05-17-2014 04:30 PM
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  1. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Updated: Fixed ZOE (and a quick tutorial on how to fix it) and a few other highlights.
    07-09-2013 11:21 AM
  2. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Updated: What's new with the S4 update and some comparisons
    07-10-2013 07:01 PM
  3. Sophos's Avatar
    Hey WickedRabbit.....I just wanted to thank you for this comparison/review. I know there are a ton of them around but it is nice to get it from a "typical user" standpoint.

    I had been scouring craigslist looking for a deal on an at&t S4 for weeks and finally came across a black HTC One priced so good I couldn't pass it up. Now I've got a guy that wants to trade me his S4 for my One. Problem is I have really been enjoying using the One! I have not had the chance to use an S4 so I've been reading your thread and looking forward to your updates. If you had to pick one over the other, which would you go with?

    Thanks again.
    07-11-2013 02:22 PM
  4. Bl00dRunzC0ld's Avatar
    Thanks for the comparison. I just got an s4 and boy did it lag. Had to put a Google edition ROM on it and that helped. I still want the HTC one though.
    07-11-2013 04:05 PM
  5. rushmore's Avatar
    I do not see the lag folks mention. I have a stock S4 Verizon 32gb and loaded 260 apps on it. Used both stock firmwares and neither have lagged. Even when updating apps in the market at same time. Just as fast as my S3 or faster in UI. Near instantaneous. I use Nova though since do not care for Wiz.
    07-11-2013 05:26 PM
  6. niko_orsini's Avatar
    Thank you for this, it's very helpful for me.
    Next week I'm going to buy my first (yes, I'm an iOS user :P) Android phone and, obviously, the two phones I'm looking at are the One and the S4. And, obviously, I can't decide.

    There's only a thing that worries me about the One: the camera. Is it bad?
    I like taking pictures and store them on my Mac, just to watch them later. I don't want to print them or doing things like that.

    Anyway, the One is really a sexy phone.
    07-11-2013 05:37 PM
  7. anon(6174973)'s Avatar
    Thank you for this, it's very helpful for me.
    Next week I'm going to buy my first (yes, I'm an iOS user :P) Android phone and, obviously, the two phones I'm looking at are the One and the S4. And, obviously, I can't decide.

    There's only a thing that worries me about the One: the camera. Is it bad?
    I like taking pictures and store them on my Mac, just to watch them later. I don't want to print them or doing things like that.

    Anyway, the One is really a sexy phone.
    The One uses the different kind of camera with Ultrapixels. Not sure about how terrible the quality is. But based on reviews, it's not as devastating as others have said.

    Sent from my HP Slate 7 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    07-12-2013 08:18 AM
  8. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Hey WickedRabbit..... If you had to pick one over the other, which would you go with?

    Thanks again.
    Thanks I'm glad you're enjoying the post. As of right now I do find myself going for the HTC One more than the S4. And while there are things I like about the S4 (I like the physical home button, power button on the side, larger display, and Smart Stay) the HTC One just seems like a more polished phone. Right now since I'm not done with the trial I won't say which way I'm going as of yet, but I will say I'm cautiously optimistic in hoping Verizon picks up a 64gb version of this. Using Zoe regularly I just don't see the 32gb being enough.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    Sophos likes this.
    07-12-2013 12:23 PM
  9. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Thank you for this, it's very helpful for me.

    There's only a thing that worries me about the One: the camera. Is it bad?
    I like taking pictures and store them on my Mac, just to watch them later. I don't want to print them or doing things like that.
    I like the camera. The S4 seems to take better photos during the day, but the One is no where near bad. It's a good camera. As the sun starts the drop or when indoors it's not even a contest - HTC shines here. For how I use my camera I'm preferring the HTC One camera as a more well rounded camera. Both take good outdoor photos, but only the One takes good indoor. The S4 are pretty noisy and not usable.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    07-12-2013 12:26 PM
  10. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Updated: Conclusion, final thoughts and observations
    07-17-2013 09:02 PM
  11. Arailah's Avatar
    Thank you so much for posting this comparison.
    I'm thinking of jumping the iOS ship, I've always had iPhones - and am terrified to make the leap.
    I've been trying to decide between the S4 & One and this helped tremendously. I really appreciate the time you took to put the screenshots up.

    I'm thinking I will be getting the One when Verizon gets them this month. I just have been drawn to how colorful and "happy" the S4 looks. Plus S Health looks like a really good app. I'm figuring I can find something somewhat comparable in the App store.

