Image: Evan Forester/Flickr
We are all mobile geeks, here at Android Authority. we love everything with a power button. we love to comment the latest news and endlessly argue over which phone is better. On the Friday Debate, we pick a hot factor and proceed to discuss it. be part of us!
The Samsung Galaxy S4 finally landed this week, and allow me tell you, we’re a bit relieved that we no longer must speculate. That said, as it typically happens in the rumor-ridden world of tech, some think that the Galaxy S4 does no longer leave up to their expectations.
Was it the new, almost-like-the-old-one design? Was it the truth that the Galaxy S4 leaked days prior to the launch event (which wasn’t that excellent either) in all its glory? I don’t know, maybe we are all just jaded.
Still, some are properly impressed by the hot Galaxy S, and needless to say, the phone will sell in gigantic numbers. On this week’s Friday Debate, the question is - what do you think about the Galaxy S4?
Read our arguments, vote in our poll, join the debate in the comments section!
Robert Triggs ( G+ ): Nice hardware, software not so much
Hardware smart the Galaxy S4 is fairly much everything I’d want in a smartphone and stacks up nicely against best of the line handsets readily available from competitors like HTC and Sony. tremendous screen, excellent camera, successful processors, there’s nothing lacking in this department. I do feel like Samsung spent a little too long working on points which aren’t genuinely that important. Like a touchscreen that works with gloves, smart Pause eye monitoring technology, or Sound Shot? I feel that consumers are most likely to only forget about those characteristics once they’ve opened the box. I’m not totally bought on the direction that Samsung has in intellect for some of its software either. S Health, and crew Play for music seem too niche to immediately attention many consumers. Who’s going to chose ten Galaxy S4s blaring out a tune over a decent stereo system? Come on Samsung. But Samsung did get a few other things right. Including its own proprietary translation and dual video chat software helps the Samsung ecosystem feel that bit more all inclusive. Overall I think the Galaxy S4 is going to be great smartphone, but probably next time someone else should write the presentation. Brad Ward (G+) : Samsung, you just attempted too hard
We love everything with a power button. We desire to comment the contemporary news and constantly argue over which phone is better.
on the Friday Debate, we pick a hot problem and proceed to discuss it. join us!
The Samsung Galaxy S4 sooner or later landed this week, and let me tell you, we’re a bit relieved that we no longer need to speculate. That said, as it frequently happens in the rumor-ridden world of tech, some experience that the Galaxy S4 does not leave up to their expectations.
Was it the new, almost-like-the-old-one design? Was it the fact that the Galaxy S4 leaked days previous to the launch event (which wasn’t that good either) in all its glory? I don’t know, perhaps we are all just jaded. Still, some are completely impressed by the new Galaxy S, and needless to say, the phone will sell in huge numbers.
on this week’s Friday Debate, the question is - what do you think about the Galaxy S4?
Read our arguments, vote in our poll, join the debate in the comments section!
Robert Triggs ( G+ ): Nice hardware, utility not so much
Hardware wise the Galaxy S4 is pretty well everything I’d desire in a smartphone and stacks up nicely against peak of the line handsets available from competitors like HTC and Sony. incredible screen, great camera, powerful processors, there’s nothing lacking on this department. I do feel like Samsung spent a little too long working on aspects which aren’t really that important. Like a touchscreen that works with gloves, smart Pause eye tracking technology, or Sound Shot? i feel that shoppers are likely to just forget about those positive factors once they’ve opened the box. I’m not absolutely sold on the direction that Samsung has in mind for some of its software either. S Health, and workforce Play for music look too niche to right away pastime many consumers. Who’s going to chose ten Galaxy S4s blaring out a tune over a decent stereo system? Come on Samsung. But Samsung did get a few other things right. adding its own proprietary translation and dual video chat software supports the Samsung ecosystem feel that bit more all inclusive.
After Apple released the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint reader, there were quite a few mixed opinions. The problem with fingerprint readers is that while they can add an extra layer of security, they also have security flaws and often don’t work quite as well as intended.
Fingerprint readers on mobile devices are nothing new, but Apple’s latest handset revived the concept and it was only a matter of time before other manufacturers followed suit. First, it was HTC with the One Max, and more recently, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has landed.
