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Samsung's flagship device improves in nearly every way, but delivers a tough choice due to its design decisions

Reviews of Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KSC:005930) highly anticipated flagship phone, the Galaxy S IV, went live today.  Let's take a look at the reviews from five of the blogosphere's top sites -- AnandTech (Brian Klug), The Verge (David Pierce), All Things Digital (Walt Mossberg), Engadget (Brad Molen), and Gizmodo (Brent Rose).

So what's the general verdict?

The reviewers generally say that the GSIV is a clear step up from the GS3 in every area, so for Samsung smartphone owners who like their devices, it is a clear choice.  Otherwise, the general verdict is that the GSIV's rough edges make it a tossup between it and its chief Android competitor -- the HTC One.  

The GSIV has microSD, a replaceable battery, a slightly more powerful processor, and takes better outdoor photos.  But the HTC One's camera performs better in low light, its battery life is reportedly slightly better, it has a more minimalist Android skin, and lastly it has a slicker case design.

But before we dig in, let us first recap the phone's specs, which were announced at the company's March 14 soft launch event in New York City, New York.  For utility's sake we've tossed in some comparison with some top rival devices:
 
                Smartphones wide
Spec comparison
[Click to enlarge]

Let's now see what the reviewers say.

II. The Reviews

Design
  • The Verge (David Pierce)

    "Where Apple and HTC have both made beautiful, well-made, high-quality phones, the GS4 has Samsung back in the land of cheap, plasticky handsets."
     
  • Engadget (Brad Molen)

    "If you were a critic of the GS3's plastic construction, you'll be disappointed with its successor -- the company's continuing its long-standing tradition of keeping metal out of the assembly lines, building the frame, back cover and faux-chrome edges with polycarbonate. It's a similar -- though lower-grade and not machined -- type of plastic you'd enjoy on flagships like the Nokia Lumia 920 or even the HTC One X+, so it's nothing out of the ordinary for Samsung."
     
  • AnandTech (Brian Klug)

    "This is the iPhone school of thinking — you have an industrial design now that is borderline a trademark, it's selling well, and if you have something that's popular, why change it? 

    Samsung continues its liberal use of its favorite thermoplastic with SGS4, but... it tries to make its thermoplastic exteriors look like something else...with SGS4 there's now a faux carbon fiber motif going throughout, with a diamond checkerboard pattern that prevails on the front and back.

    Much debate has been made around Samsung's continued use of plastic vs. metal in the industrial design of its smartphones and tablets...There's no getting around the fact that other OEMs are bringing increasingly sophisticated materials choices to bear with their designs, and this is an obvious weak point for SGS4.

    What has improved dramatically with SGS4 are the buttons, which now are surprisingly awesome."
CPU
  • Engadget (Brad Molen)

    "The once-dominating force of a Snapdragon S4 chipset is now eclipsed by the Snapdragon 600, and we have a feeling history will repeat itself later this year as soon as the 800 is unleashed into the world. Think about it: out of the six benchmarks above, the GS 4 managed to set records in five of them, with the One (the previous record-breaker) not too far behind."
     
  • AnandTech (Brian Klug)

    It's immediately apparent that something is different here because Samsung is shipping the Snapdragon 600 at a higher frequency than any other OEM. The Krait 300 cores in SGS4 can run at up to 1.9GHz vs. 1.7GHz for everyone else.

    Digging through the Galaxy S 4 kernel source we see references to an APQ8064AB part...Iwe might be looking at an actual respin of the APQ8064 silicon in APQ8064AB....it's clear to me that the Galaxy S 4 is shipping with something different than everyone else who has a Snapdragon 600 at this point.
GPU
  • AnandTech (Brian Klug)

    "The low level triangle tests all show significant performance gains over the only other Snapdragon 600 based phone we have (HTC One)....The Galaxy S 4 manages to outperform the HTC One by around 17%."
Battery Life
  • AnandTech (Brian Klug)

    "On WiFi the Galaxy S 4 falls behind the HTC One by an appreciable amount, however there's still an improvement in battery life compared to the Galaxy S 3....Talk time is excellent on the Galaxy S 4, with the phone delivering effectively the same battery life as the HTC One."
     
  • All Things Digital (Walt Mossberg)

    "Its removable battery gave me a full day of use."

