Now that Samsung has unveiled their Galaxy S4, all candidates for “Top Android Handset” are now out in the open. It’s up to us consumers to decide which, if any, we’re going to get. I’m going to be really unfair to Sony and LG, and discard their efforts straight away. I’ve never been a Sony fan, and I haven’t played with an LG phone since the “Viewty”, which was terrible in every way. I think the real fight is between the current champion Samsung, and the most audacious challenger, HTC.
Last year, HTC’s One X was my favorite, but Samsung’s S3 clearly won in terms of sales. This time around, I think it’s interesting to see that the two successors are more polarized. HTC has clearly focused on improving the design of the One, and refining the most important phone features. Samsung on the other hand seems to have promised bonuses to its product designers for every novel feature they could come up with. And then they put every single one of those ideas into the phone. Both are lightning-fast smartphones with excellent screens, but other than that they could not be more different.
Features or gimmicks?
I can’t be sure until I try the S4, but I have a feeling that things like eye control are going to be fun for about 5 minutes. They may impress your friends for another five, but beyond that I can’t see myself using any of it. Once that happens, the S4 is basically an ugly, plastic phone (don’t let the press shots fool you, the faux chrome on my Note 2 is really tacky).
For me, the HTC wins
You can probably tell that I much prefer the HTC One. I love how they’re trying to address real issues, like low-light camera performance, instead of non-existent problems like finger-free scrolling and gestures. Android is based around touch control, and imho what it needs most at this point is a sexy, well-made flagship phone to lure in iPhone users.
But at the same time I’m curious how other Android users feel about this. Are features the most important thing in new devices? Do design and aesthetics matter? Which is your favorite new phone?