Samsung and HTC, a personal opinion
So everybody has personal opinions but I would like to see who agrees or disagrees with me and maybe start some smart discussion.
First at bat, HTC.
This is a company thats had its good days and bad days, to many it appeared that last year HTC had a good thing going with the One series of phones but failed and we all know why. I like to think that the reason HTC has had such a rough time lately is because although they make great hardware their error was in trying to guess what consumers wanted instead of giving them everything. The one X would've been a great phone, that amazing screen and beatiful design..sadly everything else sucked. Fast forward to this year and you see the One doing great! Every tech site praised its hardware and design, things like battery and camera are totally mixed with some sites saying its amazing and others saying its mediocre but nobody said its bad. Noteworthy of course is the fact that sites like gsmarena and anandtech, sites that give out real numbers and have standardized tests, praised its battery life (anandtech also praised the camera and gave it an award).
It will take a lot more than a great phone to have great sales however and even though HTC may not have the marketing muscle of samsung or apple I hope that word of mouth and great customer satisfaction (if the one can achieve it) can get HTC back on its feet. Sense 5 is important, in my personal opinion its great! its been dramatically slimmed down and with a complete design overhaul it actually looks good now (I always thought sense was uglier than TW) Not only that but its so smooth now, so much so that nobody has been able to get this thing to lag or stutter. We have to give credit to HTC for trying new things, things like Boomsound, Zoe, Ultrapixels, and giving us a 32gb standard at a reasonably cheap price These are things we can actually use unlike some of the features of another certain OEM..
The behemoth no longer has to innovate. Samsung has made great moves and is reaping the benefits now. The GS4 is a great device but brings nothing new to the table. The new features *cough gimmicks *cough are just something that samsung could market. This is completely understandable and I dont mind much since we can just turn it off. The problem here is touchwiz. It is not the glossy plastic that makes the GS4 feel cheap, its touchwiz. Touchwiz feels like the heaviest skin but only because its so ugly and full of huge widgets that dont really do anything unless you touch 'em. The Gs4 stutters (sometimes) when performing basic tasks and I want to think that this is because of all the gestures and crap thats going on. Touchwizz is good in the fact that it has a lot of options but the bad thing is that all these things make it heavy and BIG, only 8.8gb usable from your 16gb galaxy? Shame on you! I can't help but imagine what the gs4 would be like with a matte finish and redesigned skin.
This is a great time to buy a smartphone
I don't know which device I will get, I want the One more but I'd have to import it, the GS4 suits my needs better and is already available on my carrier. The big vibrant screen and slightly smaller body along with the durability of plastic phones tempts me into buying it. I would also however like stereo speakers and the ability to take pictures in the dark. It is indeed a good time to buy a smartphone.