Review

Cameras: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One

There's a fierce battle currently between two massive Android flagships - the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One - and we've already reviewed both of them. Samsung is pushing their device like never before with a huge marketing budget, while HTC's future hinges on the technology and improvements they've crammed into their device.

A head-to-head showdown is inevitable, but in the meantime we have two impressive cameras that need to be compared. On the Galaxy S4 we have a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor RS BSI sensor with 1.12 μm pixels and a f/2.2 35mm-equivalent autofocus lens; and on the HTC One we have a 4-megapixel "Ultrapixel" BSI sensor with 2.0 µm pixels and an f/2.0 28mm-equivalent autofocus lens.

Below I've compiled a range of comparisons between the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4's camera in a range of situations, grouped into good lighting (outdoors, sunny), moderate lighting (cloudy, indoors, good artificial lighting), low-light (night, poor artificial lighting), and a video recording comparison. There's also a look at the features of both cameras in the conclusion.

Throughout this comparison please mouse over the image to reveal the image from the other camera. The HTC One's photo is the default photo, while mousing over will reveal the Galaxy S4's photo. It may take some time for the second image to load following the mouse-over, so be patient.

Good Lighting

The images below are from the HTC One, and on mouse-over from the Galaxy S4

Result: Tie. Both images above are very similar.

Result: HTC One. The saturation of green in the One's image more closely matches the real-life grass.

Result: Galaxy S4. The color saturation from the GS4 is more accurate, and the lighting is better.

Result: Galaxy S4. I couldn't get the One to focus on the relatively small flower in the foreground whatsoever; it seems the camera has issues in similar situations.

Result: HTC One. With a scene featuring lots of shadows, the HTC One exhibits greater dynamic range with similar color quality.

Result: Galaxy S4. As the GS4 has three times more megapixels at its disposal, images are not only sharper when scaled down, but in 100% crops like above, you get a greater zoom distance and generally better detail.

Moderate Lighting

The images below are from the HTC One, and on mouse-over from the Galaxy S4

Result: Galaxy S4. The HTC One looks washed out and can't match the solid color saturation of the GS4.

Result: HTC One. This particularly shot was an interesting battle to get without blur on the Galaxy S4, and while the colors are better in the end, the sharpness and sheer frustration of the GS4's low shutter speed makes me award the One as the winner here.

Result: Galaxy S4. The white balance, brightness and clarity of the GS4's shot blows the One out of the water.

Result: Galaxy S4. The GS4's color quality and lack of grain simply annihilate the shoddy image produced by the One, which theoretically thrives in lower light.

Result: Galaxy S4. This was a test of each camera's HDR mode, and with the One the window is still overexposed, while the GS4 provides a decent mixture of lighting that makes both outside and inside visible simultaneously.

Result: Galaxy S4. While the One puts on a better show here, the GS4 provides superior color saturation and less grain in the darker (blacker) portions of the image.

Low-Light

The images below are from the HTC One, and on mouse-over from the Galaxy S4

Result: HTC One. Having twice the pixel size allows for brighter images with less grain.

Result: HTC One. The One benefits from a higher ISO and larger pixels to crush the Galaxy S4 in this super-low-light test.

Result: HTC One. With the One's shot you can actually see what the lanterns are hanging from, to an extent.

Result: Galaxy S4. Both photos are awful, but the GS4's is in focus when the flash was used and the colors are better.

Video Recording

Here's a video that covers everything about the video recording quality of these two devices.

In short, the HTC One has the generally better video recording due to the optical image stabilization and superior low-light performance, although sometimes the Galaxy S4 had better contrast, colors and sharpness - but not always. The sound quality captured through the HTC One was also better, although sometimes the Galaxy S4 could hear things of a lower volume.

Conclusion

Looking at the sample shots above, there are some interesting results in each of the categories. In good lighting, both the HTC One and Galaxy S4 performed well, almost having the same performance in most situations; however the added clarity provided from the large megapixel count of the Galaxy S4's camera leads me to believe that the GS4 is the best camera for these situations.

Similarly, the Galaxy S4 is the better camera for moderate light situations. While the camera can sometimes take its time to focus and there's a higher chance of a blurred image, the final quality blows the HTC One comprehensively out of the water, producing stronger colors with less grain. The Galaxy S4 also has a far superior HDR mode that significantly improves dynamic range in situations with high contrast.

In low-light the "Ultrapixel" camera has a clear advantage as each pixel can collect more light, leading to brighter and better results almost all of the time. In video mode the HTC One is also slightly superior, mostly due to the inclusion of optical image stabilization, although the quality from the Galaxy S4 was better around two-thirds of the time.

Features-wise the two phone cameras are very similar, each having HDR modes, panorama, image quality settings, photo filters, eraser and action modes, and best shot modes. The HTC One lumps a number of these into its "Zoe" mode, which captures a burst shot of full-resolution images even before you press the shutter (something the GS4 doesn't do), but most of the time you'll likely be using the standard photo mode.


The best camera between the two flagship Android devices

At the end of the day, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has the better camera of the two devices: it's strong in good lighting and considerably better in moderate lighting, the latter of which will likely form the majority of your photography. While it falls behind in low-light capture and lacks optical image stabilization, the Galaxy S4 is a more rounded shooter that I'd prefer to use in most situations over the HTC One.

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Tim makes touchscreen users like me feel foolish with the "on mouse over". This review makes a completely unusable one to me.

wow. people buy smartphones for their cameras. i guess that makes people who actually buy smartphones for talking looks like idiots.

Albert said,
wow. people buy smartphones for their cameras. i guess that makes people who actually buy smartphones for talking looks like idiots.

This is maybe why they are called 'smartphones' and not 'phones'.

Albert said,
wow. people buy smartphones for their cameras. i guess that makes people who actually buy smartphones for talking looks like idiots.

