HTC One S vs Apple iPhone 4S
The camera interfaces of the 8MP cameras of the One S and the iPhone couldn't be more different, but both phones have one thing in common – a sub-second camera when it comes to pressing the key, focusing and taking a shot.
HTC's handsets can only be rivaled by Sony now in terms of actually useful options that have found a way into its camera UI. We have numerous modes like panorama, HDR, portrait and group portrait, as well as a macro mode, while a transparent blue orb evokes a plethora of handy Instagram-style effects you can torture your photos with. The photo and video buttons are folded into one screen, so you don't need to flip a switch first to start shooting video, and, since it's an Android ICS phone, you can take pics in the video's 1920x1088 resolution while filming. The HTC One S also has a burst mode, which takes up to 99 consecutive shots when you hold the shutter button, at the speed of four shots a second.
The iPhone 4S... well, you just aim and shoot and the results are pretty great, especially with the excellent HDR mode turned on, which is about the only setting to manually adjust. Despite the numerous modes and settings on the One S, in Closeup mode it often focuses on the near subject only after you've tapped in frustration five or six times on it already, while the iPhone focuses on it with ease, immediately blurring the background. When it does focus, the macro shots from the One S are pretty good, though.
The HDR mode on HTC's handset will make your photos better exposed only in extraordinary lighting conditions, like when the sun shines against the lens in one corner of the frame, for example. In normal circumstances, the HDR result looks as if you have applied one of the crappier retro effects that come in the UI. In HDR mode the One S is also slower than the iPhone 4S to capture the several shots needed, so moving objects appear blurred if you bring down the camera a split second before the shot has finished merging, or shake the phone even a bit.
Indoors both handsets perform pretty well with their back-illuminated sensors, keeping the noise in check up until very low light levels, but even then the pics are bearable. The HTC One S seems to have the white balance mastered a bit better indoors, as the colors are overall consistent, while the iPhone 4S sports a more pronounced yellowish or reddish tints when the lights start going down. The LED flash on the One S illuminated the scene a bit better from about 5 feet, without incoherent exposure spots or weird shadows.
film fluid 1080p video with 30 fps and good amount of contrast and detail, with the HTC One S again producing slightly oversaturated colors than the footage from the iPhone 4S.
HTC One S Sample Video:
Apple iPhone 4S Sample Video:
HTC One S Indoor Sample Video:
Apple iPhone 4S Indoor Sample Video:
HTC One S Sample Video - Nighttime:
Apple iPhone 4S Sample Video - Nighttime:
The HTC One S has Beats Audio branding, which works well by plumping the bass sound in headset mode, but you have to plug in a quality pair to notice the difference. The iPhone 4S outs excellent sound, but it too needs a good pair of in-ear headphones to take full advantage. Since the regular ones that come in the box from Apple are nothing to write home about, and HTC doesn't package Beats headsets with its One series, both phones can't really live up to their full audio potential out of the box.
The One X lives up to its video playback, though – it plays DivX/Xvid files up to 1080p with no problems, whereas you'd have to convert those for the iPhone 4S, or hit the App Store for a 3rd party player. The larger screen, higher contrast and more vivid colors also make for a better video playback experience on the HTC One S.
1. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
Fair review. unlike Ray.s
Well done Daniel. Please teach Ray how to write a non biased/self-opinionated review
3. jhan410 (Posts: 13; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)
haha good thing, i thought this is gonna be another garbage article/review done by the worst reviewer w/ the worst voice of all time, ray s.
2. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
small nitpicks daniel
Amoled is true black, the pixels turn off, meaning it has infinite contrast.. not just a high contrast. Technically it cant get any better.
While on the same network the OneS should technically always get at least slightly better if not greatly better speeds than the i4s due to the fact that the 42mb/s radio is for all intensive purposes 2-21mb/s radios put together. Thats why if you go to tmobile for example, the 4g blaze will pretty much always out perform any 21mb/s phone on the network.
Also, if you drop amoled brightness below 75% while viewing white pages it drops its power consumption greatly. that last 25% or so is where the real drain is... especially when displaying white. While its not a great trick for outside usage, it sure helps inside since amoleds are naturally pretty bright anyways.
Other than that, a pretty fair review. good job.
5. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
I actually respect remixfa, his very knowledgeable.
PA should hire him to replace Ray
7. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
thanks. :) I wouldnt mind doing freelance. Its not like I dont write on this site enough, right? lol
Ray is not as bad as people like to think he is. We are all entitled to our opinions. I've found his last few pieces to be very reasonable and even handed. Yes, he has a preference for iphones that does show up in some of his reviews, but so what. We are all human and we all have preferences. Did you give daniel the same gripes for saying nice things about android over iOS in this article? Its no different than Ray's little snippets. There is no such thing as 100% objective as we all see the world through our own glasses. As long as its not glaringly obvious, why worry about it?
There were some comparison articles on this site for the last few years that were so beyond obviously favored to one phone out of the gate it wasnt funny. Compared to some of those old articles, what Ray is writing is as unbiased as it gets. I'm not going to mention who wrote those articles. lol.
12. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 525; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)
your amazing remixfa. wish i could report you for being too cool haha
(yes... that was bad......)
