Metal, it seems, is in. And thank goodness, after several years of plastic ascendency, we now have devices like the HTC One and One mini, the 2012 Motorolas (to some extent) and, of course, the Apple iPhone 4 and 5. Metal is tough (albeit prone to small chipping if dropped, but at least the phone will stay intact) and conductive to heat (so, in theory, feels cool and premium in the hand when picked up).
Android Phone Reviews
Do you prefer Star Trek or Star Wars? If the former, best go for the HTC One. If the latter, head for the Samsung Galaxy S4. There, done.
What’s that? You want some explanation, too? I bring the analogy up because the two smartphones, despite their parity in tech consciousness, are very different in feel and ambition. The HTC One is sleek, metallic, sealed and perfectly formed, with nothing left to chance, part of a hermetically sealed universe in which nothing can go wrong. In contrast, the Galaxy S4 can get a little messy, with a peel off back, cheaper materials, bolt on batteries and memory cards, yet all providing more interest, more flexibility and more room for imagination.
Yet, despite the differences in design and outlook, these two smartphones have become the most prominent competitors in the Android landscape. Here’s my assessment – can there be a winner?
It’s something of a testament to the HTC One’s build quality and design that, of the last ten Android-focussed tech reviewers I’ve queried over the last two months, seven of them have ended up keeping the One as their daily phone and all have judged the device as the best Android smartphone they’ve ever held. Add me to the list, too. Not that the HTC One is perfect – despite its plus points, it’s ultimately restricted in a number of ways and there’s an annoying usability issue, but it’s fair to say that you have to be something of an Android power user or perfectionist to complain too loudly about any of this.
Let’s get this out the way from the very start. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the most powerful, most flexible, most adaptable, most all-round functional smartphone in the world, bar none. It’s just that you may not enjoy handling it very much. At least not as it comes out of the box. Don’t worry, I’ll explain as I go on…