The GS5 utilizes a fingerprint reader embedded in the home button, and, like Apple’s solution, it is apparently pretty easy to ‘hack’ using a lifted fingerprint. The video above is from SRLabs and shows how a fake fingerprint can be used to gain unauthorized access to the Galaxy S5. Once you’re in, not only do you have full access to the phone, you can also use your fake fingerprint to initiate Paypal transactions.
While Apple’s iPhone 5S requires an actual password the first time you boot a device, Samsung has no such security method in place at this time. In other words, if someone steals your phone and has the knowledge to lift a latent fingerprint off your device — they can pretty much do whatever they want with your GS5.
Of course, if your phone is lost or stolen, one of your first courses of actions should always be to use Android Device Manager — or whatever security software you utilize on your device — to lock out or wipe your handset remotely. Still, it would be nice if Samsung addresses this ‘hack’ method by at least occasionally requiring a traditional password in between boots.
What do you think, does the existence of this ‘hack’ turn you off from using a fingerprint reader in the GS5 or any other device for that matter? Conversely, do you feel that the risk is relatively small and it’s worth the added convenience of (arguably) quicker log-ins via a fingerprint?
With all the recent interface updates on Android, you would think that physical home buttons and capacitive keys are already considered archaic or even obsolete on Android devices. But it seems even the latest flagships have retained this feature, particularly those from Samsung. The S5, after all, has the familiar home button and capacitive keys as its predecessors, instead of the navigation bar common among most other newer handsets.
One thing has changed, however, and that’s the functionality of the left capacitive button. On the S5, tapping on the capacitive button to the left of Home gets you the multitasking switcher, in which you can switch across recently-used apps.
If you have a device with a capacitive menu button — and assuming you have the Xposed Framework installed — you can install the MenuBeGone module, which does two things:
Force the three-dot menu on all apps, so you still have access to contextual menus
For many power users, the Xposed Framework actually negates the need to install custom ROMs, because many of the customizations previously found in custom ROMs, such as the popular CyanogenMod, AOSP, Carbon and ParanoidAndroid, can be done even on stock ROMs. The only requirement is for the phone to be rooted and for the Xposed Framework to be installed. Xposed does not work on the new Android Runtime (ART) yet, however, so KitKat users will have to revert to the just-in-time Dalvik engine in order to implement these tweaks.
Xposed Framework vs. Custom ROMs?
The existence of Xposed has actually put into question the need to flash custom ROMs in the first place. Sure, installing a custom ROM gets you a more extensive array of tweaks and new functionalities. However, for most users, an occasional tweak here or there would suffice.
Note that in some custom ROMs like CyanogenMod, users don’t necessarily need this tweak, since that particular ROM (and those based on it) includes the ability to change the mapping of the capacitive buttons out of the box. It does not include the ability to force the action overflow button, however.
Head to the source link for the MenuBeGone module, plus other Xposed modules for download.
Just out of curiosity, do you think physical and capacitive buttons are still useful, or should manufacturers like Samsung ditch these for the navigation bar? Also, which is more useful: a capacitive menu button, or a capacitive multitasking button?
While Samsung’s Galaxy S III is getting ready to hit the us in full stride on multiple vendors this month, they’ve also just announced their trendy TecTiles. What are TecTiles you ask? these are programmable NFC tags that will simplify your life using the built-in NFC chip to complete tasks with the swipe of your phone. name your wife when you get in the automobile to head domestic from work, activate apps like navigation, change settings and more all with ease.
check out more on these programmable NFC TecTiles below. Above was just a number of ways users can enjoy NFC capabilities. Program a “Work” TecTile and easily tap your Galaxy S III (or NFC succesful Sammy device) to the tile when you get to work and it’ll automatically set all your settings to work/silent/vibrate mode, maybe activate WiFi, and even open your calender. The options, ideas, and tasks are limitless. Put a TecTile by your doorway so when you get home you could simply tap it to turn on and join to your home WiFi. Neat right? We’ve seen these before with others but were given an possibility to enjoy some of these tricks on the hot Galaxy S III and it worked flawlessly.