It is a silly idea to ask phonecameramanians to pay for a "decent camera". Can a decent camera install instagram? Can a decent camera post facebook statues? Can a decent camera use LTE to upload what I have just taken to wikimedia commons? Can a decent camera MMS? That's why I'm holding an xperia z, rather than an alpha. I also believe that's how most of us benefit from a phone camera.

Edited by Drinkwater, Jul 13 2013, 1:46am : word correction

Drinkwater said,

It is a silly idea to ask phonecameramanians to pay for a "decent camera". Can a decent camera install instagram? Can a decent camera post facebook statues? Can a decent camera use LTE to upload what I have just taken to wikimedia commons? Can a decent camera MMS? That's why I'm holding an xperia z, rather than an alpha. I also believe that's how most of us benefit from a phone camera.
Yea...a Galaxy Camera...or the S4 Zoom.

articles like this remind me why I sold my Nokia 920. The 920 had a big advantage with the camera but that isnt the case anymore. Maybe that changes with the 1020. But right now the 920/One/S4/i5 have comparable cameras. I went with the One after I sold my 920 and combine that with the apps WP doesnt have make me not regret my decision.

Josh_LosAltosHills said,
articles like this remind me why I sold my Nokia 920. The 920 had a big advantage with the camera but that isnt the case anymore. Maybe that changes with the 1020. But right now the 920/One/S4/i5 have comparable cameras. I went with the One after I sold my 920 and combine that with the apps WP doesnt have make me not regret my decision.

The 920 camera is still a generation ahead of both these devices, and with the update coming in August will move closer to the 928 and 925 in image quality features. In the smartphone world, the older 920 is still easily besting the newest offerings from Android and Apple.

As for Apps missing, there are still a couple, but in the last two months, 99% of the missing Apps from the WP market have arrived.

At the time you had the 920, you probably made the right choice; however, WP8 has come a long ways in the last couple of months with regard to key Apps, even offering a few important titles that aren't yet on iOS or Android for the first time.

The S4 wins this one pretty easily if you ask me. The 4 MP camera in the One is a nice concept in attempting to make the pixels larger and thus gather more light and information, however in reality it didn't really do much at all. In the end, it's still a camera phone camera, and nothings going to change that.

Raa said,
Moral to the story? If the camera is that much of an issue.... buy a camera!

Or a Nokia 920/928/925 or the upcoming 1020.

As good as these phones are, when it comes to imaging and the camera, they are a generation behind. Also notice the wide angle differences between the S4 and HTC One, the S4 is a narrow angle and hard to shoot images in a room or small space. (Again something the Nokia 92x series does better.)

As for the argument that you shouldn't use a smartphone for a camera, it is somewhat valid. However, some of the most amazing shots are very spontaneous and digging out a dedicated camera or unpacking a DSLR to grab a moment is just not an option for the majority of pictures the average person takes.

Additionally with the low light features, and image stabilization, the Nokia 928/925 can easily replace a flatbed scanner, which is handy when you need a quick copy of couple of pages. The OIS and macro features in this situation make snapping document quality shots a reality with a smart phone. In a business setting, grabbing everything from whiteboard and document shots is becoming important. Especially when the macro features of the phone can grab print that an average user with 20/20 cannot read.

(As for Android and if you want to take pictures, stick with the HTC One or wait for its replacement.)

Even with the 1020 it's just another step in the right direction, but it's still just a camera phone. It is nice that camera phones aren't absolute garbage anymore because you're right, it is good to have a decent camera phone to snap a few shots spontaneously, but I don't see how a camera would affect someones decision on a phone that much.

What's more impressive and useful to me is the video recording on these devices. The One is in a league of it's own (except the Nokia with it's HDR mics) when it comes to video and audio recording. I went to a rock concert a couple of days after I got my One and took a number of videos from row A and they all came out sounding amazing. In fact, I can hear my dad (fathers day gift) talking in the background in some that I couldn't even hear while I was there. I'd be much more likely to try to shoot video on my phone than trying to use my DSLR.

Edit: Here's a song from that concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj3ZqeiRyls I was about 20 feet away from a speaker. I've never had a device that could even begin to capture concert volume music even from 100 yards back like the One can.

Edited by AJerman, Jul 9 2013, 3:39pm :

Most people have seen this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EUDTYeREak (Nokia 928 Audio Recording)

One thing that keeps being overlooked is the audio processing of the devices, and even in the WP world, the Nokia 928 didn't get as much spotlight as it deserved because of the upcoming release of the Global 925.

The Nokia 925's audio recording is a slight improvement but uses the same design as the Nokia 920. Interestingly though, the Nokia 928 adds in an additional Microphone to the array with additional processing.

The Nokia 920 at first release wasn't as good as it should of been based on the technical audio specifications. This changed with the early set of updates to the 920 firmware. Since then, there have been several concert type recording posted using the 920 and they are ok. The Nokia 925 should be in the same range as the 920 if not a bit better based on updates in the positioning of the microphones.

However, the audio recording and sensitivity of the Nokia 928 is something that should get more attention as it can maintain input levels in loud environments and also pick up low level sounds.

The 928 puts the 920 and 925 to shame, and it is sad that it didn't get more attention because it was a 'Verizon' phone, even though it technically is a better 'Global' phone if bought unlocked than the 920 or 925 because of a wider range of cellular band support, with better LTE ranges as well.

Outside of video recording the audio processing of the 928 has other advantages from voice recording a meeting to even using the speaker phone. It doesn't matter if the user is almost yelling into the phone or literally across the room, the audio quality and levels are preserved.

Hit up Youtube and check out some of the 928 concert recordings, they are impressive.