    Anyway - Thank you so much!
    08-02-2013 06:51 PM
  12. jaleesag88's Avatar
    I've owned the One and now the s4, and the picture quality on my s4 is way better than it was with the One. I'm no professional photographer, but I definitely enjoy the photos more that I have taken with the s4.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've owned the One and now the s4, and the picture quality on my s4 is way better than it was with the One. I'm no professional photographer, but I definitely enjoy the photos more that I have taken with the s4.
    08-02-2013 07:59 PM
  13. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Thank you so much for posting this comparison.
    I'm thinking of jumping the iOS ship, I've always had iPhones - and am terrified to make the leap.
    I've been trying to decide between the S4 & One and this helped tremendously. I really appreciate the time you took to put the screenshots up.

    I'm thinking I will be getting the One when Verizon gets them this month. I just have been drawn to how colorful and "happy" the S4 looks. Plus S Health looks like a really good app. I'm figuring I can find something somewhat comparable in the App store.

    Anyway - Thank you so much!
    Glad you enjoyed the write up

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    08-02-2013 08:01 PM
  14. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Update: Since I'm an incredibly picky customer and I obviously have some time to kill before Verizon releases the HTC One anyway, I decided to pickup a Google Edition phone. Haven't decided between the HTC One or S4 Google Edition, but mostly I'm just curious how stock android would fare to me in this comparison. Stay tuned for more updates.
    08-03-2013 02:50 AM
  15. Cool Jeff's Avatar
    Great comparison!
    As we say only God is perfect.Both One and S4 are exellent devices,as an owner of a One I wonder if a 5" screen is not better for my eyes(I have to use glasses for near sight),the camera of the One is big illusion,the limited 4mp are meh in daylight and low light is full of noises and missed focus.The aluminum shell is wow but extremly prone to micro scratches and chipping,also way more difficult to repair outside htc centers.
    The S4 in another hand is "unsusable" under sunlight,and wouldn't give me such high quality sound output on my hifiman RE-272 earphones.
    As for ringtones volume,is that true that a mod on S4 can make them as loud as on the One?
    08-03-2013 04:16 AM
  16. shoii's Avatar
    Great comparison!
    As we say only God is perfect.Both One and S4 are exellent devices,as an owner of a One I wonder if a 5" screen is not better for my eyes(I have to use glasses for near sight),the camera of the One is big illusion,the limited 4mp are meh in daylight and low light is full of noises and missed focus.The aluminum shell is wow but extremly prone to micro scratches and chipping,also way more difficult to repair outside htc centers.
    The S4 in another hand is "unsusable" under sunlight,and wouldn't give me such high quality sound output on my hifiman RE-272 earphones.
    As for ringtones volume,is that true that a mod on S4 can make them as loud as on the One?
    It is in no way "unusable" under sunlight. It is also in no way the best phone under sunlight but very "usable".
    neiljay6 and skidoo like this.
    08-03-2013 04:25 AM
  17. neiljay6's Avatar
    It is in no way "unusable" under sunlight. It is also in no way the best phone under sunlight but very "usable".
    +1. Not the best in sunlight but absolutely usable.
    skidoo likes this.
    08-03-2013 10:56 AM
  18. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Updated: Well, I was too impatient to wait for a Google Edition phone to arrive so I decided to go pick up an LG Nexus 4 at T-Mobile locally since I mainly just want to compare the stock android experience anyway. I'm not too concerned about the hardware for the sake of this comparison, as that can be decided on later. As of right now, the phone is updating to 4.3 (came with 4.2.1 and not 4.2.2 strangely).
    08-03-2013 04:21 PM
  19. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Updated: Apparently, couldn't edit the original post and thought it had saved (reached a character limit). So, going forward I will just add replies, starting here:

    New Challenger - LG Nexus 4 (Stock Android Challenger)

    Well, I just couldn't resist. I had to throw in another to quench my thirst and curiosity for 'the perfect Android phone for me'. Besides, I had some time to kill while I waited for the HTC One anyway.

    So, I picked it up today from T-Mobile and have finished setting it up the same way as the others. Strangely enough, the Nexus 4 came preloaded with 4.1.2. I wasn't expecting 4.3, but definitely thought 4.2.2. would have been loaded at least. Makes me wonder how few of these they are selling at T-Mobile for it to be shipped with that version of the OS - but that's another discussion entirely.