These appear to only be compatible with Samsung instruments like the SGS III, the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S Blaze 4G, and the Nexus S for their NFC capabilities. Samsung has even released a TecTile App in the Play shop for easy programming and other functions. Here’s a list of the many one of a kind ways to enjoy Samsung TecTiles. Settings & Applications
• switch phone settings (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ringer/media volume, screen brightness, etc. )
• Launch an application
• join a WiFi Network
• exhibit a message
• Make a call
• Send a text message
• begin a Google talk conversation
• Share a contact or business card
Location & Web
• Show an cope with on a map
• Open a web page
• Foursquare or Facebook check-in
• Automatic Facebook “Like”
• Update Facebook status
• Post a tweet or comply with a contact on Twitter
• Connect on LinkedIn
In a bid to steal the limelight late last week as T-Mobile released the two company’s flagship Android phones on the same day, both HTC and Samsung sent precious gifts to the carrier’s chief exec — golden versions of the HTC One (M8) and the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Throughout launch day, T-Mobile CEO John Legere was (re)tweeting some promotional stuff about the Galaxy S5. Then, some time during the day, appeared Legere’s post about the 24-karat gold-plated HTC One (M8) — not just the mere Amber Gold variant. The CEO apparently got it as a gift from HTC USA and even posted a photo of it on Twitter.
Based on the picture Legere posted on Twitter, the golden One M8 looked like the special gold edition of the HTC One M7 with its 18-karat gold casing, which was made for the 18th MOBO music awards in October last year.
Samsung thought that it could outshine HTC’s glitter, so the Korean company also gifted the CEO with a golden version of the Galaxy S5 a few hours later. Legere also posted about it on Twitter, including a photo of him holding up his new golden toy.
Legere gave no hint about the build quality of the gold Galaxy S5, but based on his Twitter photo, the gold back cover is incredibly bright and shiny.
The T-Mobile CEO, however, will not be the sole owner of a gold-plated HTC One (M8) because the phone variant will be sold in the Middle East.
Samsung, on the other hand, has yet disclose whether the gold Galaxy S5 will be sold to the public. Although, 24-karat gold-plated versions of its predecessor, the Galaxy S4, was sold to the public, courtesy of GoldGenie, so it is safe to believe in the likelihood of the Galaxy S5′s following suit.
Despite having golden exteriors, the HTC One (M8) and Galaxy S5 will bear the same internals as their original variants.
The Galaxy Note 3 will be officially unveiled on September 4 during a particular Samsung media event scheduled to take location in Berlin, Germany , a few days in advance of the IFA 2013 show. As you expect, the internet is crammed with Galaxy Note 3 rumors and leaks, with more reports appearing each day – even Samsung has mentioned the product’s name a few times on particular pages of its website. With less than three weeks to go, we’re going to inform you what we think we comprehend about the device primarily based on these unconfirmed reports blended with educated guesses on the matter. while rumors about an upcoming device aren’t always on the same page, we’ll notice that in the past few months there were some very conflicting rumors out there involving certain design aspects including screen size, and the variety of materials that will be used to build the handset.
That said, here’s what we can be expecting from Samsung’s upcoming flagship extra-large smartphone. Design
The Galaxy Note 3 is expected to be somewhat the image of its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 2. Some reports claim that the handset will have precisely the same dimension as its predecessor, but the display will be increased from 5. 5-inch to 5. 7-inch. Purported Galaxy Note 3 sketch | image Credit: Sim Only Radar
Based on what we’ve see from Samsung in recent years, we expect the Galaxy Note 3 to be slim and all screen (slim bezels that is). Furthermore, we expect round corners and a domestic button to be found on the phone. An S Pen stylus should also be discovered inside. Display size matters
Speaking of the display size, we’ll remind you that early Galaxy Note 3 rumors claimed that the cellphone will have a 5.99-inch Full HD display . But in the final few months we’ve heard time and again that the device will come with a 5.7-inch screen. At some point, we even seen reported evidence that recommended Samsung was testing three display sizes for the handset : 5. 5-inch, 5. 7-inch and 5. 9-inch. The most recent reports that have provided a more complete rumored specifications sheet suggest the phone will come with a 5. 7-inch ( actually 5.68-inch to be more precise ) display. Purported Galaxy Note 3 Prototype | picture Credit: TechTastic
Too flexible or not too flexible?
