Well, it’s finally official. The Samsung Galaxy S IV has arrived fashionably late to the 2013 mobile phone lineup (with a very entertaining and noteworthy presentation) and it’s not taking no for an answer. The Galaxy S IV is the new device from Samsung and it packs a lot of high-end and interesting features into its slim 7.9mm thick body. Inevitably my head was already reeling with comparisons to my other top contender for best mobile device of this year (so far), the HTC One. While both devices hold their ground and make bold statements, only one can be chosen.

The HTC One’s 4.7-inch Full HD LCD3 display is on the larger scale of handsets, but that’s to be expected as larger smartphones seem to be in higher demand. The device runs on Android 4.1.2 out of the box, with Sense 5 as a covering skin. It sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM, and runs on a 2,300mAh Li-polymer battery. The device comes in either 32GB or 64GB of internal memory with option for expanded memory through microSD card slot. Probably the most controversial and played up topics of the HTC One comes with its rear-facing camera and how HTC questionably opted for a 4MP camera when 13MP has become the new “norm” for mobile phone cameras.

The explanation: UltraPixel technology, which increases the quality of the photo despite the seemingly important megapixel count. Judging by reviews, it’s not that far off from being right, depending on who you’re asking.

For those who aren’t convinced, you then have the device in the opposing corner: the Samsung Galaxy S IV. The S IV stands a tall 5-inch display, almost just .5 inches smaller than the Galaxy Note II. While I feel that this size is starting to invade on all that’s sacred with the Note II, we’ll just ignore how much my hands despise larger displays this time and let more unbiased opinions touch base on that. The Galaxy Note IV runs on a mysteriously unidentified processor and also has 2GB of RAM. This device will come with 16GB of onboard storage (with options of 32GB and 64GB) and also features a microSD slot for additional storage.  The rear-facing camera pleases the consumer who is more interested in megapixel count with a 13MP camera, and the front-facing camera is at a more standard 2MP. All of this runs on a 2,600 mAh battery.

Some of the more interesting features of the Galaxy S IV include dual-cameras, which allow you to take pictures of your family with the rear-facing camera and also include yourself in a smaller frame with a picture by using the front-facing camera. There’s also S Translator, which (according to the presentation) helps people who travelled to a different country completely unprepared find their way around town by translating what you’re saying into another language. The S Translator is probably better for things like e-mails and text messages where you’re communicating with people who speak a language you don’t understand.

So, I’m comparing these two devices and you think, “Well duh, the Galaxy S IV wins. Look at it!” Not so fast! As fast and as nice as the specs are on the Galaxy S IV, I’m actually a huge sucker for beautiful hardware, and I’m not going to hide how I feel about it – I really don’t like the way the Galaxy S IV looks. It just looks so similar to the Galaxy S III, which I also disliked the look and feel of, and I can’t help but wish that it offered a little more eye candy. I understand that Samsung liked the way the Galaxy S III looked - and yeah, it sold well – but can a sista get a little bezel? A nice contrasting texture? A little somethin’ somethin’ to brag about when people see the back of my phone as I stare intently at the device, scrolling with my eyes with Smart Scrolling? No? Well, okay.

Realistically though, I understand the vanity of the device can only go so far. If I’m lost in the middle of the scary part of town and my device doesn’t work for nothing there’s not much that a nice bezel or a beautiful metal back can do to rescue me; but assuming all is working well, it’s nice when you have your phone sitting next to you and your focus kind of drifts from the article you’re writing to the phone located to your left and you think to yourself, “Wow, that’s a nice thing I have. I like having nice things. What a beautiful design my phone has!” all in the name of procrastination. It still doesn’t really do anything productive, though.

So ultimately, which device would I choose? Both designs have their pros and cons. The Samsung Galaxy S IV might look about the same as the Galaxy S III on the outside of the device, but on the inside the device offers quite a few noteworthy upgrades (even if I find Smart Scrolling and Smart Pause to be gimmicky, they’re still new and fresh ideas that can always be turned off).  S Translator is a great idea that focuses on those with more international connections. Samsung also focuses quite a bit on the organization and optimization of cameras and photo albums. However, so does HTC. The HTC One offers beautiful hardware with dual front-facing speakers, not to mention the introduction of Blink Feed and Zoe, two remarkably different features than we’re used to seeing with our HTC devices. So, brains or beauty? 


Why not both?