    Either way, here are my first day's impressions:

    • I really like the size of this smartphone. After having gargantuan smartphones for quite some time, this actually feels like a phone and less like a phablet to me and that's a good thing. If you're going to have the menu button at the top of the screen (because of no dedidated menu key) then having a slightly smaller screen helps quite a bit.
    • You'll be hardpressed to tell the difference between this 720p display and the Galaxy S4 or HTC One at normal (think 12" away) viewing distance. However, get a little closer and it's there. You'll see the pixels with the N4, whereas you'll strain trying to find them on 1080p displays. Like I said, though, at normal viewing distance, this isn't noticeable. Colors are closer to the HTC One, meaning more natural and whites look more white, people look more natural, but of course vibrancy, saturation and blacks are king on the S4. Also, in terms of outdoor visibility, the N4 sits between the HTC One (as best in my opinion) and S4 (worst of the 3).
    • Performance of stock android is superb - ever so slightly smoother than the HTC One, which I mentioned ran pretty flawless even with CPU Power Save on. Virtually everything opens and closes with no lag and almost instantly. It's a great experience. Given that this is 1yr old hardware, it's easy to tell how optimized the OS is. It's a pleasure to use. I'm normally a huge fan of physical buttons (hence my love for the S4), but I will admit I have absolutely no issue switching and using onscreen nav keys at all and today is only Day 1 of possibly 30.
    • Haven't played around much with the camera, but I will say it will take some time to get use to the controls and options. It's a very different experience than the standard versions of the S4 and HTC One. Also worth noting is that on 4.2.1 the screen had to rotate when switching from landscape to portrait or vice versa. A dumb thing and not sure why and after upgrading to 4.3 it's still there, however it's much faster and has a different animation (fading in/out instead of rotating)


    My overall first impression for Day 1 with stock android is that I'm impressed. It's very smooth and fluid and reminds me very much of my experience with the HTC One, albeit just ever so slightly smoother. The onscreen navigation keys are very easy to adjust to, even coming from a Galaxy S4 and I was so surprised by this in fact it really did sort of make me question why other companies haven't adopted this route yet. I'm still a huge fan of physical buttons, but the main advantage I see to onscreen is that response time seems to be much quicker than both the HTC One and S4. The downside I could see with this, though, is that if you drop your phone and crack the screen you may very well end up having a phone that's not usable if you damage it to the point of not being able to use the onscreen keys.

    While I haven't gotten as much time yet to dive into the main areas I'm comparing (similar to my HTC One vs. S4 above), there were a few quick caveats I'd like to point out.

    For starters, the stock email (not gmail) app is overly simplistic and also in a questionable way. For example, here are your options:



    Yup, other than being able to change your display name, a basic (non-html) signature and the above that's pretty much all you get. Granted, I will say that in terms of looks it's still nicer looking than the one Samsung uses, but not nearly as elegant as HTC's. Samsung wins in options - also the only one having an HTML signature - whereas HTC wins in functionality. For stock android, you basically get a stripped down version of Gmail and I mean that quite literally. Take the Gmail add, strip out some options and that's email right down to the look except you don't get contact photos next to emails. Questionable omissions include the following:
    • Inability to swipe left/right within messages to navigate to the next one (the Gmail app has this, why doesn't email?). There are arrows you can press at the bottom to go left or right to the next/previous message, but no swipe. Doesn't make sense.
    • No options for sorting whatsoever
    • No conversation view
    • No way to send a new meeting invitation
    • 'Flagging' is displayed as 'stars' (ala Gmail style)
    • NO OUT OF OFFICE SETTINGS (NOOO!)


    As someone who relies quite heavily on corporate exchange this alone may very well be a deal breaker. I haven't seen any good exchange replacements that don't look like sin (please, if you know of any let me know) and it amazes me how little attention Google has given this area. I guess Android people as a whole aren't business users apparently in Google's eyes for this to be as terrible as it is.

    Some other weird quibbles I have are with the dialer. Why does the dial screen have an awkward lined background that doesn't show up anywhere else in the OS? This is really jarring since it doesn't match anything. It would have made more sense to use the same background gradient as the very next page over (call logs) that's also shared with everything else in the contacts area. The lines just look tacky.



