Is One of These the Best Android Phone in the World? Galaxy S4 or HTC One
BGR has been using the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 each for about four months. Opinions invariably change over time, sometimes drastically and sometimes only slightly. In the case of the Galaxy S4 and the One, BGR actually grew to enjoy each device more over time, which is quite rare for me.
With the Galaxy S4, time draws attention away from the majority of the phone’s gimmicky bells and whistles as the user pares them down and discovers which features are useful to him or her, and which are little more than novelties. I found nearly all of Samsung’s gesture controls to be absolutely useless in most situations, for example, but over time I grew more reliant on Air View than I ever thought I would. Features such as the ability to view message previews containing more than just half a sentence of text without having to open emails and text messages really changed my workflow for the better on the S4.
The camera is another example of an area of the Galaxy S4′s software that takes some time to get used to. There are more filter, scene and mode options than you’ll ever use and it can be overwhelming at first. It takes some time to sift through them and pick out your favorites. Once you get a feel for the interface so you can access different modes quickly, though, the S4 really changes the way you take pictures with your phone.
Finally, and most surprisingly, I have found that the Galaxy S4′s comparatively cheap feel has become less of an issue for me over time.
When choosing a device for personal use, a phone’s hardware is just as important to me as the software experience. I want the total package. Samsung has historically failed repeatedly to deliver fit and finish that match its smartphones’ user experience and as a result, I rarely carry Samsung devices when I’m not reviewing them.
With the Galaxy S4, any improvements in the quality of materials and the feel of the phone are minimal — but something is different this time around. The Galaxy S4 is so thin and the display is so gorgeous that over time, I have been able to look past the phone’s cheap feel to an extent. It still doesn’t deliver a hardware experience that even approaches the hero phones offered by most other smartphone vendors, but the thinner case makes it less of an issue.