HTC M7 or Galaxy S4?

Galaxy S3

So a friend of mine asked which would I choose, the HTC M7 or the Galaxy S4? After reading several rumors and based off existing hardware (Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC ONE X, and HTC EVO 4G), I would choose the HTC M7.

Again, this is all speculation and for fun. Want to know how I came about that decision, here's the why:

Processors - M7

The S4 is rumored to have an 8 core processor that will have the same power consumption as the 4 core international version of the S3. The M7 will have a 4 core most likely. The current 4 core in the S3 doesn't produce much better results than the 2 core US version of the phone based on several benchmarks and reviews I've seen and read. At the time, I don't think Android, nor many apps knew what to do with all that horsepower. Developers are now starting to get good with dual core processors so I think the time that these two come out, they'll be ready for the quad cores, leaving the 8 core again, with all that power but nothing to really take advantage of it. Also by then, quad cores will be better at power consumption than the current ones.

Internals (Radios, Memory, Storage) - Tie

Both the M7 and the S4 seem like they will be evenly matched in this area as both will probably have 2GB of RAM, LTE, WiFi, NFC, GPS, KFC, etc. etc. and both will have 32GB and 64GB variants with possible 128GB versions as well.

Screens - M7

The S3 uses a pentile AMOLED display, the OneX/EVO uses a super LCD display. Both screen look great in their own right but when placed side by side the LCD looks far better in my opinion. It had better color reproduction and even though the S3 produces deeper blacks, everything else has a weird bluish hue that looks really weird after you've seen the S-LCD. The S4 is again supposed to use a pentile display and the M7 is rumored to sport a new S-LCD3 display. Both will be 1080p however the smaller screen size of the M7 (4.7 inch screen) means it will have a higher pixel density than the S4 (5 inch screen). Also, from a form factor stand point, 5" is just way too big in my opinion. I have the EVO which is also 4.7" and it is almost on the border of being too big but feels just right, any bigger and my thumbs would be straining big time.

Camera - M7

I haven't found much on the S4's camera, but the S3 has a really good camera that some say is better than the ONE X / EVO so if this was all I had to go on I would give this one to the S4. There are rumors floating around about the M7's camera though. It is supposed to have 3 4.7 megapixel sensors which is being dubbed as "ultrapixels". Each sensor is layered on top of the other and each one is dedicated to one color in the RGB color spectrum. So while you'll get smaller pictures, they'll be of much higher clarity. This configuration will produce images that are better than some of Nokia's smart phone offerings which have some of the best cameras in the game right now.

Build Quality - M7

Going solely off of today's existing phones and the track records of both company's, HTC makes phones that feel of higher quality. The S3 is nice looking but in hand feels plastic-y and again, after you've laid hands on the solid metal feeling ONE X and EVO, it's hard to go back to that big plastic phone. The new Windows phones that HTC is making look and feel high quality as well so I wouldn't be surprised if they kept up the trend here. Samsung could surprise us and finally ditch the plastic that they've loved to use in so many of their Android phones but again, I'm making this call based on what exists today.

OS - Depends - Will you Root?

Yes - M7

If you're like me, you will root your phone on day one and flash ROMs until your heart's desire. If that is the case then the OS is moot and all you would really care about is the hardware which if you see the list above, I am highly in favor of the M7.

No - S4

Both phones will come with Jelly Bean 4.2 but that doesn't mean much since both phones will have their big bloated skins running on top of Android. HTC has Sense and Samsung has TouchWiz. Both cause slow down in the operating system, and both mean you will not get updates from Google the day they are available. You will have to wait until the manufactures optimize the latest and greatest version of Android to work with their skin. Samsung has had a better history of providing more timely updates and supporting updates for longer periods of time. HTC hasn't had a very good track record on this front. The add on features that TouchWiz provides also seem pretty cool and more beneficial than those of Sense. Couple that with the fact that Android lets you customize almost every aspect of a phone via apps, you could always replaced your dialer, sms client, or camera with something else while not giving up the other benefits of the skin.

Outcome - M7 (Not as much as you think though)

I'm a geek. I root phones. I customize different Android launchers and use different themes on a weekly basis. People like me will see that the M7 is the winner here. For some that is not the case though. For some, all they care about is the experience of using the phone. All this horsepower won't mean anything if it has a skin bogging it down. If Sense 5 is lighter than the existing version of Sense, then the M7 might be buttery smooth, however at this point, it's a toss up. If TouchWiz is also buttery smooth and provides all and more of the features it has today that might still be enough for someone to pick the S4 over the M7. I think the one thing we can agree on though is that we live in an awesome time right now where mobile phones can do amazing things and at the end of the day, both of these phones will be beasts. So am I crazy to pick a winner based on rumors alone? Here's my number, call me, maybe?
Cheers, Willie

Originally published on my blog on 2/6/2013