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Galaxy S4 Sluggish vs HTC One


  1. rv1458

    rv1458 Member

    Several reviews mention that the the S4 is sluggish compared to the HTC One. I was in the AT&T Store yesterday and did my own testing by restarting both phones to get to a fresh slate, then opening up different apps simultaneously. The first one I did was Facebook. On the HTC One, the app opened and the login screen appeared nearly instantly. Meanwhile the S4 was still loading the app, several seconds later the login screen appeared. This type of lag was consistent across multiple tests I ran.

    I really like the HTC One, for many reasons, including the fact that it runs much more quickly, however I ended up ordering the S4 because it has the superior camera, which is very important to me (again, that statement is based on several reviews I've read and looking at a lot of pictures taken on both phones).

    I'm somewhat regretting getting the S4, but I am hoping that there is a way to disable some of the bloat on the S4 without rooting to speed things up. The S4 has the faster processor, so the fact that it runs slower in real life I attribute to the fact that Samsung has so many stupid features baked into the phone. Perhaps it's something else, but whatever it is, how can I get the S4 to operate as quickly as the HTC One?

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  2. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Well-Known Member

    Very strange!

    The HTC One has the better camera, period. The reason is that it has a physically bigger chip than in any other phone which means it is able to gather much more light. I believe the One is generally recognised as having the best camera on any droid.

    The S4 boast more megapixels, but as ever, megapixels are NOT - repeat NOT - a proxy for camera quality.

    Is it too late to return it?

    From what I've read, the issue is indeed with Samsung's android overlay. Unfortunately, the only thing you can do about this is to root it and install vanilla android (or some other ROM). In theory, that would mean the S4 would absolutely fly.

    If you do root and replace, you will lose many of the features - some of which sound great - that Samsung adds to it's phones. I guess it depends what's more important to you: those super cool features or a super fast phone.
  3. janx218

    janx218 Member

    Seems the majority of the reviews I've read have given the S4 the edge in terms of camera. I've certainly never encountered anyone saying the One had the "best Android camera ever."
  4. rv1458

    rv1458 Member

    True

    While the One does have a physically bigger chip than many phones, it's essentially the exact same size the S4's chip. The One's sensor is 1/3" the S4's sensor is 1/3.06" and the iPhone5's sensor is 1/3.2", for comparison.

    Where the One really benefits is from having larger pixels (fewer pixels on the same size sensor means each pixel is larger). This does give it an edge in capturing light, though the same thing could be accomplished with the S4 by selecting a lower photo size from the menu - this results in multiple pixels on the sensor being combined into a single pixel in the photo.

    All that aside, where the One seems to really fall short is in its processing. From what I've read the software tends to overexpose daylight shots and overprocess in most scenarious resulting in a somewhat fuzzy photo output. Color accuracy is also a little off. If the phone saved the RAW file and users did their own post-processing this wouldn't be an issue, but it doesn't save RAW and most users, including myself don't want to mess with post-processing a 4MP photo taken by a smartphone.


    While I won't post all the reviews and all the pictures I've looked at, I would encourage you to look at DxO Marks testing of the Galaxy S4. While they haven't tested the HTC One yet, I'm anticipating that it will likely earn a score of about 72 on the photo component of the testing vs 79 for the S4. Decide for yourself which you think is better, but I will say that I was quite surprised that the HTC One engineers weren't able to implement better processing algorithms for the camera. Perhaps they will update the software at some point, but there's no guarantee.

    Of course the problem with switching to another ROM (or getting the Google Edition S4) is that you would lose the photo processing software that Samsung developed for the phone, which is, in my opinion, the best part of the phone.
  5. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Well-Known Member

    S4 feels a little slower due to all the feature, setting enabled out of box. But there are certain things you can easily do to reduce lag and make S4 respond faster without rooting.

    1. Turn off double tapping home button for S-voice. you can do this in S-voice setting. It will make home button respond much faster.

    2. Turn off air view, eye scroll and whatever feature you don't need/want.

    3. Go to developer option and change animation rate settings to 0.5x or zero. Default is 1x and it makes phone feel a little slow with animations. I read One is set to faster animation rate by default.

    I bet these will make GS4 feel just as fast as One if not a bit faster.
    rv1458 likes this.
  6. Shocky

    Shocky Well-Known Member

    So do tell us why HTC One images look so less detailed and blurry when you view them on a high resolution monitor or crop them compared to the images on the Galaxy S4 ? :)
  7. jetlitheone

    jetlitheone Member

    Haha, I'd love to know as well. I have both, the S4 trumps and camera phone.
  8. rv1458

    rv1458 Member

    Thanks Sandroidfan, I'll have to try that.
  9. Turbodc2

    Turbodc2 Well-Known Member

    From having both phones, I found that not to be the case with the cameras. From my real world use the s4 smoked the HTC one. Picked up way more detail and better color reproduction. Even In low light with the proper settings the s4 was better.
  10. lutin

    lutin Well-Known Member

    Are you honestly saying that reducing the picture resolution in the camera app of the s4 would result in it taking better low light pictures?

    Wow.
  11. rv1458

    rv1458 Member

    Yes, that was what I was saying. Although, you are probably right, that's probably not how the S4 would handle that. Many cameras have a low light mode that reduces the the number of megapixels and then pixel bins, but that's probably not how the S4 would process that.
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