Why I feel The Verge failed me when they reccomended an HTC One over an S4
I want to preface this by saying that I'm a bit of a fan of the core group of writers here and have followed them since engadget, so needless to say many of the decision's I have made in terms of technology have been in some degree influenced by them. When I set out to pickout a smartphone, I compared both reviews on the site, as I usually do as a final avenue of information when making a tought tech decision, and everybody at The Verge seemed to pick the HTC One for it's "build quality". While Nilay went so far as to state the hardware on the S4 was garbage in one of the vergecasts. As I usually trust the core Verge staffers, I went to my local at&t and picked up a One Immideately. The first week I enjoyed the speakers and the display but, as I entered the second week of using the phone, I began to realize why they were so wrong. I had forgot to factor in that while an HTC One may have a more premium feel than an S4, in the real world where people cannot afford to use their phones naked and, an HTC One does not dress up well at all. Putting it in a case makes the phone very uncomfortable to use making it appear like a giant slab of an android phone that we see around so much nowadays, this look and feel was something I was afraid of when switching over to android. I also initially thought, I could manage with the One's battery afflictions but that was not the case at all, battery life was horrendus, it never made through one of my regular days. On top of all of this in the second week of use my One began to deteriorate before my eyes, suddenly everything making it a great phone stopped working for me out of the blue. "Boomsound Speakers", actually became very painful to use because of an annoying static noise intermmittent with use, I eventually learned this issue was very common among users. I also had a a wierd purple shadow on my One appear with lowlight shots. While maybe I had bad luck with my particular model my situation similar to many other owners of the phone leaves a lot to say for the lack of consistentcy in HTC manufacturing. I had known they were plagued by supply issues but, didnt expect in my wildest dreams that their quality control was this bad. Needless to say I was not happy and was so frustrated with the prospects of using the phone, even a new one again that I decided to try out the S4 at the cost of a 35$ restocking fee. It was probably the best decision I've made in a while. When, as most people do, I slapped a cover on the S4, I was really suprised how great it felt in my hands. It was much more comfortable to use with one hand which I found quite suprising, the lack of a centralized home button on the One was the real culprit here. That is a factor very few take into account, and that is ease of use. To me the S4 with a great case felt 10 times better and more comfortable than the One ever felt on a good day. I also realized that the supposed over saturation on the S4's display wasn't a real issue at all, I found myself enjoying videos alot more on the S4. I also found that samsung's touchwiz was a lot more snappier than sense, that for me at times got a bit sluggish, probably beacause it's running an outdated version of android. After a week of solid use with the S4, I can now say I am truly satisfied. In the days after, I began to reflect on how I made such a bad initial decision and I realized that in large part it was my reletlessness to follow the lead of the core verge staffers. Watching a vergecast the other day really cemented a fear that I had for a long time and that is that, at times the core verge staffers have lack of reviewing techonology for real world people at times. Hearing Paul and Nilay rant about how horrible the S4 was because of it's "build quality" really hits it on a head. You can't possibly rule out a phone because of how it feels naked without taking a myriad of other factors into account, that's also ignoring the fact that in the real world people put cases on their phones and consequently don't really care about the materials used to make it because they won't see them at all. I hope anyone that reads this that is currently on the fence between these two phones, does not take the verge staffer's words as the law of the land, sometimes they can be very wrong.