Samsung was rumored more than once to consider launching the Galaxy Note 3 with a flexible display, but the rumors have been shot down by other reports claiming that Samsung isn’t ready to mass-produce the necessary amounts of flexible shows for a handset if you want to most most likely sell like hot cakes – even though it won’t match Galaxy S4 sales. Samsung has been teasing flexible displays for years now, and when the Galaxy Note 3 may not be the first device to get such a panel, there’s a Galaxy Gear smartwatch in the works that may have such a screen. The Gear can also be supposed to be unveiled on September 4, right alongside the new Galaxy Note model . Plastic continues to be fantastic
In addition to flexible display rumors, we’ve seen plenty of rumors suggesting that the Galaxy Note 3 may come with a metal design – seen as Samsung’s response to the competition’s design advancements. But then we’ve seen a lot of rumors saying that Samsung will still use plastic for the handset . Will a water-proof Galaxy Note 3 also be announced later this year to compete against Sony’s products? We wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen, on account that that Samsung is everyday to make a phone for every need. Show me the pictures
Unfortunately, while there werevarious leaks and alleged sketches of the Galaxy Note 3 in the wild (you can see a number of them above and below), we don’t have any confirmed photographs of the handset for you at this time.
Samsung and HTC have launched their latest flagships, and the two devices have very different roles and aspirations. While Samsung hopes to maintain its position as the undisputed king of the Android hill, HTC is hoping to claw its way back into a market it dominated only a few years ago.
The age old battle of plastic vs metal comes to the fore once again, but both devices have a lot more than just build material and quality to offer. It’ll be quite interesting to see how they stack up against each other.
From the first glance, the two phones could hardly be more different, and that extends beyond the contrasting materials they are made of. Also obvious is that the two phones closely resemble their predecessors, a trait that you may or may not appreciate, depending on how you felt about the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One (M7).
The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with the signature plastic build that, for better or worse, became associated with the name of the series, with a twist offered by the dimpled texture of the back cover. The form factor is largely the same, but Samsung opted for a less rounded general shape compared to the S4.
You get the same button layout on the sides with the volume rocker to the left and power button on the right. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Samsung device without a physical home button on the front, this time featuring an integrated fingerprint scanner. The home button is once again flanked by two capacitive keys, but now comes with a Recent Apps key instead of the Menu button from previous iterations. This is definitely a positive change, that allows for a more traditional multi-tasking experience. The sides are ridged, but they’re still flat enough to feel good in the hand.
The biggest change, when it comes to the design of the Galaxy S5, is of course the back cover, which is still plastic, but features the already well-known dimpled design. It’s probably the most polarizing aspect of the design, as many view it as a setback even from the faux leather texture of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Moving over to the HTC One (M8), you will find subtle but important changes to the aluminium build compared to what was found with the original. In the gunmetal grey version that we have, you get a hairline brushed look on the back that does point towards fantastic build quality. The HTC One (M8) will definitely turn heads and manages to look very executive in the process. Another noticeable difference at the back is the addition of a secondary camera at the very top of the back, the Duo Camera that helps with capturing depth data.
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The big change with the aluminium body is that it now wraps around the sides of the phone, eliminating the polycarbonate that used to be there, and allowing for a smoother and more rounded look and feel, that is definitely an improvement from the more rigid feel of the original. The top of the phone is the only place where you’ll find a polycarbonate strip, which houses the IR blaster and the power button. You might not like the placement of the power button, unless you’re moving from another HTC device, but nonetheless that aspect returns here. Finally up front, you get a larger 5-inch screen, and also making a return, the great performing BoomSound speakers at the top and bottom, making for a taller device all around.
While the HTC One (M8) is definitely the taller device, it is also just a bit narrower than the Samsung Galaxy S5. Reaching across the phone from left to right is easy on both smartphones, but the 5-inch+ form factor makes it quite difficult to reach the top while using either phone in one hand. The shorter Galaxy S5 gets a nod for making things a little easier.
To conclude, handling and build quality are good on both devices, and it all boils down to what material you prefer and which one looks better to you.
