HTC president on Galaxy S4 design: "We were pleased to see no innovation"

Speaking to Business Insider, HTC's North America president Mike Woodward has taken the opportunity to have a go at the Samsung Galaxy S4 (like a number of companies are doing recently). Woodward feels that the Galaxy S4 has a design that's quite similar to what we've seen before in previous Galaxy devices, and says that HTC "were pleased to see no innovation in the design itself."

While Woodward did acknowledge the abundance of new features present in the Galaxy S4's software, but said the majority of them were gimmicky and users wouldn't actually be interested in them. Naturally he also took the time to rattle off to Business Insider a number of features of the HTC One, the company's rival flagship Android device, while saying HTC unfortunately can't match Samsung's marketing budget at this time.

Compared to Samsung, HTC currently has a relatively small portion of the Android market, but with the release of the HTC One they believe that they can reclaim some of the ground they have lost to Samsung in recent times. The HTC One certainly looks and feels great while packing a number of innovative features, but the question remains to see whether it can sell as well as the Galaxy S4.

Source: Business Insider

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My understanding is that HTC isn't even bringing the ONE to Verizon. What does it matter what the competition does or doesn't do, if you don't even try to reach the greatest possible audience - you're obviously not interested in overall sales and thus it's hard for me to believe you care what the competition is doing.

I don't get why a company is expected to change up the design of their phone every year. There is nothing wrong with getting to a point, and making refinements with improvements. I can only see a company changing up their design every year for two reasons.

1) They're still hamming out their design language.
2) They've become stale, so the only thing they can think to do is change the design rapidly to give an illusion.

The S4 has a lot in common in the S3. Big deal. Samsung found something that works. They've found something that causes them to stand on their own, so why would they want to risk changing that? It's a lot better than people saying, "Hey, the S4 looks like an iPhone."

They don't have to change but given the fact that they just got through hammering apple for what there doing it seems kinda ironic don't you think? Also lame as ****.

Guess I'm just like most people in that they're all squarish phones. Honestly, slightly this or slightly that, NO ONE CARES outside uber nerd camps. I have a GS3, I don't know, I like the design I guess, I just don't care. Everyone buys a case for their phone anyway, I think Samsung knows this, so why spend big money on material that will be covered up? Aluminum would have been preferred if I could choose, but it's fine as is. Other features are just what I'd expect, HD screen, great camera, stronger chip, done. I promise you , 99% don't even need a 8MP camera much less a 13 or more, but hey, it's nice to have. The thing everyone will enjoy and use are faster processing and sharper screen image, got em, done. Now go argue about why a blue Prius is better than a red one.

Just got Xperia Z and wow, what a quality device. Damn, looking at Iphone and others makes me sick
I would have gone for larger size, but it is only Galaxy Note 2 that's above that, but I don't like it's cheap plasticy feeling
But again, Bravia engine and Camera on Xperia are just amazing!
Sony is in the game

While the HTC One looks better than the S4 I have to say that I'm not really interested in getting one, despite my previous phones with the HTC Sensation and HTC Desire. To me the S4 looks to be a better phone overall, particularly with the removable battery. At the moment the S4 is my top choice for my renewal in a few months, though I'd love to see a new top-spec Lumia with a removable battery.

its a replacement. why go buy a year old brand new S3 at 50% off when you can pay full price for something better and newer. and when i say pay full price, i do mean that. regardless of what kind of plan you have with your provider we all should know that we are still in some way paying full price for that phone. this is why there is no decent affordable service providers anymore. personally i'd like to boycott them all.

i hope Samsung prefecting the S4 (from S3) so it can be used to accurately deactived W8 permanently.
the S3 only randomy deactived W8, and non permanent too.

Samsung im sure pull this **** on purpose, the same they did with the Focus WP7 device and changed hardware without telling anyone. which in turn bricked a lot of phones when an OS update went out.

Well, he's right. The GS4 has not changed much from the GS3. Same cheap plastic stuff too. If I ever join the Android train, I'll be getting either a One or Xperia Z

That said, Nokia is the same. It's not a large aesthetic change from the 900 to the 920. The next one isn't overly big either (yes, have seen and played with it), but a little more different to the 920 than the 920 was to the 900.

ZipZapRap said,
That said, Nokia is the same. It's not a large aesthetic change from the 900 to the 920.

