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Clash of the Titans: Samsung Galaxy S4 Vs. HTC One Vs. Sony Xperia Z

Clash of the Titans: Samsung Galaxy S4 Vs. HTC One Vs. Sony Xperia Z

This year is going to witness the ultimate showdown of smartphones, that of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (Galaxy S IV) Vs. HTC One Vs. Sony Xperia Z. Read on to find out how these heavyweights compare against each other.
Alex Mathew
Ad-ding it up!
Samsung spent a whopping $400 million for advertising its mobile phones in 2012. That is more than 5 times the $78 million they spent in 2011.
March 14th 2013, saw Samsung unveiling their greatest phone yet - the Galaxy S4. The venue was one that matched the occasion -- Times Square, New York. 

The other major players in the market, HTC and Sony, have already unveiled their flagship phones - the HTC One, and the Sony Xperia Z. Both these phones boast of some incredible specs, with little, if anything, to choose between them. The Galaxy S4 might, however, be from a different league altogether, as it has a whopping 8 cores (two quad-core processors) to power it. 

So hold on to your seats, as the epic showdown of the Samsung S4 Vs. HTC One Vs. Sony Xperia Z begins.
SAMSUNG
GALAXY S4
HTC
one
SONY
XPERIA Z
Operating System
Android OS, v4.2
(Jelly Bean)
Operating System
Android OS, v4.1.2
(Jelly Bean)
Operating System
Android OS, v4.1.2
(Jelly Bean)
Chipset
Exynos 5 Octa
5410
Chipset
Qualcomm APQ8064T
Snapdragon 600
Chipset
Qualcomm
MDM9215M/APQ8064
CPU
Quad-core 1.6 GHz
Cortex-A15
Quad-core 1.2 GHz
Cortex-A7
CPU

Quad-core
1.7 GHz Krait 300
CPU

Quad-core
1.5 GHz Krait
GPU
PowerVR
SGX 544MP
GPU

Adreno 320
GPU

Adreno 320
Memory
2 GB RAM
Memory
2 GB RAM
Memory
2 GB RAM
Storage
16/32/64 GB
Storage
32/64 GB
Storage
16 GB
Screen
4.99"
Super AMOLED
Screen
4.7"
Super LCD3
Screen
5.0"
TFT display
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
(~441 ppi)
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
(~469 ppi)
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
(~441 ppi)
Primary Camera
13 MP
4128 x 3096 pixels
Primary Camera
4 MP
2688 x 1520 pixels
Primary Camera
13.1 MP
4128x3096 pixels
Secondary Camera
2 MP
1080p @ 30fps
Secondary Camera
2.1 MP
1080p @ 30fps
Secondary Camera
2.2 MP
1080p @ 30fps
Battery
Li-Ion 2600 mAh
Battery
Li-Po 2300 mAh
Battery
Li-Ion 2330 mAh
Price
$199.99/$299.99*
Price
*$199.99/$299.99
Price
$869
Samsung Galaxy S4
samsung galaxy s4
Courtesy: samsungmobile.com (Press kit)
Galaxy S4 Vs. Galaxy S3
Galaxy S4 Galaxy S3
Processor Octa-core Quad-core
Ram 2 GB 2 GB
Screen 4.99" 4.8"
Resolution 1080 x 1920 720 x 1280
Camera 13 MP 8 MP
After taking the title of the world's #1 mobile phone manufacturer, Korean giant, Samsung has left the competition far behind, thanks to some smart planning and marketing. Their latest offering, the Galaxy S4, is one of the most awaited phones of the year. The predecessor to the S4, the Galaxy S3, is one of the world's most sold smartphones, with over 40 million units sold worldwide. Now those are surely some mighty big shoes for the S4 to fill in, and going by its specifications, it seems every bit cut out for the task. Below are some leaked screenshots (by SAMMobile from the blog GSMIsrael) of the S4.

