New Yorkers weigh in on the big Android question of the year

Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One? It's a question that's bound to be asked over and over in the coming weeks and months, as Samsung and HTC do battle over the crucial U.S. market. As we've now got both phones in-hand, we headed down to New York's Central Park to find out what a handful of real, live human beings thought of this year's leading Android phones.

Check out the video above, and be sure to share your own thoughts down in the comments.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 review; HTC One review


Reader comments

Galaxy S4 versus HTC One in New York's Central Park


You and I will run into each other one day on a subway and the sheer power of our Nexus 4's will take over the subway system ")

You and I will run into each other one day on a subway and the sheer power of our Nexus 4's will take over the subway system ")

I love it when people on the subway ask me "what phone is that" as to say there isnt anything else out there but an iPhone

I don't have respect for people who have Iphones cause soooooo many people have them it's like your part of a cult, and not an individual .

You don't have a respect for people with different than yours preferences??? Do you also have "no respect" for people who prefer a different car than you, or different food or look different than you do (either by choice or because they were born that way) or have different sexual or religious preferences just because they are different than yours? That's really pathetic if you really think this way, dude...

What I think he's referring to may be related to what one of the girls said about not ever having the thought to change. People with iPhones are perfectly fine in that world and thinking outside of that box is too difficult for them. They are simply easier to operate which is why our grandparents prefer to use them. Our kids however see them more for a fashion statement, eventually to be stolen from them by some bad guy. Android is for open thinkers and those of us who like progress. We enjoy trying new things in our lives. We like to evolve. Cult is too harsh of a word. However, if you stick with something that hasn’t changed much from the first generation to the current one, you are not moving forward. To use your reference of sexual preference, hasn't society become more open to the differences. Aren't we evolving? What if our society did not progress and we stayed with the old ways simply because we felt more 'comfortable' with them? Android represents a the new society while iPhone represents the old ways. I certainly don't agree with bashing someone for having differences, just pointing out that most people that have iPhones don’t really look outside of their comfort zone much.

Agreed! I think the average consumer has a narrow view of the smartphone world that they are in. It's not a bashing, but just that's their field of vision. So, a iPhone user, BB user, even a stock Android user only sees what's in front of them. Until they look at other possibilities, they're comfortable where they are and either don't know or are afraid of looking at said possibilities.

I can safely say that all of us that frequent this site and forums look beyond that field of vision and know that our phones are capable of doing more. Thus, we more often than not willing to push what the phone can do, customizing and configuring it in a way that works for us.

"People with iPhones are perfectly fine in that world and thinking outside of that box is too difficult for them. "

I disagree. May be true for certain age groups, but far from generally true.

Most Iphone users I know are getting a little fed up with them. I know dozens of people who dumped iphones to get android, but I don't know a single person who dumped an android to get an iPhone. (Well there was one girl, but she switched back to android again).

Wait until iOS7 comes out and suddenly the fans have no idea where everything is! They better start ramping up the "genius" employees NOW!! Oh the humanity...

They simply said they don't respect people who conform for the sake of conforming...just to be like everyone else. How in the world did you get that they have no respect for any choice other than their own? You have pathetic reading comprehension.

Do you really think that way? I mean, that's stupid. Are you aware of the fact that more people have Android devices? So, in essence, you're part of a larger Cult of Android?

I can see what you are trying to get at but also keep in mind that android has so many more options than apple does. So everyone with an iPhone has iOS but everyone with Android does not have the same phone or features.

But many said they would change if they had to. Sounds like HTC in particular needs to make a bigger marketing push and they would be able to capture that market..

But many said they would change if they had to. Sounds like HTC in particular needs to make a bigger marketing push and they would be able to capture that market..

But many said they would change if they had to. Sounds like HTC in particular needs to make a bigger marketing push and they would be able to capture that market..

But many said they would change if they had to. Sounds like HTC in particular needs to make a bigger marketing push and they would be able to capture that market..

Pretty much mirrors what I see on a daily basis. I can count the number of people I know with Android phones on one hand. Never really see any Galaxy S3s. Know of one person with a Note 2 (its his secondary phone that he uses for watching Netflix mostly....primary is an iPhone 5), a Razer Maxx, GS2, and then two random middle tier Android devices (not sure which exactly they have).

Outside of that it is a world of iPhones that I see. Not saying thats how it is everywhere....because Samsung is obviously selling a boat load of phones, but my personal experience mirrors this video.

I'm the total opposite. I see Samsung phones all the time where I am. Half of my family have either the S3 or Note 2...I was the 1st and only person to venture out and get an iPhone. I was an HTC lover for the longest time and while Android is my preference, my jail broken iPhone is more convenient since I have a MBP and an iPad.

Everywhere I go, almost everyone has an iPhone. The only other Samsung Galaxy S3 I've seen like mine is my son's, who dumped his iPhone when he held mine.