Camera
  • Gizmodo (Brent Rose)

    "In decent lighting, the camera is among the best shooters out there. Images are very sharp and there's a surprising amount of depth of field. Colors are rich, though they border on over-saturation, and video quality is excellent."
     
  • AnandTech (Brian Klug)

    "The One's camera delivers better low light performance, while the Galaxy S 4's camera delivers better performance in well lit (e.g. outdoor) scenarios."
Software
  • Engadget (Brad Molen)

    "In general, the GS 4 performs amazingly well, but there's a catch: when Air View and Air Gestures were enabled, we noticed the phone acting a little sluggish even in the most basic of tasks."
     
  • All Things Digital (Walt Mossberg)

    "I found Samsung’s software often gimmicky, duplicative of standard Android apps, or, in some cases, only intermittently functional."
     
  • Gizmodo (Brent Rose)

    "As we noted in our original hands-on, the S4 comes packed full of "features." There's Air View...There's Air Gestures...there's Smart Scroll...And there's Group Play...

    The most important thing you need to know about these features is that you will never use any of them. Ever. Never ever. The end.

    Make no mistake. These "features" are nothing more than gimmicks."
Modem
  • All Things Digital (Walt Mossberg)

    "My test model was running on the T-Mobile network and even indicated that it was using super-fast LTE, which T-Mobile is still building out, in some areas. But data download speeds in the D.C. suburbs averaged just 6.96 megabits per second, versus 20.81 mbps for an iPhone 5 running Verizon LTE. The Galaxy S 4 would likely be faster on Verizon in the same location."
Screen
  • Engadget (Brad Molen)

    "One of the subtlest tweaks to the design in the GS 4 may also be one of the most effective: the Gorilla Glass 3 rests just a hair below the edge of the screen. This tiny move makes the screen a tad less vulnerable than the GS3, which features glass that sits slightly above the edge. This won't guarantee your screen's safety when you drop your phone, but it at least increases the likelihood of it surviving an impact at an angle."
     
  • The Verge (David Pierce)

    "The GS4's 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is big, beautiful, and seriously eye-catching. The latter is partially a bad thing: the S4 uses a Super AMOLED panel like many of Samsung's phones, and like many of Samsung’s phones it displays overly contrasted and vibrant colors. Those colors may not be accurate — reds and oranges absolutely explode off the screen, whether they should or not — but they certainly catch your eye. And with a ridiculous 441 pixels per inch, even the PenTile display matrix I usually loathe causes no problems."
Conclusions
  • All Things Digital (Walt Mossberg)

    "I urge readers looking for a new Android smartphone to carefully consider the more polished-looking, and quite capable, HTC One, rather than defaulting to the latest Samsung."
     
  • AnandTech (Brian Klug)

    "Samsung's existing user base is likely the easiest to talk to about the Galaxy S 4. Compared to any previous Galaxy S device, the SGS4 is a clear step forward in all of the right areas...If you're a happy owner of a Samsung Galaxy S/S2/S3, you'll likely be a happy owner of a Galaxy S 4.

    It's when you compare the Galaxy S 4 to its chief technical competitor, the HTC One, that the discussion becomes more complicated. HTC and Samsung take very different approaches to nearly every aspect of their flagship smartphones."
     
  • The Verge (David Pierce)

    "There were two Android phones worth buying, the One and the Nexus 4. That number is now very clearly three, but I had hoped against hope that Samsung would emerge the undisputed winner. The Galaxy S4 is a very good phone in most respects — it has a stellar camera and solid battery life, blistering performance and an impressively useful complement of software features. It's a technological achievement — there's no question about that.

    You can have the far better-looking phone or you can have the slightly better-performing phone — and you really can't choose wrong. If the GS III is any indication, millions upon millions will choose the GS4. Me? I think design matters. Polish matters. The Galaxy S4 is fast and impressive, but it's also noisy and complex. The One is refined, quiet, comfortable, beautiful, and above all simply pleasant. I love using that phone, in a way I haven't experienced with anything since the iPhone 5. That's why, when my contract is up in June, I'll probably be casting my lot with HTC instead of Samsung."

Sources: AnandTech, The Verge, All Things D, Engadget



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I'd never buy the HTC One
By Nutzo on 4/24/2013 11:40:46 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
But Most Prefer HTC One


Really? That doesn;t seem to be the case based on sales of the HTC One vs the S3.