Thanks for the link to your concert, looks like it was fun. The HTC devices in the past have always handled audio well, both recording and producing quality sound from the onboard speakers. The HTC One is not any different, and in the Android world, sound is another reason to consider it over the S3/S4 easily.

Edited by Mobius Enigma, Jul 10 2013, 8:28am :

Then again, whenever (if it hasn't happened already) HTC runs out of the HDR mics, they'll have to switch to something else and then I assume audio recording will take a dive. Glad I got one early.

AJerman said,
Then again, whenever (if it hasn't happened already) HTC runs out of the HDR mics, they'll have to switch to something else and then I assume audio recording will take a dive. Glad I got one early.

Sometimes it does pay to be on the cutting edge when purchasing technology.

As more attention is being brought to audio input and microphone technologies, I can't wait to see the next generation of technologies.

Nokia has pushed the bar a bit in smartphones recently and even Microsoft's work with the Kinect microphone arrays are important to the progress of audio as the proliferation of the technologies are getting end users to see them work.

Just in voice commands alone consumers can see a Nokia (or an early HTC) user replying to a text message from across the room or control their Xbox in a way that was only in Star Trek not so long ago. It is nice to see end users realize and push for audio quality/processing advances even when they aren't audiophiles.

Be sure to enjoy that extra audio processing on that HTC!

Mobius Enigma said,

Or a Nokia 920/928/925 or the upcoming 1020.

920 user here. The camera isn't all that it's cracked up to be. I read the reviews and asked work to buy me one for my on call stuff but I haven't been more disappointed. Using the camera gives me blurry pictures most of the time.

Dinggus said,
How often do you need to replace your phone battery?

I kinda get his point. As a truck driver I keep a spare battery for my gs3 I tend to only charge my batteries a certain way, when I'm at home. So far I've not needed to use my in car charger..

Dinggus said,
How often do you need to replace your phone battery?

Aftermarket replacement/larger batteries. Justification enough for many to *need* a user replaceable battery.

Dinggus said,
How often do you need to replace your phone battery?

Never.

Unless I end up using it as an MP3 player or something for years after I retire it, and even then probably never still.

i have it, and the battery finally lasts me the whole day of moderate to heavy usage
(much better then the older htc one x)

i definitely prefer it to the galaxy s4. and i love the fact that i can actually take night time pictures that you can see something on!

to each his own

Dinggus said,
How often do you need to replace your phone battery?

Considering most phones need to be charged at least once (some even twice) a day and that a li-ion battery is supposed to last 300-500 charges? Not really that often but I still wouldn't want to be forced to toss my perfectly working phone in the trash one or (optimistically) two years later, especially when it's an highest-end model. I usually give my older phones to my parents and they keep them for years.

panacea said,
i have it, and the battery finally lasts me the whole day of moderate to heavy usage
(much better then the older htc one x)

i definitely prefer it to the galaxy s4. and i love the fact that i can actually take night time pictures that you can see something on!

to each his own


exactly on my phone all day for work and its a champ battery last me all day easy

panacea said,
i have it, and the battery finally lasts me the whole day of moderate to heavy usage
(much better then the older htc one x)

i definitely prefer it to the galaxy s4. and i love the fact that i can actually take night time pictures that you can see something on!

to each his own


Indeed I have the One as well and the battery EASILY lasts a full day. It usually lasts me closer to 36 hours, and I have mine overclocked as well.

... Unless I find a game to play, then that OC and 1080p screen can drain it a little bit, haha. Thankfully I have at least 10 micro-usb charger cables home, work, and in the car, as well as nice small external battery for weekend trips.

Agreed, I've got a HTC One as well, and I can confidently say you won't have to worry hard about running low on juice. I've managed to make mine last up to 4 days, something no smartphone even with an extended battery has been able to do for quite a long time...

francescob said,

Considering most phones need to be charged at least once (some even twice) a day and that a li-ion battery is supposed to last 300-500 charges? Not really that often but I still wouldn't want to be forced to toss my perfectly working phone in the trash one or (optimistically) two years later, especially when it's an highest-end model.

Just because there isn't an easily removable back cover doesn't mean the battery isn't perfectly user replaceable. It just can't be done quickly and on the fly which is what the people crying about user replaceable batteries want or need because of their special circumstances that generally just don't apply to most people.

PS. I have a S4 and I don't see myself replacing the battery ever. I'd rather get one of those convenient USB charger blocks with their own battery.

Dinggus said,
How often do you need to replace your phone battery?

And how often are you outside of your house?

If you are traveling, going on vacations, taking trips to the mountains and so on, you know you can't defeat the arguments that removable batteries are a nice thing to have.

And not to mention that you can change the original battery out for a much bigger battery that lasts for ages.

Exynos said,

And how often are you outside of your house?

If you are traveling, going on vacations, taking trips to the mountains and so on, you know you can't defeat the arguments that removable batteries are a nice thing to have.

And not to mention that you can change the original battery out for a much bigger battery that lasts for ages.

I travel quite a bit, when I'm flying I charge at the airports. When I'm driving, I charge in the car. If I'm in the mountains, I most likely won't have reception.

Guess I don't have an issue about my phone dying, especially since I'm traveling because I'll have my iPad on me.

Interestingly, the HTC One in the Chinese market has both a replaceable battery and a microSD slot. Why they refuse to sell it outside of China, I just don't understand.

LaXu said,

Just because there isn't an easily removable back cover doesn't mean the battery isn't perfectly user replaceable. It just can't be done quickly and on the fly which is what the people crying about user replaceable batteries want or need because of their special circumstances that generally just don't apply to most people.