Looks evenly split, and that (among other reasons) some folks will go with the GS4 because they are already familiar with Samsung, and some folks will go with the HTC One because of industrial design & build quality. Pretty much what we should expect.

Maybe it's because they work? Something about having to reboot all the time and take the battery out is just a little silly....BUT, I gotta say that I AM bored to tears with my 4s.....Rebooting spices things up i guess. Still, my return won't be on either of these phones.

Why would you reboot all the time or do a battery pull? In case you didn't know, Android has made a couple of updates since v1.6. You're bored with your 4s because it sucks - it's 2 year old tech.

You are right about that. I have the 4S and it sucks. I can't wait to upgrade to the HTC One or the Samsung Galaxy SIV. It will be such a huge jump. I can't wait on Apple to catch up anymore. The competition has made leaps and bounds. Sorry, Apple.

Just FYI, I can go for weeks between reboots on my Note 2, and I usually only reboot because a major app was updated, and I just want to restart.

I like that when iPhone users think of android they think back to 3-4yrs ago. But the crazy thing is that their "new" iPhone has technology that is 3-4yrs old, while not even knowing that android phones are advancing in technology not playing catch-up.

Yeah, Android is SOOOOOO bad. My HTC One even gets a BSOD. Hang on, looks like the Bears just won the Super Bowl and the Berlin wall has been demolished!!!

3 years with an Android (3 phones 3 tablets) and I had to remove the battery once or twice because of a problem with a custom ROM: Cyanogenmod 9 beta.

I'm not sure they are still doing this, but when my mom got a NEXUS from a sprint store a couple years back, they told her to pull the battery as if she has a blackberry and needed it often.
I'm not saying everyone is told that, but someone who doesn't know better...doesn't know better.

Everyone that uses an iPhone is not weak and hasn't been coerced by Apple. I absolutely love Android but I ended up getting an iPhone 6 months ago because it was more convenient. My computer of choice has been Mac for many many years and with the work I do and my hectic schedule I like the fact that if I'm not with my computer all my info is on my phone in the same areas as it is on my computer and vice versa. Same goes for my additional apps or anything to download. No, my iPhone doesn't have all the stuff I liked with my Android phones but my Android phones didn't allow a seamless connection to other devices I use in my everyday life and that was my deciding factor.

You have an iPhone 6? How'd you manage that? Watch out, Apple will come after you with guns blazing if they know you have their next phone before they've actually released it.

I'm a Mac user and my Android integrates perfectly with my Mac Book Air. I didn't have to install a single app either. It just integrates easily. I owned two previous iPhones and they actually integrated poorly. I had to use Google Cloud as a go between. Of course, this was before Apple invented the "Cloud". Aside from perfect integration I couldn't live without the features in Android I've come to rely on, which are not available on the iPhone unless you jailbreak it.

Feels like on site the design of the HTC One is going to grab people. Side by side in a store it may win out. I have the SGSII and feel like I'm ready for a different U.I. that isn't hacked on to my phone. And yeah, I think design is going to play into my decision as well. Those dual front speakers are something I always wanted on my phone. Can't understand why Sammy wants the sound to come out of the back of the phone.

It is funny how many iPhone users say they like the smaller iPhone. I think we're reaching the ceiling on phone size for the casual user. I hate the shape of the iPhone 5, but it does fit well in the hand and is super useable.

The only small and pocketable (for womens' pockets) option that's not slow, laggy, and low end these days is the iPhone. I would really appreciate it if anyone would make a mid range Android phone that's not taller than 110mm. I'm not the only one.

Agreed!!! My son has this phone and its almost the exact size of my iPhone 5 and its a really good phone. I was surprised because I've never been a fan of Motorola phones. I really like it.

It's probably too much to ask but I did say "less than" 110mm, preferably 100mm and a 3.2' screen or whatever will fit in that height. RAZR M is still too tall for my tiny pockets, and not sold in Canada.
Will it ever exist? I wish I could invent one. Imagine all the iPhone users who would be converted.

The Razr M is to tall for your pockets!?!? Maybe you should shop somewhere else than baby Gap, just an idea.

I chose the HTC One over the gs4 because of features I will actually use and appreciate. The speakers are amazing. The optical image stabilization is great for photos and video. I don't need 13 megapixels every time I tap the camera icon. I don't need gimmicky ways of controlling my phone without touching it. I don't need more than 64 gigs of storage.

I didnt buy the HTC because of the Zoes but they are awesome. The highlight reel is equally unexpectedly great. HTC seems to have focused on things that are important to me while I feel nothing Samsung is doing has any appeal.

On another note, what's with all the iPhone bashing? Have some of you even used one for any amount of time? They are fantastic. I had a few complaints about mine but they're really nerdy little gripes that normal people shouldn't care about. I think the iPhone is a better choice for most people, not because they are dumb or clueless or sheep, but because people should be able to enjoy and appreciate what their phone can do for them without putting so much effort into it.

