Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One: The Android Altercation

Until recently, if you had asked which is the best Android smartphone released so far this year, many would have answered “HTC One”. However, that was until Samsung officially announced its new flagship, the Galaxy S4. Samsung fans had been brimming with excitement in anticipation of the launch, and the hype surrounding the new flagship overshadowed both cheap mobile phones and high-end releases, including the aforementioned HTC One.


Editor’s note:  This is a guest post written by Abbi Cox of Phones 4u, who offer a range of smartphones on the EE network. Images have been added by TeckComesFirst.

But is the Galaxy S4 justified in getting all this attention, or should we be championing other stand-out smartphones? We’ve taken a look at the Galaxy S4’s features in comparison to those boasted by the HTC One, to see if the S4 is all it’s cracked up to be…

Native features: BlinkFeed vs S Health

HTC BlinkFeed on HTC One (Image Credit: HK-Android)

HTC BlinkFeed on HTC One (Image Credit: HK-Android)

Each of these devices has some cool new native features, including BlinkFeed on the HTC One and S Health on the Galaxy S4. BlinkFeed is a replacement for the standard Android homescreen that featured on previous HTC devices. Instead of having app icons and widgets on the homescreen, BlinkFeed offers live feeds from social networks, galleries and news sources. The feeds are presented in boxes and update in realtime when new info such as news headlines emerge, in a similar way to Windows Phone’s Live Tiles interface does.

Samsung’s S Health feature is based around – you guessed it – the wellbeing of the user. Within the S Health feature there is a built-in pedometer, a diet tracking app, and sensors in the phone that measure the temperature and humidity of the room. S Health also syncs via Bluetooth with accessories such as blood pressure monitors and glucose meters, so users can get an overall rounded view of how healthy they are.

Both of these HTC and Samsung features are pretty cool, but which turns out to be more helpful will depend on the type of user and what their expectations of a smartphone are. Some will find the S Health fitness monitoring really useful, whereas those not as concerned with diet and exercise would probably gain more from the updates BlinkFeed provides.

Innovations: Smart Scroll vs HTC BoomSound

Samsung Galaxy S4 - Smart Scroll/Smart Pause (Image Credit: Engadget)

Samsung Galaxy S4 – Smart Scroll/Smart Pause (Image Credit: Engadget)

When it comes to innovation, the Galaxy S4 boasts a Smart Scroll feature that uses facial recognition and the accelerometer to allow users scroll up and down when in browsers and emails without touching the display. The Galaxy S4 senses the movements made by user’s wrists, as well as recognising facial movements, making the pages scroll up and down when needed.

HTC has decided to be pioneering with the audio performance offered by the HTC One, creating HTC BoomSound technology. This consists of dual frontal stereo speakers powered by built-in amplifiers that reduce distortion and provides a fuller sound when listening to music at volume via the speaker. Again, each of these features will appeal to different kinds of users, but if we had to choose we’d say that Smart Scroll is the most inventive and will be the most handy of the two innovations in day to day use. This is mainly because HTC BoomSound doesn’t really offer anything more than the quality you’d get from a separate mini-speaker (aside from the fact that it’s built-in to the phone).

Camera functionality: HTC Zoe vs Dual Camera

HTC Zoe (Ultrapixel Sensor) on HTC One (Image Credit: Tik-Govoriti-Technologija)

HTC Zoe (Ultrapixel Sensor) on HTC One (Image Credit: Tik-Govoriti-Technologija)

Both the Galaxy S4 and HTC One feature new camera features that definitely have the wow factor. The HTC One has HTC Zoe, a function which takes a 3-second mini-video instead of a still image every time the shutter button is pressed. Users can then scroll back through the 20 frames of the video and select stills to save. There’s also the option to remove unwanted objects from pictures, as well as a host of other post-production options.

The Dual Camera feature on the Galaxy S4 allows rear and front cameras to be used simultaneously, either when taking photographs or recording video. Pictures and videos can then be blended together using the editing options on board. Although the Dual Camera feature sported by the Galaxy S4 is impressive on paper, HTC Zoe is the camera functionality that we imagine will come in most handy in ‘real life’ as it has countless applications. Dual Camera on the other hand is limited as to what it could be used for, and apart from the Dual Video calling it enables (in which a user can remain in the shot whilst using the rear camera to relay their surroundings), it does have the feint whiff of gimmick about it.

The Verdict

So, if it came down to it, which handset would we choose? Although the HTC One has some incredible camera technology, the Galaxy S4 out-specs it in pretty much every department. We’d say the HTC One is a choice for the more discerning Android user not wowed by hype and large numbers on a spec sheet, whereas the Galaxy S4 is the populist choice. The Galaxy range is held in so much esteem right now that Samsung could have probably pulled anything out of the bag and it still would have sold on the Galaxy moniker alone, but in the S4’s case the device is actually pretty impressive and given the choice, we’d plump for the Galaxy S4.

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So what do you guys think is better? The HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4 and why? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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I’m a 23 year old Maths Graduate, who has a great passion for technology and in my spare time I make videos on YouTube to show my passion. I'm also co-admin here at TeckComesFirst and I joined this site back in January 2012.
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