Samsung Galaxy S4 vs iPhone 5 vs HTC One vs Blackberry Z10


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So Samsung just unveiled its Samsung Galaxy S4, and you’re probably wondering how it stacks up to some of the latest and greatest from the Korean manufacturer’s biggest competitors. The Samsung Galaxy S4 stands tall up against heavy hitters like Apple’s iPhone 5, the HTC One, and the Blackberry Z10.

With its 5-inch 1080p HD Super AMOLED display, 1.6GHz Samsung Exynos 5 Octa chipset (or 1.9GHz quad-core chipset depending on which market you’re in), 2GB of RAM 13 megapixel camera with 2 megapixel front sensor, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, up to 64GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot for expansion, Android 4.2 with TouchWiz and more, this thing does not fail to impress.

Samsung’s biggest focus was on many of the new software and features added to TouchWiz, such as Air View, the new Smart Stay features with Pause and Resume, Samsung Smart Scroll, S Travel, S Health, S Translator, Group Play, S Voice Drive, and more. A Dual Camera feature will also allow you to take photos and videos with the front and rear cameras simultaneously. The stakes are high for 2013, so here are some of the biggest devices Samsung’s Galaxy S4 will be up against once the device launches in Q2:

iPhone 5

This is one of the biggest devices we’re comparing it to — after all, the legendary patent war between Samsung and Apple, as well as the big shots the former is taking at the latter in advertising, warrants a bigger spotlight. The iPhone 5 is still doing its own thing with a 4-inch Retina display, Apple’s 1.3GHz dual-core A6 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8 megapixel camera, iOS6 and more. This is Apple’s breadwinner so far, and although we’re expecting a refresh or sequel for 2013 this is still top dog in the Cupertino camp.


HTC’s pride and joy for 2013 has set a pretty nice bar for others to match or exceed. The beautiful 1080p 4.7 inch display, the front-facing dual stereo speakers, the revolutionary UltraPixel camera and other unique features are to be reckoned with, and the latest facelift to HTC Sense with Blink Feed and a fresh user interface make the HTC One a sure winner. How it does numbers wise remains to be seen, but HTC is banking heavily on this one, and it’s telling that it borrowed the same “one device, all carriers” strategy Samsung successfully deployed for the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2.

Blackberry Z10

Blackberry, formerly RIM, probably won’t win any awards for its offering, but it being the company’s first device to help turn the ship around we felt it warranted inclusion here. It’s also something enterprise users will be watching closely as Samsung looks to challenge Blackberry, Apple and the rest with SAFE and Knox security features and initiatives. The Blackberry Z10 holds a special place in many hearts for those who are still holding on hope for the business king to survive.

Which one are you guys betting on for 2013? Are you going to be going with any of these new phones or are the options for 2013 enough to satiate your appetite for another year or so? Let us know how you’re feeling in the comments section below!

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Why is the iPhone 5 even in this contest? Each of the other devices clearly surpass it.

    1. In the middle of class and I bust out laughing at this. Glad the professor had stepped out.

    2. Exactly what I was thinking, the iPhone5 is so 2 years ago

      1. Nonsense. iOS is the superior mobile OS! If not for features and customizability; then for refinement, ease of use, consistency, fluid UI, reliability, rock solid performance and security. These are things Android aspires to be. The hardware and design is the best in the industry. Period! Even if a little carried over, it is still heads and heals above what you generally find coming out from the competition. The HTC One is the only one that comes close. Then you add in the ecosystem with quality and beautifully designed apps in addition to books, movies, TV shows, iTunes University, podcasts for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac. The Apple stores offers a place to shop and try out any Apple product and get help with your device. This is one area where the competition doesn’t even rank. It is the best customer care in the industry. I’ve walked in with an issue with my iPhone and walked out with a brand new device. Apple offers the best overall user experience.