Two of my friends that are women bought the iphone just because of the size. They just couldn't see themselves carrying around a "giant" android phone all day. Seems to be a very common trend.

Here in EU (I live in Denmark) the people usually bought the iphone just because of the size. Phone with screen bigger than 4.5 are rarely seen.
I assessed Iphone5, HTC one, and SG4 (all of them in a store) and my conclusion was: I would buy the phone just where my right thumb reaches the left edge of the phone. Winner HTC ONE.

That's actually interesting. Honestly, it is why I bought the HTC Evo LTE over the SG3. It came down to the fact that the Evo LTE was just as tall as the SG3 but at least it didn't feel as wide. My thumb could reach the opposite side with the HTC and not with the Sammy. It really came down to feel in the hand for me.

Actually at least in my country and from what i see, there are to sets of girls the ones attracted to big screens and the ones that don't, but the ones that are don't seem to find any problem with them, and that is because.....(drum rolls) handbags! For me carrying around something bigger than my nexus 4 is kinda strange (note 2 is a no can do) but for a girl that carries around a large handbag they can just throw it in there, it doesn't way a lot and using it with to hands for most people isn't that much of a deal (if i don't need the other hand for holding a my coffee or whatever I always tipe two-handed)

I have three great girl friends who are all short little shzits, under 5 feet and all three have iPhone4s phones. But Lacy used to have a galaxy s3 and after repeated questions of "is that the new galaxy tablet" she quit trying to explain the whole size of person to phone ratio and optical illusions and said screw it I want my iPhone back and I'm getting a new laptop. She said "I think it's called a Google nexus 7" Then we all quadruple kissed and laughed. Then we all put our skis back on and cross country skied over all nut shells and boot dirt out the restaurant doors down the handicap ramp and to the elevator to do it all.again. It's this thing Chris started called Urban Aspen Wednesdays. The nut oils are so great that once winter comes back around I don't need to get my skis waxed because I go down the mountain faster than a tranny's first night in heels. Hey Kayla I saw your post you Greek geek bombshell.

I have three great girl friends who are all short little shzits, under 5 feet and all three have iPhone4s phones. But Lacy used to have a galaxy s3 and after repeated questions of "is that the new galaxy tablet" she quit trying to explain the whole size of person to phone ratio and optical illusions and said screw it I want my iPhone back and I'm getting a new laptop. She said "I think it's called a Google nexus 7" Then we all quadruple kissed and laughed. Then we all put our skis back on and cross country skied over all nut shells and boot dirt out the restaurant doors down the handicap ramp and to the elevator to do it all.again. It's this thing Chris started called Urban Aspen Wednesdays. The nut oils are so great that once winter comes back around I don't need to get my skis waxed because I go down the mountain faster than a tranny's first night in heels. Hey Kayla I saw your post you Greek geek bombshell.

Get your in-the-field reporters real microphones with WIND SCREENS.

Nice to see people giving honest opinions without bashing.

This was a really cool video. It's easy to forget that I'm not the average user. Reminds me of what my UX teacher always said, "You are NOT the user!"

Fun to see what "average" people say about the phones.

My thoughts exactly. Thanks Alex and Phil for getting out there on the field and putting this together. It would have been nice for you to explain some of the features of each phone but I doubt the people would have time to see all the S4 has to offer. Sure the One wins in hardware but at the end of the day they all put on a case anyway.

Never underestimate the stupidity of the general public... if people really do make their smartphone purchase decisions based on some of the bizarre things in this video then I despair!

Samsung has made HUGE inroads into the mindshare of the public. Seriously. They've become the go-to for people who used to go to Apple, but don't want Apples anymore. Sure, there are a lot of other people who get Sammys, but believe me, out in the world, when I talk to people, they're the brand people think of. Not Android, not Google. Samsung.

Yep, I've even seen survey questions where they'll ask what kind of phone you have, and it'll say something like Apple, Blackberry, DROID, and Samsung.

Poorly-written questions, I'll admit, but this is how people are thinking about this.

I have the GS3 and the GNOTE2, I gave the GNOTE2 to my wife and I took her GS3,I bought the HTC One on the first day and quick become my daily phone. The GS3, just a back up phone. HTC done good job on this phone.

"OMG, it is silver, so this one is better because it looks like an iPhone". (OMG Ponies!)

"Oh the Samsung has the swypey keyboard thing, so it is better" (even though the HTC has it too)

"They are both too large, they are much bigger than the iPhone".

"Wow it's 'Beats' so it comes with Beats headphones?" (Um... nope)

"So if it had a stupid mode, would that be a deciding factor for you?" (LOL)

The last comment isn't so stupid as we all may think, an easy or learning mode for people who aren't familier with a high end smartphone is a very good idea. Not everyone is as into these devices as we are here.