Competing display technologies have come a long way, and we see just how far with these smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S5 features the classic Super AMOLED display at 5.1-inch, while the Super LCD 3 screen of the HTC One (M8) is now 5-inch, up from 4.7-inch on the M7.
Super AMOLED brings the signature high saturation with colors that basically pop out of the screen. You’ll certainly get an incredibly vivid experience with the Galaxy S5, with no loss of clarity even at steep viewing angles. After all, DisplayMate praised the display of this smartphone, noting it has the highest brightness, lowest reflectance, and highest colour accuracy of any phone, among other accolades.
That being said, the Super LCD 3 display of the HTC One (M7) was no slouch, and it’s even better on the 5-inch One (M8). It also has great colours, highlighted by the new motifs in Sense 6, and viewing angles are as always, fantastic.
If we were to nitpick, we would say the One (M8) seems to show a little better contrast between colours upon closer inspection, but there is no doubt in our minds that you’ll have a great time playing games and watching videos on either display.
Performance is another instance where either device will give you a really great experience, as both feature the best processing package currently available. You get the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 on both the Western version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8), with the former clocked at a faster 2.5 GHz, compared to the 2.3 GHz of the latter. Backed by the Adreno 330 GPU and 2 GB of RAM, you should have no trouble getting anything done on either of these phones.
While you always hear that TouchWiz lags, the incidence of stutter is lowest on the S5, a testament to both the specs and the optimization of the software. That’s in spite the fact that TouchWiz is once again packed with features to help you get a lot done, sometimes all at once. On the other hand, the HTC One (M8) works with a version of Sense that is even more streamlined. While it may not provide as many features, it’s a good example of how keeping it simple keeps it fast, something that is apparent in this snappy and smooth user interface.
Either way, if you want a fast phone, you get one no matter which one you pick.
With the Samsung Galaxy S5, the removable back cover gives you access to a removable 2,800 mAh battery and the microSD card slot. Having the peace of mind that comes with those features is definitely one of the biggest benefits of choosing the S5.
In the name of durability, the Galaxy S5 comes with an IP67 rating for protection against dust and water, which means that, along with almost complete dust protection, the phone can be immersed in up to 1 meter of water for as long as 30 minutes without a negative effect on functionality and performance. You do have to make sure the back cover is properly in place and that the flap over the microUSB port is closed, but these are very minor inconveniences considering the benefits.
Sensors throughout the phone let you use it as a pedometer, easily move across elements using gestures, and even control your TV using a Smart Remote application. The newest additions in the hardware department are the heart rate monitor on the back of the phone, and the fingerprint scanner integrated into the physical home button up front. While there’s some potential, for now the heart rate monitor is far from a proper fitness companion, as you can’t use it to continuously record your pulse. The finger scanner may add an extra layer of security, but the lack of functionality other than just unlocking means that it’s not really a game changer. (PayPal fingerprint authentication is available in some markets.)
And finally, when it comes to battery life, I found the phone capable of handling heavy usage comfortably over a 12 hour period of time. Especially with the power saving features it offers, you should easily get a full days use out of the Galaxy S5, and of course, have the option to replace the battery on the fly if required.
Moving over to the HTC One (M8), it may not have a removable back cover, but it now features a microSD card slot on its right side. The lack of expandable storage has been one of the biggest gripes with previous HTC flagships, and it’s great to see the company finally taking notice.
HTC put its own spin on the sensors game, making the phone able to tell when you raise it up for use, and then register touches and swipes to activate the phone. It’s an elegant way of getting into the phone without needing to reach for the power button located at the top of the device. You are also able to control your television and set top boxes with the HTC One (M8), using its own Sense TV remote app.
There’s little to say about the speakers on the back of the Galaxy S5. They provide a pretty one-dimensional sound, and they pale in comparison to the enhanced BoomSound speakers on the M8, with their louder, deeper sound.
When it comes to the battery of the One (M8), you may get a slightly smaller 2,600 mAh unit, but you should have no trouble going from dawn to dusk, and even further if you use the power saving features of the phone.
HTC and Samsung go head to head with their differing philosophies of the camera experience.
