Samsung’s highly anticipated launch of the latest Galaxy S handset made people think if it is indeed the best smartphone out there that runs Google’s Android OS. After the noise surrounding the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 has subsided, we are left to wonder if the new phone is worthy to be called the king of Android phones.
Samsung obviously did its best to offer the public a smartphone worthy of the “flagship” label, but the problem is, there are other smartphones that are vying for the best Android phone title and they are also beasts in their own right. It is hard to say which Android phone should get the title since everyone has something to say about everything and individual tastes vary considerably. It does not help that these new Android phones are different not only in hardware specs but also in software features that, to most people, are as important as the hardware itself. What we can do at this point is compare the hardware specs since after all, these are the more tangible factors and are therefore easier to compare.
Among the current crop of Android phones, we are left with a few which really stand out and these are the phones that will be covered in this comparison. The phones that are worthy to be considered among the best right now are the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Sony Xperia Z, the HTC One and the LG Optimus G Pro. These are the new Android phones that try to push the envelope, so to speak, when it comes to hardware specs.
Which one is the best, you ask? That is a tricky question to answer but I can at least highlight the noteworthy features of each phone. Let’s look first at the main specs of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Sony Xperia Z, the HTC One and the LG Optimus G Pro.
Specs Comparison: Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z, HTC One, LG Optimus G Pro
Samsung Galaxy S4
LG Optimus G Pro
Sony Xperia Z
|Screen Size (inches)||5-inch Super AMOLED||4.7-inch Super LCD3||5.5-inch LCD||5-inch LCD|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080|
|Pixel Density (ppi)||441||468||401||441|
|Processor||1.9-GHz Qualcomm quad-core,|
1.6-GHz Exynos octa-core
|1.5-GHz Qualcomm quad-core|
|Internal Storage||16GB, 32GB, 64GBmicroSD slot up to 64GB||32GB, 64GB||32GBmicroSD slot||16GBmicroSD slot|
|Cameras||2.1-MP front, 13-MP rear||2.1-MP front, 4-MP rear||2.1-MP front, 13-MP rear||2-MP front, 13-MP rear|
|Connectivity||4G LTE, HDSPA+42||4G LTE, HSPA, GSM||4G LTE, HSUPA, HSDPA||4G LTE, HSPA+, GSM|
Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
|Weight in Ounces||4.6||5.04||6.07||5.15|
|Size in inches||5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31||5.4 x 2.68 x 0.36||5.91 x 3 x 0.37||5.47 x 2.79 x 0.31|
Obviously, there’s no easy way to compare these smartphones. Like I said, each of these phones has some advantages over the others so ultimately, it boils down to the preferences of the buyers. But if I may point out the best phone in each of the main hardware feature, these are the phones that excel in each.
All phones feature full HD displays with 1920×1080 resolutions so they ought to be good displays and I’d gladly pick any display in the bunch. When everything’s taken into account, the best display is actually a toss-up between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. They have different types of displays and each has its own advantages. The Super AMOLED display is considered one of the best displays but some don’t like how colors become oversaturated, hence, unnatural. But to some, the oversaturation is actually a good thing. In any case, the Super LCD3 on the HTC One has been getting good reviews as well. And because of the smaller screen of the HTC One (4.7 inches), it has a higher per pixel density compare to the display on the Samsung Galaxy S4. The HTC One has 468ppi while the Galaxy S4 only has 441ppi. If pixel density is important to you, you know which one to pick. And while we’re on this topic, it’s worth mentioning that the Sony Xperia Z also has a 441ppi display, which is similar to what the Galaxy S4 offers.
Processor and Storage
This one is for the Samsung Galaxy S4 to claim. The phone features either a 1.9-GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor or a 1.6-GHz Exynos octa-core processor. Either of the two is considered to be superior to the processors of the rest of the phones in this comparison. The 1.9GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor is better by clock speed specs alone, and the octa-core chip is, in theory at least, superior to quad-core chips. Early tests in fact indicate that the Samsung Galaxy S4 indeed has a faster performance compared to the phones in this list. All phones have 2GB of RAM so this will not be relevant in the comparison.
In terms of storage, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One are again the leaders in the pack since they both offer up to 64GB of internal storage. However, the HTC One does not have a microSD card slot so memory expansion is not an option. All the rest of the phones in the list have microSD slots.
This one is a tricky category. Cameras are now not only judged by the megapixel count but by the technology and the sensor used. Having said this, all phones, except the HTC One, feature a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. The HTC One, on the other hand, features a 4-megapixel camera but it touts an “ultrapixel” technology that’s supposed to still result in superior photo quality. The Xperia Z has been getting nice reviews when it comes to quality of shots, so that should make it a front runner in the camera category. The Samsung Galaxy S4 should not be far behind.
Battery Life and Connectivity
Based on numbers alone, the LG Optimus G Pro should be the winner considering it has the biggest battery in the bunch at 3140mAh. However, consider also that it has a 5.5-inch display, which should mean that it consumes more power compared with the rest of the phones in the comparison. The Samsung Galaxy S4 offers the best combination of huge battery capacity (2600mAh) while also being removable at the same time.
In terms of connectivity, all phones offer the same basic LTE and NFC combination so no phone can really claim to have the best connectivity options.
Design, Weight and Thickness
In terms of design, it really boils down to everyone’s personal taste. For me, though, I love the design of the HTC One and the Sony Xperia Z. They both offer a sleek industrial design in a thin package.
Based on actual thickness, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Sony Xperia Z both get the title since they both come in at only 0.31 inch. In terms of weight, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the winner since it’s the lightest at only 4.6 ounces.
These phones are all good. Some stand out because of added features, not necessarily because of hardware specs. The Samsung Galaxy S4 offers software tricks like Smart Scroll and Smart Pause, among others, while the Sony Xperia Z is waterproof. The HTC One and the LG Optimus G also offer features not available on the other two. Ultimately, it’s the buyer who decides which is best. But in terms of hardware, the Samsung Galaxy S4 seems to offer the best set of specs.
Which do you think is the best Android phone in the bunch?