Exactly. I know quite a few that have no idea how do anything other than apps, web, talk and text on their smartphones. Changing the default keyboard? Forget that they could never figure that out, even after showing them. There are many more people like this out there then us.

Like it or not these are the real way people buying these phones think...These are the people who make a companies phone Flop or succeed..Not every customer has the time to look into the specs or features in a phone...

So get off your high horse.

Have no idea what "horse" you are talking about. I simply posted some interesting/amusing excerpts. If you are offended for some odd reason, it must be you that has a problem, not me.

"Its like a small computer"....Oh so you dont want a "computer" in your pocket?
Let me introduce you to the Gusto flip phone!

People put way too much emphasis on how a phone looks & feels than how it actually functions.

I think it narrows down to those buying the S4 care more about function ,and those buying the HTC One care more about fashion.

The people who bought the One, like me, saw that there was no reason you couldn't have function and fashion.

Actually, HTC sacrifices function by using metal they get much larger, thicker, heavier, and hotter and you lose the 5" screen to initial 1st impressions of shiny aluminum.

The people who buy the HTC are the new apple fanboys of the android world. They are not the power users but the weak-minded, easily convinced by buzz words and marketing from a company claiming that polycarbonate is cheap and gross.

The S4 feels much more solid and is easier to hold because of it's lightweight and thin body. Thanks to plastic.

LOL! I would've said the opposite. HTC cares more about function: caring how people actually use their phones and designing their software around it. Samsung now cares more about fashion/gimmicks: adding in a bunch of "features" that either will never get used, actually make using the phone more difficult, are not well integrated with other "features", or have some "gee whiz" factor.

One company takes their fashion risks with hardware, the other takes their fashion risks with software. I for one will go with the one taking risks with hardware design, since that IS where their expertise lies. Samsung unfortunately is no wiz at software design, Touchwiz name notwithstanding.

80% of people who buy iPhones want them because of fashion. I think the One combines both style and functionality. The GS4 looks like a larger, uglier GS3, which is already one of the ugliest smartphones on the market. Okay, that sounded like I was bashing, but everyone has an opinion.

I care more about quality of nighttime photos - a FUNCTION which Samsung's phones do not offer for ME. Or is that also "wrong" because I have different than yours priorities?
P.S: you really are a sad, narrow-minded person...

It isn't just phones. People do this for everything. I had a friend who, about 11 years ago, needed to get a car. She started looking at a used Lexus ES300 (I think). We all tried to tell her that all she was getting was a Camry with slightly nicer seats, and that, for what she was about to pay for that used Lexus, she could get a new Camry. She was so obsessed with having that Lexus logo that she didn't care and ended up getting the used Lexus.

I had the EVO LTE (which the HTC One obviously takes design cues from) and I also have the Galaxy S 3. I can tell you that the rounded edges and rounded glass on the front edges of the GS3 make the phone much more comfortable to use than the EVO LTE was.

Anyway, touchwiz is much more customizable and Samsung's notification light is actually useful so those reasons along with ergonomics are why I choose Samsung over HTC right niow even though looking at the two side by side I do admit the HTC looks really nice. I can't wait to see it in black.

I'd say the design cues don't come from the EVO LTE at all. That phone is a hideous abomination of the One X.

If anything, the design is from the Butterfly/DNA.

I also noticed and not scientific at all, those who looked at the device prefered the HTC One, those who played with them, took photo's prefered the SGS4. Both are great devices, and going with either isn't a mistake.

What a disappointing video. It would have made so much more sense to actually edit out the people who don't know the first thing about phones and actually show people who at least understand the Android platform. I wanted to see what people really thought about the two, head-to-head. Instead, we got a bunch of very confused iphone users, saying "Huh???"

I thought it made sense the way it was done. They filmed average users playing with the phones, which is the likeliest scenario involving people choosing new phones. I'd rather see genuine opinions of average users than a video with the deck stacked in Android's favor. If they filmed people already familiar with Android, they'd run the risk of people saying things like, "Oh, it doesn't really matter. I'll just put on a new launcher or ROM and configure it the way I like."

You're the first person I've seen who actually considered that. Rooting is an amazing thing and can make miracles happen.

Almost all, ~85% or more of all smartphone and feature phone buyers are similar to those interviewed in this video. Only an insignificant percentage are like us, ultra visitors, and others who frequent this site.

If that is beyond comprehension, then you are involved in a folly of self delusion. Most readers of these sites are not, I believe.

People will find the HTC One more attractive and more functional (less complicated or easier) than the Samsung Galaxy cheap plastic slab as evidenced by the video. iPhone users don't like complications. Programming a phone for them is NOT what they want to have to do. Most don't use but a few features. HTC with their One understands the real world better than Samsung with their current releases.