Clearly you haven't even bothered to read the page I linked in my post. Replacing the HTC One battery for a normal user is basically IMPOSSIBLE because there's glue everywhere and even an expert repairer would hardly be able to avoid damaging the phone in the process.
From the article:
"HTC One Repairability Score: One out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)
Very, very difficult (possibly impossible?) to open the device without damaging the rear case. This makes every component extremely difficult to replace.
The battery is buried beneath the motherboard and adhered to the midframe, hindering its replacement."

yeah, even though the battery life is good, I agree that you cannot replace it and that it will get bad in a year or two (most likely)

i can see why it will stop some people.

ps. even replacing the screen on my HTC one X was a nightmare. the screen did not look like stock and the fact that it was tempered with was clearly visible along the borders of the screen. this phone is even more solid build. i would not expect to be able to replace a cracked screen without ruining the look of the phone.

Exynos said,

And how often are you outside of your house?

If you are traveling, going on vacations, taking trips to the mountains and so on, you know you can't defeat the arguments that removable batteries are a nice thing to have.

And not to mention that you can change the original battery out for a much bigger battery that lasts for ages.

I have never seen a phone last as long as the HTC one. Initially it was 32Hr battery, on the 70% charge it shipped with. Enabling power save and easily charge it every 2nd night, 40-50hr with I'd say mostly light usage. I upgraded from a desire which had swappable batteries, and I never used them because it was annoying to carry an extra battery + its charger, expensive for the battery itself (chinese knock-offs either explode or are vastly under-rated/recycled) plus toting it along ensuring they don't get wet, shorted, or lost. Batteries were like $50 for that, so if its $100 to replace in 2 years when I only get through 1/2 a day thats not a bad deal in my eyes, or I can just replace the damn hardware for 'free' via my provider. A heat gun and IR temp reader would suffice if your a DIY'er with any sort of electronic skillset (look what apple devices are like)

As for extended-life batteries, yeah they exist, they are even more pricy and you can't use your stock one unless you also tote around the stock case/shell... Im thinking a 5-6V USB battery charging brick is way more user-friendly.

To each his own, but HTC has just become another Apple iWantabee company. With the One they took away user choice w/ all your choices decided for you, like they are on all of Apple's devices. No choice to expand memory, no choice to change the back cover out easily if it gets scratched or you just don't like it looking like everyone else's. No choices in settings like Samsung devices with Multiple Screens, Multiple Tasking Ease of use, Expansive Camera Settings and features w/ HTC & Apple's paling by comparison.

Because Samsung makes the most innovative cameras, besides making the fastest memory for recording them on too. Now to batteries being replaceable; this has always been an asset until Apple convinced their iDiots, that they didn't need replaceable batteries.... in their devices designed for a Planned Obsolescence Business Model. That is designed to keep stuffing Corporate Fat Cats and Share Holder's pockets year after year instead of giving consumers better choices!

I used to like HTC..... but when they bent over like Apple's cheap recycled beer can die cast aluminum iBendOverEasy iPhone 5, I just consider them followers now. Besides this simple fact all you fools that consider aluminum better quality. In the 1950's Aluminum was recognised as the most plentiful material you could use to make literally everything. But it lacked flexibility and durability to simply being light weight.

Then plastics became the future with the advent of Polycarbonate. That NASA decided to use over hardened glass to go to the moon as the Bullet Proof "Bubble Helmets" for the astronauts. Because Polycarbonate was just any old plastic, that had also been used for over 30yrs itself by then. Instead Polycarbonate contained chemically engineered carbon molecules and was the Graphene of it's day. Polycarbonate makes up the main ingredients in Carbon Fiber. It's what both the resin and fiber strands are made of.

Polycarbonate is the choice of Bugatti for the Veyron's Removable Bubble Roof for it's Bullet proofing qualities, durability, light weight and ease of removability. Which is exactly why Samsung Chose Polycarbonate for their Galaxy line of Smarterphones! .....and the simple fact that you'll never see recycled aluminum anything take a bullet for you! ;-P

When it takes you 3 paragraphs to defend the fact that your phone is plastic compared to better materials on other top flagship phones, you know you're full of it!

I've got nothing against polycarbonate itself, it's the S4 that's cheap. Look at the One X. That was a very nice polycarbonate design. The Nokias, those are nice as well. The S4 meanwhile is several pieces sandwiched together, and all tied up with an ugly plastic chrome ring. It's not the fact that it IS plastic necessarily, but that it's a cheap design.

The very simple fact is that Samsung has become lazy since becoming the most popular Android phone maker. They re-release the same package with a spec and bloat bump and call it a day. It's the same problem every company has when they get to the top, they stop innovating. Look at the early years of Android and it was HTC in that spot, then Samsung came around with the Galaxy line and changed everything. Now they are on the top and they are doing the same thing as HTC did.

monarky said,
To each his own, but HTC has just become another Apple iWantabee company. With the One they took away user choice w/ all your choices decided for you, like they are on all of Apple's devices. No choice to expand memory, no choice to change the back cover out easily if it gets scratched or you just don't like it looking like everyone else's. No choices in settings like Samsung devices with Multiple Screens, Multiple Tasking Ease of use, Expansive Camera Settings and features w/ HTC & Apple's paling by comparison.

Because Samsung makes the most innovative cameras, besides making the fastest memory for recording them on too. Now to batteries being replaceable; this has always been an asset until Apple convinced their iDiots, that they didn't need replaceable batteries.... in their devices designed for a Planned Obsolescence Business Model. That is designed to keep stuffing Corporate Fat Cats and Share Holder's pockets year after year instead of giving consumers better choices!

I used to like HTC..... but when they bent over like Apple's cheap recycled beer can die cast aluminum iBendOverEasy iPhone 5, I just consider them followers now. Besides this simple fact all you fools that consider aluminum better quality. In the 1950's Aluminum was recognised as the most plentiful material you could use to make literally everything. But it lacked flexibility and durability to simply being light weight.