    I will say this though, the dialer at least works decently. Smooth animations and apparently in 4.3 they finally added 'auto complete' so that it will find names in your address book as you type the numbers/letters using the dial pad. They didn't give it an elegant solution by any means, though, as it just shows 3 options in a small line above the dial pad, but at least it's there. HTC One and S4 definitely win here to me in the fact that you at least get to see a half screen picture (if you have one) of your friends as you type it. Just looks more pleasing.



    Also, I'm not sure if this is a bug or what, but it's weird how previews show in 4.3. If you look, some preview windows only show a corner of the entire window. I took a screenshot to compare to my S4 to see how it shows the entire preview for all windows.



    Lastly for today, I thought that in stock android you were able to have a pin lock and still pull down the notification shade? Doesn't seem to be the case with my N4 unless it has to do with my corporate email or some setting I'm missing. A little disappointed by that.
    08-04-2013 02:06 AM
  20. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Another day and a few more observations:

    Everything just opens, loads and closes a lot quicker/smoother on stock android.
    Yes, everything. Solely comparing just the apps that I use on all 3 devices - Nexus 4, HTC One and S4 - I feel comfortable saying that everything is nearly flawless on the Nexus 4 when it comes to speed. Given that this device is running on year-old hardware (not bad hardware by any means, but definitely behind when it comes to the One and S4) that's very impressive and also proves that optimizing your software is far more important than maximizing your hardware (I'm looking at you, Samsung). Score 1 for stock android.

    Stock Android is the Apple of the Android world
    Like Apple, you don't get every feature you would want (that's what the skinned version of Android is for) in the stock Android OS (or hardware for that matter). But, also like Apple, you get a very smooth, simple experience. Everything works as it should and while there may be little things you dislike here or there because it's probably missing, it may not be a huge enough issue to force you to a skinned version of Android. You're reading this from a guy who has never owned a stock android smartphone until now and has only had it for a few days. I personally love skinned versions of Android because of the extra features they sometimes add to the experience and before actually owning a stock android smartphone I always looked at stock android as sort of 'lacking' and 'not worth my time'. Overall, in just a few days, I definitely see the charm in stock android and it's also a mind-tickling to know that you own a device that you'll for sure get updates on.

    Suddenly, my S4 feels cheap...
    Using the HTC One first made me look at my S4 with a little less zeal. Then, using the Nexus 4 pretty much made my S4 feel cheap. I'm referring to the combination of using both the N4 and One. Both of these devices just flat out outperform the S4 in terms of speed and fluidity and in that way make the device feel more premium to me. Before using those two devices I had sort of gotten use to the idea that Android is "buggy" - something that I personally think some companies take advantage of (knowing their customers likely have not used an Android smartphone that isn't buggy) - and just expected to see bugs. But, then I was brought into the light with the HTC One and N4 to realize that no, Android is no longer buggy and probably hasn't been for quite some time. But rather, some companies just haven't optimized their versions well at all. *wags finger at these companies*

    ...could I make the switch from skinned to stock?
    This is a tough one. With the S4 I will say that I no longer feel that this is the best Android smartphone you could own as I once did when I bought it. In fact, I am sort of just counting the days down to when I replace it with something else. I can easily replace it with an HTC One (or One Max if Verizon gets it) and be happy with that. However, then came the Nexus 4. While the HTC One really impressed me with its near flawless performance and a skin that I do think adds a lot of value to Android, the Nexus 4 is just simple, fluid in every way and looks sharp doing it. Sense to me adds a lot of features to Android that I do find useful (especially the email application), but then there's that lingering thought that I really do feel that HTC hasn't changed much when it comes to their poor upgrade history and likely a very late appearance of 4.3 (sometime late next year) will be the last OS upgrade any HTC device released this year will see given the fact that as of now they are technically 2 versions behind in the states.

    So, this raises the almighty question: What do I value more: software upgrades or features? If you would have asked me that before trying out the Nexus 4 I would have said software features without hesitation. In fact, before deciding to add the Nexus 4 to this test you'll recall I already said I was going to happily grab an HTC One when it hit Verizon. As of right now, I'm quite torn in the middle, but every time I pick up the Nexus 4 I'm leaning more and more toward stock Android, as I think in the long run it seems like it'd be a lot easier to keep a stock android smartphone for more than a year than it would be for a skinned version that'd likely be running 1-2 year old OS.