Most of our opinions are irrelevant except to a select few Android enthusiast techies who find satisfaction and self importance stating opinions and arguments within these forums which is an interesting and unique subculture.

Try to let this sink in and just in case, there is no reason to feel offended. In the real world of cell phone users important to OEM's and carriers, we and our subculture are practically irrelevant. Apple and Amazon and many, not all, Android users have empirically proven that fact. Actually most sales reps at carrier and other stores like Best Buy and Radio Shack are closer in temperament and knowledge to the general population.

I would expect anyone, even phone noobs, to do a least at modicum of research on something they're about to spend a couple hundred bucks on. But it seems that it comes down to 'OMG this one is sexier', which is why the HTC One did so well in this video. That's what happens when you cater to simpletons.

Yes, lets get rid of the parts of the video with real world people who might be looking to buy a new phone, and just get the opinions of techies who already know pretty much everything about Android...because we haven't gotten enough of that...smh

Interesting that nobody really commented on a difference between the 2 screens due to the sunlight, some of the reviews seemed to imply the One was much better in sunlight, I know the S3 wasn't too good in the sun, is the S4 that much better in that regard?

Lol, I went to NY last year, walking around and couldn't help but notice that everyone used a freakin iphone, everywhere I went out there, it was insane...and sad, so sad to see them suffer like that.
I am also glad to say I went and picked up the HTC One after work today!

I work in New York City and when I ride the subway every day it pains me to see all of these Crapple puppets. These people just don't understand the power of Android! (Spoken in a Darth Vader tone)

+1 I say the same thing. I also work in the city and every time I take out my Nexus I feel like i'm the odd man out.

I've never seen so many iPhones.

You guys should have done the comparisons on a better a college campus or right at times square. Damn iphone users are so dumb. This video just shows how incompetent they are in the tech game.

Except that this is a better representative sample of what the American market is actually like. Sure, we could get the opinions of some tech-savvy college kids, but I think we've got enough of that kicking around the AC community as is. The fact is that's a pretty small slice of the overall picture, and normal folks that are only interested in phones at a basic level are likely to be the ones that determine if the One X or the SGS4 are a commercial success. 

But, the headline says, "Galaxy S4 vs HTC One...", not "Hey, would you consider buying one of these instead of your iphone???" This video is more comic-relief than serious comparative info.

I guess "Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One vs Whatever Other Thing You Had Before" just didn't have the same ring to it. It's a given that buyers are coming from other phones (yes, sometimes other platforms) and those histories are going to factor into their buying decision. Personally, I think it's interesting to see what people outside our tech-bubble prioritize. If you're looking for a serious side-by-side comparison by pros, check out the one Phil and Alex did

the headline says Galaxy S4 vs HTC One,and it was with people guessed it...the Galaxy S4 to the HTC one.
What's the problem?

either one is a win win but i have the HTC one and havent regretted getting it at all.It's really a beautiful phone and the sound from the speaker's is what ive been waiting for all this time.every sound coming out of the HTC ONE is absolutely crisp and awesome.Loving the zoe feature on the camera and blink feed is so sweet getting all my favorite updates on screen in a cool grid like form is awesome and sweet to look at.It's weird to say but everytime I wake the phone there's something different on screen with blink feed so you don't get that same looking main screen that I grow tired of after awhile and always look to change to refresh the look.

I have the One S; just got a few months ago, so won't be getting either. I wish I had gone with the Galaxy S 3, but it was much more expensive. Now I'm wishing I had waited for the 4. I just can't see the point of a metal phone. My old N1 is too heavy in my pants.

Brutal. These people are dumb because they're outside in the park, enjoying the weather and not inside on a computer (or android) trying to convince themselves that they need a new smartphone? They're dumb because they bought an iphone which is a great looking device, that performs very well, has great apps and is easy to use? I don't usually venture out of crackberry,... this is why. I know we're pretty stuck on our berries, but you guys are nuts.

I honestly enjoyed this video, Maybe this should be something Android Central should do more often, like every time a new big Android phone drops? Hearing peoples opinions and some comments made this really interesting

I think that it is a good reminder that first impressions count.
You can go on about features and subtle details, but most phones sell on a 20 second pickup. If it feels nice in your hand. If that homescreen is pretty.

It just reminds us that we are only a very small percentage of cell phone buyers. That the average person could care less about the OEM, the Operating system, ram, battery or much of anything but the looks and feel of the phone.

Perhaps at purchase, but overall I disagree. I think these things become factors after purchase. The OEM and OS translate to "Is mine running the latest and greatest?" The RAM and processor translate to how many narcissistic always-on always connected social networking sites they can run concurrently. And battery life or lack thereof is a real bitchpoint.

Did anyone feel dumber watching this? Lol. Not to insult your average consumer, but you can see how a large number of people use the iPhone. Because they really don't know or care about features the Android has to offer.

