The Galaxy S4’s 13-megapixel 1/3.06” sensor proved itself in delivering some fantastic photos, reaching near the top of our comparisons on several occasions. When everyone else banked on cramming as many pixels into a sensor, HTC gambled on its ‘UltraPixel’ camera technology, which amounted to nothing more than a 4-megapixel 1/3” sensor. Well people, HTC is again hinging its success on the same UltraPixel camera, but it’s now complemented with a secondary rear camera – one that’s strictly used to measure depth information for some cool post photo effects.

First, let’s briefly glaze over their respective camera apps. Both share an extensive amount of shooting modes and manual controls, more than sufficient to appease the inner photogs in all of us. However, each has own unique qualities. For the Galaxy S4, its notable set of shooting modes include animated photo that sprinkles on some gif-like elements to our images, drama shots that stitch multiple images together to form drama, eraser mode that deletes unwanted objects, and much more. And then there’s the HTC One’s new duo effects, which applies some professional-like touches to our shots – mainly bokeh (out-of-focus artistic blur) to certain sections that we select.

Looking purely at their qualities, it’s safe to say that we have no problem sharing them via our social networking accounts – so long as they’re outdoor sunny shots. However, as we dig deeper into the shots, it becomes plainly obvious that the Galaxy S4 has the stronger composition to make its shots more versatile. Above all, the Galaxy S4 snaps up considerably more detail with its camera. There’s just no arguing the obvious!

Heck, if we look into other things, like how they produce panoramic images, we’re again faced with the realization that the HTC One’s ‘UltraPixel’ camera just can’t compete in the details department. Overall, it looks good, but not as good as the results from the Galaxy S4.

Under lower light situations, though, we tend to gravitate towards the set of photos coughed up by the HTC One. Strangely, the visuals from the HTC One’s camera have a sharper look to them and a smidgen brighter in tone – whereas with the Galaxy S4, it tends to have a noisier production.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 2.3
No data
Samsung Galaxy S4 3.4

Undeniably setting itself apart from what the Galaxy S4 has to offer, the various duo effects of the HTC One splashes on some neat-o Photoshop-like qualities. The secondary rear camera is what obviously allows us to select what sections of our images we want to have in focus, where the rest is given that slick looking out-of-focus bokeh effect. The more we look at what it’s capable of delivering, It surely does a lot to mask its detail inferiority.

More than equipped to recording 1080p videos, we like the general quality produced by the two titans. Fortunately for the new HTC One, there’s no compromise like before with its still image capture, as details are plentiful. Despite that, its continuous focus mode makes for some jittery adjustment, since it’s constantly switching on the fly. As for low lighting video capture, we easily prefer the videos from the HTC One, mainly because the Galaxy S4’s quality is tarnished by the amount of noise in the shot, and the choppier recording frame rate.


Characterized by the general look and feel of their respective customized Android experiences, it’s no shocker that we prefer the music player of the new HTC One. Not only does the Sense 6.0 music player have a more dynamic look, but we adore some of the other eye candy attached with it – like how there’s a cool looking visualizer, and the ability to have lyrics pop up accordingly as a song is played.

Watching videos is one of those guilty pleasures that many people try to sneak in while they’re at work or something, so it’s wonderful to find these two make the experience so amiable. Indeed, their 5-inch displays shine during the occasion, as they come to life with their smooth playbacks and punchy color tones. Still, the Galaxy S4 presents us with a multi-tasking element that we find extremely useful – something that can’t be recreated by the new HTC One.

While the S4 packs a very powerful speaker on the back, it cannot compare with the pair of stereo speakers on the front of the HTC One. They not only sound better and fuller, but are also positioned in a way that allows us to enjoy the videos' sound directly.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 1.28
Samsung Galaxy S4 0.38
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 75.2
Samsung Galaxy S4 77



1. seanwhat

Posts: 321; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

waste of an article, your justification for comparing it to the s4 is dumb, sorry.

3. seanwhat

Posts: 321; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

i just read this back and realised how rude it sounds, my bad. the time between releases of the phones is surely what you should use though.

10. Dthawk

Posts: 42; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Don't you dare be sorry. If anything, I think you were being far too kind!

16. gaines

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 16, 2009

It wasn't a waste for someone, like myself, who is considering an upgrade to the HTC One M8 and currently owns the Samsung Galaxy S4. The real waste was in you taking the time to leave such a negative comment that's of absolutely no value to anyone. Why did you even read this article if you weren't interested in the comparison?!

2. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Got the review unit already?

4. ady_lad

Posts: 83; Member since: Jul 17, 2013

Did Samsung pay for this review? Biased to hell, why would you compare htc one m8 with the galaxy s4 first of all. Besides that, overall htc one m7 is a better phone than s4.

6. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Not really no. The M8 is a Big fail.

15. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

your existence is a Big fail

8. numan

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

IMO, I think it's a good practice to make this kind of reviews and it's just because for people who owns a SG S4 that wants to know if it's really worth it to pay for a brand new device that will not make that huge difference compared to what they currently have. I really wanted to change my S4 and I was expecting more from HTC, I'm not saying the M8 is a fail, but certainly it is not a marvel, I'm just saying that I wanted something impressive. I think I'll save some bucks and wait until next year.

9. g2a5b0e unregistered

I always thought these types of comparisons that PA does are pretty dumb, but I never thought of it that way. Thanks for the perspective. +1

5. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Lol the dimensions of the S4 sound SO much more appealing than these 2014 giants that it's not funny. Let's hope LG doesn't drop the ball. They are our last chance because I am pretty sure Motorola is going to drop it hard again by putting in a weak processor and removing some cores.

11. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

HTC M8 essentially has a 4.7 inch screen thanks to the on screen buttons. The screen looks way bigger on the GS4 in the display comparison.

12. gman4mf

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

Good review ! Thnx for the very useful comparison. If money would be no issue i would go for the M8 without a doubt.

13. MobileGuru

Posts: 82; Member since: Jan 18, 2014

THAT battery life! Even better than G2?!

14. Architect3

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

I know its one year apart so HTC is guarenteed to have better specs overall. However, for people saying s4 is better or deciding between the two, please see my side. I'm going to get htc one m8 this weekend after using s4 for half a year because of couple reasons. Just to be clear, I don't hate everything about the s4, just certain aspects that has convinced me HTC is better. Looking at reviews, htc sense is overall clean and responsive. After couple weeks, I noticed s4 being sluggy when exiting applications and just using the phone in general. Battery life on the s4 is unexpected as turning on most of the features it provides drains it quickly. I don't need that many features so htc wins me over again. And just to throw it in here, the build quality is no competition.

17. DerpyHerbies

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 25, 2014

Next on their list, PS4 VS. Atari 2600.

18. Plaigh

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 12, 2014


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