LG Nexus 4 versus HTC One

They're two of the hottest Android phones around right now, so how do the HTC One and the Nexus 4 stack up?

When Google released the LG-made Nexus 4 late last year, it went toe-to-toe with the leading hardware of the time at a fraction of the price. Now we've got our hands on the HTC One, one of the first big flagship phones of 2013, so how does the Nexus stand up against this latest round of hardware?

We've been using the Nexus 4 since launch, and though we've only had the HTC One for a little under a week, there are more than a few areas where it's clear HTC has pulled ahead. But these things are never as simple as comparing spec numbers, so head past the break and check out our comparison video to find out more. We've also got more words and pictures if you're into that sort of thing.

Build quality

We're still quite enamored with the Nexus 4 and its glass-centric chassis design. Sure, it's a magnet for scratches, and it's going to break more easily than something made of plastic or metal. But it feels great in the hand, and the rubbery soft-touch area around the edge makes the phone easy to grip.

Despite all that, we have to give the HTC One the win when it comes to build quality and industrial design. Its space-age aluminum unibody is just that good. We're suckers for metal phones, and the HTC One is the best metal phone we've ever used. The curved, tapered back makes it more hand-friendly than the iPhone, and we'd expect it to be a good deal sturdier than any glass-backed device. When it comes to build quality in the Android space, it's no exaggeration to say that HTC has raised the bar with its latest handset.

LG Nexus 4 versus HTC One.


The HTC One sports a 1080p SuperLCD3 panel, while the Nexus opts for a traditional IPS screen at 1280x768 resolution -- a little over 720p. Both displays measure in at 4.7 inches, and both look great -- they're bright, easily usable in daylight with good color reproduction. But the HTC One pulls ahead in brightness and color accuracy, not to mention resolution. Colors on the Nexus are a little cooler in places, and we've also noticed the touchscreen on the HTC One seems a little more sensitive than LG's offering.

Nevertheless, we're still quite happy hopping back on the Nexus's near-720p IPS display. The difference between 320 pixels per inch and 468 pixels per inch isn't something that immediately jumps out, and even side-by-side the Nexus holds up really well.

Processors and performance

The Nexus 4 packs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset at 1.5GHz -- arguably the most powerful chip of 2012. The HTC One takes a step beyond this with a Snapdragon 600 SoC, said to be 20-30 percent faster than the S4 Pro, with a faster-clocked Adreno 320 GPU to boot. In practice the HTC One is a little snappier than the Nexus -- apps seem to load faster and the device seems more responsive to touch.

But it's a difference you're only ever going to notice if you've got the two side-by-side, and we're perfectly happy using either. Though the HTC One may be the speedier of the two, the Nexus 4 remains an incredibly powerful smartphone.



The two phones have taken very different paths in their button placements. Being a Nexus device, the N4 opts for on-screen keys -- back, home and task-switching, while HTC has just back and home, abandoning the capacitive task-switching button found on previous HTC One-series handsets. That means you'll have to double-tap the home key to reach  the task-switcher, which isn't a huge deal, but it's a point worth highlighting. (Google Now, incidentally, can be reached by long-pressing the home key.)

You'll also have to deal with the ugly on-screen menu block should you load an app that requires menu key functionality on the HTC One -- not the case on the Nexus, which conjures a smaller menu button in the bottom right corner.

So on the whole we feel that the Nexus 4 handles its buttons more elegantly. The three buttons you need are just there, and you don't have to deal with long-pressing, double-tapping or dealing with black bars in older apps.


Sense 5 versus stock Android 4.2

Historically, HTC Sense has been one of those things internet denizens and tech pundits alike have loved to complain about. And some of it's been deserved criticism -- earlier versions of Sense focused on animations and graphical finery at the cost of performance.

Sense 5 is a different beast, however. The entire UI -- most noticeably the home screen launcher -- has been completely redesigned. A new font, new, minimalist design language and a new home screen archetype based around the BlinkFeed news-scrolling area and a redesigned app drawer. We're not crazy about the HTC One app drawer (though there are ways to customize it into something more user-friendly) -- but we've found BlinkFeed to be useful enough when we need it, and easy to dismiss when it's not.

And as for performance -- well, we've already mentioned that the HTC One is probably the fastest Android phone we've used. The days of Sense slowing down otherwise speedy phones is well and truly over. Equally, we think the new Sense is just as attractive as stock Android, and maybe just a little more user-friendly, with features like Get Started and BlinkFeed squarely aimed at "civilian" smartphone users.

But we're also fans of the pure, unsullied stock Android experience, and the Nexus has the advantage of being Google's reference phone and being first with updates. It's also running Android 4.2, whereas HTC's stuck on 4.1.2. Both are Jelly Bean, and we'd argue that the HTC One doesn't miss much by not being on 4.2. But if you want to be on the bleeding edge of Android, Nexus is the place to be.