Kind of. The chick who says the one seems like more of a small computer than a phone... clearly doesn't get the concept of smartphone. Put Facebook Home on it and she'd just fall in love.

The only question I have is how many numbers did Alex get? Those first two girls were cute, I think Alex could use a tour of NYC from a few sexy locals... we all know the ladies dig the accent.

Leave it to Alex to go to all the way to New York and find folks who speak Brit (and with other euroaccents)! :D

So basically we learned the HTC design is better, the Samsung has better software, and the iPhone is not the perfect design everyone was saying last year. Also we have learned how marketing works. If people see the same products enough on tv, billboards, mags etc.. they want it. Even if it is not the best choice for them in the longrun, they want what their friends want, and what people think is cool.

The thing is I'd be very surprised if any one of them actually lived in New York. Most people lounging in Central Park on a weekday are usually tourist, foreign and domestic, and you can tell from their pronunciations. The few New Yorkers in Central Park are mostly jogging, cycling or just briskly walking to and fro from walk, and would've declined an interview. But in that sense it's probably okay as a random sampling of prospective consumers, just, not really representative of New Yorkers.

At least two of those people are tourists, and half of them I wouldn't call a real "New Yorker", but I digress...
I played with the One at a local AT&T store and I just don't get Sense 5. I also don't like how HTC designed the button layout. Blink-feed looks more like a gimmick to me than the crap Samsung puts on its GSIV, I guess that's a personal preference. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying TouchWiz is better than Sense, I still prefer Stock Android over these "Android based UIs". That said, my N4 will hold me over till the next nexus comes around.
I have to say though, the SuperLCD3 used in HTC One is hands down the best looking screen out there. I can't wait for the GSIV to get here so I can compare them side by side.

If you give someone only a couple minutes to play with 2 gadgets, the only thing they will go on is aesthetics--which means form factor and launcher. This is really a limited marketing probe of those two factors exclusively. Only those who play with the camera, the widgets, the SMS app, etc really get a feel for the devices and their pros and cons. I don't think it's about CPU or internal memory unless you're like me and just don't care what comes on it because you will replace it within hours and want the best hardware to run your ROM.

Just remember, for every Android platform Elitist, there are about 2 iPhone elitists! I have many friends, very smart people who are perfectly happy with the iPhone.
And then there are folks like myself who will buy anything but an Apple product.

Apple has done a magnificent job in marketing and "user experience." We shall see where their future leads them.

>"Just remember, for every Android platform Elitist, there are about 2 iPhone elitists!"

And yet for every iPhone owner there are TWO Android phone owners...

While we--or at least I-- are on aesthetics, I kind of hate what Samsung is doing. This thing is the Edsel of smartphones in that regard, with no seats, windshield or steering wheel to indicate which is forward and reverse. It all works great until you realize you've got the bloody thing upside down. Also, who gives a damn how "it feels in my hand" when it is naked? Who the hell buys a $600 slave-made-for-less-than-$20 device and doesn't put it in a legit case?? Am I a minority on that one, too?

I hate cases. Never used one on my previous metal HTC phone or my current plastic Samsung phone and I haven't had any problems.

Due to the large size of android phones I don't think it is safe to make the assumption that it will always be in a case the way iPhones generally are.

Sorry, the way I see it, a design egineer team worked really hard to make my phone look sexy. I can't bear the idea of hiding her lines and curves with a bulky sweat shirt.

Our friends and family members who use iPhones are just diet smartphone users. It is whatever works for you

Glad to see that HTC is back in the game. I hate to admit it, but I initially thought the HTC One wasn't going to sell a lot. I was gonna get it anyways, but I just didn't expect so many people to actually like it. Good job HTC.! :)

Pretty much what I expected from a Central Park survey. Sad thing listening to these Apple users are the comments about the size of the two Android phones. Remember reading comments about the original Samsung Note on Amazon. Many comments started with..."thought this thing was to too freaking big"..."but now that I have used it for a couple weeks, couldn't consider going back to a small phone". And that was often followed by "except when I wear my skinny jeans...fits in my pocket just fine".

Hah! Maybe that explains the affinity to Apple that hipsters have as well as the dimensions of the iPhone5 -- it fits in skinny jeans.

I have to say I'm a bit confused. Not a single person preferred the Galaxy S4 because the HTC One lacked a removable battery and a micro SD slot. According to a boatload of people on this site, that's the most important thing in the Verse, but no one mentioned it. I just don't get it.

I am absolutely torn between the two devices. But I may just go with the S4 just for the fact that I can update the memory. However, the speakers on the front of the One is a good feature. I really don't care either way for design, just functionality.

Considering that us folks who visit and comment in these blogs do not represent the general public, I am not surprised. Me personally, the HTC One not having a removable battery or SD slot does not bother me in the least.

