Devices – May

2013 has already been a fantastic year for devices but there are certainly a number of standouts. The HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 are two flagship handsets which are tipped to take the mobile market by storm. Here, we take a look at the two heavyweights in action!

HTC One

The first thing that stands out about this device is the design, its stunning looks and premium feel really set this phone apart from the competition. The Taiwanese firm has extended the screen to the edges of the chassis too which mean you get a whopping 4.7-inch Full HD display. HTC have been suffering from free falling profits over the last few years and this phone reflects the passion and money they have invested to put them back on the map. The HTC One is a great roll of the dice and could breathe some life into the firm.

Running on an Android platform the handset packs a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2Gb of RAM. It certainly isn’t a powerhouse but HTC have built their reputation on a simple and minimalist approach to devices.

The Good

The screen on this puppy is incredible! It is sharper than almost anything else I have seen on the market right now. This is also likely to give Apple a kick for their future releases as there is clean air between the two displays. The home screen feed called Blinkfeed is a simple interface that borrows heavily from the Live Tiles of Windows Phone, which HTC is a main contributor to. The tiles are various sizes though, which makes things a little less repetitive for scrolling through content.

The Bad

The HTC One comes with a new feature called Zoe, a mode on the camera that takes 0.6 seconds of HD footage before you press the shutter button and three seconds afterwards, meaning you get a ‘moving photo’ to give all manner of information about what’s actually been happening. Although this is a handy feature for those keen photographers out there it does take its toll on the memory of the phone.

The Ugly

Battery life, this is one area that HTC just haven’t improved enough on. With the addition of new photo and media features the battery takes a hammering. Although this may not be of concern to those focused on the other aspects of the phone.

Verdict

In short, this phone is superb! Will this bring HTC a significant increase in market share is another question.

 

Samsung Galaxy S4

The mobile community have been waiting for this device with the kind of excitement reserved for royal weddings and free beer! There was a little bit of disappointment in the air when the device was launched as the chassis is a close copy to its predecessor the S3. Perhaps Samsung are taking a leaf out of the Apple playbook and not reinventing the wheel every time it launches a new device.

The screen sharpness has improved but it isn’t an HD screen like the HTC One. However Samsung are absolutely brilliant at producing rich screens and for your average user this certainly won’t disappoint. Samsung have include eye scrolling and wave motions into its technology which are two pretty funky features. Why scroll down a screen with your fingers when a phone will just track your eye movements?!

The Good

When you get into the phone and make use of the new features you will be blown away. The integrated Samsung Hub brings together all your media, book, gaming and educational needs in one place. The camera is an upgrade on the previous version but comes with many new features that your average user won’t use. The device also packs a power punch that puts it head and shoulders above everything else in the market right now.

The Bad

After you have actually checked you are holding the right phone the S4 still has that plastically feel of its predecessor.

The Ugly

This is an upgrade not an evolution for the mobile giant. Many will be left disappointed because of this but Samsung have definitely tied together a compelling package.

Verdict

Samsung will sell a shed load of these and it is undoubtedly a great device. The problem is it’s only a bit better than the last version. Perhaps our expectations are too high to meet?

 

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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