I'd never buy the HTC One, due to the non replaceable battery and lack of an SD card. That's one of the reasons I'll never own an iPhone.




RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By MojoMan on 4/24/2013 11:51:49 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed! Lack of a replaceable battery is a deal breaker for me. I know that probably isn't the case for most people, but I LOVE being able to swap out a dead battery for full power when I'm on the run.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By Nortel on 4/24/2013 3:39:15 PM , Rating: 3
I've used a "battery case" which was far more convenient vs carting around extra batteries. It's a hell of a lot easier to charge vs popping the back off and charging up a second battery.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By half_duplex on 4/24/2013 11:57:58 AM , Rating: 1
The batteries can be changed if they go bad... you just can't swap them out yourself.

I travel quite a bit, and haven't had a problem with my iPhone so I am giving the One a try... so far I love this thing.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By Nutzo on 4/24/2013 2:20:04 PM , Rating: 3
It's more than just replacing a bad battery.

It's the ability to carry a spare battery, switch to a large battery (something I'm considering on my S3), or the ability to add cordless charging, etc.

None of this is possible with the HTC One or the iPhone.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By rpierce on 4/24/2013 12:06:55 PM , Rating: 3
I know the title is not real clear, but the author is referring to the critics not the general population.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By mosu on 4/24/2013 1:03:29 PM , Rating: 1
My point exactly, I need replaceable battery and most of all a microSDHC. If they would ever made a phone with 2 SD card slots or even better, with mSATA I would be the first to buy one.Also the SuperAMOLED is far superior in outdoor use.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By Mint on 4/24/2013 10:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
SAMOLED doesn't really have an advantage outdoors, because there's only so much you can do about reflections before light output becomes the dominant factor.

I'm addicted to SAMOLED indoors. The blacks are soooooo good. I can't wait until we get OLED computer displays.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By fteoath64 on 4/27/2013 3:13:10 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. HTC is so "thick" to think that sleek design and Apple style minimalistic design is what people wanted. No SD card and no replacable batteries are the top 2 features that drives people AWAY from it. They wondered why they cannot beat Samsung ?!. What a bunch of snobs (wanna-be types) those HTC designers !.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By BillyBatson on 4/24/2013 3:17:24 PM , Rating: 3
Well that's why everyone has a different opinion and a bank account to go with it.

I prefer the HTC One over the S4 any day (both are great phones). I prefer my cell phones not have an SD cars slot and I will never again carry a cell with a removable battery. Some features important to some are complete deal breakers for others. Throw in better aesthetics, better material quality, nearly better battery cd, very close CPU performances, simpler UI, and a smaller screen and that rounds out the features that would make me choose the One over the S4.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By Dug on 4/24/2013 5:40:06 PM , Rating: 2
The HTC One just came out a few days ago. The S3 has been out for over 10 months.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By Reclaimer77 on 4/24/2013 7:12:25 PM , Rating: 3
The real dealbreakers to me on the HTC One:

1. Drop tests. Poor, very poor. HTC claims the One is uni-body, however it's actually not. The speaker grills are glued on, and WILL snap off the very first time you drop the phone. What's the point of a metal chassis if you are forced to wrap the phone in one of those ugly cases?

2. Removing Android buttons we've come to know and love in lieu of a giant HTC logo. Just..why? You've made the phone less usable for no good reason!

Now these are just my opinions. It's still a great phone, but for me HTC has asked me to compromise on too many things. Samsung doesn't.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By TakinYourPoints on 4/25/2013 12:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Really? That doesn;t seem to be the case based on sales of the HTC One vs the S3.


Samsung outspends HTC on marketing by a factor of ten (it actually exceeds HTC's total revenue), they have global reach that HTC doesn't, and they have a stronger brand with the Galaxy. HTC by contrast releases more flagship devices per year, each with a different name. Terrible branding even though their products are good.


RE: I'd never buy the HTC One
By Omega215D on 4/25/2013 1:45:57 AM , Rating: 1
I wonder if Samsung's fake reviewers had any effect on purchasing decisions of many consumers.


By TakinYourPoints on 4/29/2013 8:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
Its possible, but carpetbombing the planet with TV ads and billboards still seems like it would be more effective than shills on internet message boards.