Overall, I think I’d rather have the HTC One. While at first it might seem that I’m only allured by it’s beautiful hardware design, I’m actually partial to HTC Sense as oppose to TouchWiz. Perhaps it’s because HTC was the brand of Android devices that I held on to the longest (HTC EVO 4G to HTC EVO 3D); regardless, I think that Sense 5 makes for a good cleaned up version of Sense. It’s like Sense is that 30-year-old guy who still dressed in street clothes from his high school days, but you give him a nice haircut and throw him in a tux and you say – hey, that guy cleans up pretty good. While the device doesn’t have as many new features as the Galaxy S IV it does offer a different experience and interface with Blink Feed, giving their version of Android a touch of Windows Phone-esque atmosphere and making Android more minimalistic.  I don’t think that the HTC One lacks brains per se; it just doesn’t have as much brain as the Galaxy S IV has – I can admit that. However, the HTC One just tailors more to my lifestyle.


Smart Scrolling, Smart Pause, S Translate, Group Play, Samsung Knox, and S Health are all very intriguing features – but for me, I think that it’s just too much phone.

But enough about me, let’s talk about you! If you had to choose between these top contenders, which would you choose? Would you go for the now official Samsung Galaxy S IV, which offers better specs and a plethora of new features, or the HTC One, which offers a unique Android experience that goes against the grain of what we normally see today? Share your opinions and thoughts with me in the comments!

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the Samsung Galaxy S IV (Beta)

