We look at the design, screen, camera and software features of the two best smartphones of 2013, the HTC one and Samsung Galaxy S4, to help you decide which to buy.

HTC One vs Samsung Galaxy S4

The first four months of 2013 have so far seen the launch of some superb smartphones, and if you can't wait for Apple to release a new iPhone - whatever and whenever that they be - which should you go for?

While there have been many excellent phones launched in the last three months, inclyuding the Sony Xperia Z, the BlackBerry Z10 and even the Asus Padfone 2 - today I'm looking at the two biggest releases of 2013 so far, the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4.

We have already compared these phones purely in terms of their specs, but what about in the real world?

Both run Android, both have much larger screens than the iPhone 5 and both are expensive, but which is better. Let's look at four key factor which should help you decide.


The HTC One is simply flawless in my opinion. Its combination of aluminium unibody design and large glass-covered screen put it up there with the iPhone in terms of industrial design. Add in the best smartphone speakers on the market, and it's going to be tough to beat.

HTC One vs Samsung Galaxy S4

The Galaxy S4 on the other hand closely follows the S3 in terms of design using plastic throughout instead of aluminium, which keeps the weight down but lends a feel which is somewhat cheap. It is both thinner and lighter than the One but the overall look and feel of the device can't match HTC's effort.


Both screens have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 meaning, buy any measure both are superb. The larger 5in Galaxy S4 screen offers one of the best viewing experiences ever on a smartphone, however its use of AMOLED technology and the resultant over-saturation of colours will put some people off.

HTC One vs Samsung Galaxy S4

The HTC One screen is slightly smaller at 4.7in meaning it has a slightly higher pixel density but the difference at this resolution is not noticeable to the naked eye. HTC has gone for LCD3 technology giving the screen a more natural colour temperature - and it is also slightly brighter.


The cameras in high-end smartphones these days are generally superb. The 13 megapxiel sensor in the Galaxy S4 produces excellent image quality and even the 2 megapxiel camera at the front isgreat for both video chats and grabbing quick pictures. Samsung has also included some novel settings and modes in the camera app, though some like picture-in-picture are a little gimmicky.

The HTC One features the Ultrapixel camera which has a sensor size of just 4 megapixels, but each of these is physically much larger than normal to help with low-light image capture. And it works, low-light performance is great, though general image quality is probably a step below the Galaxy S4.

Software Features

The HTC One's big selling point in terms of software is called Blinkfeed. An image-heavy feed of news, social media updates and messages which replaces your traditional home screen. At the moment it's limited to certain news sources and as such feels unfinished but in the future I expect HTC to build on Blinkfeed's promising beginnings.

HTC One vs Samsung Galaxy S4

The Galaxy S4 has so many features it's hard to know where to start. The headline grabbing features include the ability to scroll down emails or websites using only your eyes as well as previewing emails of images without having to touch the screen. Again these feel more like gimmicks at the moment than helping in the day-to-day use of your smartpone, but Samsung should be applauded for trying something different.

So which one should I get?

There's no denying both phones are superb, but for me, the HTC One gets the nod. Better design, a superb screen and over £70 cheaper on pay-as-you-go with Three, this makes it the number one smartphone on the market today.