Then plastics became the future with the advent of Polycarbonate. That NASA decided to use over hardened glass to go to the moon as the Bullet Proof "Bubble Helmets" for the astronauts. Because Polycarbonate was just any old plastic, that had also been used for over 30yrs itself by then. Instead Polycarbonate contained chemically engineered carbon molecules and was the Graphene of it's day. Polycarbonate makes up the main ingredients in Carbon Fiber. It's what both the resin and fiber strands are made of.

Polycarbonate is the choice of Bugatti for the Veyron's Removable Bubble Roof for it's Bullet proofing qualities, durability, light weight and ease of removability. Which is exactly why Samsung Chose Polycarbonate for their Galaxy line of Smarterphones! .....and the simple fact that you'll never see recycled aluminum anything take a bullet for you! ;-P

I agree with everything you said. All of a sudden everyone is frowning on plastic because Apple moved away from it. Apple chose aluminum for Macbooks, because they are to cheap to use heatsinks on the CPU and GPU, because having a thin notebook is more important than longevity.

Glass breaks. Only a dummy would want a glass phone. Sure it looks pretty and feels nice. In fact its nice until you drop it.

Poly-Carbonate isn't even a plastic. It is a harden polymer based resin which is stronger and more durable vs plastic.

They say Samsung phones feel cheap. What Samsung did vs what Nokai did even tho they used the same material is simple. Because Nokia chose to use a solid block of poly carbonate to cut the phones from, there phones are thicker and heavier because of it. While Samsung took the modular approach which makes the phone lighter because instead of making a solid single piece, they made lighter flexible thinner piece that snap together. Which also makes the phones score the highest on user reparability.

But the fans don't see this. They prefer a has been phone that has no real features that cost more than practically any other phone sold just to say they have an iPhone to be in the "IN" crowd. If your friends don't like you or take cheap shots because you don't have an iPhone, you may want to consider new friends.

I totally agree with both of you here.

Yup, all the wannabee HTC and iPhone fans are yelling about is how bad the Samsung Galaxy phones feels in the hand and not taking into consideration about how the materials in it self are. How things feels in the hand is much much more important than how the material on the phones are working in the real world for them and what advantages Polycarbonate gives us over what aluminum gives.

They simply don't care about how much stuffs they lose for an aluminum unibody case. As long they can go around masturbate about how sexy their phones is, then they are all happy.

A smartphone is a multitool and not a retarded fashion jewelry that you goes around to everyone and boast about how sexy your phone is.

even if no one else will see my phone, i would enjoy using a well designed phone!

its not about boasting, it is personal taste and preference. i personally got s4 first, did not like it and returned it for htc one.

to each his own, it is pointless to make assumptions that people like well build good looking phones because it is a show piece! so do some dont.

panacea said,
even if no one else will see my phone, i would enjoy using a well designed phone!

its not about boasting, it is personal taste and preference. i personally got s4 first, did not like it and returned it for htc one.

to each his own, it is pointless to make assumptions that people like well build good looking phones because it is a show piece! so do some dont.

First of all, the Galaxy S4 is a well built phone. Secondly, the Galaxy S4 looks very good to.

I would agree to some point that the HTC One would be a good choice over the Galaxy S4 if the Galaxy S4 had been looking extremely bad / horrible. But it's not. It's looking good and it's Polycarbonate material can handle ALOT more falls and tough use.

So i don't really see the benefit of choosing the HTC One over the Galaxy S4 except that the HTC One looks pretty good.

I'm sure HTC One can handle alot to, but it's aluminum case would start to scratch up badly a long long time before the Polycarbonate case on the Galaxy S4 would.

Not only that, but if you manage to scratch up your backside of your Galaxy S4, you can just buy a new cheap back cover in Polycarbonate or even true carbonfiber (witch absolutely makes the aluminum on the HTC One feels like pure junk) and have a new looking phone again. You can't do this with the HTC One.

So what are more important for you, looks and how it feels in your hand or practical usages and advantages like microSD card slot, flip cover who use the back cover as a mount for the flip, better signals, wireless charging and changable / removable battery?

Removable batteries are a very good idea if you have missed your phone into the toilet / water and have to take out the battery to save the phone from short circuiting. My brother missed his Galaxy S3 into the toilet without discovering that for like 4-5 minutes. He then grabbed his phone from the toilet after like 5 minutes.

He then took out the battery from the phone and did put the whole phone inside a box filled with rice to remove moisture. He did let the phone be in the rice for like 4 days.

Then he tried to put the battery back into the phone and start the phone. Guess what happened?

Yes, it booted up and it's working like it should.

Could you have done this with the HTC One?

Nope, it would be doomed to die.

How does your phone end up in the toilet? If I do pull my phone out while in the bathroom, I make sure I'm sitting on it before pulling it out of my pocket. If not, then I don't see the need to pull my phone out for the 20 seconds I'm ****ing, and if your toilet is near your sink, shouldn't it the lid be down anyways?

I don't know anyone who has complained about needing an extra battery. Before I leave my house, I have my phone fully charged, if not then I have a car charger.

In the end it to each his own. Some care about swapping batteries, and some don't.

Exynos said,

So what are more important for you, looks and how it feels in your hand or practical usages and advantages like microSD card slot, flip cover who use the back cover as a mount for the flip, better signals, wireless charging and changable / removable battery?

More important to me: better screen, better speakers, better microphones, better build quality, FM radio (hahaha, ok, that one is just being silly), even better battery use if you're talking stock software.

So if you want to talk about the real advantages over looks and gimmicky features, I'll take the One. I'll offer you back exactly what you said: So i don't really see the benefit of choosing the Galaxy S4 over the HTC One except that the S4 has a removable battery and microSD... IF you care, and I don't. The One already got double the storage for the price.