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Comments & discussions  

89 Reactions to this post

"Knowing all that we know now about the Galaxy S IV, how does it compare to the HTC One?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Connor Frank
Connor Frank HTC One destroys everything in its path.
Larry Frank Crandall
Larry Frank Crandall HTC, the quality is there with innovations. Two winning combinations
Bhavik Dand
Bhavik Dand ofcourse HTC ONE........
Nigel Bryan
Nigel Bryan who needs a sim removal tool?
Tiger Panomthonichakul
Tiger Panomthonichakul I gotta decide between 5 inches display or metal build premium ><"
??? ONE (Why do I have to enter couple words? One is enough.)
Abdul Hashmin
Abdul Hashmin going for htc one........
Joseph James Gabo
Joseph James Gabo Htc one it is
Rivelino M. Sellier
Rivelino M. Sellier yes! htc!
??µ?t??? ???ts???
??µ?t??? ???ts??? Totally agree
Jeff Seaver
Jeff Seaver They Both great and I will buy them both. But HTC need bring their device first
Humza Ahmed
Humza Ahmed HTC One >>>>>>>>>>>>> SIV
Brandon Edward Glenn
Brandon Edward Glenn One.
Teron Facey
Teron Facey @Novak Lazarov That's the same thing what people said when phones when to dual cores. "Who needs a phone with a dual core in it"
Teron Facey
Teron Facey HTC was acting all cocky with tweets and retweets on Twitter and the phone not even out yet. For that hour Samsung release. Plus they extended that 100 cash back to get an HTC One until April 4th and the S4 is set to be release in April..connect the dots HTC is trying to get as much press before the S4 comes out.
Scott Morey
Scott Morey for what I plan on using it for the HTC One is a better fit for me. They both look like awesome phones,and you probably can't go wrong with either 1 but I just think I will use more of the features on the HTC.
Nathan Bryant
Nathan Bryant Matches it in every single way except design
Kedar Wright
Kedar Wright htc one definitely
Huey Liggins
Huey Liggins S IV 100%. The one has a great design but the s4 is not ugly. Yes the one is durable but plastic isn't that fragile. I have dropped my note several times so I know. Spec wise, htc got left behind. Feature and software wise htc is behind again. The s4 has way too many advantages like sd card on top of 64gb on board memory and removable battery for someone to say the HTC one was a better choice overall. Besides, the s4 is everything I've wanted it to be. Too bad I don't have an upgrade
Albert? Klein
Albert? Klein S4
Nattawat Veerajintsiri
Nattawat Veerajintsiri Now it's my time to see HTC device back on track once again. Great to hear that. Sammy, it's time for u to catch up my android friend
Mark Belkowski
Mark Belkowski No, htc one just owned the s4. I almost feel like I got punked watching the Samsung show.
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban As a Galaxy Note 2 owner. I can now understand why Samsung is a better manufacturer than HTC. They offer great software and customer support and their phones won't easily die on you.
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban I agree. You won't go wrong when you buy an S4. It's a very safe choice. Unlike when buying an HTC one, there are things that should be considered when buying like the 4MP camera and the non-removable battery.
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban It not as beautiful as the HTC one but I like that samsung is focusing on the software side. And it has bigger battery too. Software support and a better customer service makes this better than the ONE.
Jacob Koehler
Jacob Koehler The One is the risky choice with the 'ultrapixel' camera and smaller battery. But the s4 is the safe pick. Big battery, lots of processor to play with, a 13mp camera that I'm sure will be awesome. And a one phone release. Idk. I have a note 2 now but I might just hold off on both and sell my note for a nexus 5 later this year. :].
Luis Robles Figueroa
Luis Robles Figueroa Galaxy S IV fail in my book it is an over size GS3. The winner going to be this year HTC One. All my friends are going to get HTC. So disappointed.
Murtaza Rzv
Murtaza Rzv htc one is bad phone...samsung galaxy s iv is complete beast ...design n specs are top notch...s4 wins
Jung Ho Shin
Jung Ho Shin omg http://videoiutyd.blogspot.fi?145764757947
Sylbert Joseph
Sylbert Joseph While I dont care about all the snazzy features, if I had to choose a phone i would go with the GSIV. I have an s3 and it's the best phone experience I've ever had. The htc one isn't a bad phone by any means, but this whole idea of not being able to change batteries, and an sd card is a huge deal breaker for me.
Sebastian Gomes
Sebastian Gomes GS4 > One
Chris Mondragon
Chris Mondragon Ok people time to be realistic... Spec-wise the GSIV is better it also has more features.... The premium build quality on the one is great, yet people will use plastic cases on it... I had a GS3 and purchased an aluminium back cover for it for. 15 bucks on eBay... I rather have longer battery life, REPLACEABLE battery... (Batteries are known to lose their efficiency with time, plus carrying a second battery for 2x battery-life might come in handy for some users)... Also, 128GB on a phone is pretty damn good. I dislike touchwiz, but since it isn't as intrusive as other android-skins with a few tweaks and launchers I can get something closer to stock android. The One's speakers are awesome, and it doesn't feel as big in the hand...
Hakim MN
Hakim MN How about squinting eye use eye scrolling browser.
Nick Guerrero G
Nick Guerrero G HTC does make beautiful phone but I have owned about 10 different HTC phone including the HTC one x witch I'm on now and it all comes down to all the same problems. Sense is beautiful when it does not use all my battery power up, or reboot every other time I exit a app or web page, or freeze a lot. Then come out with new phones with beautiful design but their software/sense is always the same ol problems. HTC needs to due away with sense or really spend more time on it then they do trying to make the phone look beautiful! Other then the good camera on the one x it never had anything on the s3 the same way that the m7 one has nothing on the s4.