Samsung did away with some of the many modes on the Galaxy S4 app, and added a few key ones, such as Live HDR and Selective Focus. Live HDR is nice to have when you want to see if shooting in HDR will actually improve your picture. Selective Focus combines multiple images to give you a customizable level of focus; it works well when executed properly, but that definitely doesn’t happen every time.
Samsung’s new 16 MP ISOCELL camera uses updated tech to improve general image quality, and the result is a camera that yields vivid photos with good levels of detail.
HTC decided to stick with the 4 Ultrapixel camera that was included in the original HTC One, but this time with an interesting addition. The Duo Camera adds depth information to every shot, and while it eliminates the amount of processing time found in the Galaxy S5 implementation, it’s just as much a hit or miss situation. Many pictures have an obvious area of blur that the software wasn’t able to correctly process, making the line between foreground and background fuzzy.
Other modes available include Zoes, which are still pretty fun to use and are available for anyone that wants to create nice memories while taking this camera out. Unfortunately, there are limitations to a camera with such a low megapixel count, and it definitely shows when you zoom into any photo, through grain and lack of details. Pictures also tended to be washed out, and lacked dynamic range in my testing. But if you are happy with what initially comes out, then you’ll be able to utilize the pictures from the HTC One (M8) for social media and such without a problem.
We’ll be bringing you a full comparison between the cameras of the two devices in the following days, so stay tuned.
This is an interesting part of the comparison, as there are two very different philosophies at work here. One tries to add to the formula, while the other just wants to optimize what’s already working.
Starting with the Galaxy S5, TouchWiz brings relatively few updates to what was already a feature-heavy software suite, as well as some cosmetic changes. We’ve already covered the heart rate monitor and the finger scanner in the review and feature focus videos in detail, so we’ll look at some of the other features here.
The redesigned Recent Apps screen is accessible through the new capacitive key, replacing the Menu button. The change is welcome, as it brings the UI in line with the majority of new Android devices.
Most features are accessible from the re-designed power toggles section in the notifications menu, which, like the new Settings section, features brightly colored round icons.
Perhaps the biggest change is the introduction of My Magazine, which is essentially Samsung’s answer to BlinkFeed. While it does bring a neat news aggregation feature to Touchwiz, My Magazine is unfortunately not a robust system. It piggy backs on Flipboard, which itself is powerful, but My Magazine pulls from a very limited list of topics, making it less useful than the standalone Flipboard app.
Beyond that, Touchwiz is pretty much the overlay we all know. It’s still bright and uber colorful, and may not be as bloated as before, but still manages to pack a long list of features that you may or may not use. The good news is TouchWiz has clearly been optimized for performance, which is visible even after a few minutes of usage.
Meanwhile, in HTC’s camp, it’s a matter of building upon Sense, rather than extending it with substantial new features. In terms of appearance, this means some subtle changes like the addition of color accents, though you can revert to the previous grayscale look if you prefer it.
BlinkFeed has also been changed a bit. There’s a new scrolling animation , and the library of sources has been greatly extended and enhanced with support for various apps, making BlinkFeed a much richer experience compared to Flipboard. The familiar Sense experience has been streamlined some more in this iteration, making for a smooth and hugely enjoyable user experience.
To wrap up, multi-taskers will enjoy the slew of tools available on the Samsung Galaxy S5, while those looking for a minimalistic style and a better homescreen experience will opt for HTC One (M8).
HTC One (M8)
Samsung Galaxy S5
5-inch Super LCD 3, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 442 ppi
5.1-inch Super AMOLED, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 432 ppi
And so, there you have it, the HTC One (M8) vs. the Samsung Galaxy S5. Ultimately, they are both fantastic smartphones, but depending on your preferences and needs, several features might tip the scales in favor of one or another. If you want an eye-catching phone, the HTC One (M8) will probably be the better choice.
If you’re looking for a powerful camera experience, the ISOCELL camera is a proper upgrade in the optics department. If you’re a multi-tasker, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and its large bag of tricks are ready for you. If you want performance and the ability to fly through your tasks, either phone will work well. But I will give the HTC One (M8) some points for the great media experience made possible by the excellent BoomSound speakers.