Plastic
By valkator on 4/24/2013 1:45:55 PM , Rating: 2
I prefer my phone plastic. It is an inert material. People are so hung up on metal... I don't remember anyone having allergy problems with polycarbonate but I can sure as hell find people that have allergies to the alloys used in these phones that you people think are so much better with their metal smelling, ding easy phones.




RE: Plastic
By messele on 4/24/2013 3:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
Inert?

Allegies?

Metal Smelling?

Those are all new ones to me! PS you need to re-check what you believe "Inert" means.


RE: Plastic
By theapparition on 4/24/2013 4:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
While "metal smelling" seems a bit over the top, you should look up metal allergies. It's real and it does happen. Although not too many phones would be shipping with unplated metal.


RE: Plastic
By crazy1 on 4/24/2013 4:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be happy with a carbon-fiber phone. It's not so much about the metal, it's about looking and feeling the part of a premium phone. The Samsung and HTC will be priced similarly, but the HTC cost twice as much in parts and labor to build. When looking at it in that respect, the One is a bargain.

I've never met someone allergic to a phone. It must be difficult to find transportation when allergic to aluminum alloys.


RE: Plastic
By Reclaimer77 on 4/24/2013 7:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Samsung and HTC will be priced similarly, but the HTC cost twice as much in parts and labor to build.


???

Something about this statement doesn't seem right at all. Simply having a metal body doesn't double the cost of a phone man.


RE: Plastic
By Dug on 4/24/2013 5:53:21 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Couldn't put a case on it?
Metal smell, ding easy phones?
People that have allergies to metals are very rarely bothered by a phone. Look at the sales of iphones over the years.

People that are that allergic have other problems too. These poor people can't work on cars, cook, play the guitar, use earbuds, silverware, wear watches or jewelry, wrap food in tinfoil, or even hold their car keys. So in all reality it's not that many people. And like I said, if it's that big a deal, put a case on it like 99% of people do for their phone anyway.


RE: Plastic
By superflex on 4/24/2013 5:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
If you had a choice in laptops, specs and price being equal, would you choose the laptop with a plastic body or one with a metal body?
We all know the answer, so go ahead and lie about the virtues of a cheap plastic laptop with some pathetic carbon fiber weave pattern to impress the boy racer crowd.
Allergies to aluminum alloys? Take off your tinfoil hat. It's giving your brain a rash.


RE: Plastic
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/25/2013 2:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Allergies to aluminum alloys? Take off your tinfoil hat. It's giving your brain a rash.
It's real, regardless of your Apple fanboyism...


RE: Plastic
By superflex on 4/25/2013 3:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
The only Apple device i ever owned was an Apple IIe my parent bought me back in 1984.
Nice try, assclown. Since smartphones were introduced, I've had a Blackberry and two Androids.
Please cite me a medical study showing allergic rxn to aluminum alloys.


S4 or next gen?
By Complinitor on 4/24/2013 11:50:06 AM , Rating: 2
I'll skip this and wait for the next gen, like I did from S to SIII. No need to get incre-mental on us.




RE: S4 or next gen?
By Falacer on 4/24/2013 12:14:18 PM , Rating: 2
Same here I went from the S to the S3 and will not be getting the S4. Tired of their flimsy body construction. Hopefully they get the hint and go back to a metal case with the S5.

And move the speaker(s) from the back of the phone! Why do I still have to turn my phone over to get any decent sound?!


RE: S4 or next gen?
By KITH on 4/24/13, Rating: 0
RE: S4 or next gen?
By crazy1 on 4/24/2013 3:50:07 PM , Rating: 4
The HTC One has two front facing speakers and is reviewed as having the best sound quality and loudest speakers of any phone.


RE: S4 or next gen?
By BillyBatson on 4/24/2013 4:12:57 PM , Rating: 2
The ip4s had really decent sound and the ip5 is great both how loud it gets and clarity for coming out of a small device, good enough for 4 people to listen music to while fishing next to a rapidly moving river. The HTC One is supposed to be even better. I wouldn't want my speaker on the back side either.


RE: S4 or next gen?
By Solandri on 4/24/2013 4:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Tired of their flimsy body construction. Hopefully they get the hint and go back to a metal case with the S5.

Rumors are the Note 3 will get a metal body, and the S4 was supposed to have one but they ran into tooling problems. So the S5 may indeed be metal.
http://www.sammobile.com/2013/04/13/weekend-specia...

