HTC One (M8) vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Interface and Functionality
When we take apart their respective custom Android experiences, there’s a clear cut distinction to each one of them – to the point where they’re opposite ends of the spectrum in what they’re intent on accomplishing. Sense 6.0 is the latest experience to come out of HTC’s camp, sporting some new improvements and enhancements while retaining the UIs already established sleek and modern looks. They’ve kept it simple and to the point – without a whole lot of redundant features to bog down or alienate first time users.
In contrast, Sammy’s TouchWiz Nature UX experience running on the Galaxy S4 is heavy on the features set. Some people will argue that it’s a good thing, since more features tend to up the ante with its overall value, but others will say that it’s bloated and complicates the user experience. Additionally, we’re not particularly too fond of the cartoony look of TouchWiz – it just doesn’t scream modern!
Underneath it all, the two smartphones have all the benefits that come along with the diverse Android experience – like its vast personalization options and tight integration with Google’s services. They even boast the same notifications and multi-tasking elements. However, TouchWiz deepens the experience with the latter thanks in part to the expanded functionality we see from its Multi-Windows feature for true multi-tasking.
With the new HTC One, we appreciate what HTC has done in being able to quickly access some basic functions of the phone while its turned off or locked. Specifically, it pertains to the various Motion Launch gestures in play with Sense 6.0, which permits us to quickly peek the time & date, unlock the phone, jump straight to the various homescreens, and launching voice dialing by utilizing a handful of gestures.
TouchWiz has something similar, where it registers a wave over the display – thus, causing the handset to ‘breathe’ pertinent information like the time date, and notifications. Also, there are a handful of Air Gestures and Air View functions that deliver some meaningful functionality. For example, we can wave our hand from side-to-side in the gallery app to navigate through photos, or hover our finger over a date in the calendar to get more details about an appointment.
Processor and Memory
Being the newer phone, the HTC One is bearing newer hardware, which in turn, produces the overall superior performance. Outfitted with the latest piece of silicon from Qualcomm, a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 330 GPU, it outclasses the now dated quad-core 1.6GHz Snapdragon 600 SoC with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 320 GPU stuffed inside of the Galaxy S4.
At the bare minimum, the two prized devices in this comparison are available with 16GB of storage. Nowadays, that figure is something we’d regard as inept, but there’s the comforting knowledge that they both have memory expansion via their microSD card slots.
Internet and Connectivity
In this day and age, it’s rare for high-end devices to flounder in the web surfing department – more so when they’re normally stuffed with cutting edge hardware and 4G LTE connectivity. Not surprisingly, these two smartphones cater to the experience with their fast page loads and mighty smooth navigational controls. The Galaxy S4 packs some secondary features with its stock web browser that once again highlights the handset’s wealth of software features. From being able to scroll vertically by waving our hand, or using the alternative eye scrolling feature, Samsung goes the extra distance in giving users several ways of accomplishing the same tasks. Yet again, we need to stress that these feature might not be viewed as useful for those who prefer simpler operations.