        1. Does Phil Schiller sign your paycheck?

        2. correction…the htc one hardware surpass the iphone5 by 10 miles. 1 solid piece of aluminium from back to front (iphone is just a square piece of aluminium combine with plastic on the back) and curve back to give comfort, feel louder stereo speaker. amazing noice cancelling tech while record video and receiving phone call. camera demolish iphone 5 in low light, 468 ppi and 1980p screen, too much to list.

          as for the OS, anything you can do on IOS, you can do on android as well. i don’t see any advantage of apple eco system over android here. infact, android has more free stuff. less $ you have to pay. just perfect.

        3. Did you wet yourself haha?

        4. I believe that Apple offers a very quality experience. I think that their app ecosystem is fantastic and there is a reason why people design things for iPhone first. Android has come a very long way. If the distribution method for updates on Android was as good as Apple’s for iOS, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Ever.

          I’m not thrilled about the HTC One, but it isn’t a bad phone. As a VZW diehard, I won’t even get the chance to try it and hate it. I’m more concerned to see how poorly QNX ends up (because we’re still getting it on our Playbooks… right guys?!), finally. I know what Apple is going to do and it isn’t exciting. This Galaxy S4 gives Apple something to think about, at least. Competition is good.

          I work with a variety of devices and all of the current mobile OSs. I actually prefer WP8 as a daily driver, but really enjoy Android over iOS for a “handheld device”. All of the mobile OSs have glaring issues, but overall I feel like a consumer could be happy with any of them today. I don’t find any of them to be that far superior.

        5. Said no one ever.

    3. even the blakberry smashes the iphone in every category on the chart

    4. iPhone is years behind on hardware.

    5. Agreed. iphones’ hardware does not stack up. http://www.geekchoice.com/new-york

  2. Samsung has become Americanized and now sucks. The fact it looks the same kind of kills it visually for me. And even the UI looks the same. I mean I don’t expect them to re-write the entire OS but damn… This is super corny the way they’re presenting.

    1. They could have designed a gorgeous phone. Like the HTC one is. It looks the same so ill have to pass

  3. The HTC One is the most innovative out of this bunch. Sure, the Galaxy S3S will sell a whole mess of phones, but I see nothing special about it.

    1. HTC definitely has the upper hand in design and build. But without the options of up to 128GB of internal storage and removeable battery, I’ll stick with Samsungs. 1080p .mkv videos are quite hefty in size, afterall.

      1. I can’t imagine ever needing more than 64Gb of space on my phone. I’m not going to have it loaded with HD movies and super huge game files.I have a computer, gaming console and tablet for those things. No matter the size of storage, those storage-consuming media just aren’t going to be a great experience anyway.

        My entire music library is in the cloud and can be streamed although i keep around a 1,000 of my favorite tracks local in case I don’t have a good signal. Most of my documents that I would access on my phone are kept in the cloud…and I don’t do a lot of document handling/editing on my phone. Everything will continue to the cloud.

        I find the storage argument without merit.

        As to removable battery, I’ve never removed the battery of the last 3 Android phones that I’ve owned even though its possible. I got in the habit of charging when I’m at home, office, or car. If I think its going to be an issue, I’ll just pick up a quick charge pack (which is cheaper than most batteries).

        1. Thank god someone agrees with me! It’s a phone! Not a laptop!

          1. it is for some people, i never use my pc now

          2. And I bet u don’t have 8 cores right? Works like a charm right?

        2. yeah but u are a gringo, the rest of the world doesnt have lte and streaming files is quite slow

          1. i don’t have LTE right now, pendejo. most of my streaming is done over wifi but 3G works just as well. don’t complain about a device just because your third-world country doesn’t have decent carrier networks.