Image Courtesy: sammobile.com
s4 tech specs
s4 smart features
HTC One
HTC has, over the past year, come up with some brilliant phones, like the One X, the One X+, and the Droid DNA (Butterfly). The Droid DNA was one of the most impressive phones released last year, being the first to feature a Full HD (1080p) screen. The Taiwanese manufacturer has one bettered that with their latest and greatest phone - the HTC One. Apart from a solid construction, and the generous use of premium materials in its construction, it features a revolutionary camera, which promises to put an end to the 'pixel war'.
Sony Xperia Z
sony xperia z
Courtesy: sony.co.in (Press kit)
The Japanese behemoth Sony has, over the past couple of years, been overshadowed by other mobile manufacturers, who have had better phones on offer. The Xperia series saw a change in the dwindling fortunes of the company, which until a few years ago was amongst the top-three mobile phone manufacturers in the world. The latest from Sony's Xperia lineup, the Xperia Z is the company's response to all its critics. The Xperia Z, with its impressive spec sheet, and the many add-on features, makes sure that the competition doesn't 'spill water' on its plans this time round.

The battle lines are drawn, and each of the phones seems to have packed its arsenal to the fullest. Here's a comparison of the good and the not-so-good features of these flagship devices.
Design
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 Features
Samsung's romance with plastic continues, as they choose to have polycarbonate to don their latest flagship device. The device is almost identical to the S3, sans the excess bezel, and thickness. Thanks to the plastics used, the device is light but sturdy. There is a chrome strip covering the sides of the device. The body itself is textured to give a better grip. The S4 has identical dimensions as its predecessor, but now accommodates a large 4.99" screen. The hardware home button has shrunken to make extra room for the larger screen. The capacitive Back and Menu buttons are placed by the sides of the Home button. The wide-angle camera for video calling takes up most of the space at the top-right corner of the phone, with the ambient light and proximity sensors to the left. The speaker (mono) is placed at the back towards the bottom of the phone.
HTC One
HTC One Design Features
The HTC One is the company's flagship device, and its design and construction reflect that. The all aluminum body, and the brilliant LCD screen encased in it, give the phone a real premium look. The phone fits snugly into your hands, with the matte finish at its back giving it a good grip. You won't be getting the feeling of carrying a brick in your pocket, as the aluminum makes it light and durable at the same time. Grilles on the top and bottom of the screen cover the stereo speakers beneath them. Below the display are two capacitive buttons (Back, Home). The sensors (ambient light, proximity), and the 2.1 MP wide-eyed front-facing camera sit pretty just above the screen. The top of the phone has the Power/Lock key, and the 3.5mm audio jack. At the bottom sits the microUSB slot (MHL-enabled), and the mouthpiece. On the right side is the volume rocker, and to the left is the microSIM card tray. At the back of the phone is the camera and the LED flash, and just above it is the dedicated noise-canceling mic.
Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z Design Features
The Xperia Z is truly a beauty. The phone has a very premium feel to it, thanks to the use of glass at the back, and the rubberized edges. It has a IP57 certification for being dust and water resistant. It is one of the tallest phones in the market, but is still surprisingly easy to handle. The phone has almost no bezel, with a very angular design. The three navigation keys (Home, Back, Menu) are just below the screen. At the top are the sensors (ambient light, proximity) with the status LED to the right. The secondary camera for video-calling is to the top-left. At the top the phone you'll find the 3.5mm audio jack, and at the bottom is the mouthpiece. The right side has the power/lock key, the microSIM card slot, and the volume rocker. To the left are the microUSB (MHL-enabled, USB host support) and microSD card slots. At the back is the loudspeaker (mono) with the secondary noise-cancelling mic placed just to the side of the camera and LED flash.
Processor
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 Processor
The international version of the Galaxy S4 will feature Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa 5410 chipset with Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 and Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPUs. The American version will be powered by a 1.9GHz Quad-core Krait 300 CPU. The S4 (global version) will be the first phone to feature an Octa-core processor. This will be, by far, one of the most powerful processors in the market. This should translate into some blazing fast processing power, and multi-tasking should be an absolute breeze. The American variant too has an incredibly powerful Krait processor. To carry out all its operations smoothly, the S4 has 2GB of RAM.