    This, of course, creates another decision for me: carrier. Remember, I'm on Verizon and Verizon likely will never see a stock Android smartphone again. The closest they'll get is probably the Motorola X and while that's not 'stock' it's close, but also it'll be launching with 4.2.2 and not 4.3 (also proving how slow their updates likely will be). I have T-Mobile now for this Nexus 4 test and while I love the price, their service sucks here. I didn't have any problems with AT&T when I tested the HTC One, but I don't like the fact that I'd have to give up my grandfathered unlimited everything plan if I left Verizon. What does this tell you, though? Well, the fact that I'm even considering giving up my unlimited plan says how impressed I am with stock android. I really do think this is the best way to experience android and if I'm able to let go of a few features (there's nothing I've 'missed' about my S4 when playing with the Nexus 4 and while I love Zoe on the HTC One I know I could live without it) I likely will end up with a stock android smartphone on AT&T. I might even just keep my Verizon, use it for something random, like an iPad if I can switch it to my unlimited plan and then get a phone on AT&T for a stock android smartphone.

    Try before you knock it...
    I knocked stock android for years before ever really trying it. Don't make my mistake. Android is really solid at this point and I think many people may actually be surprised by its performance. If you can live without some of the bells and whistles found in skins, stock android may be very impressive to you. Right now, I haven't completely made up my mind which way I'm going, but I do like stock android. I can definitely see that not everyone will, but if you value a smooth performance over some features you may use 'some of the time' then you can't go wrong. Also, you know you'll get updates when they come out.

    I will say this, though, I'm not impressed currently with any of the current hardware for stock android in terms of what I'd buy to keep me satisfied for 1-2 years. The S4 GPe would probably be my favorite device right now, but coming with only 16gb built in and limited memory card support this doesn't give me the most confidence I'd be happy with it. The HTC One GPe has more storage, but the wrong button layout, creating the dreaded menu bar in some apps I use that I think would kill the experience. The Nexus 4 performs flawlessly, but there's no way I can live with only 16gb storage as its biggest option. I'm curious to see what other GPe's come out, as currently the rumored Xperia Z GPe and Moto X may be the better versions given that they have the stock android button layout. Or, if Google updates the next Nexus as I hope they do (1080p screen - not likely - more storage (possible) and better battery life (possible) and I decide to go with stock android then I may just end up with the next Nexus.
    08-06-2013 01:50 AM
  21. Cool Jeff's Avatar
    Try Google Edition (same OS as N4) roms on your One and you won't leave the One for N4 anymore
    08-06-2013 03:17 AM
  22. niko_orsini's Avatar
    Another day and a few more observations:

    Everything just opens, loads and closes a lot quicker/smoother on stock android.
    Yes, everything. Solely comparing just the apps that I use on all 3 devices - Nexus 4, HTC One and S4 - I feel comfortable saying that everything is nearly flawless on the Nexus 4 when it comes to speed. Given that this device is running on year-old hardware (not bad hardware by any means, but definitely behind when it comes to the One and S4) that's very impressive and also proves that optimizing your software is far more important than maximizing your hardware (I'm looking at you, Samsung). Score 1 for stock android.

    Stock Android is the Apple of the Android world
    Like Apple, you don't get every feature you would want (that's what the skinned version of Android is for) in the stock Android OS (or hardware for that matter). But, also like Apple, you get a very smooth, simple experience. Everything works as it should and while there may be little things you dislike here or there because it's probably missing, it may not be a huge enough issue to force you to a skinned version of Android. You're reading this from a guy who has never owned a stock android smartphone until now and has only had it for a few days. I personally love skinned versions of Android because of the extra features they sometimes add to the experience and before actually owning a stock android smartphone I always looked at stock android as sort of 'lacking' and 'not worth my time'. Overall, in just a few days, I definitely see the charm in stock android and it's also a mind-tickling to know that you own a device that you'll for sure get updates on.