        3. And to add to ur words… Who the f needs 8 cores ??? For what? U see the gs3 has two cores right??? Yet no ONE complains .. Runs great right?? There all great phones and even i5 is dual core yet they run great almost lag free… Now build quality there’s only two phones to chose from i5 or the ONE’ … After all is said and done I’m taking android and its liberty along with the HTC One developers phone…period! If u wanna cry about storage 64gb not inuff then jump on a cloud.. Trust my 4 mp camera will take just as good of a picture as your 13 mp camera and I can take 3 pics for the price of UR ONE as far as storage .. Get off the gimmicks and enjoy ur phone..

        4. “I can’t imagine ever needing more than 64Gb of space on my phone”

          You’ll eat those words in only a few short years. I eat them now, because I do need more space. Cloud == FAIL for as long bandwidth is metered.

          1. I never keep a phone for more than 2 years and usually 18 months at most. My current phone only has 2Gb and a 8Gb microSD..and I still have space. There’s (likely) never going to be a time that I want to watch an HD movie on my phone or play a high-end game on it. I have a tablet, widescreen TV, and gaming console for those things which are also better experiences for those media beyond the storage issue.

        5. Different people need different things I had no problem filling up 32 GB on my sprint Galaxy Nexus had if I had 64 GB that would have been nice because I had to keep clearing my downloads

      2. Haha are you serious? You need 128 GB on a phone? I’m living fine with 16GB. I use a tablet for more memory-intensive applications.

        1. I’ve got 8GB on mine and still heve 3GB to spare. The damn 512MB RAM on it is the thing that’s forcing me to buy a new phone.

      3. If you have to watch videos on your smartphone, chances are, you need to get a life.

        1. Says the guy who goes out of his way to prove he has one on an Android site.

      4. seriously, i haven’t even fill my 16GB galaxy s3 storage yet. what you use 128GB for? store your entire collection of porn on the go?

        1. Why do people shoot down choices options ?

  4. >Blackberry, formerly RIM, probably won’t win any awards for its offering


  5. Coming from a two year old Atrix, the S4 is clearly a huge step up me. Maybe not for everyone who has an S3 already, but compared to HTC One, it’s clearly the higher spec phone. Temp, humidity, and IR sensors. innovative features. Maybe not pure android, but pretty damn nice.

    1. The HTC One also has an IR Blaster, and you really want the temp/humidity feature? It’s a nice gimmick and all, but I don’t know how it’ll work if it’s in your pocket.

      1. My watch has the same gimmicks lol. And you will almost guaranteed have to set the phone aside for 5 mins to get accurate temp. Useless. Use your thermostat or the weather Channel. Personally I think I’ll get the one I was hoping the s4 would look different and have amazing features but it doesn’t. The hyc one is CNc machined out of a solid block of aluminum. That’s quality.

        1. ^ This

        2. hehe, sure I get the gimmick, but I’ll take freebies when I need to upgrade a phone that got neglected. The HTC construction is solid, but spec for spec I think the S4 wins for folks like me who are at end of contract, and want to jump brands. I’ll look at the One though. Maybe the Moto X will knock our socks off….

        3. Yes, HTC is a quality hardware combined with shitty software. Good luck.

          1. As a current HTC owner, i hope they have changed their habits from a software standpoint. I really do. Sense 5 looks phenomenal, miles better than TouchWiz, in my opinion.

        4. LEE! Glad to read I’m not the last phandroid wearing a watch, and with an IR eye, no less! Now I know three people with IR-enabled watches. I will be very interested to find out if anyone gets it to talk to the One. Mine’s a DataLink™.

      2. Temp/humidity are for those people who want to attach it to some balloons, for a science project, while also recording with both the front facing and back camera.

      3. I might want to know the temperature and humidity of my pocket ^~^. Now to find another IR device to keep in my pocket for the One to converse with, heheheheh. Belay all that, I don’t keep my phone in my pocket . . .