HTC One
HTC One Processor
The HTC One flaunts the latest Snapdragon 600 chipset with a Quad-core (1.7 GHz) Krait 300 processor. This makes for some buttery-smooth transitions across pages. The processor handles even the most demanding of apps with ease. The 2GB of RAM on board adds extra muscle to this already mighty beast. Multi-tasking too, is extremely smooth, with no noticeable lag. The new processor is very power-efficient, and does not tax the battery by much.
Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z Processor
At the heart of the Xperia Z is the very powerful Snapdragon APQ8064 S4 Pro chipset, featuring a Quad-core (1.5 GHz) Krait CPU. This makes the phone one of the most powerful ones in the market right now. All apps handle like a breeze on the 'Z', and the 2GB of RAM makes for an absolutely delightful smartphone experience. On most benchmark tests, the Xperia Z comes up on top.
Graphics
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 Graphics Features
The S4 flaunts a 4.99" Super AMOLED screen, with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels . This translates to a pixel density of 441 ppi. The Super AMOLED screen brings in great viewing angles, and it would display great contrasts and color saturation. The powerful PowerVR SGX 544MP, along with the brilliant large display, makes this phone a fantastic multimedia device. The American variant has an equally powerful Adreno 320 GPU. The screen is protected by the latest Gorilla Glass 3. HD games and videos absolutely come alive on this phone.
HTC One
HTC One Graphics Features
The HTC One has the most gorgeous screen on the market today. The brilliant 4.7" LCD 3 screen has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The smaller screen means the pixel density (469ppi) is a lot higher than that its competition (441 ppi). The gap between the actual display and the screen is extremely less, which makes the images and text look almost painted on the screen. Watching movies and playing HD games on the device is a great experience, thanks to the brilliant display and the very capable Adreno 320 GPU. The screen is a little reflective and the contrasts obviously aren't at par with the AMOLEDs, but the sunlight legibility is still fairly good. The capacitive touchscreen is protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 2.
Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z Graphics Features
The Xperia Z is a adorned with a 5-inch TFT display. The screen has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, and a pixel density of 441 ppi. The touchscreen is protected by a scratch-resistant coating. The graphics are powered by the tried and tested Adreno 320 GPU. The second-generation Mobile Bravia Engine goes a long way in making video playback, and viewing images, on the phone a wonderful experience. However, the contrasts on the phone aren't great, and the viewing angles are just about average.
Camera
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera
The Galaxy S4 has a 13 MP snapper, capable of taking pictures with a maximum resolution of 4128 x 3096 pixels. It allows for HD videos to be captured at 30fps. It has superior low-light image capture abilities, which is assisted by a powerful LED flash. The secondary camera (2 MP, 1080p @ 30fps) for video calling features a wider lens, to allow more people to fit into a single frame. The phone has plenty of software tweaks to further enhance the functions of the camera.
HTC One
HTC One Camera
The camera on the HTC One is perhaps its crown-jewel. The phone brings in a revolutionary 'Ultrapixel' into the world of mobile cameras. The 4 MP is much smaller than all its competition, but it is touted to capture up to 300% more light than the 13 MP camera on most phones. For real low-light conditions, the LED flash should come in handy. The phone takes pictures with a maximum resolution of 2688 x 1520 pixels, and captures HD videos at 30fps. The secondary camera for video-calls has a 88 degree wide-eye lens, and captures videos (1080p) at 30fps.
Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z Camera
The 13 MP camera on the Xperia Z captures some real nice images with a maximum resolution of 4128 x 3096 pixels. It has a powerful LED flash to assist in taking low-light pictures. It also captures 1080p videos at 30fps, and offers an advanced HDR mode. The 2.2 MP secondary camera is great to make video-calls and take self-portraits, and captures 1080p videos at 30fps.
Storage
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4
The S4 will be available in 16, 32 and 64 GB variants, with support for microSD cards up to 64GB. In addition, S4 owners will be given free Dropbox storage of 50 GB.
HTC One
HTC One Storage
The HTC One is available in 32 and 64 GB variants. It does not have a microSD slot. HTC One customers however, are provided with 25 GB storage on Dropbox (free for 2 years).
Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z Storage
The Xperia Z has an internal storage of 16 GB. This can further be increased with a microSD card (up to 32 GB).
Battery Life
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 Battery Life
The Galaxy S4 has a 2600 mAh battery. That is enough juice to power this beast through an entire day. You also have the option to replace the battery in case it gets exhausted.
HTC One
HTC One Battery Life
The HTC One is powered by a 2300 mAh battery. Although the battery is non-user-removable, the phone easily makes it through a day of rigorous use, in spite of the rich 441 ppi HD display.
Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z Battery Life
The Xperia Z has a 2330 mAh non-user-removable battery powering it. The battery, along with the efficient Snapdragon S4 chipset, help the phone to easily make it through a day on a single charge.
USPs
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 USP Feature
  • The Galaxy S4 features the extremely powerful Octa-core Exynos 5/Quad-core Krait 300 processor.
  • There are plenty of software tweaks implemented on the S4. The S4 has features like Smart Pause (the device pauses videos if you look away from the screen), Smart Scroll (the screen scrolls when you tilt it up or down while looking at it), and Smart Rotation (the orientation of the screen changes according to the angle that your head is tilted in), amongst others.
  • The 13 MP camera on the phone captures some great still photos, and videos.
  • The design looks very appealing.
  • The phone is a delight to use, especially with the goodness of the latest Android OS, v4.2.
  • The S4 is the first phone to feature floating touch technology (Air View), which allows the user to interact with the phone by hovering his fingers just above the display.
  • The phone supports Qi wireless charging (though the charger, and the special back cover would need to be purchased separately).
HTC One
HTC One USP Feature
  • The fantastic screen on the 'One' makes just looking at images and videos on the phone an incredible experience.
  • The Quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor is very nippy, and handles all apps with relative ease.
  • The revolutionary camera on the phone captures brilliant images and videos even in low-light conditions.
  • The superior build quality, and the materials used, give the phone a very premium feel.
  • The phone features the revamped Sense 5 UI, and also has a very interesting social app - BlinkFeed (a Flipboard-esque app which displays all your social feeds, and other news in one place). HTC also have introduced a fun video app - Zoe, which, according to HTC, lets you "..shoot high-res photos that come to life in three-second snippets. These Zoes, photos and videos are then displayed in a unique way that brings the gallery to life and transforms the traditional photo gallery of still images into a motion gallery of memories. These highlight videos can be remixed or set to different themes, and can be easily shared on social networks, email and other services."
Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z USP Features
  • The Xperia Z has a very solid construction and an ergonomic design, which makes for a great phone.
  • It is extremely durable, thanks to its IP57 certified water and dust resistance.
  • The Mobile Sony Bravia Engine adds more punch to the images and videos on the phone.
  • Sony introduces a new social service called Socialife. It replaces Sony's Timescape app, and does a great job of gathering together all your social feeds.
Drawbacks
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 Drawbacks
  • Excessive use of polycarbonate gives the phone a very 'plasticky' look.
  • The phone might be too big for most people to handle.
  • The phone lacks a dedicated camera button.
  • The 8 cores are never in use simultaneously; the 1.6 GHz processor kicks in only for complex computing needs, whereas the 1.2 GHz processor handles most of the operations, and helps save power.
HTC One
HTC One Drawbacks
  • The lack of a user-replaceable-battery.
  • No microSD card slot.
  • The lower pixels of the images don't sound great on paper.
Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z Drawbacks
  • An all glass body may not be to everyone's liking.
  • The camera doesn't quite match up to the competition.
  • You have to pay a premium price to get the phone.
These are, by far, some of the most amazing phones to have hit the market in a very long time. Each of the phones have a spectacular spec sheet, albeit some shortcomings. With little to really set these phones apart, it will be really interesting to see how each of them fares. In more ways than one, the future of the companies rest on these flagship devices. It can, however, be very safely said that out of all these, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is by far the most popular. It needs to be seen though how these phones fare after they are available to the customers. We will keep you posted about how that goes. So long then. Cheers.