HTC One vs Galaxy S4: by the numbers

by: Gary SimsApril 22, 2013

HTC One vs Galaxy S4 benchmark header

There are several 1080p full HD smartphones vying for the top spot in the increasingly crowded high end Android handset market. Among them are the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. But how do they compare? Here is a “by the numbers” look at these two flagship phones.

1.6 mm

How much narrower the HTC One is compare to the Samsung Galaxy S4. The HTC One is 68.2 mm wide while the S4 is a fraction wider at 69.8. This difference is minimal and is unlikely to be a deciding factor for trying to choose between the two!

0.8 mm

The difference in length. Although the HTC One is slightly narrower, the S4 is a hair width’s shorter. However, like the width, this is unlikely to be a deciding factor for purchasers.

1.4 mm

Is how much the S4 is thinner than the HTC One. With large 1080p screens the width and length of the devices are almost predetermined with only the bezel width left to tweak. However the thickness of the device is something that manufacturers can work with and the S4 is thinner than the HTC One. The Samsung is just under 8 mm thin, quite an achievement, while the HTC One is no brick, but does add an additional 1.4 mm making it 9.3 mm thin.


The HTC One has a pixel density 6.35% greater than that of the S4. The HTC One has a 4.7-inch 1080p display with a pixel density of 469 ppi, while the S4 uses a 5-inch 1080p display. That gives the Samsung a slightly lower pixel density. A key factor for potential owners is the difference in the screen size. Does the extra 0.3 inch make the Samsung a better phone?

130 g

The total weight of the Samsung Galaxy S4. The HTC One is just a few grams heavier at 143 g. A noticeable difference? According to Android Authority’s Kristofer Wouk, “At 143 grams, it’s not the lightest phone we’ve seen, but the solid feel on such a thin device is worth the trade off.”


More battery for the Galaxy S4. Samsung’s flagship uses a 2600 mAh removable battery. The S3 had a 2100 mAh battery and the HTC One is sandwiched between the two at 2300 mAh. Battery life is certainly going to be important. Our tests have shown that the S4 provides a more than adequate battery life, plus it has the advantage that the battery can be removed, something that can’t be done with the HTC One.


The number of SD card slots in the HTC One. The amount of internal storage is often a crucial factor for those buying a smartphone, but the ability to add more is, to some, an even more important element. The S4 has an SD card slot which allows you to add an additional 64GB of storage. Although you might not need this extra space at the beginning having the option to add more later could be useful.

200 minutes

The time it takes to cut and process the HTC One’s aluminum unibody frame. The Galaxy S4 still uses plastic at a time when others, like HTC, have moved to more luxurious materials for their flagship offerings. Some consumers will reject the S4 because of its plastic build and could prefer the HTC One because it looks more high quality.

10 million

Is the number of S4 units that Samsung plans to ship in the first month after the device’s international release. By the end of June Samsung plans to have shipped 30 million devices and is estimating that the S4 will become its most popular phone. In comparison HTC is thought to have shipped 300,000 HTC One units in March and will make a further 1.2 million units in April. By May the company hopes to send out an additional 2 million units. If the phones sell as expected it looks like Samsung will outsell the HTC One by a factor of at least 5!


What number is key for you in deciding which Android smartphone you will get next? To help you decide check out our video reviews of both phones:



  • great post.. thanks. I’m going with the HTC One.

  • MasterMuffin

    Good that you wrote the article in a way that doesn’t start a fanboy fight :)
    I’m going to wait for next Nexus/Motorola X phone this time

  • Good morning 4 here! Well, great article, however, I’m going to SGS4, I love plastic, because is most durable and I can remove the battery,I love the slot expandable and also, the hug screen. Maybe HTC One looks most gorgeous than the SGS4, but the HTC One…hmmm doesn’t convince me, seriously! Best regards! ;)

  • vampyren

    For me these are key:
    – SD card
    – Not a heavy Skin (why i think touchwiz is much cleaner and faster)
    – Timely SW updates (samsung has improved allot in this area)
    – good windows/osx software bundle (even if samsung isnt best class it has the most to offer)
    – about 4.8 screen.
    – Unique features (again samsung has this in spade)

    Last but not least i do prefer the plastic actually since i can simply change the backcover when scratched. Being able to change battery is also not to bad.

    • David Brymer

      hahaha touchwiz is cleaner and faster than sense 5 hahaha you go out quick and buy ur quick clean plastic phone……QUICK haha the htc one rules

      • whoknowswhereor

        It is faster… and infinitely more practical. I dont use custom roms anymore on my note 2. Watch the GS4 ownage.