    2. Coming from a GS2. Wii need to keep this list going.

  6. Isn’t the S4 using the Snapdragon 600 processor like the HTC One? Why is it higher spec-ed than the One? (1.9 GHz vs 1.7 GHz)

    1. I think is using Exynos 5 stuff…but they said they would also use Snapdragon in some countries…

      1. I think the Snapdragon is for the US, while the Exynos is for international

        1. Though I’m probably sticking with my S3, since I have one more year on my contract, I hope they don’t do that to the US again. They unveiled it in the US so they should give is the Exynos!

        2. Ya that’s always the disappointment with the Galaxy phones. They hype up the Exynos and then when it comes out America can never get their hands on it. I feel like most of the “premium” handsets are on the same page hardware wise. Its just the UI and the case its in that makes the difference. The rest is minor.

      2. S4 for the US will get the Snapdragon S4 Pro while the rest of the world will get the exynos 5

    2. Uses the Snapdragon S4 Pro here in the USA. HTC One’s Snapdragon 600 is actually more powerful. I can’t wait to get CyanogenMOD on the HTC One – that will likely be the perfect phone for me.

  7. I didn’t know the Galaxy SIV had HTC Sense, makes me less likely to buy it. :p

  8. S4 has built-in temperature and humidity sensors too…

    1. What do those even do? I feel like that is ANOTHER gimmick added to a Galaxy device, but people will rush to buy it simply because its features sound cool.

      1. depends what developers can do with it……

      2. i would totally use that for work, i always need to know the place conditions

      3. People are dumb. Why? They can’t seem to be content with what they have and they battle to no end to justify their purchase. “My smartphone is better than yours!”. Really? Why don’t you sound happy about it? If you are, then shut up!

    2. It’s 99 degrees F inside my pocket?!

    3. So you can check the Temp and Humidy in your pants pockets?

  9. I still love the build quality and looks of the HTC One. Thats the “One” I’m going with

    1. Good luck with bloated sense and an inferior product with less consumer features. Posted as an ex-diehard of HTC products.

      1. HTC One + CyanogenMod = Game Over

        1. Except HTC One’s bootloader still hasn’t been unlocked (unless you pay extra for the “developer version”), whilst all versions of the galaxy phones come unlocked already.

      2. Bitter much?

      3. You don’t think that TouchWiz is a bloated piece of software? I would rather go with Sense than TW. I’ve had a Samsung Tablet, and I will never go back to using one again. It was the worst, and within months it became so slow. I have the ASUS Transformer Prime now, and it is much better. Had it for about a year now, and it is still kicking.

      4. why you use past htc experience (old sense 4) on this htc one when you haven’t even use it yet.

      5. It’s soooo easy to modify. SOooooooo easy

      6. Hey Rick,I’m not fond of any phone’s bloatware. But I like the front facing speakers and the camera that takes great small,low light pics. I mean I don’t think you could go wrong with any of these S4, Xperia Z Opitmus G pro or HTC One. Just for what I use it for the HTC will have more things that I use on an everyday basis.

    2. thinking the same thing too now. I want decent photos, not S-bloatware (eh Samsung)

  10. After seeing that you included the iPhone in this comparison…I think the article is garbage. The Xperia Z should have been there instead….fail!

  11. I’ll take the GS4 any day. HTC One is a nice phone but I hate HTC Sense.

    1. Agreed, as a former die-hard HTC fan. I got burned on Evo 4G and Evo 3D. Evo 3D screens of death on stock software several times & updates turned me off HTC and crappy sense forever. Add non-removable battery and no microSD card you can toss the HTC into the garbage.

      1. The Evo 4G was *awesome* – I have an Evo3D, and I fully intend to destroy this phone as soon as I can get an HTC One, I hate the Evo3D so bad. The HTC One with CyanogenMOD looks like the winner to me!

  12. Finally, a Samsung phone with HTC sense… Lol

  13. HTC One for me.

  14. Umm the gs4 comes with amoled not lcd… Anyone else notice this?

  15. It’s nice, but I am waiting on the note 3

  16. Xperia Z or GS 4?

  17. I have a Note 2 already so I doubt I’m going anywhere!

  18. Only one of these devices has a microSD card slot for user easy memory upgrade. And unlocked bootloader, guess which one.