AJerman said,

More important to me: better screen, better speakers, better microphones, better build quality, FM radio (hahaha, ok, that one is just being silly), even better battery use if you're talking stock software.

So if you want to talk about the real advantages over looks and gimmicky features, I'll take the One. I'll offer you back exactly what you said: So i don't really see the benefit of choosing the Galaxy S4 over the HTC One except that the S4 has a removable battery and microSD... IF you care, and I don't. The One already got double the storage for the price.

You say HTC One have better screen?

I'm not so sure about that according to this: http://blog.gsmarena.com/samsu...accurate-adobe-rgb-support/

And if you don't like the default color mode on the Galaxy S4, you can change it. You can't change to another color mode on the HTC One. On the Galaxy S4, you have everything you need. If you like accurate colors, then use the 'Movie' mode. And if you like the movies and pictures to really shine in colors, then you can use 'Dynamic' mode.

The only place where the microphones on the HTC One are better over the Galaxy S4 are when you are recording live concerts with high volume. In pretty much every other situations the Galaxy S4's microphones gives you more detailed and clearer sound. If you don't believe me, you find the evidences on my argument on YouTube.

When you say better build quality, do you mean the feel of the build quality in the hand or the build quality in practical usage?

I'm asking because in practical usage in everyday use, the Polycarbonate material are better than aluminum. It's only that the Polycarbonate material feels like plastic in the hand. But again, it's the practical usage and how the material behaves in the real usage every day that counts. Not how the phones feels in the hand.

And also, Polycarbonate is more premium and more expensive than the aluminum the HTC One uses.

Who needs FM radio when we have Spotify, Wimp and other streaming services like that + online radio programs with over 50k radio channels?

And lastly, when it's about the battery. It's pretty obvious that the HTC One can't even come close to the Galaxy S4 in batterytime according to this: http://www.gsmarena.com/samsun...vs_htc_one-review-913p3.php

Samsung Galaxy S4 is the smartphone today with the best batterytime. PERIOD.

HTC One are in the same boat as the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini when it's about batterytime. Just look here: http://www.gsmarena.com/samsun...xy_s4_mini-review-953p3.php

The funny thing is that the Galaxy S4 mini's battery are only at 1,900mAh, also 400mAh lower than the HTC One.

Edited by Exynos, Jul 17 2013, 10:55pm :

Pentile, S4 loses. That one was easy.

And I've listened to the recordings of both microphones, I didn't see the S4 as anything massively better in normal situations. At times it sounded worse because it picks up too much excessive noise. The loud situations though, the One is massively better. Point One. And I notice you skip over the speakers. So picture and sound I'm giving to the One, that's the real functionality I look for, not being able to remove my battery.

And give the polycarbonate argument a rest, really. Polycarbonate isn't the issue as stated previously. The One X and Lumias are polycarbonate, and 100x nicer than the S4. The S4 is just cheap itself, not because of the polycarbonate, but because it's cheaply built. Plastic chrome ring is all I have to say, hahaha. The One feels more solid, looks better. I'm not sure what your "practical" usage is, but to use your own descriptions, the material behaves like the outside of a phone pretty well. What does the S4 do, dance? The only further practical testing you could offer is how well it holds up to damage, but who doesn't use a case regardless? They'll both break half the time if you drop them right, so neither really does a better job there.

As for battery life, I'll give the S4 it's bigger battery, but you'd find if they were the same size the One would likely kill the S4 in battery life. Note that I said battery use. Maybe that's not a practical comparison for real world discussions, but the One is more efficient. Either way they both last 2 days pretty easily.

My real point was to try to show that they are both fantastic top of the line phones, and one has an advantage here, the other there, but it's all mostly nit-picky either way. Don't get me wrong, I find the One to be the better phone, that's why I got it. I've played with several S4s and always get the feeling that it's a toy or something, I think it's TOO light for me. You dismiss the feel of the phone as unimportant, but I very much disagree. If the tables were turned, you would too.

AJerman said,
Pentile, S4 loses. That one was easy.

And I've listened to the recordings of both microphones, I didn't see the S4 as anything massively better in normal situations. At times it sounded worse because it picks up too much excessive noise. The loud situations though, the One is massively better. Point One. And I notice you skip over the speakers. So picture and sound I'm giving to the One, that's the real functionality I look for, not being able to remove my battery.

And give the polycarbonate argument a rest, really. Polycarbonate isn't the issue as stated previously. The One X and Lumias are polycarbonate, and 100x nicer than the S4. The S4 is just cheap itself, not because of the polycarbonate, but because it's cheaply built. Plastic chrome ring is all I have to say, hahaha. The One feels more solid, looks better. I'm not sure what your "practical" usage is, but to use your own descriptions, the material behaves like the outside of a phone pretty well. What does the S4 do, dance? The only further practical testing you could offer is how well it holds up to damage, but who doesn't use a case regardless? They'll both break half the time if you drop them right, so neither really does a better job there.

As for battery life, I'll give the S4 it's bigger battery, but you'd find if they were the same size the One would likely kill the S4 in battery life. Note that I said battery use. Maybe that's not a practical comparison for real world discussions, but the One is more efficient. Either way they both last 2 days pretty easily.

My real point was to try to show that they are both fantastic top of the line phones, and one has an advantage here, the other there, but it's all mostly nit-picky either way. Don't get me wrong, I find the One to be the better phone, that's why I got it. I've played with several S4s and always get the feeling that it's a toy or something, I think it's TOO light for me. You dismiss the feel of the phone as unimportant, but I very much disagree. If the tables were turned, you would too.

Points taken. Pentile vs LCD. Yes LCD is better in many cases. I am not sure why Samsung chooses Pentile layouts. However, reading this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PenTile_matrix_family shows that Pentile does offer many advantages.