      • vampyren

        You get tons more with Touchwiz that is actually useful and you can turn off the things you dont need. Not like the BlinkFeed that takes up one of your homescreen and even if not used it cant be removed. Same with the pull down menu, with samsung you can just do so much more. This is to mention a few areas where touchwiz is better. And i dont care about if its plastic, its actually a plus, i can swap the back if it gets scratched, i can change battery and have SD, try those with your premium phone, o wait you cant do that. Same with the 4Mpixel camera that is pretty crap compared to the new phones. But hey you have a aluminum shell.
        See here:

        Also i rather have the great software update samsung provide than wait a year before HTC gets their tump out as they usually do take their sweet time. Its not long ago the previous One X got JB so no thank you i prefer the S4.

    • I totally see why you are going for the S4 but touch whiz is not light if anything its horrid!! But for each their own! Can go wrong with either phone!

      • whoknowswhereor

        Yes you can. You can go wrong with the one. it’s a compromised product. no sd, or removable batts, no awesome features like the gs4 and the metal sucks for reception and dents bad.

        • vampyren

          I also agree, one is pretty bad in this department, pretty bad that they force you into the stuff you can not remove like the BlinkFeed and i also now hate the aluminum cause it dents and scratches super easy. If i’m going to have a case i rather have it on S4 where i get to have removable battery and SD.
          But sure its good there are alternative for people wanting aluminum i guess :) options is a good thing.

    • Jared Persinger

      Unlike sense versions before sense 5 is really clean and fast and useful (which you would know if you actually tried it)

      • vampyren

        I agree i havent used it so you might be right, on the other hand from the videos i seen there is not nearly as much useful options in the sense as there is in touchwiz. Just compare them and you see.

  • Vineet

    The whole reason why people still buy Toyota and Honda is that they are known for quality and long lasting inner body. I would always go with Samsung as their reputation is way better then HTC. All new HTC phones with a bang and gets lost in the bang. I bought HTC one X thinking it’s a great phone and see what happened. Switched to GS3 in 15 days. Now everyone is saying HTC one is a great phone and beats GS4 is everyway. for how long is the question.

    • nosmohtac

      I agree with you. Quality of build materials is important, but this does not equate to overall build quality. I’ve had HTC phones back in the Windows Mobile days that has great quality materials but were very poor build quality. How you assemble and mate the materials together along with the rest of the hardware and software is what makes the overall experience great or a bust. I’ve had way too many HTC phones that looked and felt great but the overall user experience was a bust. I was very reluctant with to try Samsung with the look and feel of the build materials but have never experienced poor build quality or poor user experience from any of their Galaxy line of devices. I know I’d be inclined to stick with Samsung, but I must say that the One’s stereo front facing speakers are something I want in my next phone.

  • Bram

    yep I would go with the sgs4. I just love creacking shiny plastic. Plus if my phone looks like a toy for the better. also that gorgeous PENTILE AMOLED ugh to die for, and the design, yeah it’s identical with sgs3 and we Sammy trolls always bashed iPhone users with their 3gs and 4s and so on..but our beloved Sammy is always right just go with the flow.
    So what if the One is amazing and has a premium build quality the hell with that. Sammy always knows best and I would literally die for them(I know some of us actually commited suicide when One was released)

    Ahhh..if only..

    • Pleople chose the S2 and S3 over the iPhone not because of the looks, but because of the entire product…HTC is very nice, but S4 is more future proof…besides iPhone looks better than the HTC One and it is thinner!

  • Emma

    First of all, both phones are obviously 5 star phones, and one can’t really go wrong with either. But if I must make a choice, it’d have to be the S4. Truth is, the greatest advantage the One has over the S4 is build material. But as I can’t see myself using a phone that costs that much without a case, the advantage greatly diminishes. Just my opinion!

  • KashKaw

    forgot to mention.

    1- G4 Gorilla Glass 3 vs HTC One Gorilla Glass 2 ( when talking about materials and quality )

    • Amine Elouakil

      Not everything was mentioned for either phone, the S4 is a great phone but it doesn’t excels in any category (appart maybe benchmarks) where as the One has the BEST sound input and output , the BEST Screen (according to metrics and tests) the BEST front facing camera, and BEST low light performance on any android phone, and so on…check out Anandtech review which details every aspect, I hope we will get a similar review for the SG4 pretty soon.

      • KashKaw

        GS4 Camera over all is the best among the group even the front one ( research that again please ) Not to mention the engineering marvelous compact design small bezel which every reports mentions at first impressions !. And what is the battery size on the HD HTC screen ? close to the one year old GS3. HTC could have won this competition if they would have upgraded what is inside rather than just the out side ( they don’t have the money for it ? / not my problem!