Personally I don't really get the obsession with metal. I only plan to keep it for 2-3 years so I prefer plastic, instead of metal I feel obliged to cover with a plastic/rubber case which makes it twice as thick. If you feel compelled to protect a phone with a case, IMHO that's a design deficiency. If this were a device I was planning to keep for 5-10 years, then yeah I'd want metal (and I'd just live with all the dings and scratches it picked up over the years). But to each his own.


RE: S4 or next gen?
By Falacer on 4/24/2013 7:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
See I feel the opposite. I never put a cover on my original Galaxy and after countless drops, being stepped on & etc. the case even today has but a few minor scratches to the body and not a mark on the screen at all. It is still used around the house by my 3 yr old to play some matching games and listen to music.

With my S3 I had purchased 2 cases from Amazon it already has more marks on the body than my first Galaxy phone.


battery and storage
By Dug on 4/24/2013 5:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
I got an extra battery for my last phone because it was part of the package. Never used it.

1) I can't imagine using a phone so much in one day that it would drain it. I use mine for work and goes all day.
2) I've never been stuck anywhere that doesn't have a plug in if I did drain it in one day.
3) I would just carry a charger instead of an extra battery and a charger for that extra batter. Or a battery case would be even better. But still not needed.
4) Out of the 200 employees here, there isn't one that's using an extra battery. I'm surprised to hear so many people think its necessary.

External storage is more efficient and easier to manage than swapping sd cards all the time.
If I really needed more than 32-64gigs, I'll bring and external drive or its time to think about an ultrabook.

So with that being said, I'll go for the better design of the HTC One and the better low light camera as I'm indoors most of the time.




RE: battery and storage
By zephyrprime on 4/24/2013 5:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about? It's easy to drain a phone's battery from one day of use.


RE: battery and storage
By BRB29 on 4/25/2013 12:36:36 AM , Rating: 2
yea in one day's use. But doesn't everyone plug it in at night?

If you use your phone too much that you drain it by noon then you need to find a job lol. You're just bored.

Even the abysmal battery life of my galaxy nexus still have 30-40% left by the end of the day. I always use nav, flixsters, emails, etc... all day. As soon as you start playing games, battery life takes a dive but I dont have time for that.


RE: battery and storage
By superflex on 4/24/2013 6:01:36 PM , Rating: 2
The non-replaceable battery whiners act like they have never heard of a wall charger or a car charger, both of which could be purchased for the price of a replacement battery.
I have an extra wall charger at the office and one in my car.
Radical!


RE: battery and storage
By Disorganise on 4/25/2013 4:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
yes, because you can plug in a charger when you're on public transport, at a cafe/bar/restaraunt, at the beach, at the airport, etc etc etc.

And luckily, we're all able to sit around for 3 hours whilst the phone recharges to 100%. Swapping from a flat battery to full battery in about 20 seconds isn't convenient at all. Oh, the hassle of carrying around a light replacement battery instead of a bulky charger and cable.

And of course, all software is bug free nowadays so there's no chance the phone could ever totally lock up and/or make a loud constant noise with vibration in a quiet environment whilst it ignores your desperate pressing of the power button.

And my Desire-Z never once became unable to switch on until the battery was removed for 2 days.

To each his own. When my phone can last one week without charging (like they were in the old days) maybe I'll re-consider a non-removable battery - though I'd still like a guaranteed power reset/cut.

As to storage - again, each to his own. I know people for whom the 16Gb on board is plenty. I like the ability to add a card dedicated to music or whatever. Probably not such a deal breaker for me to be honest but i do like the option of adding a card. what I don't want/agree with is the whole 'cloud' for everything - coverage just isn't reliable or fast enough for that, and then there's the data charges. And then when you want to listen to your music on a plane...oops. Local storage has long future, and expandable local storage provides flexibility for those who need it.


RE: battery and storage
By superflex on 4/25/2013 3:11:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And of course, all software is bug free nowadays so there's no chance the phone could ever totally lock up and/or make a loud constant noise with vibration in a quiet environment whilst it ignores your desperate pressing of the power button.

Is that a Samsung feature? Never experienced that with my Evo 4g.


RE: battery and storage
By superflex on 4/25/2013 3:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
yes, because you can plug in a charger when you're on public transport, at a cafe/bar/restaraunt, at the beach, at the airport, etc etc etc.