While the 920 is very similar visually to the 900 it has super-sensitive touch and PureView tech that the 900 will never have through a software update. Both are pretty "innovative" hardware features for a smartphone too. Samsung could've done something similar on the hardware side for the S4 (better camera, materials, etc) but chose not to. It's too bad really.

cliftonj said,

While the 920 is very similar visually to the 900 it has super-sensitive touch and PureView tech that the 900 will never have through a software update. Both are pretty "innovative" hardware features for a smartphone too. Samsung could've done something similar on the hardware side for the S4 (better camera, materials, etc) but chose not to. It's too bad really.

PureView tech? I don't see innovative in it. It is just a better camera. It's like saying the Exynos 5 in the S4 is very innovative because it is better than the Exynos 4412 as it is way faster. It is very expected that company would improve their cpu, gpu, ram, camera, screen for the next successor device?

The "super-sensitive touch" I guess will maybe it is kind of innovative. But pretty useless in my country.

tanjiajun_34 said,
PureView tech? I don't see innovative in it. It is just a better camera. It's like saying the Exynos 5 in the S4 is very innovative because it is better than the Exynos 4412 as it is way faster. It is very expected that company would improve their cpu, gpu, ram, camera, screen for the next successor device?

The "super-sensitive touch" I guess will maybe it is kind of innovative. But pretty useless in my country.

It's not just a "better" camera like the camera change from iPhone 4 to 5 it a COMPLETELY different way of doing cameras in phones and hasn't been done before. OIS ie a floating camera is no just a new model or something, it is an entirely new engineering feat. Making faster CPUs GPUs is not the same and that is why no one thinks putting a 4/8 core processor in the S4 is innovative, its merely and upgrade path.

tanjiajun_34 said,
PureView tech? I don't see innovative in it. It is just a better camera. It's like saying the Exynos 5 in the S4 is very innovative because it is better than the Exynos 4412 as it is way faster. It is very expected that company would improve their cpu, gpu, ram, camera, screen for the next successor device?

The "super-sensitive touch" I guess will maybe it is kind of innovative. But pretty useless in my country.


first one with native wireless charging. That's 3 new doowackies, still more then the current s3, comming s4 and the iphone5 and most likely iphone 5s.

ingramator said,

It's not just a "better" camera like the camera change from iPhone 4 to 5 it a COMPLETELY different way of doing cameras in phones and hasn't been done before. OIS ie a floating camera is no just a new model or something, it is an entirely new engineering feat. Making faster CPUs GPUs is not the same and that is why no one thinks putting a 4/8 core processor in the S4 is innovative, its merely and upgrade path.

I don't think the engineers at Samsung and Imagination Technologies deserve to be called no innovation for the time they used to try newer ways to improve the performance and power efficient of the Exynos processor. It is not just about adding more cores or what. For the CPU, it is not 4-8 cores that improve the performance but mainly the Cortex A15 processor. PowerVR SGX 544MP3 is a 3 cores gpu and Mali 400MP is 4.

Shadowzz said,

first one with native wireless charging. That's 3 new doowackies, still more then the current s3, comming s4 and the iphone5 and most likely iphone 5s.
Is just building in wireless charging so innovative? It is just building in something that just exist and it is not hard to build in too. If I remember there were Youtube videos teaching you how to do it. It is just Nokia Lumia 920 has no removeable backcover like Samsung devices so there cannot be sold as an additional accessories so building in natively is the only choice anyway...

That's so true. I see no innovation in GS4 in terms of hardware. HTC One beats GS4 (in terms of hardware) any day.

abdhoms said,
That's so true. I see no innovation in GS4 in terms of hardware. HTC One beats GS4 (in terms of hardware) any day.

HA HA?

abdhoms said,
That's so true. I see no innovation in GS4 in terms of hardware. HTC One beats GS4 (in terms of hardware) any day.
o.0? All I can see is the camera beating S4 and maybe the screen. Other then that... No

abdhoms said,
That's so true. I see no innovation in GS4 in terms of hardware. HTC One beats GS4 (in terms of hardware) any day.

Uhhh right. And if you are wrong then lay on the highway.

tanjiajun_34 said,
o.0? All I can see is the camera beating S4 and maybe the screen. Other then that... No

And the build quality? Despite being a top-end phone with a high price to match, it STILL feels tacky and cheap when compared to the HTC One for the simple fact that it is all plastic unlike the aluminium uni-body of the One.

The Dark Knight said,

And the build quality? Despite being a top-end phone with a high price to match, it STILL feels tacky and cheap when compared to the HTC One for the simple fact that it is all plastic unlike the aluminium uni-body of the One.