LG Nexus 4 versus HTC One.

Camera quality

Nexus devices have never thrilled us with their camera quality. The Nexus 4's is decent, but can't stand up to other flagship phones, despite unique features like Photosphere's 360 degree panoramas, and low-light performance is decidedly shonky.

The HTC One packs HTC's new "Ultrapixel" camera tech -- larger pixels on the sensor designed to capture more light. The trade-off is a lower overall megapixel count of just 4MP. That means the HTC One is the clear winner in low light and video recording, also thanks to its optical image stabilization tech. We're still coming to our own conclusions as to where the HTC One's camera stands in the grand scheme of things, but relative to the Nexus 4, we feel the One is a better fit for most smartphone users. HTC's "Zoe" shots, which grab a few seconds of video alongside a burst capture, add to its credentials in this area.

It's also worth noting that the HTC One shoots photos in 16:9 orientation, as opposed to the Nexus's more standard 4:3. And the One's wider-angle lens means you'll capture a wider view of scenes if you're shooting in this widescreen aspect ratio.

Comparison shots: HTC One shots on the left, Nexus 4 on the right

Camera sample from HTC OneCamera sample from Nexus 4

Camera sample from HTC OneCamera sample from Nexus 4

Camera sample from HTC OneCamera sample from Nexus 4

Battery life

We're still completing our battery tests on the HTC One, whereas we've had almost four months with the Nexus 4. But in our few days of testing, we've found the HTC One's battery life to be roughly comparable to the Nexus 4 -- that's to say it's pretty good. Our first proper day of testing got us just under 14 hours of moderate to heavy use both indoors and outdoors on Wifi, HSPA and LTE. That day included a good deal of photography and video recording, making this figure all the more impressive.

That's about equivalent to what we get form the Nexus 4, so we're more than happy with the battery life we're getting from both handsets.

Battery life

The bottom line​

The Nexus 4 was a good phone four months ago, and a good phone it remains today. And there are many reasons to pick up LG and Google's stock Jelly Bean-powered beast, not least of which is its price. At £240 in the UK and $300 in the U.S., it's heavily subsidized through the Google Play Store. The HTC One, of course, is pricier, but that gets you a better screen, sumptuous build quality and LTE connectivity.

As with every device, there are software trade-offs to be made. The Nexus is pure Android, and for some people that's the pinnacle of smartphone software. We're more pragmatic than that, and we've come to enjoy using Sense 5 in recent days, despite its wonky button setup.

We like both the Nexus 4 and the HTC One an awful lot and we'll still probably carry both. But when it comes to daily driver time? We're leaning -- pretty strongly -- towards the One. It takes a lot to pry us away from a Nexus, but that's exactly what HTC has done with its latest flagship.



Reader comments

HTC One versus LG Nexus 4


Ok,yeah,but htc uses so much proprietary crap that that's no longer a guarantee for a flawless experience. Let's face it, the. Camera, the speakers, ect, aren't going to be that great under CM. They're really all software.

Beats Audio, Ultrapixel? The camera on the HTC One was a letdown in just about every review due to post-processing with the new camera tech. Other than low light, it doesn't have much going for it.

Idk, there are a few sites that have it above even the Nokia 920 a few of those being Engadget, Gizmodo, TechnoBuffalo, and even Steve Litchfield's camera comparison (which is a HEAVILY Nokia inclined website.)

well, HTC bragged about all the software optimizations for the camera they did when they announced the One,and HTC cameras have ALWAYS lost most of their photo quality when flashed to non-sense (heh) software.
Far as sound goes, I flashed Beats Audio to my Acer Tablet - yes, it really just is software. "BoomSound", which is pretty much just beats audio, loads of extra microphones, and audio amps, is a mix of hardware and software, but the hardware is all proprietorially (sp?) controlled. The same amps are in the DNA, and they sound like shit while running ASOP-based software.

[EDIT]oh, and the IR blaster. Yeah, I have yet to see a CM/ASOP-based ROM that supports an IR blaster.[/edit]

TL;DR - CM10+ on this will not necessarily fix all your woes with this device, unless you don't WANT the camera or the audio - in which case why did you buy it?

Tell that to the owners of the HTC DNA. HTC lately hsa been known to have non hack friendly phones. I believe there is a dev version of the phone coming out but it will not be subsidized so be willing to spend 600 dollars.

You can always drop a third party launcher like Nova. Never been a big fan of Sense / Loved my rezound / liking the gs3 even better/ will jump on the One if it ever comes to vzw.