I guess in your caveman world, you've never seen a miniUSB battery charger. Smaller and cheaper than your replacement battery and one will charge my Evo 4G from empty to 50% in 20 minutes.
Your inability to manage your phone battery properly isn't my problem.


Yup. I agree.
By retrospooty on 4/24/2013 11:17:06 AM , Rating: 2
I have an S3, but dont think I want an S4. I do like the Gorilla Glass3 (wholly crap that stuff is tough) and the eye scrolling, but the rest is just average among the rest of the 1080p 5 inchers. I'd much prefer an Optimus G Pro over the One and the S4.




RE: Yup. I agree.
By FITCamaro on 4/24/2013 11:45:25 AM , Rating: 2
I just got a Note 2 at work because I was tired of waiting for the GS4. I saw the specs on the Optimus G Pro and was impressed but once again, who knows when/if it'll be available. Not even the HTC One is available on Verizon yet.

Tired of them announcing phones and the carriers taking 4 months to get them actually available here in the US.


RE: Yup. I agree.
By retrospooty on 4/24/2013 12:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
It is frustrating... Especially on Verizon as they are usually even slower than the other 3. I really hope they get the Opti G pro. I haven't heard anything, but they do have other LG models including the Intuition. That is the worst part, with Verizon, they often simply skip models. So it may never happen and you never know ahead of time.


Software updates.
By Mr Perfect on 4/24/2013 12:25:28 PM , Rating: 3
It's all well and good if the HTC One has nicer hardware, but which company does a better job updating their Android software? I took HTC a year to get ICS on my phone(Though some of that might have been Verizon's fault).




RE: Software updates.
By superflex on 4/24/2013 5:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
Where's the developer edition of the SGS4? HTC has one.
Samsung is so developer friendly, not!


CPU Speed
By Spike on 4/24/2013 5:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
Just a tiny nitpick, but the chart in the article shows the HTC one as 1.5GHZ, the actual speed is 1.7GHZ which is mentioned in the CPU specific portion of the article.




But more prefer the HTC ONE
By Chaser on 4/26/2013 4:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
I owned a SG3. And the SG4 looks like, well an SG3 to most. This is the best Samsung can do? The HTC ONE is a bold, distinctive, elegant design. And believe me it gets noticed just about everywhere I go. Even from non tech nerds.

I have charging capability at home, and in my car. And frankly, unless you are glued to your phone and shutout from the rest of society on a daily basis the ONE's battery is more than adequate.
Besides nitpicky fault finders that want to convince everyone else of their choices, The HTC ONE is a very capable phone and a welcome flagship choice of difference to the SG3. Whoops SG4.




Front Speakers!
By Stuka on 4/27/2013 3:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
I can't accurately describe how absurd it is to me that all these phones have a speaker on the back. My Nokia candybar phone from like 5 years ago has a earpiece that is simply amped up for use as a speakerphone output. Brilliant. That is the greatest idea of the HTC One and why I would consider dumping any other phone for it. Playing videos so you can hear it, not the people in front of you; hearing my notifications when the phone is laying on the couch and not muffling them against the leather; setting the phone face up while speakerphoning and being able to google that actor's name we can't remember. And they are stereo speakers to boot! I am puzzled why more people don't relish this component. It is exponentially more useful in real day-to-day use than air gestures, SD cards or wireless charging.




oh really?
By OBLAMA2009 on 4/28/2013 4:07:36 AM , Rating: 2
most prefer one over s4? oh really? well see when sales figures come out. i want htc to succeed cuz i like competition but i wouldnt buy their garbage myself. and who would want a nonreplaceable battery. samsung succeeds because theyre willing to give customers exactly what they want and its nice to see that rewarded




HTC
By syoo47 on 5/2/2013 3:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
Never having owned an HTC phone before, I took a leap and ordered the HTC One 64GB Developer Edition based on online reviews alone. I've had it for a week now and it's fantastic.

It's like the iPhone for Android users. The build quality feels great and the OS is smooth as butter. The front speakers are a blast and make a larger difference in phone satisfaction than I expected.

I used to have a Samsung Skyrocket and was never happy with the cheap materials and the lower resolution screen. The One just absolutely blows it out of the water. Not a fair comparison, I know, but still.

While it does seem like the SG4 has a faster CPU and some extra features, I'm happy with the trade off. I'm hoping HTC makes a ton of profit with this phone and continues to hang around as a good alternative to Samsung.




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