Poly-Carbonate - The argument is valid and here is why. The Lumia uses a thicker cut and there case is cut from a block becaus eit is a unibdy design. Samsung chose modular in which the phone is 3 pieces snapped together. Its not cheap. In fact its better. Because if I damage the phone I can replace what is damaged which is cheaper than replacing the phone. If I dent a Lumia I have tp pay $99 on my carriers insurance to replace it. Which cost more than spending 15 bucks and removing 10 screws for a simple Galaxy repair. What you feel on Samsung device is that hyper-glazed coating which makes it all shiny and slippery and cheap feeling. However if you remove the glaze...the polymer material has a very matte finish and it looks really dry and lame. Saying the lumia is better because of this is merely an opinion, not a fact. Samsung phones aren't cheap, you just "think" they are.

Battery size? I will agree with what you said, but for difference reasons. First as a fact, AMOLED screens use less power vs any LCD. PERIOD and that will NEVER change. Even with the S4 screen being bigger it makes no difference. Also even tho they use the same chipset in the US, Samsung clocked it higher which too would draw more power. Which is likely why the battery is bigger. HTC could have used the same size....they simply gave you what you can get by with. Again for a device that basically costs the same to make Samsung gives you far more than any OEM.

I don't dismiss what a phone feels like, it just isn't priority. For one, the materials of the One forces you to buy a case which means what its made out of because instantly insignificant as your case will be silicon or plastic which is cheaper than what the GS4 has. And look, I dont have to buy a case. I mean I personally find it lame to brag about having a nicer looking or "feeling" phone when you will drop an ugly cheap case on it.

I personally like the One and even the iPhone. The main reason I bought an iPhone 4 was because of its design. But I got sick of buying Zagg's and cases that cost me $50 to protect it from damage. If a phone cost almost $700, It shouldn't be able to be damaged so easy, I don't care who makes it.

Like Bill Gates, fancy means nothing to me. Function is more important in the end. Form over function is a lame philosophy. The S4 does have a lot of gimmicky features. But they are gimmicks if they are practical for you. My wife has the S4 and I know she doesn't use all the gimmicks, but they do come in handy. Which is what should matter. Its about having them when you need them. Need doesn't mean everyday. Need means what it means....when you need it.

TechieXP said,
Points taken. Pentile vs LCD. Yes LCD is better in many cases. I am not sure why Samsung chooses Pentile layouts. However, reading this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PenTile_matrix_family shows that Pentile does offer many advantages.

Poly-Carbonate - The argument is valid and here is why. The Lumia uses a thicker cut and there case is cut from a block becaus eit is a unibdy design. Samsung chose modular in which the phone is 3 pieces snapped together. Its not cheap. In fact its better. Because if I damage the phone I can replace what is damaged which is cheaper than replacing the phone. If I dent a Lumia I have tp pay $99 on my carriers insurance to replace it. Which cost more than spending 15 bucks and removing 10 screws for a simple Galaxy repair. What you feel on Samsung device is that hyper-glazed coating which makes it all shiny and slippery and cheap feeling. However if you remove the glaze...the polymer material has a very matte finish and it looks really dry and lame. Saying the lumia is better because of this is merely an opinion, not a fact. Samsung phones aren't cheap, you just "think" they are.

Battery size? I will agree with what you said, but for difference reasons. First as a fact, AMOLED screens use less power vs any LCD. PERIOD and that will NEVER change. Even with the S4 screen being bigger it makes no difference. Also even tho they use the same chipset in the US, Samsung clocked it higher which too would draw more power. Which is likely why the battery is bigger. HTC could have used the same size....they simply gave you what you can get by with. Again for a device that basically costs the same to make Samsung gives you far more than any OEM.

I don't dismiss what a phone feels like, it just isn't priority. For one, the materials of the One forces you to buy a case which means what its made out of because instantly insignificant as your case will be silicon or plastic which is cheaper than what the GS4 has. And look, I dont have to buy a case. I mean I personally find it lame to brag about having a nicer looking or "feeling" phone when you will drop an ugly cheap case on it.

I personally like the One and even the iPhone. The main reason I bought an iPhone 4 was because of its design. But I got sick of buying Zagg's and cases that cost me $50 to protect it from damage. If a phone cost almost $700, It shouldn't be able to be damaged so easy, I don't care who makes it.

Like Bill Gates, fancy means nothing to me. Function is more important in the end. Form over function is a lame philosophy. The S4 does have a lot of gimmicky features. But they are gimmicks if they are practical for you. My wife has the S4 and I know she doesn't use all the gimmicks, but they do come in handy. Which is what should matter. Its about having them when you need them. Need doesn't mean everyday. Need means what it means....when you need it.

I agree with about all of that. Pentile is always going to be the downfall of SAMOLED screens. Even at 1080p, the fact that the screen is Pentile isn't immediately as noticeable, but side by side with a 1080p non-Pentile like the One, I can definitely tell. I had the Captivate with a low res Pentile screen, then the Infuse with low res again, but non-Pentile SAMOLED, and it was pretty great. I love what SAMOLED can do, but I really was hoping by now to see Pentile start to fade out and color reproduction to get better. Unfortunately they've stuck with Pentile and cranking up the color to max to make the S4 look better on the shelf. For battery reasons I loved the SAMOLED, like you mentioned. Nothing beats a true black. The newer LCDs have closed the gap the SAMOLEDs had over them by a lot though.

I just don't see myself not using a case on any phone. The One, the S4, an iPhone, I don't care what the material of the case is, at least one side is still a giant glass screen that will break regardless of the rest. I'll even damage my argument and say that I did drop my One the first weekend I had it (hoodie pocket, dammit), and it did dent the aluminum. You're right, I can't replace it, but I got a case and you'll never even know now.