I didn't get the feeling that they even knew which one did or did not and they weren't told. Keep in mind that most of them were iPhone users too, so removable battery and SD card are probably a foreign language to! For the most part I could go either way on the SD card, though it sure makes transferring photos from my camera to my phone a lot easier (and possible without my computer) or for keeping different things on different cards. The battery though? I prefer them to be user replaceable for several reasons.

well they are mostly iphone users and don't even know what a micro sd slot is. Anyway I love the HTC One but I'm leaning towards the GS4 ONLY because of the bigger screen in practically a smaller body then the HTC One.

LOL... You gotta be kidding! You have to remember that most of those people have an iPhone... iPhones don't have a removable battery and a micro SD slot... So, why would they mention it?

I think this concept, of showing hot new android phones (or any phones for that matter) to regular people is FANTASTIC!

I must say that I am constantly fascinated by the assumptions I make, and I see others on android/tech blogs make about "average" consumers. It is interesting to see where the assumptions hold up and where they don't.

Based on the video it seems like HTC should be celebrating. I don't think Samsung will flop (I prefer the GS4 personally) but clearly the HTC One is going to appeal to a lot of people and I think HTC deserves their chance at success. But I was also surprised that not everyone preferred the HTC (even among people who hadn't owned a previous galaxy phone). I would have thought that in a 5min hands on demo the superior exterior of the HTC One would win over everyone and it would take a longer evaluation to appreciate the strengths of the GS4 (software, battery life, camera etc.).

I will say one thing. Even as someone who has very little issue with plastic phones (rocking a GNex right now and I can't complain about build quality) I think that Samsung HQ is probably getting a sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs as they read review after review complaining about the plastic build of the GS4 and in almost the same breath holding up the HTC One as the clear example of how to build a phone correctly (speaking strictly of materials here). I do wonder if 2014 will be the year that Samsung rethinks their design language due to the competition.

And again I say this as someone who is very seriously considering the GS4 as my next phone (The HTC One has many small deal-breakers for me personally and no none of them are removable batteries or expandable storage).

Never let uninformed locals decide anything. Waste of bandwith, although this did make me miss Central Park. Ok, not a waste of bandwidth, but it is quite interesting to see how the average user looks at new technology. Makes me proud we are nerds.

Most of you people trashing this video do not realize the needs of normal everyday people.

Some people do not like using a phone that is too complicated or too big to fit in their jean pockets.

If they want to use a iPhone, leave them be. If they want to get an android phone, they will decide Samsung or HTC. What ever their choice doesn't mean that they shouldn't reproduce or give any other insult.

Your choice of phone shouldn't be a matter of life or death. People on both sides of the coin, take things waaaaaay too seriously. It's only a phone. It has no bearing on your life.

Wow, a lot of you really don't understand Apple appeal and instead just use silly trolling. People buy iPhones for many reasons and for many it's the safe bet. It works with iTunes, has the best apps, some of the best cameras/battery life/design, accessory support etc. I doubt anyone would buy an iPhone and not like it. Sure iOs looks old (I find it very boring now) but it is simple to use which is a big plus for average users.
Anyway, I don't want to talk about iPhones here but some of you guys are total d••ks talking about iSheep etc.

Glad the S4 didn't turn too many people off due to its plastic design. As a HTC One owner for 2 weeks (I live in UK) it has many flaws like all phones and is not perfect. Power button placement, camera quality in good light, horrible video auto focus, average battery life, horrible persistent power save notification etc all annoyed me so I sold it to get a S4.

Totally mystified by the two women who said the S4 looked sleeker than the One. The design of the S4 has been universally panned, while the One's design has been praised by everyone I can think of who has seen it.

just get a f***ing android settle all yr problem, get iphone and end up paying so much more, you can buy a new iphone. size is not an excuse, learn like love live adept, the way of life.

Frankly I think people who buy a cell phone based on looks/fashion are such tools! Most HTC clearly understands there are way too many tools out there to not take advantage of it. HTC just leaves too much on the table for a logical/technical person to choose the HTC over the S4 that is of course you don't have an overall issue/hate for Samsung. Going with the S4 is simply a no brainer for me. I don't dislike HTC and like the 70% of a good smartphone they created but the omission of removable batt, no MicroSD, no wireless charging, smaller screen/large bezel in basically same size phone just ruins it for me. I really couldn't care less what fashion statement my phone makes. And as for the screen, the only edge the HTC has is in direct sunlight which just doesn't make up for the rest of the shortcomings.

Frankly, the thoughts of people expressed as such, robink, are irrelevant fortunately. Your anger appears as a reflection of self loathing.


I found this video interesting. I don't care for someone's personal preference for the their phone that they use everyday. Maybe this explains why Samsung is trying to cover every possible dimension phone size. What I gathered was that there are many people who are not power users and don't need, nor even aware of, the high-end specs on the newest phones. They want one that fits well in their hand and can fit in their pocket that is user friendly. Sounds like they know what they want.

