HTC One vs iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 vs S4 vs Note 2 vs Nokia Lumia 620

Now if you are expecting a blow by blow specification review, go read any other review out there that states the obvious. Apart from the Samsung Galaxy S4 I have owned personally all the above phones. I currently use the HTC One as my main driver, with the Nokia Lumia 620 as my backup now. So what am I going to write about. Well my personal view and strengths of each phone from a real user experience. Having a phone with a heap loads of features and specifications are useless if they provide no real benefits or simply never get used.

Hopefully from my comparisons of each you can decide which phone is for you. This is more of a birds eye view looking down. So lets start with my current phone.

HTC One – key benefits is its design and looks. You will feel proud to have this in your possession. Whatever it cost you, you will always feel it was worth it. It makes other phones including the iPhone 5 look inferior. The lengths HTC have gone to make setting this up simple and transferring your stuff from any phone or even an iPhone is commendable. Also the manual is one of the best written and easiest to understand. The camera will always capture that moment first time. And the sound quality is superb, probably the best I have heard on any phone through the speakers or headphones. It also comes with a modest software suite that means you will actually find time to use most things provided. It’s focus is on its solid build, media, photo, sound and vision. As it has a slight curve on the back, it is fairly comfortable to hold. The screen is the best in class at present too. Truly fabulous screen. I think somebody at HTC thought what features does a phone really need to provide the best benefits to its customers. And that’s why the user experience is so satisfying. It is the first android phone I have used that doesn’t need tweaking, doesn’t need changing the launcher away from Sense and just works out of the box.

iPhone 5 – a compact phone but its aluminium is susceptible to being scratched. It’s angular edges also make it not that comfortable to hold but with a case that becomes not so much a problem. It is also the lightest of all the phones, and feels if I’m honest too light. It runs iOS which looks tired, as it appears not to have changed from a visual point of view that much since 2007, is actually in fact, very capable. iOS advantage is on the gaming apps. I don’t think the advantage is there anymore on the apps as android has caught up, and in several cases exceeds iOS. This is mainly due to the fact android has better sharing and multitasking. However, despite the iPhone 5 feeling tired, it is anything but that. It is a very competent phone, great call clarity, a camera so basic yet still very good even despite the competition. And if you don’t have a clue about phones you can’t go wrong with the iPhone 5. If you have other Apple products, then the iPhone 5 comes into its own sharing photos and apps between devices. However, I do feel the new HTC One steals the crown away as it is just as easy to use, and looks and feels like the new iPhone should have. However a new iPhone can’t be too far away, so maybe it might steal the thunder back. Another point to remember is if you have a problem with your phone, you can visit your local Apple store and walk out 10 mins later with the problem normally resolved. No other company offers such a brilliant after sales service.

Samsung S3 and S4 – I’m going to lump these two together as they are similar and based on each other. What you get is a slim powerhouse of Samsung software and hardware with more features than your kitchen sink. And that’s the downside as well as the upside. If you want to show off features like pop up video player, multiview screens or any of the gestures, the crazy amount of software, S Voice (Apple Siri clone ) and so much more, than this phone is for you. The camera and audio are good too, with loads of options. But remember in reality you won’t use a fraction of the stuff let alone remember how to use it all. I’ve seen many friends with an S3 and only using it to make phone calls and take photos or videos. Sacrilege I know but that’s reality. It’s also made of plastic, so unlike the iPhone and HTC One it looks cheap. However, that does mean you get removable batteries and memory card expansion. The memory card can only be used for photos, music and documents and not storing apps. Personally with the move towards more stylish phones I think Samsung should have upped their game and not used plastic. Some might say that with the functions of the S4 including software like S Health it really is a game changer. I doubt it. And remember it is bad enough company’s knowing a lot about you, but with S Health you are potentially providing information about your fitness and more. Too much data provided in my opinion.

Samsung Note 2 – it’s too big for most people due to its massive size. The HTC One is a better compromise in screen size and overall phone size. However its monster size does lend for ease of viewing anything. Multiview is a good feature too. As its big, so is the battery that will give you 2 days use with relative ease. It also features the kitchen sink like the S3 and a decent camera again. But Samsung realise the phone is a bit complicated so they feature another launcher option called easy mode. Goes back to my original comment that most people won’t use half the features. The features are mainly there to help sell the phone. However despite it size it’s a popular device. It also has a stylus just to slow you down even more. Well it does look cool. So if you want big, 2 days battery life and something that does everything the Note 2 is ideal.

Nokia Lumia 620 – this was my main phone for a week until I got the HTC One. However, I really loved this phone. It’s runs windows phone 8 so works on the concept the home screen is live tiles of your life, updating accordingly. And you know it really works well. Nokia provide a good suite of software from turn by turn Satnav , maps, music streaming and more and all free that make the 620 a bargain. It costs nearly 4 times less than any of the above phones. However windows phone 8 lacks apps and games, especially games, so it no good if you need a specific app that’s not available on the windows platform. But if that is not an issue, its the best option vs cost than all the others. It also features removable and changeable coloured backs, and a water proof back is available soon. The screen and battery life are good too, plus it comes with a reasonable camera. It’s the only phone I wouldn’t fit with a screen protector or use a case with. It’s feels the best in the hand over all the above phones, and the sort of phone you could mistreat more than the others and not feel worried.

Being totally biased if I had to chose one phone it would be the HTC One. Stunning looks and screen. Great software and hardware too. And it’s the first phone I feel I could keep longer than normal.

11 thoughts on “HTC One vs iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 vs S4 vs Note 2 vs Nokia Lumia 620

  1. Hello,
    I have been reading all your reviews of the new HTC One. I was a little unsure about it at first… reading some positive, some negative reviews and I have to say, thanks to you I will buy it too, you have convinced me 🙂
    My current phone is SGSII. It’s a great phone but it is now almost 2 years old and I have been looking for a replacement.
    I hoped that new Samsung 4 will change from S3 because I hate that design… it did not happen.

    Nice reviews, thanks.

    PS. excuse my bad english…


      1. Maybe you could help me with one thing, do you remember how much free space is available from the 32GB on the HTC One.

        Thank you


  2. And the Dropbox space is additive in that if you have 20gb already the HTC One package adds to that space.

    I agree with Gavin as I have also owned the two current Samsung devices.


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