And I assure you that I also have no bias at all. I was very excited for the S3 when it was being announced, until the actual announcement where I found nothing exciting about it. Same thing with the S4. The software features do nothing for me since I would have done the same thing as I did on my one, wipe it and put AOSP on it. Past that I saw a spec bump and not a whole lot more that the S4 offers over the S3. I'd even suggest the S3 to most people over the S4 to save some money. I've owned Samsung, Apple, and HTC, they all make great phones, HTC has just been hitting the complete package that I want recently. I agree that look and feel isn't the first priority to me, but it does factor in. I can definitely say that all look and feel aside, I still prefer the One. But hey, that's why good competition is healthy!

AJerman said,

I agree with about all of that. Pentile is always going to be the downfall of SAMOLED screens. Even at 1080p, the fact that the screen is Pentile isn't immediately as noticeable, but side by side with a 1080p non-Pentile like the One, I can definitely tell.

I think you see those differences because you think there is differences. Try the same background, same icons and same icon arrangement on both phones and i bet 10 dollar that you can't see any differences. The only reason i why i think you see some differences is because the HTC One's display are brighter than the Galaxy S4 display and might change how you see the things on the displays.

And according to this: http://blog.gsmarena.com/samsu...accurate-adobe-rgb-support/

Samsung Galaxy S4 got a UL certificate there for having a very color accuracy screen. Did HTC One got any of those certificates?

No.

And when it's about Pentile vs RGB screens, then you can read this to see that the Super AMOLED screen on the Galaxy S4 are as good as the IPS LCD RGB screen on the iPhone 5: http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_S4_ShootOut_1.htm

So i don't know what all the fuss is about when it's about the screen on the Galaxy S4?

Exynos said,

I think you see those differences because you think there is differences. Try the same background, same icons and same icon arrangement on both phones and i bet 10 dollar that you can't see any differences. The only reason i why i think you see some differences is because the HTC One's display are brighter than the Galaxy S4 display and might change how you see the things on the displays.

And according to this: http://blog.gsmarena.com/samsu...accurate-adobe-rgb-support/

Samsung Galaxy S4 got a UL certificate there for having a very color accuracy screen. Did HTC One got any of those certificates?

No.

And when it's about Pentile vs RGB screens, then you can read this to see that the Super AMOLED screen on the Galaxy S4 are as good as the IPS LCD RGB screen on the iPhone 5: http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_S4_ShootOut_1.htm

So i don't know what all the fuss is about when it's about the screen on the Galaxy S4?

I assure you that's not the case. Being that I've owned Pentile screens, I know very well what effect it has on the display and do notice it. At 1080p it is much less of an issue, but I can definitely still tell compared to the One screen (it also helps that the One has a slightly smaller screen to increase pixel density, though I wish it was 5"). I keep my brightness fairly low too, so that's not a factor.

You said it yourself, it's as good as the iPhone 5, which is nothing compared to the One. I'm not saying the S4 is a bad screen, but it doesn't compare to the One's SLCD. And THAT is definitely one of those priorities above look and feel we were talking about earlier.

Exynos said,

I think you see those differences because you think there is differences. Try the same background, same icons and same icon arrangement on both phones and i bet 10 dollar that you can't see any differences. The only reason i why i think you see some differences is because the HTC One's display are brighter than the Galaxy S4 display and might change how you see the things on the displays.

And according to this: http://blog.gsmarena.com/samsu...accurate-adobe-rgb-support/

Samsung Galaxy S4 got a UL certificate there for having a very color accuracy screen. Did HTC One got any of those certificates?

No.

And when it's about Pentile vs RGB screens, then you can read this to see that the Super AMOLED screen on the Galaxy S4 are as good as the IPS LCD RGB screen on the iPhone 5: http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_S4_ShootOut_1.htm

So i don't know what all the fuss is about when it's about the screen on the Galaxy S4?

Its call the placebo effect and yes I use to say that about the other devices and how in peoples mind becauys ethey know there is a difference, they think they see or feel it too. Like with what the phones are made of...poly carbonate is a premium material. Just because its not metal doesn't make it cheap. Samsung simple used less polymer so that the pieces arte modular vs cutting a complete case from a black which is heavier, thicker and ugly. I [personally find the Lumias to be ugly and heavy.

But back to the display. You can see a difference, but those differences are small. It has nothing to do with the resolution as the other guy thinks. The reason the Pentile display on the S4 looks so great is because Samsung changed the Pentile arrangement compared to the GS3 and the Galaxy Note II. In fact they had too, because of the 1080 screen resolution. Also, by default Samsung sets their display at Dynamic color mode which oversaturates what you see. If you set it to standard, the colors are more real, less saturated, still very vivid and still looks just as good as any LCD, without excessive power consumption.

TechieXP said,
You can see a difference, but those differences are small. It has nothing to do with the resolution as the other guy thinks. The reason the Pentile display on the S4 looks so great is because Samsung changed the Pentile arrangement compared to the GS3 and the Galaxy Note II. In fact they had too, because of the 1080 screen resolution. Also, by default Samsung sets their display at Dynamic color mode which oversaturates what you see. If you set it to standard, the colors are more real, less saturated, still very vivid and still looks just as good as any LCD, without excessive power consumption.

A normal person can't see the differences before you put the Super AMOLED and IPS LCD screen under a microscope. Just because you have very good eyes, it doesn't mean everyone else will see the differences. Even Display Mate confirms what i'm saying here. Also that a normal person can't see the differences on the IPS LCD screen on the iPhone 5 and the Super AMOLED screen on the Galaxy S4 before you gets extremely close to the screens.

And yes, i'm believing what Display Mate are saying, because they are professionals on this things.

On the Galaxy S4, the default screen mode are 'Standard' witch is not as colorfull as the 'Dynamic' mode is.