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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One: first look

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One: first look
The wireless industry knows many rivalries, but easily one of the most epic ones is the one between Samsung and HTC. After a spectacular entrance in the Android market, HTC has then went through a painful period of lacking sales and dwindling market share, mainly due to Samsung's quick rise to the top spot.

Still experiencing troubles, HTC's current flagship, the One, is a beautiful handset that can easily go toe to toe with the Galaxy S4. However, we know that for those looking for phablets, such as the newly-announced Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the HTC One is also going to be on the list of devices to consider - that is why we brought HTC's flagship to IFA 2013 for a quick comparison against Samsung's new phablet.

Design


Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One: first look
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One: first look
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One: first look
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One: first look
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One: first look
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One: first look
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One: first look
The Galaxy Note 3 sticks with Samsung's traditional design language, but it mostly resembles the original Galaxy Note, not the Note 2. It has a plastic construction, with the back side resembling a leather material, though it's quite obvious that it's just plastic. Meanwhile, the HTC One is way better with regards to build quality, as it's very solid and has an aluminum unibody design.

And, while the quality of appearance seems to be a very subjective thing nowadays, it can easily be seen that HTC has tried to create a beautiful product, whereas with the Samsung it's just 'meh'. Still, the Galaxy Note 3, similarly to all the other Samsungs of late, seems to have an external design that's more likely to appeal to female users.

Display


Even though the HTC One sports a fairly large display at 4.7 inches, the Galaxy Note 3 packs a significantly bigger, 5.7-inch one. In terms of quality though, we're largely gravitating towards the IPS LCD display of the One, which is able to produce more natural tones and a higher brightness output for better outdoor visibility. The Note 3's screen is based on AMOLED technology, which may look somewhat extravagant, but is far from the state of being true-to-life and has a significantly lower maximum brightness. Viewing angles seem to be very good with both handsets, with the One's display losing brightness when viewed at an angle, and the Note 3's display exhibiting color accuracy degradation.

Interface


Samsung and HTC have very different approaches when it comes to Android customization. The Galaxy Note 3 sports an updated version of the TouchWiz user interface, which is very similar to the UI we've seen in the Galaxy S4, the GS3 and the Note 2. The bottom line here is the Samsung hasn't changed that much in its software experience. However, the South Korean company has added some new S Pen-related features, most of which focusing around hand-written note-taking.

The UI of the HTC One is called Sense 5, and it's arguably the more polished interface of the two, in terms of graphics and interaction. HTC's software has less features, but it certainly looks more grown-up. If the cartoony looks of TouchWiz don't bother you, though, we guess you'll have some fun with the plethora of camera modes and other features that Samsung has concocted. Naturally, the main benefit of having a Note 3 would be the S Pen, which works very well for note-taking and drawing. That's something the HTC One can't offer you.

Processor


Being the newer device, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features the faster processor out of the two. With Snapdragon 800, the Note 3 is an absolute benchmark crusher. On the other hand, the HTC One is powered by Snapdragon 600, which is one class below the 800, but is still very powerful. Of course, the Note 3 will be the more future-proof device here thanks to the better CPU and GPU it sports.

RAM memory is also more on the Note 3 (3GB RAM vs 2 GB RAM), suggesting that the Note 3 may be more suitable for heavy multitasking activities.

Camera


Even though we're yet to closely examine the pictures that the Note 3's 13MP camera will be able to capture, we've fairly convinced that they will be noticeably better than the HTC One's 4MP shots. Not only because of the higher resolution, but due to a better sensor and image processing as well. When it comes to the respective camera apps, while the HTC One has all the core modes and settings you'd expect from a high-end Android smartphone, the Note 3 has a multitude of fancy camera modes that you can have a lot of fun with. Of course, there's not much that you can't get by installing a third-party application on the One.

While the HTC One sports optical image stabilization when recording 1080p video, the Note 3 differentiates by allowing us to record super-high-res 4K video. Once again, though, it'll be the quality and fluidity of the image that will determine which handset we'd prefer when having to record some video footage.