    Suddenly, my S4 feels cheap...
    Using the HTC One first made me look at my S4 with a little less zeal. Then, using the Nexus 4 pretty much made my S4 feel cheap. I'm referring to the combination of using both the N4 and One. Both of these devices just flat out outperform the S4 in terms of speed and fluidity and in that way make the device feel more premium to me. Before using those two devices I had sort of gotten use to the idea that Android is "buggy" - something that I personally think some companies take advantage of (knowing their customers likely have not used an Android smartphone that isn't buggy) - and just expected to see bugs. But, then I was brought into the light with the HTC One and N4 to realize that no, Android is no longer buggy and probably hasn't been for quite some time. But rather, some companies just haven't optimized their versions well at all. *wags finger at these companies*

    ...could I make the switch from skinned to stock?
    This is a tough one. With the S4 I will say that I no longer feel that this is the best Android smartphone you could own as I once did when I bought it. In fact, I am sort of just counting the days down to when I replace it with something else. I can easily replace it with an HTC One (or One Max if Verizon gets it) and be happy with that. However, then came the Nexus 4. While the HTC One really impressed me with its near flawless performance and a skin that I do think adds a lot of value to Android, the Nexus 4 is just simple, fluid in every way and looks sharp doing it. Sense to me adds a lot of features to Android that I do find useful (especially the email application), but then there's that lingering thought that I really do feel that HTC hasn't changed much when it comes to their poor upgrade history and likely a very late appearance of 4.3 (sometime late next year) will be the last OS upgrade any HTC device released this year will see given the fact that as of now they are technically 2 versions behind in the states.

    So, this raises the almighty question: What do I value more: software upgrades or features? If you would have asked me that before trying out the Nexus 4 I would have said software features without hesitation. In fact, before deciding to add the Nexus 4 to this test you'll recall I already said I was going to happily grab an HTC One when it hit Verizon. As of right now, I'm quite torn in the middle, but every time I pick up the Nexus 4 I'm leaning more and more toward stock Android, as I think in the long run it seems like it'd be a lot easier to keep a stock android smartphone for more than a year than it would be for a skinned version that'd likely be running 1-2 year old OS.

    This, of course, creates another decision for me: carrier. Remember, I'm on Verizon and Verizon likely will never see a stock Android smartphone again. The closest they'll get is probably the Motorola X and while that's not 'stock' it's close, but also it'll be launching with 4.2.2 and not 4.3 (also proving how slow their updates likely will be). I have T-Mobile now for this Nexus 4 test and while I love the price, their service sucks here. I didn't have any problems with AT&T when I tested the HTC One, but I don't like the fact that I'd have to give up my grandfathered unlimited everything plan if I left Verizon. What does this tell you, though? Well, the fact that I'm even considering giving up my unlimited plan says how impressed I am with stock android. I really do think this is the best way to experience android and if I'm able to let go of a few features (there's nothing I've 'missed' about my S4 when playing with the Nexus 4 and while I love Zoe on the HTC One I know I could live without it) I likely will end up with a stock android smartphone on AT&T. I might even just keep my Verizon, use it for something random, like an iPad if I can switch it to my unlimited plan and then get a phone on AT&T for a stock android smartphone.

    Try before you knock it...
    I knocked stock android for years before ever really trying it. Don't make my mistake. Android is really solid at this point and I think many people may actually be surprised by its performance. If you can live without some of the bells and whistles found in skins, stock android may be very impressive to you. Right now, I haven't completely made up my mind which way I'm going, but I do like stock android. I can definitely see that not everyone will, but if you value a smooth performance over some features you may use 'some of the time' then you can't go wrong. Also, you know you'll get updates when they come out.

    I will say this, though, I'm not impressed currently with any of the current hardware for stock android in terms of what I'd buy to keep me satisfied for 1-2 years. The S4 GPe would probably be my favorite device right now, but coming with only 16gb built in and limited memory card support this doesn't give me the most confidence I'd be happy with it. The HTC One GPe has more storage, but the wrong button layout, creating the dreaded menu bar in some apps I use that I think would kill the experience. The Nexus 4 performs flawlessly, but there's no way I can live with only 16gb storage as its biggest option. I'm curious to see what other GPe's come out, as currently the rumored Xperia Z GPe and Moto X may be the better versions given that they have the stock android button layout. Or, if Google updates the next Nexus as I hope they do (1080p screen - not likely - more storage (possible) and better battery life (possible) and I decide to go with stock android then I may just end up with the next Nexus.
    Interesting comparison.
    How do you find N4's battery life and camera compared to the SGS4 and One?
    08-06-2013 05:07 AM
  23. AMG_Roadster's Avatar
    I seem to be in the minority (but far from the only one) that is having issues after AT&T rolled out a radio update for the HTC One. I am having issues with dropped calls, sound quality on calls, and a decrease in batter life. The screen size and camera on the S4 have been a big draw for me. While I have been debating what I am doing with the HTC One I think the issues I am now encountering have killed the device for me. I think I am going to have to swap it out for the S4 unless the G2 hits stores in time for me to get it.
    08-06-2013 08:48 AM
  24. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Try Google Edition (same OS as N4) roms on your One and you won't leave the One for N4 anymore
    I understand your suggestion, but I have absolutely zero desire or interest in rooting my devices any further. I won't be going down this route.