  19. The s4 looks like a great phone, but I prefer the HTC one, design and uniqueness. Gauarentee that the s4 will sell more due to marketing. That’s where HTC really fails is that it dosnt advertise there flagship phones enough.

  20. why not compare to sony z

    1. because, unfortunately, Sony screwed up big time with it. search for reviews else (particularly The Verge) to understand what I’m referring to

  21. Any article that mentions the iWhat? (specs so old I forgot the name, but that rotten apple in the garbage can reminds me of something) is already out of date.

    1. What a thoughtful comment.

  22. Dude you were that lazy to search for the iPhone 5’S RAM, which is 1GB if you want to update it.

  23. Nexus 4 should be mentioned in this contest. Sticking to the Nexus until I see an S800 or higher with 8 gb of ram and 128gb of storage. Lol. Samsung just Knoxed off BlackBerry Enterprise work & play.

    1. Everyone dismisses the nexus as soon as it comes out. I personally wouldn’t trade my n4 for any of these phones. Still dislike Touchwiz’s design regardless of the features it adds.

  24. Why is the Note 2 not on this list? BlackBerry and iPhone? Really? We’ll let htc play in this game but it still loses.

  25. Never ever will I buy a phone without a sd card slot. Why would they even build a phone without “One”. Thats so Iphone like. A few hd games and ure on board memory is gone. So S4 does it for me. You know samsung just knows how to make life easier they have the best software innovations coupled with the best hardware. So S4 hands down. Seems HTC will never learn.

  26. Lumia all the way… Like what was said before all this crap samsung is putting out is a gimmick.. There’s no company outhere other than NOKIA that is chamging the game.. Samsung obviously spends too much $$$$$ instead of innovation… Htc one is the best android right now!!!

    1. Low end hardware specs, unpolished OS, complete lack of dev support and abismal sales. Not sure how Nokia has changed any games in many years.

      1. Yup like majority of android phones are unpolished,low end and no eco system its kinda like LOST! u bragged about all this gimmicks,that most people don’t use!!!

  27. I’m interested in seeing what the general public think of the S4, from an hands-on approach. We should get a good feel of the good and bad points of the phone from that.

  28. Its not much of a bet… iPhone 5S will outsell everything in the US, Samsung Galaxy S4 will outsell every other phone world wide and a firm 2nd in the US. HTC will lick the crumbs out of the corner, probably wont even take 3rd place, which is such a low percentage it doesn’t matter anyways. As for Blackberry, I don’t know. Blackberry represents stiff business types, but now the stiff business types have all moved on. If Blackberry would have released the z10 at the beginning of 2012 maybe they would have had a chance. Its too little too late now though.

  29. One question is which Phone will your BUY today (or in a few months).

    Another question is which Phone do you want to be SEEN with next year, and the year after.

    The GS4 has a 12% faster Processor (in the North American version) than other SD600 based Phones do, and the Screen has some enhancements over other Phones, but that is where the Hardware advancements end.

    The next Flagship Phone from whoever will likely equal or beat that, and certainly by year end the GS4 Hardware will be old; and People might even say you have the GSIII (as a joke).

    The Software improvements of the GS4 are (probably) welcomed by GSII Owners who have let their Contract run out (or get free Upgrades) but it leaves (some/many?) GSIII Owners not wanting to Upgrade and waiting for (some of) the Software to be backported from the GS4 to the GSIII.

    If Samsung had left the ‘rumor mill’ in the dust, made a small change in the design, and brought the OctaCore to the World then it would have been a great thing.

    As it stands you get a Phone that look like a Guinea Pig pellet, and on the large side, with a Super AMOLED Pentile Pentile Display, at least the bezel has been reduced. The puny mono Speaker on the back does little to help it’s looks when face down.