Expectations


The Galaxy Note 3 is undoubtedly shaping up as a wonderful phablet, but the HTC One will still have its place under the sun, as one of the absolute best smartphone on the market right now. With its exquisite appearance and construction, the One seems to be the more ambitious handset with regards to design.

Performance is also top-notch with HTC's flagship, though the Note 3 will really one-up it thanks to its newer chipset. When it comes to the screens, we'd easily prefer the panel of the One, as it tends to display a more true-to-life image and a higher brightness output, but of course, the significantly bigger diagonal of the Note 3 will surely attract many users.

At the end of the day, these two smartphones showcase what each company stands for. The HTC One is the more carefully crafted handset, with attention to detail and design, while the Galaxy Note 3 packs each and every feature one can think of. There will be some definite advantages to the Note 3, like the camera, for example, but we'd rather wait until we have a final Note 3 unit before we can make any final conclusions.



47 Comments
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posted on 08 Sep 2013, 05:47

2. axbog (Posts: 21; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


Enough with the ugly pink Note3. Everywhere you look, it appears in this stupid color.

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 02:36

45. JoePhoto (Posts: 16; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


The "color" is my least concern.

I am very UNDERWHELMED with Note 3 and may skip it or jump to something else.

We were first expecting 6.3", then 5.9", now got an imperceptible .13” increase to LESS than 5.7”, (5.68” and the note 2 was 5.55”).

The screen does not appear any (outdoor-sunshine) brighter than Note 2 and HAS BEEN SURPASSED by brighter screens.

We were sorta hoping for "unbreakable" (flexible) glass, but we may not have gotten anything stronger.

HTC has set the bar with FRONT FACING - BEATS QUALITY speakers. I am not convinced that "bottom" speakers are a significant improvement.

It does not appear we got a dedicated camera shutter-release button, instant-activation of camera, or IMAGE STABILIZATION.

And Nokia (Microsoft) proves that Xenon flash is possible, (and of course higher-megapixels).

We had been primed for an IR-transmitter and possibly fingerprint security.

OK, so we got some new S-pen apps, and more RAM, but I was truly expecting more to match (beat) the competition and am disappointed.

I personally am intrigued by the new ASUS announcements of 6" and 7" w/ FRONT FACING SPEAKERS. (wonder how bright the screen is and if Verizon will carry it ???)

I intend to look closely at the new LARGER HTC as I assume it will continue to have FRONT FACING SPEAKERS, (but have to admit I do not like the aluminum case with non-changeable battery).

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 06:15

5. juandante (Posts: 301; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)


"while the Galaxy Note 3 packs each and every feature one can think of."

False ! No FM transmitter, no FM receiver, no DMB, no Xenon, no Dual SIM ! Please Samsn add this and you will have the ultimate phone !

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 16:56

42. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


There is FM radio:
http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_note_3-5665.php

"Browser......HTML5
Radio..........Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS ...........Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS"

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 18:15

44. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5845; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


You neglected to mention no optical image stabilization for the Note 3....

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 09:44

46. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


There is image stabilization for the Note 3.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 06:23 4

6. jboogie1289 (Posts: 3; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)


Well I\'m glad it doesn\'t sound as if this guy is biased, an HTC Fanboy or just plain hates Samsung. Why even write the article. Geesh.....

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 07:27 8

9. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 448; Member since: 11 May 2013)


I cant understand this site.. For all these years, you didnt call s4 s3 note 2 or other same looking galaxies as 'meh', and this site always mention great abt amoled especially with the 'widest color gamut' thing.., And hey, EVEN POCKETNOWs who are Known for being a HUGE SAMSUNG PLASTIC HATER gave very positive feedback for the Note 3's design haha

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 10:11 2

12. jdoee100 (Posts: 305; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Quality of articles have become horrendous.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 09:00 1

11. antonioli (Posts: 177; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)


Well, the comparison doesn't have to be between Note 3 and One Max? It would be more fair.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 16:34 1

39. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Again;
What One Max could be??? If have same size display like Note 3, it will at least 30% bigger and heavier.
No SD,and no swappable battery, no multi windows for sure. May be no Wacom pen. What rival One Max could be? LOL
But more funny is how PA put this dead meat HTC One(the worst "high end" phone now), to compare with Note 3.
Shameless.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 10:47 3

13. JoePhoto (Posts: 16; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


I am VERY underwhelmed with Note 3 and may skip it or jump to something else.

