And the marathon begins…


Samsung was able to get hold of the prize in 2012 when it had no close competition in the market. The competition for Samsung this year is a lot difficult than the previous year. This year the competition is merely dependent on the 1080p screens with a 5″ screen.

This year the marathon’s starting bullet was heard when Sony released their flagship of the year 2013 known as Xperia Z. The flagship of Sony was nothing but breathtaking. Sony manufactured a high-end smartphone from scratch, with such qualities that all they had to do this year was to remain ahead of all the competitors in market at all times especially Samsung.  The new flagship is water proof and dust proof. This is the first time that such a high end smart phone is featured with IP57 certification.


HTC, a company which was awarded the Manufacturer of the year 2011, struggled through most of the better part of 2012. Although, they tried launching different flagships in the same year, they were unable to catch up with Samsung’s Galaxy S3, also the Best phone of the year. They released Htc one X, Htc one x+ and butterfly but it was just an effort. The main reason of the fall back was the software glitches that came along with the factory settings of the phone, although the design and built quality is the core competency of HTC. This year HTC announced and released their new flagship known as HTC One. The built and design, like always is  unique. FullHd 5″ LCD3 screen, the most crisp screen in the market right now along with the whole redesign of the SenseUI. HTC has introduced the new concept of ultrapixel camera which focuses on capturing better images in low lights by letting in more light.

gsmarena_001 (1)

Samsung, like always announced their next flagship after HTC and Sony. This year Samsung presented the customers with Galaxy S4 that is also a FullHd, but Amoled screen. The design remains the same like Galaxy S3 with the major changes and additions under the hood. Samsung has introduced the Octa-core processor for the performance. There is infrared port like old times, but it makes your device a remote control for television, stereo systems and other gadgets.


Let’s, find in detail the marathon that is merely a royal rumble between Htc One, Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S4.

Below table summarizes the basic features and hardware of the three flagships.

Galaxy S4


Sony Xperia Z


Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean

Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean



4.7″ Super LCD 3

5.0″ TFT


1920 x 1080
(441 ppi)

1920 x 1080
(469 ppi)

1920 x 1080
(441 ppi)


136.6 mm
69.8 mm
7.9 mm

137.4 mm
68.2 mm
9.3 mm

139 mm
71 mm
7.9 mm


130 grams

143 grams

146 grams


Exynos 5410 Octa 1.6GHz
Quad-core Cortex-A15
Quad-core Cortex-A7

Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600
Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300

Qualcomm MDM9215M / APQ8064
Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait


PowerVR SGX544MP3

Adreno 320

Adreno 320






16GB / 32GB / 64GB

32GB / 64GB


microSD card slot

Yes, up to 64GB


Yes, up to 32GB

Primary camera

13 MP, 4128×3096 pixels,
autofocus, LED flash, 1080p@30fps, HDR, video stabilization
Simultaneous HD video and image recording

4 MP UltraPixels, 2688×1520 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 1080p@30fps, HDR, video stabilization,
Simultaneous HD video and image recording

 13.1 MP, 4128×3096 pixels
autofocus, LED flash, 1080p@30fps, HDR, video stabilizer,
continuous autofocus, video light,
Simultaneous HD video and image recording

Front camera





Li-Ion 2600 mAh

Li-Po 2300 mAh

Li-Ion 2330 mAh


Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n,ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct,
Wi-Fi hotspot

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot


Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, EDR

Yes, v4.0 with A2DP

Yes, v4.0 with A2DP


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
LTE 800 / 1800 / 2600

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
LTE (market dependent)

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – C6602, C6603
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100 – C6603
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 – C6602
LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 – C6603



Yes (Market dependent)




Stereo speakers



April, 2013

March, 2013

March, 2013


  Sony Xperia Z:

Key features:

  • Android OS v4.1.1 Jelly Bean with Timescape UI
  • Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait CPU, 2 GB RAM, Adreno 320 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset
  • 13 MP autofocus camera with LED flash and geo-tagging, HDR
  • 1080p video recording @ 30fps with HDR mode, continuous autofocus and stereo sound
  • 2.2 MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
  • IP 57 certification – dust resistant and water resistant
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA; Wireless TV out
  • 16GB of built-in storage; microSD card slot
  • MHL-enabled microUSB port
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • Glass front and back panels

Main Disadvantages

  • Low contrast display with below-par viewing angles
  • Non user-replaceable battery
  • 13MP camera hardly any better than some competitors’ 8MP units
  • Feeble loudspeaker

HTC One:

Key features

  • Android OS v4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Sense UI 5.0
  • Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300 CPU, 2 GB RAM, Adreno 320 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset
  • 4 MP autofocus “Ultrapixel” camera with 1/3” sensor size, 2µm pixel size; LED flash
  • 32/64GB of built-in storage
  • MHL-enabled microUSB port
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • Aluminum unibody
  • Front-mounted stereo speakers with BoomSound tech
  • Class-leading audio output

Main disadvantages:

  • 4MP camera has disappointing performance in good lighting conditions
  • Non-expandable storage
  • Awkwardly-placed and uncomfortable power button
  • Senes UI still lacks connectivity toggles in notification area
  • Non user-replaceable battery
  • Poor video and audio codec support out of box


Galaxy S4

Key features

  • Exynos 5410 Octa / Snapdragon 600
  • 1.6 GHz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 and 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 / 1.9GHz Krait 300
  •  PowerVR SGX 544MP3 / Adreno 320
  • 2GB
  • Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
  •  microSD card slot
  • 13 megapixel auto-focus camera, face detection, touch focus and image stabilization, Dual Shot, Cinema Photo; 2MP front facing camera, video-calls
  • Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps
  • Infrared port
  • 2600 mAh
  • TouchWiz UI, Impressively rich video/audio codec support, built-in accelerometer, Smart stay and Smart rotation eye-tracking, Smart pause, Smart scroll, S Health, Air Gestures, humidity sensor, temperature sensor

Main disadvantages:

  • Same design
  • Exynos octa core processor is a battery drainer
  • Same old UI


Benchmarks of the three flagships:

Phones BenchmarkPi(Lower is better) LinPack(Higher is better) GeekBench 2(Higher is better) AnTuTu(Higher is better) Quadrant(Higher is better)

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt

(Higher is better)

Epic Citadel

(Higher is better)


(Lower is better)

Galaxy S4 134 749 3227 23607 12028 40 57 1089
One 151 646 2708 22678 11746 34 56.4 1124
Xperia Z 264 630 2173 20794 8075 29 55.6 1336

As you can see Galaxy S4 beats both Sony Xperia Z and Htc One at the benchmarks score easily.

All the competition and fight is dependent on the marketing strategy of the flagships. Let’s see whether the bad patch of HTC is over, or Samsung Galaxy S4 becomes the best selling phone like its predecessor or not or Sony is able to put an impact on the market like its other products and product lines.

In summary, the Galaxy S 4 has a slight edge over the HTC One, while the Sony Xperia Z’s early arrival on the market is starting to cost it (the technology its competitors employ simply wasn’t available at the time) And while the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One battle seems balanced, it might be the HTC flagship production issues that give the Samsung smartphone the victory.

M. Ghazi Anwar



Posted on March 23, 2013, in Technology. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. moeenqureshi1992

    very nicely written… covered all the points one could think of…(y)

  2. Very informative

  3. i appreciate the effort put in for the comparison. Really helpful.

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