text definition than the iPhone 5, thanks to the higher resolution. These phones use a 1080P HD display, while the iPhone 5 Retina Display is 1136 x 640.

The images below shows a close up of the text on the Phone 5, Galaxy S4 and HTC One. This is closer than a user will ever get to the screen, but it hows how the higher pixel-per-inch rating looks up close.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Screen

This is a close up of the Samsung Galaxy S4 display. Here we get a look at the pixels, and the reason behind the less than white, white that we see on the Galaxy S4 display.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Screen Close Up

Samsung Galaxy S4 screen close up.

Even up close it is difficult to distinguish the actual pixels on the screen. This translates into better looking text and photos.

iPhone 5 Screen

This close up of the iPhone 5 screen shows where the bright white background comes from, and highlights why some users prefer a higher than Retina Display resolution.

iPhone 5 Screen Close Up

Apple iPhone 5 screen close up.

In this image we get a look at the pixels and can see a clear difference between the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S4. Again, this is closer than you will be to the screen, but it highlights a difference between these displays.

HTC One Screen

The image below shows a close up of the HTC One display. Here we get a good look at how HTC delivers a bright white background and very defined text.

htc one

HTC One screen close up.

Compared to the iPhone 5, the HTC One’s higher resolution is a plus in this example.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S4: 5 Features That Justify The $250 Price

Picking the best smartphones screen without looking at them in person is tough, so we recommend checking out these screens in person if you want a better comparison. In our experience Samsung screens are slightly warmer, with a blue-ish or green-ish white. The iPhone 5 delivers some of the whitest white backgrounds, and the HTC One is also capable of delivering a nice white background. 



  1. Riley

    03/31/2013 at 8:35 am

    I will have to see the phones in person to judge how good they look. Having seen the Droid DNA display a while back, it should look amazing. It’s a good thing to know that whichever phone I pick will have a 1080p display. I like passing time by watching my live and recorded shows on my phone while I’m on my way to work at DISH, since it takes a bit of time to get there. I’m able to stream from my DVR wherever I go using the DISH Anywhere app and I think it will work wonderfully on a higher resolution display.

  2. Thomas

    04/01/2013 at 3:07 am

    Le galaxy siv à l’air d’une mini tablette à coté de l’Iphone, c’est marrant :)

  3. Daryl

    04/02/2013 at 6:01 pm

    It looks like HTC One has the best screen compare to Galaxy S4 and iPhone5. For me the bigger and wider the screen, the better it is.

  4. micheal

    04/04/2013 at 11:45 am

    how muche can someone get htc one price

    • Michael Bednarz

      04/15/2013 at 8:55 am

      I pre-ordered HTC from last week for April 19th release for my eligible Sprint Upgrade of only $129.00 with 2 yr contract extension. They were out of B,back, but I wanted the silver brushed aluminum anyways. Sprint offers the phone for only $100 with transfer of existing number from competing carrier. Sprint only offers 32gb men, T-Mobile offers 32 & 64. Neither has expansion slot. Free Fedex overnight shipping included with orders.

  5. dev

    04/07/2013 at 2:12 pm

    I think htc one has owsm display ,,,samsung has over saturated colours which somehow I dont like ,,, what u gays think ? ……

    • Astrocr7

      04/28/2013 at 2:15 pm

      sorry but am not gay!!!!

  6. Gus

    04/08/2013 at 8:14 pm

    Everything garbage

  7. Michael Bednarz

    04/15/2013 at 9:07 am

    I did my research prior to ordering an HTC One last week and I liked features of the HTC One and Samsung S4 nearly the same. The LG Optimus G was in the running also and with its clean GUI that’s nearly free of bloatware and close to rooted software its a worthy option losing out only for battery endurance mostly. In the end my decision came down to the positive experiences I had with my last two HTC phones, the Evo 4, and my old Windows mobile HTC TouchPro. Quality phones for their time with good performance and durability vs.the horrible experience I had with a Samsung Instinct phone that I owned.

  8. deep

    04/19/2013 at 4:13 am

    htc one is is the 1… better display and better quality then samsung s4 and iphone 5.. samsung has dark and greenish display u r right dev.. now iam using my htc one x and iam very happy with the qualiy,

    • trob6969

      05/03/2013 at 12:24 pm

      m going with the s4 but would have choosen the One if it had a microSD slot and swappable battery…its really dumb to me that HTC has always pretty much set the standard of smartphone hardware tech advances for the other companies to follow ever since the release of the original EVO, and yet the company limits it’s products’ appeal and success by withholding certain features. The last truly innovative and ‘complete’ phone HTC released was the Rezound but it’s industry-first features were never marketed or even mentioned. Despite the phone’s various ground breaking features, the ONLY one marketed was Beats Audio?!…its that kind of decision making that keeps HTC’s success beneath Apple and Samsung.

  9. Greg

    04/21/2013 at 6:49 pm

    I think HTC is the phone of choice…..

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