Contrary to fan expectations, Google's highly anticipated Nexus 5 smartphone and the next-generation Android 4.3 Jelly Bean platform failed to make their debut at the high-profile Google I/O conference in May. Instead, the event witnessed a big surprise, as Google unveiled its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4 Google Edition.
Just a couple of weeks after the Galaxy S4 launch, the Taiwanese smartphone giant HTC too announced its flagship phone, the HTC One Google Edition. Google is poised to capitalise on its market gains by signing up two of the biggest Android smartphone makers in a bid to offer Nexus-like experience on their flagship smartphones.
IBTimes UK brings you a detailed feature comparison of the two Google Edition flagship smartphones, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, to help you decide which one to buy.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Vs HTC One Google Edition: Dimensions and Design
The HTC One Google Edition invariably looks stunning with its aluminium unibody design, but ships with a non-removable battery. In contrast, Samsung compensates the lack of premium metallic body with more practical plastic body on the S4 that is flexible and grants easy access for battery replacement.
The Galaxy S4 Google Edition surely holds an edge in its dimension factor, as it is shorter, smaller and more compact than the HTC One. The S4 is 0.3in shorter and despite its bigger display, it is also 1.4mm thinner than the HTC smartphone.
The Galaxy S4 is also 13 grams lighter than the HTC One Google Edition, which weighs 143 grams. The overall dimension of the two smartphones is given below:
Galaxy S4 Google Edition: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm
HTC One Google Edition: 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Vs HTC One Google Edition: Display
Although both the smartphones feature a full HD 1080 x 1920 pixels display, the Galaxy S4 Google Edition sports a bigger 5in Super AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass 3 protection. In contrast, the HTC One Google Edition offers a compact 4.7in Super LCD3 screen with Gorilla Glass 2 for protection against scratches and superficial damage.
Thanks to its smaller display size, the HTC phone has a slightly higher pixel density (469 pixels-per-inch (ppi)) than the S4 (441ppi).
The Galaxy S4 is more suitable for those who crave for bigger screen space for displaying more information. In comparison, the HTC One offers better handling with one hand due its smaller screen size.
The Super AMOLED display on the S4 is traditionally known to offer better battery-life (as it consumes less power) and true blacks than the Super LCD3 panel of the HTC One. On the other hand, the HTC phone offers better contrast levels and colour accuracy (more natural colours), but it falls short in terms of sunlight legibility. The less reflective screen of the S4 should make it a better display for reading under bright sunlight.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Vs HTC One Google Edition: Processor and RAM
The Galaxy S4 Google Edition is based on the Snapdragon 600 variant of the original Galaxy S4 (I9505), which ships with a quad-core 1.9GHz Krait 300 processor, and an Adreno 320 GPU.
The HTC One is also powered by the same Snapdragon 600 processor. But, it is a bit underclocked in contrast to the S4 and runs at 1.7GHz.
Although a clock speed difference of 200MHz may not make much of an impact in daily usage conditions, the GeekBench and AnTuTu benchmarks show that the Galaxy S4 leads the HTC One with a difference of nearly 2,100 points in AnTuTu and about 500 points in GeekBench 2 scores.
Both the smartphones ship with 2GB of RAM that should come in handy for multitasking.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Vs HTC One Google Edition: Operating System
Although both HTC and Samsung will reportedly retain their existing user-interface (UI) platforms: TouchWiz Nature UX and HTC Sense, it is ascertained that both Google Edition smartphones will feature stock (pure) Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean software to pave the way for Nexus-like interface design and user experience.
In other words, both the Google Edition smartphones will ship without the proprietary software such as Air Control Gestures of the Galaxy S4 and the Beats Audio and Zoe features of the HTC One. Despite losing out on the custom Android features, these smartphones will be the first to enjoy the latest Android updates from Google like their Nexus counterparts.
In addition, the two smartphones are expected to come with unlocked bootloaders, which paves the way for easy installation of Android upgrades and tweaks in the future.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Vs HTC One Google Edition: Camera
The Google Editions of Galaxy S4 and HTC One will reportedly ship without the proprietary camera features and apps. However, they still retain the hardware features of the original.
The Galaxy S4 will feature a 13-megapixel camera with support for autofocus, LED flash, 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second (fps) and simultaneous HD video and image recording.
The latest camera benchmarks conducted by GSMArena suggest the S4 delivers better snapshots in daylight conditions.
On the other hand, the HTC One offers a four-megapixel camera sensor with UltraPixel technology that reportedly delivers better stills in low-light conditions. . The other camera features will remain the same as the S4.
Both the smartphones feature two-megapixel front-facing camera, which also support full HD 1080p video recording at 30fps.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Vs HTC One Google Edition: Connectivity
Given the high price points of the two smartphones, the support for 4G LTE connectivity is a key factor to address the needs of a power hungry user. Both the smartphones offer support for 4G LTE along with a host of regular connectivity options including Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Near Field Communication (NFC) and microUSB 2.0.
The data download/upload speeds for the two devices in 3G and 4G LTE networks is given below:
Galaxy S4 Google Edition: HSDPA 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL.
HTC One Google Edition: HSPA+; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
The only major change incorporated into the Google Edition smartphones is that the IR blaster on the HTC One has been disabled, while the infrared functionality is not yet tested on the Galaxy S4 Google Edition. However, both the smartphones still carry an infrared port.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Vs HTC One Google Edition: Storage
The Galaxy S4 Google comes with 16GB internal storage, which can be further upgraded by 64GB via microSD expansion slot. So, the total storage capcity of the S4 goes up to 80GB.
In contrast, the HTC One comes in a single 32GB storage model, with no option for microSD expansion (as it is made of unibody aluminium case).
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Vs HTC One Google Edition: Battery
The Galaxy S4 Google Edition is powered by the same 2600 mAh removable battery of the original S4. The latest battery benchmark results from GSMArena suggest that the S4 will deliver a talk-time of up to 13 hours and 53 minutes on 3G or a video playback time of up to 10 hours and 16 minutes.
The HTC phone, however, ships with a smaller 2300 mAh non-removable battery and the recent benchmark results show that it offers a talk-time of up to 13 hours and 38 minutes on 3G or a video playback time of up to 10 hours and 2 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Vs HTC One Google Edition: Price and Availability
Two of the world's best smartphones, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, are expected to be launched as Google Edition flagship phones on Google Play Store starting 26 June. The devices are expected to first arrive exclusively on Google Play Stores for US market only, while several reports suggest that the HTC One Google Edition will be available in just 50,000 copies at the time of release.
The 16 GB Galaxy S4 Google Edition is expected to be priced at £422 ($649) on a contract-free offer, while the 32GB HTC One Google Edition will be available at £390 ($599).