    The OTHER 3 Phones in the above List will have both Fans and newcomers to support them.

    I know which Phone I want to be seen with next year (also next month, and the years to come). It will be the “cool Phone” with the hot looking body (and 2 nice Speakers on front).

  30. No price? No battery stats? Nothing to buy yet? Hey, sign me up!

  31. This is a smart choice of contenders. You could have added the Nexus 4 but I understand it doesn’t address a broad enough audience, and also one high end Windows Mobile device (Lumia 920 ?).
    So we have :
    – the 2 Android flagships, from HTC and Samsung. Both are great devices, with plenty of raw power, neat hardware features (screen, camera, speakers, aesthetics…). I personally would like to test both of them. I think the One’s in hand feel and perceived quality may be over the S4’s, but the latter offers more screen estate in a smaller form factor, which would be decisive to me.
    Both are sexy devices and have a taste of novelty (that matters). Samsung is now focusing on software features and they get it right. The sad part is that they don’t want to share this leap forward and are building progressively a very advanced user experience WITHOUT Android. They didn’t even pronounced once the word “Android” in the GS4’s presentation. One more iteration and Samsung devices’ users will be caught in a proprietary ecosystem as much as IOS users.
    – the still-to-beat iPhone. Yes, I said “still-to-beat” because it remains a huge seller and because the user experience it offers is still the best overall. This little thing takes great pictures, has good battery life, is unrivaled in pocketability/one hand usability and is swift as hell (especially in browsing and gaming). Last but not the least, even if equivalent apps do exist in the Play Store, most of them are often old versions ore featured limited versions of the ones you get in the AppStore (try it out for those not aware of this fact, it is sad but true). Two things are really really lacking in Apple’s side : novelty and choice of sizes. I understand Apple thinks they found THE receipt but people may get bored and switch to another platform just because they want something new or bigger. With a choice of two or three screen sizes and a revamped UI, Apple could still do much harm to Android in my opinion.
    – Blackberry still has a trustful base of clients, and the device is a great compromise between the large Android flagships and the tiny iPhone. I don’t know how much hope is left considering the vanishing of the ecosystem (others are catching up in security features and BB’s App Store is sooo limited). That’d be great for consumers to have a third real choice though.

  32. BlackBerry z10 all the way. Samsung 3 is put to rest. Goodbye.

  33. iPhone’s stats are repulsive..

  34. Thanks for doing this great comparison, Quentyn. I am leaving on a business trip for DISH next month, and I was thinking about upgrading my phone before I go. These phones all look great, but it’s going to boil down to how well they run my favorite app; it isn’t available on Blackberry, so the z10 is ruled out. I use DISH Anywhere to stream live TV and recordings from my home DVR all the time, but it comes in handy during layovers and flight delays. Since I will be streaming TV more than anything else I might do with the phone, the sharper screen and front facing speakers have me leaning toward the HTC One.

  35. I have had as many phones and on all carriers and the ios is way behind android., The Iphone build is great but the limits it puts on the user is where it has gone wrong by a million miles. I can watch live sports for free on andriod and get all my music for free on android, You pay 2 bucks a song on ios. People who buy the iphone are the same ones who bought jeans for the label. It is all about image with the iphone and all you suckers have fell for the great advertising. Come on you cant even put icons in a vertical row on the iphone. Lol what a joke!

  36. Left the “safety” of the iPhone camp ages ago and joined the wild world of Android and love it. But I like Windows Mobile on my HTC devices years ago. Go figure.
    The HTC One will replace my Note 2 and then it’s either a Note 3 or Nexus 5… The Note 2 is a nice balance of size(big), power(fast enuf for now) and use-ability(using Apex Launcher). The camera is good enough, for now. My 64gb microSD sits at 30% full, so a 64gb HTC One will “fill the bill” for the next 3-9 months, for me.

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