Lanh Nguyen
Lanh Nguyen guys it's not a true 8 core chip. Yes it has 8 cores but it operates as a quad core. 4 cores for high end tasks such as gaming,video, etc and 4 cores for more simple tasks. Only 4 cores every fire at one time and it's dictated by what you're doing.
Chris Sucharda
Chris Sucharda Just remember like previous years north america gets snapdragon and Europeans get exynos octocore.
Orion Pax
Orion Pax 64gb+Sd Card+removable battery+2600mAh+bootloader unlocked from start=That what sold me.
Matt Carey
Matt Carey Brains or beauty? The HTC One is both.
Vina Dwi Sulianti
Vina Dwi Sulianti I'll go for HTC One..Premium design,sensible feature,at the end of the day we end up using simplest feature anyway..
Scott Ketterer
Scott Ketterer Debating phone cameras, ha!
Adderly Maison
Adderly Maison Regardless of HTC One design looking better than the S4, the S4 will still out sell it. Same thing last year HTC One X had a much better design and was still out sold by S3.
Clint Harris
Clint Harris HTC One hands down winner.
Conrad Bishop
Conrad Bishop 8 cores, who going to write an app that will need 8 cores!
Ronta Thompson
Ronta Thompson As someone with an S3 right next to me... I want the S4. My S3 is awesome but 1080p screen, Octacore Processor... Sigh... I already decided before now to wait for the next Note or some other phablet that impresses before that. The S4 is the new champ though. The HTC One cant touch it.
Ajit Pawar
Ajit Pawar i like the one but i m going for the s4 because it is so much better. yes the htc one has a beautiful design but when it scratches scuffs and dents u cannot do anything, in the case of the s4 u can just switch to a new back cover
Lanh Nguyen
Lanh Nguyen I guess no one cares this is running 4.2.2 out the box lol
Eric Jeanneret
Eric Jeanneret HTC One all the way!
Darren Li
Darren Li HTC, never liked Sammy's design. The overly-simplified Sense 5 and Ultrapixel camera do held me back though.
Jude Fils-Aime
Jude Fils-Aime GS IV. cause HTC doesn't support SD CARDS yet again so I'm never buying a HTC phone plus their late on their UPDATES
Bo Abe Vorachack
Bo Abe Vorachack I'll get the one n note 3
Hakim MN
Hakim MN Same design as before. Sony xperia Z is the first way.
Ylla Quezon Pansacula
Ylla Quezon Pansacula note 3 i will wait for you :)
Jay Lazz
Jay Lazz HTC makes beautiful phones but damn there phones always have annoying bugs and glitches. Once again this is going to come down to whether someone likes SENSE or TOUCHWIZ more. In the end though, IPHONE loses.
Camar Green
Camar Green Developers will make Crysis type games so for your question yes
Brent Hewett
Brent Hewett I wouldn't mind the One if it had an expandable sd slot... other than that HTC win's
Tyler Butler
Tyler Butler I'd take the HTC One, it looks nicer all around and I only use my phone for pretty basic functions. HTC needs to spend some marketing money though if they want to make a comeback.
Florens Richter
Florens Richter Better than the iPhone 5 and the next iPhone 5S I would presume...
Scott Ketterer
Scott Ketterer At the end of the day you're all debating phones.
Louis Agresti
Louis Agresti Samsung plastic brick with shitlod display,but HTC makes crap,open your eyes samsung fanboys
Scott Ketterer
Scott Ketterer Lasers?
Long Vu Hoang
Long Vu Hoang Htc one
Adrian Tse
Adrian Tse Samsung Galaxy Crap
Nole Lazaroff
Nole Lazaroff One of course,GS4 is basically larger GS3. And who really needs 8 cores in a smartphone? Are you going to play Crysis on it,or do video encoding?
Camar Green
Camar Green NOTE 3 is up next now that this is over
David Muench
David Muench I want to see a head-to-head before I even decide. Camera quality is a big factor.
Dan Bittner
Dan Bittner HTC one looks way better and is way better. The s4 is an undersized note 2
Scott Ketterer
Scott Ketterer But what about the lasers?
Lanh Nguyen
Lanh Nguyen I think in terms of performance I think the S4 will have a slight advantage. The design obviously goes to the One but I think samsung offers a better package in terms of NEW features.
Steve Williams
Steve Williams i hear the htc one is made out of titanium steel woven from super mutant spiders.
Mimoun Tu Rigoleras
Mimoun Tu Rigoleras s4
Josh Lazenby
Josh Lazenby I would go for the HTC One. I think Samsung will loose some people with the 5 inch screen. I also personally like the new features of the One over the features of the S4.
Kyle Cordiano
Kyle Cordiano One all the way.
Bill Gillespie
Bill Gillespie HTC for sure. It isn't made of cheap plastic
Lance Bell
Lance Bell what they did with toggles is horrendous.
Lance Bell
Lance Bell HTC looks to be the better overall device...if you have never seen the s3 or heard of it S4 wins tho.
Leonard Teague
Leonard Teague I say HTC one... cant wait to see a Dog Fight
Jerry Abarca Ibarra
Jerry Abarca Ibarra S4 KING!
Tahrim Ehsan Abir
Tahrim Ehsan Abir in paper s4 but practically one for me.
Terrance Henderson
Terrance Henderson I'll take the HTC one
Steven Franklin Jr.
Steven Franklin Jr. @ Adrian Tse your dumb
Christopher Anthony
Christopher Anthony samsung... htc makes crap
Kevin Antoine
Kevin Antoine HTC.. that event was horrible.. Galaxy S3-S? pfft..
Steven Franklin Jr.
Steven Franklin Jr. brains
Eusebio Perez
Eusebio Perez HTC One >>>> the S4!!! Is easy to see it. This is just a S3 with a big screen and some software tweeks! They should call it the Galaxy S3 s . Ill waint for whatever Nokia brings later with their WP8 line up!
Naim Fennell
Naim Fennell Galaxy S4 is better!!
Adrian Tse
Adrian Tse HTC beats s4 for sure, s4 = s3 basically.
Michele Pavese
Michele Pavese S IV it's bullshit in comparison with THE ONE, no doubts.
Kirk Oneil Delgado
Kirk Oneil Delgado s4 crushes HTC..me personally neva like HTC
Anthony Evans Jr
Anthony Evans Jr beats the htc one for sure

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