By June 2, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One compared (Part 2)

IMG_3307 Last week, in part one of my comparison between the HTC One and the Galaxy S4, I looked at the camera on both devices and published a selection of photos for you to make your own judgement with. Thanks to all that provided feedback.

This week I decided to concentrate on the screens of both devices in an attempt to decide which was best. Once again, the results of this were not as totally clear cut as I had initially expected, but I’ll discuss that as I go.

So lets start with the numbers.

The HTC One has a 4.7″ 1080×1920 (full HD) screen giving a 469 ppi pixel density. The technology used here is Super LCD3 and is, naturally, capacitive touchscreen. Covering the display, Gorilla Glass 2 aims to prevent scratches and knocks.

The Samsung has the same 1080×1920 resolution but is a slightly larger 5.0″ screen for a slightly lower 441 ppi pixel density. Instead of LCD, here you’ll find a Super AMOLED display this time covered with Gorilla Glass 3. I’m unsure as to the difference between the Gorilla Glass types but one assumes the 3 is better than 2.

Despite the screen size difference the physical size of each device is very similar with 137.4 x 68.2mm  for the HTC One and 136.6 x 69.8mm for the Galaxy S4. However, comparing the two phones side-by-side the S4 has far less of a bezel around the screen. Just 3mm at each side compared to nearer 5mm on the HTC One. It may not sound like a lot but looking at the two together it gives the impression of far more ‘wasted’ space on the HTC One.

So on initial impression. The Super AMOLED screen of the S4 produces some glorious colours that are rich and bright. There is a slightly more yellow hue to the S4 when looking at white areas vs a more true white or a blue tint to the HTC One.

Both have excellent viewing angles which are almost identical and as you’ll see the in image below you can still view both screens from really impractical angles!

IMG_3309 IMG_3308


To begin with the screen on the S4 stood out as my favourite. I liked the fact that the screen ran to the edge of the device more and that 0.3″ size difference between the two device’s screens was surprisingly noticeable.

However, in the past fortnight using the two phones every day I’ve changed my mind and now, on balance, prefer the screen on the HTC One. Before you all scream at me or start sending the emails/tweets let me explain why.

There isn’t a huge difference between the two displays, the colours on the S4 are arguably richer and the larger screen is better for web browsing and watching videos but the biggest clincher for me is the brightness and ability to see the screen outdoors. The HTC One can go much brighter than the S4 and the whites are just whiter furthermore AMOLED screens don’t perform well in conditions where there is direct light on the screen, such as being outside in the sun.

It’s when using the phone outside that the HTC One really outperforms the S4 and this fact was most apparent when I went to a wedding just the other day and it was sunny. I wanted to take some photos of the wedding party, as you do, but I really struggled to see the preview on the S4 where the HTC One, with it’s LCD screen performed way better.


More on the two devices again later in the week.


Posted by: Matt

[ Post Tags: HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Android, smartphone, ]

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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