        • nebsif

          Smaller, sealed battery in a thicker phone. :S

          I thought we’d be moving away from huge bezel’s in 2013 but its clearly not the case with HTC One, that thing is bigger than one X and all that for ur precious dent-aminium.

    • Jared Persinger

      It’s a shame they use really cheap plastic though

      • KashKaw

        Poly-carbonate is not cheap plastic by the way. And you know very well it is more durable…its not the best looker…but it sustains + Agreed HTC looks miles ahead.

  • KashKaw

    2- GS4 pedometer vs HTC one none

    • whoknowswhereor

      Gs4 thermometer vs htc none

      • Amine Elouakil

        the greatest features ever! usefull !

  • KashKaw

    3- GS4 Airtouch sensor vs HTC One none

  • KashKaw

    4- And yes 13 grams of weight difference at %10 less than the HTC One can be felt

  • Samsung provides quick updates compared HTC. And look at sgs2, it is still receiving updates. I would definitely choose s4.

    • Amine Elouakil

      This is wrong actually, Samsung had become much better with updates this year, but if you compare flagships, for example the HTC One X got jellybean before the S3 in several major markets, heck even the One S was updated to Jellybean before in midrange device for samsung from last year, the problem is and I agree with you, not every HTC Phone had this treatement and this is due to their huge number, but again anything outside the Galaxy S brand didn’t get that much of an update, but those go under the radar unlike HTCs..

      • As a matter of fact, Samsung screwed up the S3 Jelly bean update (go to XDA forums and look for details if you want proof – bad performance, poor battery, etc) while HTC made the HTC One X much better in terms of performance/battery/etc. HTC has been little conservative in software approach which is good so that we consumers don’t get bugged up ROM! The same is just the reason why HTC One is currently on 4.1

        Samsung is adopting Jelly bean update to devices with speed is just for marketing sake. Any one would prefer to have a proper functional ROM rather than a buggy names sake upgrade and marketing gimmick of Samsung

      • Timmy

        Still waiting on JB for the Note 1 (US)….crickets chirping

    • Are you kiding? It took me six months to get android 4.1.1,because samsung wants the international market to have first updates.since S3 are most their.Rubish?

    • Providing a buggy ROM faster is just a pain! The current state of S3 is soo buggy!

      • I brick by my S3 phones.wintertime the plastic s3 hold more moisture than any phone.

  • I love both products, but for now it’s the One for me, I had the note 2 forever and the display along with touch wiz just aren’t my thing! I wish Samsung would dump their display and go for more an led look but who knows may get an s4 after it all calms down!

  • chris pinkston

    Both are great phones. Can’t go wrong either way. Build material on the one is nice but isn’t everything. Think plenty people are fine with plastic. I know I would have a case on the one for fear of scratching that pretty metal finish. Same as I fear scratching the glass back on my optimus g. Honestly these are two phones I might skip on. Just don’t offer that much over my current device. Might take the plunge though, love the look of the one but also like galaxy s series.

  • Paul

    11. looks and feels like a plastic toy vs best premium build quality on any android device to date.
    12. has a legion of paid/unpaid and brainwashed trolls vs underdog
    13. touchwiz vs nothing…touchwiz is just to ugly to even make this list
    14. dirty marketing tactics (the paid trolls) vs open orginal ones ( plastic S4 lunch party)
    15. pentile amoled – true full hd lcd
    16. should i even bother mentioning speakers ?
    17. the most gimmycky features ever (airtouch ?! like I’m just going to start to wave in front of my phone in open street to look thorugh my galery ??? vs actually usefull futures (zoe)
    17.1. apple stopped inovating samsung left with nothing to copy. hurts but true.

    • hoggleboggle

      airtouch – you have obviously never tried to read a recipe on your phone whilst cooking with your hands covered in dough. I would rather have such gimmicky features than non-existent updates

    • Magnetic1

      Have you ever had oily hair and had to scratch your head?
      And then have you considered the grease that may end up on the phone you’re carrying?
      Just possibly some people might use the feature that’s all.

    • Paul…people like you said a phone should just be able to call and send sms…no Samsung is bringing a touch-less interface to the public, which I can only see as becoming the norm. #S4FutureProof

  • williamworlde

    Not factoring in performance, the HTC One is a beautiful device! I handled one yesterday and if I were in the market…

    To each their own. Some people prefer specs and speed above all else and Samsung has definitely been providing that in their ever-improving S series.

    Me, I like a balance of specs, decent performance, but the device must be beautiful – at least in my beholder’s eyes. I am not a high-end gamer, avid phone photographer, or overclocker. So, my choice of a decent-looking/specced/performing 1-year old GNex last Christmas was quite easy.