What is with all this talk recently of "just replacing the launcher" being a solution to a bad manufacturer UI? It isn't. It never has been. Manufacturers change more than just the launcher, sometimes adulterating the code at the core of the OS.

Love Alexs honesty.
I have a Note2, sometimes I wish I had gone with the LG Nexus, now I feel I should have waited for the One. I am one of the few that actually enjoys Sense.

Why are you comparing a $300 device with a $650 device? Did you honestly expect them to be close? You might as well compare a Ford to a Ferrari.

Why don't you go and compare the HTC ChaCha with the One for your next post? Idiots.

Well, the One on contract will probably put you back $300 and the Nexus4 will put you back between $300 and $350, so why is that such a farfetched comparison. I would group these two phones in the same category for sure (comparable specs, hardware, build quality).

A Ford GT could easily be compared to a Ferrari.

I think it is you that is coming off as an idiot.

On contract... And how much does that 2/3 year contract cost you? $1000+ right? Not to mention that European/Asian countries mostly don't even have contracts anymore. The Nexus is half the price of the HTC One, get over it.

A Ford GT is comparable to a Ferrari how? It lags in most comparisons to the Ferrari F430 and 458 even when their overall power output is the same, and when costs are similar as well. Ferrari's tech is still years ahead of Ford's. It's like comparing one of those cheap Chinese android phones with a 1080p screen and quad-core Mediatek CPU to the HTC One.

Please don't go on about things you don't know about.

Coming from someone who's actually driven them both excessively over 150mph...you're A FOOL. Not to mention the Ferrari is much more expensive. PS...$1,500 for a pulley and a tune will net you 700+whp on the GT. Won't get you brake pads on the Ferrari.

HURR MURICAN MUSCLE! Go find a Ford GT now under $200K then we'll talk. And by both, which BOTH did you mean out the F430/458/GT? Also, instead of on track, have you supposedly even driven the cars on the road? That's where Ferrari excels with handling and precision. Please read the comment properly then reply. You just make yourself seem stupid otherwise.

Compare it to the F430, not the 458 - got to keep the generations in check. And yes, they can be easily compared. A car is more than just specs on paper, or how fast it goes or what's under the hood. Why, then, would car guys have fallen head over heels for the Fiat Panda? Why does the Ariel Atom get so much love? Or heck, if you want to stick to supercars, why isn't Aston Martin dead yet? Their tech has always lagged behind their competitors, but in a car that's *NOT* the damn point.

Let's get subjective. The Ford GT looks far better than the F430 in Gulf livery. Has a nicer engine sound too, sounds meatier, manlier. Heck, it looks better period. In my opinion, of course.

If you wanna play Top Trumps, go ahead. I don't know if you're regular on the site or not, but if you've been following Android over the past couple of years how good a phone is not something you can extrapolate from a purely spec perspective. There's a reason why AC doesn't do benchmarks any more ;)

Fiat Panda- remake of a classic with extraordinary MPG, could be compared to the love of the Ford GT because of the GT40.
Aston Martin- James Bond fans and/or lovers of cheap used exotics, like my old high school teacher with his old $50 Aston Martin DB7. They have great entry vehicles, but their high end lines are dying.

Your comment also contradicts the previous poster with his mod to 700WHP+!1!1!!!1 Again, Ford easily loses to any similarly priced Ferrari due to the "crude" tech used in their cars. Ferraris have exceptionally better handling/overall driver experience. Much like a comparison between a BRZ/GT86/FRS and a Genesis Coupe. While the Genesis is decently powerful car for its price, it lacks severely in driving pleasure as opposed to the BRZ, etc.

Looks/sounds are subjective and largely influenced by the types of cars you likes. Most MURICANS love their loud and noisy 10000HP muscles, and dis any European car they see.

Purely spec, the Ford would beat most Ferraris of similar price, but the Ferrari is a better driver car. But still specs to matter, especially when the HTC One is just about a whole generation ahead of the N4 hardware wise. That's like your own rebuke over comparing the 458 to the Ford GT. It's a generation ahead, no? Makes you kind of a hypocrite.

You guys are way off, the best analogy i can think of is It's like comparing a black penis to an asian penis, the latter is superior and comes first in the alphabet. period.

Damn you for stealing my Ford GT (or Z06) that'll run circles around cars that are many times more expensive. LOL. JK...well done, sir.

that last part is a little harsh.

and while i Kinda agree with you about the Ford/Ferrari thing...this isn't like comparing a Fiesta with a 599GTO....its more of a Ford GT vs Ferrari 458. both great cars, just in slightly different classes.

the nexus is the flagship android phone for 2012/2013, the One is the flagship HTC phone for 2013. a fair comparrison for sure.

i for one would still take the Nexus. something about stock android and timely updates. HTC has soured me in the past....I used to be OK with being an upgrade behind, but then i got my hands on the G-Nex. it has ruined me forever :)

Because some people don't care about the price and some will be buying it on contract anyway.

