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Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One: Smartphone showdown

Ross Catanzariti | April 16, 2013
How does the Samsung Galaxy S4 compare to the HTC One?

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One: Display

The biggest hardware upgrade on the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the display. It's a 4.99in, Super AMOLED screen with a full HD 1080p resolution of 1920x1080, an increase on the Galaxy S III's 4.8in screen with 720p resolution. The pixel density of 441 ppi is among the highest on the market and the screen will work when used with gloves, a feature we've already seen on Nokia's Lumia 920.

The HTC One on the other hand has a slightly smaller 4.7in, super LCD 3 display with a full HD resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The display is optically bonded to the screen in order to minimise the space between layers. The screen has a pixel density of 468ppi, making it the highest on the market. The colour reproduction, brightness and viewing angles on the HTC One are almost unrivaled. It's a display that has to be seen yourself in order to be fully appreciated.

The colour reproduction, brightness and viewing angles on the HTC One are almost unrivaled
The colour reproduction, brightness and viewing angles on the HTC One are almost unrivaled

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One: Software

Both of these smartphones have similar major features. The main aspect you'll need to factor into your purchasing decision is the software overlay that sits on top of Google's Android platform. The Galaxy S4 uses Samsung's TouchWIZ UI, while the HTC One uses the latest version of HTC Sense.

These software overlays may look very different, but they are similar in some ways. Both the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One have a user interface that has skinned almost every part of the standard Android layout. Samsung's software adds a lot of small and possibly useful features, while the HTC One debuts a completely new home screen called "BlinkFeed".

Air Gesture allows users to swipe through photos or scroll without touching the Galaxy S4.
Air Gesture allows users to swipe through photos or scroll without touching the Galaxy S4.

The Galaxy S4 includes features like 'Smart Scroll', which allows users to scroll up and down with eye movement, 'Smart Pause', which will pause video when the user looks away from the screen, and 'Air Gesture' which allows you to swipe through photos or scroll without touching the phone. These are all big selling points for Samsung, so if you think they might be gimmicks and you won't use them often, keep that in mind.

The biggest addition to HTC's Sense UI is a redesigned home screen called 'BlinkFeed'. It looks like a cross between Windows Phone 8 and the Flipboard media aggregation app and pulls in content from a variety of pre-selected sources including your social media accounts. The idea of seeing social networking status updates and feeds every time you unlock your phone isn't appealing to us. Other users may feel differently, so this is very much a personal preference.

 

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