We were first expecting 6.3", then 5.9", yet got a hardly-noticeable increase to 5.7".

The screen does not appear any (outdoor-sunshine) brighter than Note 2 AND HAS BEEN SURPASSED by brighter screens.

We were sorta hoping for "unbreakable" (flexible) glass, but we may not have gotten anything stronger.

HTC has set the bar with FRONT FACING - BEATS QUALITY speakers. I am not convinced that "bottom" speakers are a significant enough improvement.

And Nokia proves that Xenon flash is possible.

We had been primed for an IR-transmitter and possibly fingerprint security.

I was truly expecting more to match (beat) the competition and am just underwhelmed.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 16:43 3

40. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


It's made 5.7" to keep the size . It was clever move from Samsung(they did it same with Note 1 to Note 2)

"We were first expecting 6.3", then 5.9"" ....Who are you(We)? It was the iMedia.

"The screen does not appear any (outdoor-sunshine) brighter than Note 2"..
Wow!!! BS .

"We were sorta hoping for "unbreakable" (flexible) glass"- Again: Who are "We"? It was the ignorant iMedia. How could one scratch with S-Pen on flexible screen?

"We had been primed for an IR"- You have it.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 11:03 6

14. Slammer (Posts: 1056; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


I try very hard not to negatively point fingers at editorials and its authors, but, this article reeks of biased content. Almost every element was positioned to prop the HTC One as the clear choice while dismissing the Samsung as a don't ever touch device.

I can't hold any stock in an author or a site that disregards functionality over aesthetics. Specs on the HTC One are already showing outdated or misincorporated technology. This leaves me to strongly suggest to the author that he is percieved as supporting stagnation of technology. As a tech enthusiast and knowing how quickly technology leapfrogs, I always urge individuals to purchase the most up to date device as possible. Not purchasing a product just be cause it looks good. THEY NEED TO PURCHASE A PRODUCT THAT WILL REMAIN AS CURRENT AS POSSIBLE. Imagine these authors during the PC rage trying to sell the most lacking features or weakest CPUs just because it looks great. Customers would have to purchase a new computer every 10 months.

It is time to set the love for aluminum aside for the moment and tuck the mansicles into the pants. Unlike the original HTC Evo that gave so many great and powerful specs for its time, the HTC One severely lacks the implemented technology to go a longer term. I know many people that still use their Evos. Start giving the customers that may read these sites the proper path for purchasing the most function they can for their money.

At least Samsung realizes the importance of giving more bang for the buck regardless of the materials it is made of. I am overly surprised that the author disregards this important aspect.

John B.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 13:31 6

18. Zeus.k (unregistered)


Couldn't said it better. Recently the level of journalism at pa has touched a new low. This year its all LG and iPhone of course. I wonder if it has something to do with the promotional/sponsored articles by LG. Just read the first look of note3 vs iPhone by john v. Congrats pa for being so pathetic in your quality of journalism. Btw that's not gonna stop Samsung from being at the top and certainly won't help htc or lg till the time they don't give consumers what they want.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 14:41 1

27. dmakun (Posts: 192; Member since: 06 Jun 2011)


@Slammer, I absolutely enjoy reading your comments cos they are so mature and straight to the point. Recent articles on PA have indeed become so poor/biase indeed and especially reviews supposedly centred around new products that tend to push the boundaries of innovation and especially Samsung products. Its sad that readers looking for guidance with regard to what devices to buy are subject to the whims of these rather subjective and poor analysis by supposed experts on PA. I would suggest GSMA to friends looking for good advice on what new tech to buy going forward.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 15:06 1

32. Slammer (Posts: 1056; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Thank you dmakun,

I find your praise encouraging. I also suggest to others that mass searching as many sites as possible is a must and always offer my opinion if they want it.