And for the build quality, are you going to dump a device that is way better in almost every aspect? No for me. Every phone has a possibility to get a scratch or crack so I am still going to put on a case anyway.

tanjiajun_34 said,
And for the build quality, are you going to dump a device that is way better in almost every aspect? No for me. Every phone has a possibility to get a scratch or crack so I am still going to put on a case anyway.
At least stateside, both phones are similar. I prefer the HTC One's design over the GS4 - it's more elegant to look at, and looks like a premium phone (probably better feel - but haven't held either phone, just an assumption for now). Outside of that, you're now talking software, and I'll gladly take Sense over Touchwiz. Samsung has introduced too much crapware for Touchwiz. In any case, if I got either phone, I'd just load an AOSP ROM, but I won't be able to get the HTC One, thanks to Verizon. The only advantages I see for GS4 is the microSD slot, and availability on carriers like Verizon

Somebody's a little jelly! Haha. The S4 may not be overly "innovative", but Samsung obviously has something you don't HTC. Wonder what it is?

nekkidtruth said,
Somebody's a little jelly! Haha. The S4 may not be overly "innovative", but Samsung obviously has something you don't HTC. Wonder what it is?

Their marketing budget and their photocopiers?

a0me said,

Their marketing budget and their photocopiers?

Their photocopier appears to work just fine. They had no issues copying Nokia on the WP side of the market. I'm thinking it's a little more than just marketing.

nekkidtruth said,
Somebody's a little jelly! Haha. The S4 may not be overly "innovative", but Samsung obviously has something you don't HTC. Wonder what it is?

An executive bathroom island?

you changed his quote, he was talking about the design, not the phone as a phone. This post is just embarrassing, trying to get clicks by manipulating the title to get people to click on it.

Studio384 said,
Doesn't matter, HTC and Nokia are the only companies I've seen whit an original design.

If by "original design" you mean "Same look, especially WP8 side. Same multiple colors.", then sure......

nekkidtruth said,

If by "original design" you mean "Same look, especially WP8 side. Same multiple colors.", then sure......

We are not talking about Software design. Wait a minute, does any OS [Mobile/Computer] in this world other than crappy Android looks different in different machines?

Hardware Design. Wait a moment, does Lumia series is copied from any one or PureView technology stolen?

nitins60 said,

We are not talking about Software design. Wait a minute, does any OS [Mobile/Computer] in this world other than crappy Android looks different in different machines?

Hardware Design. Wait a moment, does Lumia series is copied from any one or PureView technology stolen?

Who said anything about software design?

http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/10/30/35471750-8.jpg
http://i-cdn.phonearena.com/im...Lumia-920-vs-HTC-8X-001.jpg

They're obviously not identical, but they're certainly not that far off from each other.

Hmm, lets see...

Same look? Nokia and HTC have phones with multiple colors and a more rectangular non-curved design whereas Apple and the majority of Android OEMs share the same basic shape. Put them all together with the screen turned off and you'll easily spot the Nokia and HTC phones but the others? Hmm.

Same multiple colors? Compared to what? Black or white for almost every other phone out there.

There's plenty to troll about Windows Phone and their OEMs but you fail by using two of their strongest selling points. Nice try. Haha

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,

Nokia can't help it if HTC copy them. Seems it's all Asian companies ever do, copy.

I agree. Just pointing out the hypocrisy for the Samsung bashers.

cliftonj said,
Hmm, lets see...

Same look? Nokia and HTC have phones with multiple colors and a more rectangular non-curved design whereas Apple and the majority of Android OEMs share the same basic shape. Put them all together with the screen turned off and you'll easily spot the Nokia and HTC phones but the others? Hmm.

Same multiple colors? Compared to what? Black or white for almost every other phone out there.

There's plenty to troll about Windows Phone and their OEMs but you fail by using two of their strongest selling points. Nice try. Haha

Two of their strongest selling points according to who exactly?

nitins60 said,

We are not talking about Software design. Wait a minute, does any OS [Mobile/Computer] in this world other than crappy Android looks different in different machines?

Hardware Design. Wait a moment, does Lumia series is copied from any one or PureView technology stolen?

I love Nokia's innovation over the Lumia X20 series. Complete re design over the Lumia X00 series right?

Ezekiel Carsella said,
i know. especially when they have a phone with a 4mp camera

So you just go by numbers instead of looking at the technology behind it? The lens is bigger, which allows more light in, which in turn translates to far better quality pictures.

Another example, the iPhone has only 1 GB RAM, yet it is smoother than an Android phone with 2 GB of RAM. Even Windows Phone with 512 MB is a lot smoother.