    Interesting comparison.
    How do you find N4's battery life and camera compared to the SGS4 and One?
    Camera is ok in bright sunlight. Doesn't take the best photos, but doesn't take the worse photos. It's a midrange camera. If you only care about looking at the pictures on your smartphone or at lower resolutions it's fine. Anything bigger, not so much. As far as battery life it's nothing to brag home about. It'll probably make it through a standard work day for a light to medium user. Heavy user I doubt it. It seems to drain quick compared to the HTC One and S4 when idle. I can go to sleep for about 7-8 hours and wake up with may 1-2% gone on the One and S4, whereas 10-15% gone on the N4. I'm guessing that's one of the advantages of the newer Snapdragon S600 compared to the S4 Pro.
    08-06-2013 09:56 AM
  25. WickedRabbit's Avatar
    Interesting comparison.
    How do you find N4's battery life and camera compared to the SGS4 and One?
    Well, I decided to do a very unscientific camera comparison. I'm no professional in these types of tests, so I decided to just use the cameras as most people will: auto mode. I took two shots and tried my best to get the exact same angle by first taking one shot and then replacing the phone with the other without moving one of the hands that I held the phone with. Both lenses are placed relatively in the same spots on both the N4 and S4 so they really should be as close to the same shot as possible.

    Here are the three shots that I took and I'll note some observations below as well:



    The first thing that surprised me is that when I posted above that the N4 wasn't bad, but wasn't great I was making that claim based on how the photos looked on the screens. Big mistake. On screen, the S4 appeared to take a much better shot. Looking at these two photos (which I scaled the resolution width from 3200'ish to 1920 on both) revealed things not seen on the screens.

    In the first photo of my dog, the N4 clearly took a better photo. The S4 looks washed out and the floor detail to the right of my dog is virtually gone entirely. Compare that to the N4 and you can clearly see the carpet floor detail. What's interesting to note for me is that neither replicated colors accurately. Colors would actually fall somewhere in the middle between these two photos. Whereas the S4 tried to lighten up the photo too much, the N4 darkened it, losing some detail that a little more light would have made up for. Both cameras had flash set to auto, but neither used the flash and the room at that corner has moderate light levels coming in through a large window. The S4 tries to bring out more detail than the N4 does. If you focus on the ears and nose, you'll see what I mean. By darkening the photo the N4 loses some finer details. It makes this particular photo look better overall, but detail is lost. While the S4 looks washed out, it still has a little more detail to me than the N4. Had there been a lot more light my guess is that the S4 would have taken a better shot overall. But, in this test, the N4 wins.



    Moving on to the second photo of a thick placemat there are some similarities here that also showed up in the first photo. Again, colors of both are off, but this time the S4 would be much closer in color reproduction than the N4. This part of the room was being lit by a standard ceiling fan light bulb (yellow'ish tint bulb). The N4 takes the light in the room and then basically added it to the photo, making the placemat look orange in appearance. The S4 compensated and got very close to the actual colors - making this photo much more natural and the better looking of the two. In terms of detail, right above the word 'Italia' to the left you'll see there's damage on the placement that's almost hidden entirely in the N4 photo. Winner here: S4.



    Let's take one more photo of something just to see how it stacks up. Outside time. Here, I took a picture of my neighbors motorcycle under natural sunlight this morning. At first glance I really had a hard time telling the difference between the two. They are virtually identical to me. The only real difference I spotted has to do with the red color on the motorcycle. The S4 over saturated the red slightly, making it appear brighter than it really is. The N4 is more accurate in this respect, looking slightly darker. Really, this is probably personal preference at this point for these two photos, as they are practically the same.

    Well, after actually looking at the photos on a computer it seems the camera on the N4 isn't that bad after all. Lighting will definitely play a big part since the indoor shot under a light bulb I thought colors were way off in color mode. Outside, though, it seems to hold up well to the S4. If you tinker with settings (I don't like to cause I'm lazy) you can get good shots out of the N4 easily.
    niko_orsini likes this.
    08-06-2013 12:09 PM
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