Samsung Galaxy S4 Active VS HTC One – Tech Review

The AZTB gadget review team got our hands on the latest Android smartphones and compared the new Samsung Galaxy S4 Active vs HTC One. Our team included a software developer, an engineer, and a public relations specialist who used the phones for three days and put it to heavy use. We asked them to share their opinion on the good vs the “not so much” features. We asked our team to vote on their favorite. Please share below your experience with these smartphones and thoughts on Android advancements. Here is what our team said…
The good

  • The style provided by the aluminum case provides users a “rich” look and feel
  • The battery life was very sustaining. In power save mode (which functioned almost the same as a regular mode) the battery lasted 1.5 days with simultaneous and continuous app use
  • Initial setup was awesome because it provides a link for a website where you can enter all of your user information in one place online and the large screen was helpful during this process.
  • The camera was nice
  • The on/off button at first is frustrating because the button is almost hidden-but it is convenient because the phone does not accidentally get pressed in one’s pocket
  • There are one-time tutorials on certain apps such as the camera teaching users features that may be unknown to them without it

The not so much

  • The microphone for talking is on the back of the phone which can in certain instances muffle the sound
  • The on/off button is difficult to get used to (as mentioned above)
  • The earpiece is always loud due to the Beats component. During typically quiet moments of songs, the sound was still loud and the loud parts are more noticeable.
  • You are unable to switch out a battery
  • The buttons are very touchy. The home button will activate at odd times when other screens are open

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
The good

  • The microphone for talking is on the front of the phone
  • Phone call sound quality is superb
  • Macro shots on the camera are better than the HTC One
  • Has a removable case which allows users to switch out batteries
  • Settings are easily changeable on the top of the phone

The not so much

  • Seems unnecessarily large due to the rubber and plastic case
  • Despite the price, it feels like a cheaper phone, “…more like something I would give to my kid,” one reviewer said.
  • LED only has 2 colors which is limited
  • Physical buttons are not as nice

You might have seen the ads about water resistance, although we didn’t “test the waters” (pun intended) with our review, here is AT&T’s statement regarding that feature, “Samsung designed and tested the Galaxy S 4 Active to adhere to IP67 standards for water resistance (1 meter for 30 minutes). If your Galaxy S 4 Active has been damaged due to water exposure, bring it back to an AT&T retail store as soon as possible for a one-time exchange for another Galaxy S 4 Active.”
Appealing characteristics of both

  • Very responsive
  • Great screens
  • Good for Bluetooth
  • With the larger size of both models, it is difficult to keep these phones in your pocket

Who was the winner?
Although both phones had unique features that made them stand out, in the end it was the HTC One that took home our vote.
Share your Android experience below.
Cellphones were provided by AT&T for an independent review. Pricing from AT&T:
This HTC One smartphone is available at AT&T for $599.99 or for a reduced price of $199.99-$299.99 (2-year contract with qualified voice and data plans required).
At AT&T the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is available for $594.99 or for a reduced price of $199.00 (2-year contract with qualified voice and data plans required). For a limited time if you buy a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active you can get a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 or Galaxy Tab 2 for $199.99 (Two-year contract required. Offer ends September 12, 2013). 
Check with your cellphone carrier for pricing and contracts for a preferred phone. AZTB is not endorsing a particular brand or carrier. This was an independent review for our readers.  

3 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy S4 Active VS HTC One – Tech Review”

  1. Thanks for the review. The S4 Active is the rugged version of the regular S4 and thats why it seems like the one you can give it to your kid 🙂 A better comparison for the form factor and the feel of the phone would have been the regular S4 vs HTC one.
    I have the new ‘always listening’ Moto X – although it doesn’t have high power specs – its super convenient with the Touchless options and some of the features like Moto Assist that reads out the text messages when you are driving are very useful.

  2. I know I am a bit late to the conversation but the conclusion, for want of a better. word, was inconclusive. What exactly was it in the end that had the HTC One take the prize in this review?

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