8. PackMan (Posts: 277; Member since: 09 Mar 2012)
To display ideal true black, the individual pixels need to turn into black hole.
15. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
can we let taco test that? well call it the iphone6 and let him be a beta tester
19. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
That is true.
The contrast measuring devices are picking up the amount of light that's being emited, though, and since amoled switches it self off on the black signal, it is registered as zero light.
4. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
I wanna see One S vs Xperia S.. thats a better comparison than the iP4S..
6. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
When will reviewers realize that 4.3 inch screen is simply a huge advantage over 3.5 inches!!
It's really time to drop that apple induced neutral reality twisting stance regarding iPhone screen.
If you don't think so, just imagine some new android flagship with 3.5 inch screen.
It would turn into a huge con in the eyes of any reviewer.
I have an xperia arc s and NEVER had any girl complaining about its 4.2 inch screen being too big.
21. mrochester (unregistered)
Just as soon as others realise that a 4.3" screen is not necessarilly a huge advantage over a 3.5" screen, I suspect.
9. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)
I thought the battery life was supposed to be better on the One S??
But overall, this is a great comparison review!
11. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Remixfa addressed that - I do what he described on my Cappy and RAZR and get great battery life. Also, get Green Power app and you will see even more battery juice left over at the end of day.
13. torr310 (Posts: 838; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)
It's an unfair comparison of two phones regarding the battery life.
HTC One S has larger screen and the battery-killer 4G chip.
16. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
its no longer a battery killer to have Lte on the s4 chip. of course its fair
its retail vs retail.
24. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
Actually, all manufacturers need to address battery life. Soon, everything will be LTE. Barely getting through a day on a charge is simply not acceptable. At minimum, phones should deliver 1 1/2 to 2 days on a charge. We shouldn't need to carry chargers all the time. Blackberrys used to be able to go days without a charge (I know it's not a valid comparison given their capabilities vs. these phones, but I'm just highlighting the difference). Kudos to manufacturers who are addressing battery life by at least putting in larger batteries.
27. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Minimum of 2 days? What situation do you have to be in for a charger to be unavailable to you for 2 days? Maybe a 2 day road trip where you never stop at a hotel to plug in a charger, but even then, you should take responsibility to take a car charger with you and not expect the manufacturer to automatically assume that you will be in a situation like that. I mean, yes, the RAZR Maxx is an exception to this, but you cant expect every manufacturer to follow suit to Motorola, at least not right away. I think your expectations are a bit too high. I think 16 hours is just about enough for everyone. Maybe 20 at the maximum.
10. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Did I read correctly - no microSD slots on the HTC phone??
14. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Obviously 4S is better than One S.
17. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
only if we can call it the iPhone s ..s ..s.. stutter. get it? har haR
18. ProdrivRHTC787 (Posts: 4; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
Great review, teach the person who reviewed the One X to review other phones in a non-biased way. Thanks and once again, great review! Keep it up!
20. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
another comparison yipee!! :) i think daniel played safe in the review but if i'll be basing on what i had read it seems like the advantage is more on the one s but impressive review non -biased :) how i hope the next comparison will be xperia s vs one s or SG2vs One S
23. Aaron_R96 (Posts: 198; Member since: 22 Jan 2012)
Battle of the S's? wouldve been even better if you'd included the xperia s aswell, but still great article :)
25. richardyarrell2011 (banned) (Posts: 510; Member since: 16 Mar 2011)
Htc PIMP SLAPS useless iphone as usual nothing new here that's for sure..
26. osamalone (Posts: 12; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)
great comparison much better than ray as he is so apple biased because if the camera of one s is better than the iphone than how come the camera is not better on the htc one x
29. bviele81 (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Apr 2012)
I have a huge question that apparently no one ever asks or cares about these days but I would like to know why none of the reviews ever talk about touch responsiveness, via input? I mean screen res is great, and multimedia is wonderful and all but if the phones touch input responsiveness(TIR) is crappy then all the bells and whistles in the world just don't matter as much. I have noticed in my previous experience with playing with diffrent phones and owning them too that TIR is a pretty big deal. Iphone is great for TIR but I have noticed that many of HTC phones are not, Samsung is getting better but still not there when it comes to inputting text, and LG is absoultely behind on that. So guys at Phone Arena could you please start commenting on TIR a little more so the average guy or NEWB can get a phone that not only has the good stuff but also great TIR?
Guy who knows stuff about phones
30. Na_Ya (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
I can get an iPhone4s or an htc one s...which one do you think I should get?
the thing I really like about iPhones is the variety of cases and covers you can buy.
on the other hand I don't really like apple phones.
I would really appreciate your help!
31. Aaron_R96 (Posts: 198; Member since: 22 Jan 2012)
Xperia S or HTC One S - both are better specced, and both still have a good variety of cases (the Sony Xperia S has a few more and a better camera & screen, and walkman music player, but other than that fairly standard)
32. jennysmith (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Mar 2013)
The new apple iPhone 5 has more than 200 new features in iOS 6 operating system. Apart from this it also provides 8hrs LTE browsing and 10 hrs Wi-Fi browsing and various other features. I will purchase it soon and it is necessary to buy iphone covers and I will choose from silicon iphone 4s covers so that it will give a new look to my iphone 4S