    Maybe next year I’d choose the one-year old HTC One? :-) Hmmm…..

  • anthony iglesias

    Had S3 liked it no problems, Have HTC ONE for few days now and love everything about. And yes the camera takes amazing pics and in low light even better. got 32 gig dont need more than that esp with all the cloud services out there. Im using the free 25 gig from drop box, the battery is better than my s3 so that works for me. Your not gonna go wrong with either phone.

  • I usually dont mind the weight of a phone. For me usually the deciding factor is the durability of the phone, the size of the screen and the projected battery life. I will have to wait and see in store if i like the 5 in screen more than the 4.7 but on a whole i think that sounds more apealing, along with samsungs larger battery (although it needs it since it likely has a larger power demand as well). Being made out of plastic, at least for me, is a strike against samsung since it gives the phone a cheap feeling and at least the illusion of being less durable.

  • Truth

    HTC ONE – Ferrari vs Samdung S4 bullock cart
    Which one will you pick?

    • actually … Ferrari doesn’t make the most beautiful car in the world …

  • ladybird

    if I have to choose, I’ll go with SGS 4.

    I’ll gladly accept if someone give me htc One for free :)

  • my contract is up in June , definitely going for s4 , i like the htc one but having a htc legend a few years ago i know how easily metal bodies get damaged then you are screwed as you cant replace them , also no sd card means you are being screwed again on ridiculously expensive internal memory and non replaceable battery along with new camera tech which quite frankly hasn’t been around very long. Rooting my legend was an absolute nightmare one i care never to repeat whilst i rooted my s2 in a couple of minutes , the s4 should be a great phone once i install pure android on it.

  • Jamaal Laswell

    It’s definitely one for me. Not just the build quality, HTC also offers developer edition which is bootloader unlocked. 64GB/32GB is big enough for me. And the lack of FM radio on GS4 is the deal breaker. How could Samsung leave out such easy feature, they think ppl dont use it any more. Well, most people I know still do, especially when you don’t have 3G/4G….

  • Chye’a

    Let’s just say i do technical support/warranty for a major company and the amount of calls i get about all HTC devices far exceeds samsungs.

  • KashKaw

    How come there aren’t many if there was any aluminum phone case…why there are always plastic or rubber cases?…maybe because they are more durable??

  • Timmy


    I’m putting a case on whatever phone I get so even if the body (One) looks better, I can’t see it anyway. Most other dimensions are the same.

    The software is also a wash. It really comes down to whether the bloatware makes one phone slower than the other. Some good/some bad on both and if it’s really an issue there’s always the option to root.
    Display/resolution is also a subjective feature. Both are great so again a wash.

    Cameras are probably close enough too. Not an issue for me but for some it makes a difference. I’m sure the One sounds better if I’m listening to my phone sitting on my desk but does anyone really do that? I use headphones or speaker and with the PoweAmp app, I can make nearly anything sound good. Beats is marketing hype anyway.

    The lack of an SD card might have been a dealbreaker a few years ago but 16GB is plenty. Not having a removable battery…dealbreaker.

    Like others have said, both are great phones and you’ll probably be happy either way.

    So, I’ll be waiting on the Note 3.

  • Just look at how well Samsung has been supporting their devices. They have been updating, patching & adding features to numerous devices. There are two hugely popular websites dedicated to nothing more than tracking all of Samsung’s firmware updates for tablets & phones. Even in the U.S. Samsung has been continually updating & providing support to devices 1 to 2 years old. Ensuring updates are available to the masses via Kies.

    HTC on the other hand has abandoned every tablet they have ever made almost as soon as it was released. HTC has a habit of releasing marginal hardware updates with a + in the name in lieu of support for existing U.S. devices. I loved HTC since the days of PocketPC 2002, but they fell off their game, their developer support is horrendous & they add features like Beats, only Beats headsets are more functional in terms of hardware support on iOS devices, even though HTC owned a majority of the Beats company not so long ago.

    So, as much as I once disliked Samsung, their steady rate of improvement, implementation of useful features & integration with other appliances & multimedia devices in my home has won me over, plastic & all. Only I’ll be forgoing the S4 for the Note 3 as a replacement for my beloved Galaxy Note 2.

  • this was actually a nice article…showing that although S4 is not aluminum…they still achieved design greatness….better phone in a smaller body…HTC made a better phone in a bigger body. The thing is no make can match Samsung with Software so they needed to target specific markets…HTC went to the market looking good and Sony went to the market being durable! If Samsung adds all of that to the S line..What will the other makers have?