Lot of people bent in here because a couple extra people picked the HTC One. Calling people losers / tools / etc because they picked the HTC One and/or because they use an iPhone? I just don't get it.

Alex, you're lucky I don't live in NY. if you place those bad boys in my hands, I RUN!
I would run faster than flash being chased by his mom.

"This is one is more my style".....when I saw that I stopped watching, lol! Who cares if its fast or does multi-processing....I want it to be MY STYLE....JEAHHH!!!

Why do people care so much what their phones look like? It's not a cute girl in a tank top or bathing suit. Toss on a $7 case in the color of your choice from eBay & you're done. Call me crazy, but I have enough intelligence & judgment to choose a phone based on what actually matters: (a) is the talk quality worth anything (b) does the GPS lock-on to your current location quickly & without losing it (c) does the battery last without having to turn everything off, and can you replace it (d) is the screen legible (e) can I expand the memory & store whatever on the card so if the phone breaks all I have to do is remove the card & pop it into the new phone.

If I want something pretty, I'll buy a painting or some other work of art. To me, and anyone possessing an actual BRAIN, functionality is what matters.

So you're saying that you'd be ready to spend 700 bucks on a phone with the S4's specs and functionality and the blackberry 957's design? I'm kidding, right. But both the S4 and One are good phones and I don't see the matter of going for one of them basing on the looks. People who have particular needs would just choose the one that fits them, that's it

It was a little surprising to see some people choose the S4 because side by side the One is a much more polished and substantial phone. But actually I can see why some people would choose the S4 based on looks. At least from the front it is striking to see a phone that is virtually all screen and the screen is beautiful.

I am surprised that more people didn't choose the One for a different reason. In bright sunlight the One's screen should be much easier to see. I would have thought that doing the comparison outdoors would be a major biasing factor toward the One.

But, then again, doing the comparison during the day in Central Park guarantees that the majority of people you will be polling will be students, retirees and people with no job, so you are probably not even sampling the demographic that would buy either phone in the first place.

Well that bring up two points. If the screens were off they would be lead to believe the one as a screen as big as the S4 with a tiny bezel cause of stupid design of one screen that is likely for this purpose. Has anyone who wants a One actually seen that huge bezel? And the other point is that if the screens were on it just goes to show the One's screen is not all that much better in sunlight...

Awesome blog Alex! And it was really cool seeing the girl from the U of Arts, which is a school in Philly that I used to work for back in the day. I doubt I knew her as she looks WAY too young. (I worked their from 1985-2000) But I recognized the logo on her jacket immediately, and it brought back some memories.

AC, that was a cool video!

I think it doesn't matter which phones Alex had in hands and which people tried out, I'd say it was neat and cool because of the reach out to the common user, as well as their cooperative participation and feedback.

Good work and thanks for sharing.

I don't understand why people would buy a phone just based aesthetics. The tech specs are amazing on both of these phones. Knowing the specs on them will give you a better understanding of what these phones can really do. I watch a lot of video and samsung gives you the ability to shrink your video down so you can still use your phone to do other things at the same time but the front speakers on the HTC ONE could be very beneficial for video as well. What it comes down to is that you have to make the right fit for you.

This video just reminds me how I'm not even close to being an average user. There's so many more factors that go into the phone than just how it looks or feels. I actually sort of envy these people just getting whatever phone and not really caring a whole lot. I stress way more than I should over my phone.

ANDROID CENTRAL MORE OF THIS! seriously, so much better than an editor who uses these phones everyday telling me about them... Phil have your wife use each for a week and then get her opinion. It's so refreshing to hear what non power users think... "i like it cause its silver" from a normal person actually has more relevance than a reviewer saying "i got it to studder a little while scrolling"

I am looking forward buying a new smartphone for my birthday ( june 5 ), but i can't choose between the SAMSUNG S4, HTC ONE AND SONY XPERIA Z , so here is my lifestyle:I LOVE WATCHING MOVIES, LOVE LISTENING TO MUSIC,I AM A MUSICIAN I PLAY GUITAR, I OFTEN PLAY GAMES ON PHONES AND I SOMETIMES DO HEAVY WEB BROWSING, I DO MOUNTAIN BIKING AND IN WINTER I LOVE TO SKI, SO WHICH PHONE IS RIGHT FOR ME. (money doesn't matter)

iPhone users are utter simpletons
Not unlike the sample of people you found in Central Park. Wow. Says ample of the average user nowadays. However I enjoyed how you found the two dykes(?) drunk at the 4:10 mark with the open bottle of wine...their input was also a shining example of the epitome of the average user. Dumb as sticks.

My blood pressure was rising with every second of this video, is there real people like that in the world?! No wonder every one was using an iPhone.