John B.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 13:48

19. amats69 (Posts: 1080; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


LOL it is so funny reading the reaction of samsung fanboys on this article.... Now PA you are biased because you said note 3 is "seems to have an external design that's more likely to appeal to female users." And you even mention the word "meh" referring to sammy's product.. But just give them a 9.5 PA review rating for sure they will praise you as if you are a god!lmao

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 14:34 1

23. jdoee100 (Posts: 305; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


At this point, whether PA gives Note 3 a 10 or 1 is moot, the quality of PA articles are close to Zero. They really need to improve or only people PA will attract are trolls and extreme fans.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 14:39 1

26. amats69 (Posts: 1080; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


I dont think so.. The fact that youre here posting lots of comment on this article youre still interested on PA....if you think PA is biased and dont have a credibility then just go to other tech sites.. AS SIMPLE AS THAT."the quality of PA articles are close to Zero. They really need to improve or only people PA will attract are trolls and extreme fans."- the fact that you are attracted to this "need to improve" article of PA i will ask you...what are you? A troll or an extreme fan?

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 14:53 1

30. jdoee100 (Posts: 305; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Neither, I said "will attract." I appreciate unbiased criticisms whether about Samsung or Apple.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 14:46 2

29. Slammer (Posts: 1056; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


No fanboism on my part. I shop for the device that gives me the best and most specs for the money I'm shelling out for the next two year term. The author specifically points to all the features of the Samsung that are more in line with current or future needs but then falls back on almost every category he compared, propping the HTC One as the more viable choice. He clearly kept reverting back to build quality.

Sort of like comparing a Lamborgini without an engine to a smartcar with an engine. Which is more functional?

In short, the plastic vs aluminum argument is getting old(especially in this case). What good is looks if you outgrow it within a short time? As I stated in my previous post, The technology is changing so quickly in this industry, that people need to worry about how compatible and future freindly their devices are to these changes. Aesthetics should be second in priority; not first.

John B.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 15:06

33. Danishs (Posts: 147; Member since: 23 May 2013)


Best all around smartphone vs best phablet.

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 16:53 3

41. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


I HATE anyone who use the word "phablet." Do not do it again. iMedia invented this fugly name- you know, why.

HTC One is the WORST so called "high-end" device this year Old Gorilla Glass , fake camera, huge brick for the display, no SD, no swappable battery... and so on. And the worst designed tech - Check iFixit.

posted on 09 Sep 2013, 12:28

47. amats69 (Posts: 1080; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Lol oh long are you one of those paid students? Lol...deym man look for a descent job.hahaha

posted on 08 Sep 2013, 17:09 3

43. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


"However, we know that for those looking for phablets, such as the newly-announced Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the HTC One is also going to be on the list of devices to consider "

BS. No matter that HTC One have almost same size and weight as Note 3 , it's only 4.7" display (whole inch less), no Wacom pen no multi-window, fake camera, not even a halv of the productivity of the Note 3.
Rey, how did you dare to put this dead meat, beside the Note 3.
Even Note 3 look much more beautiful, than the sealed handicap HTC One.
HTC One is dead long ago, and you must try to live with that,
And please, do not use the name "phablet". If you like it so much, I will call you Phablet.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 18:13

48. aydell2123 (Posts: 16; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


Another site of haters..im getting my note 3..best phone out there..htc metal body just gets dented up..n if u put a case..then who gives a s**t..samsung the #1 smartphone in the WORLD..SO MAYB YALL DONT KNOW WUT THE F $ CK YAL TALKN BOUT..HTC ONE A GOOD PHONE..IM NOT GONNA BASH LIKE YALL DO..NOTE 3 JUST KING RITE NOW..SO GET OVER IT

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 18:20

49. aydell2123 (Posts: 16; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


40 million notes sold..im sry..how many htc ones..not even breaking 10 million..guess metal really dont matter..

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