HTC One vs. Sony Xperia Z vs. Samsung Galaxy S4

After reviewing all top 3 flagship phones for first half of 2013, we’d like to revisit and share with you what we think of them. Here’s our round-up of the three handsets you’ve been dying to get your hands on — the Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z and the HTC One.

In the open arena of Android smartphones, these three are probably the most aspired handsets.

HTC One. Undoubtedly the best-looking handset of the lot. Made of solid aluminum and enjoyed a good number of following. While it has the smallest screen (at 4.7 inches) compared to the other two (at 5 inches), it also benefited from it by having the highest pixel density at 469ppi.

However, the HTC One was plagued with shipment delays, shortage of supply and came in a few thousand pesos more expensive than the other two.

What we liked about the device:
* Impressive design and build
* Great performance
* Impressive camera performance
* LTE connectivity
* Great display
* Very good sound quality
* IR blaster as remote control
* Large internal storage
* Built-in NFC
* Great Sense UI

What we did not like about it:
* Average battery life
* Heats up quite fast
* No expandable memory

The HTC One earns the title “Sexiest Smartphone Alive” in our book. You can read our review of the HTC One here.

Samsung Galaxy S4. Riding on the success of the Galaxy S2 and the S3, the Galaxy S4 remains to be one of the best selling handsets in the world. It has spawned a lot of siblings too, including one that is dust and water-proof like the Xperia Z.

However, Samsung continued to be criticized for employing seemingly cheap, all-plastic body for the Galaxy S4, losing out that engineering battle from the all-glass construction of the Xperia Z and aluminum body of the HTC One.

What we liked about it:
* Top-notch performance
* Very high display resolution
* Great camera performance and features
* High-speed LTE connectivity
* NFC functions and features
* IR Blaster
* Good battery life

What we did not like:
* More gimmicky features and bloatware
* Plastic body

Banking on two chips to power their handset, Samsung’s strategy paid off. The Galaxy S4 earned the title of “Most Powerful Beast on Earth” in our book. You can read our review of the Galaxy S4 here.

Sony Xperia Z. This handset enjoyed the exclusive position of being the first flagship to be able to weather a storm, or a drop in the swimming pool — no wonder Samsung just had to make an S4 variant just like it. An all-glass construction and very thin form factor places it as one the sexiest handsets around.

However, in a rush to get their flagship out early, Sony had to settle with a slightly older yet still powerful chip from Qualcomm. The TFT screen is also something some folks didn’t appreciated that much.

What we liked about it:
* Solid design and build quality
* Great performance
* Impressive camera
* NFC features with other Sony devices
* Water and dust resistance

What we did not like:
* Highly reflective TFT display
* Smudge and fingerprint magnet

We give the Xperia Z the title of “Most Celebrated Triathlete” in the smartphone world. You can read our full review of the Sony Xperia Z here.

What’s your pick?

Whichever of the three you pick, we are sure you are going to like it. We just have a few footnotes you might want to consider first.

* The Galaxy S4 and Xperia Z are both compatible with Smart and Globe LTE networks. The HTC One only works with Globe LTE.

* The Xperia Z is currently the most affordable of the three, selling as low as around Php23k in some online stores.

* The HTC One already ran out of stocks. The first shipment was just about 1,000 units, all sold out even the ones from Globe. There’s a waiting period that’s already clocking in at 4 weeks now.

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