Why does everyone compare phones to cars?

Because clearly a giant car that costs tens of thousands of dollars and a smartphone that fits in your pocket and costs roughly $300 are similar consumer products....

Google has MUCH more advanced economies of scale than HTC.... they bank on revenue coming from the Google ecosystem over time, rather than from device sales.

Google -- market value of $250 BILLION
HTC -- market value of ~34 BILLION

Why are you comparing one company that's not even 15% as valuable to another??

Stop trolling, go have some breakfast and reevaluate.

Idiots? The Nexus 4 is the best phone out currently, that's why. I'm reading this from my nexus and saying, I don't think I want to buy a One because my nexus is almost as good. The only thing about the One I would really like to upgrade over my nexus is the camera. The screen on the nexus is pretty good and good enough for me. For the extra 350$ I could pick up a pretty good point and shoot and not have to carry my DSLR everywhere. I don't feel the need to do tthat . Those comparison shots didn't wow me. Nexus held its ground just fine, especially after some correction from snapseed.

Wow, you're saying the Nexus is the best phone out right now (which is wrong when comparing specs) then you turn right around and say the Nexus 4 is almost as good as the HTC ONE.

You paid $300 for a phone with 8 gigs of internal memory, slower processor, inferior screen, camera, and speakers.

The HTC ONE should cost more than the 8 gig version of the Nexus 4. But, please tell me the price of the Nexus 4 with 32 gigs onboard....

So much derp here. Did you even bother reading the article? In practice the faster processor, screen, etc. don't matter.

According to Google's pricing scheme for storage on devices 7" and under, a 32GB Nexus 4 would cost $399. Still a massive savings, not sure if it's worth $250-$300.

Besides, Google always has the best phones at the time of release, based on software alone. My Galaxy Nexus is still a solid performer, even on 4.2. My mother has the Nexus 4, and it performs incredibly. FAST, never a lag or slowdown. The next Nexus is coming soon; I'm waiting for THAT.

wtf?? The Nexus 4 is the best phone in the market, just because the processor on the One is slightly "better" doesnt mean anything cuz Sense is gonna bog down the ram anyways, I'm pretty sure next to each other, the Nexus 4 will seem a lot quicker because stock Android is the difference

technically the HTC One isnt out yet so I think saying the nexus 4 is the best phone out right now is a valid statement. Of course a phone launching 4 months later is going to out spec the nexus 4. The same way the Nexus 5 in nov 2013 is going to out perform the HTC One.

The software upgrades, ability to hack and developer support for the nexus line is enough for me to feel confident about not having a metal phone with a 1080p screen right now. Although, I admit the HTC ONE looks realllllly nice. Imagine the hardware of it as a nexus :DROOLS:

^^^Word is bond! IMO Software is king...and THAT's why Nexi are kings of Android. The HTC One looks awesome, but total meh in the same breath. Would love to see the N5 with front stereo speakers.

"We got ourselves a bad-ass over here." Why get all up in arms over a cellphone review? It's two flagship phones, plus the Nexus is the golden boy of Android. You would be up in arms if they didn't test them.

Tell that to all the folks who bought the N4 off contract from T-Mobile for 500+. Or the folks in Europe who shelled out between 500 and 700+ for it. Anywhere but from Google you had to pay Flagship phone prices for it.

Apparently you didn't read the part where Alex said the Nexus 4 is heavily subsidized by the google. The true value of that phone when it came out was 600+.

Tracdoor, you need to remember: Google is highly subsidizing the Nexus 4 in order to get you into the Google ecosystem. Perhaps even for a loss, or break-even. HTC does not have such an ecosystem, and thus must sell their phone for profit.

You can, but the actual sensor size is 16:9, unlike most cameras. That means if you shoot in 4:3 it just chops off the sides.

Really? Ugh, that could be a deal breaker for me. My prefered photo aspect ratios are either 3:2 or 4:3 - 16:9 is my absolute last choice and I almost never use it. That's really odd HTC went with a 16:9 sensor, my guess is they believe most people shoot pictures in 16:9 on their phones because that's the size of their display, and since they lowered the megapixel count to 4 if they used the typical 4:3 sensor size they would effectively be cutting down the "actual" megapixels to like 3-something for the typical user.

I like the HTC One so much that I'm tempted to sell my N4 (could probably make a small profit, bought in US selling in Europe), except for one thing you don't mention: the N4 is _always_ unlocked. For frequent travelers that is a big selling feature. With the HTC One I either have to pay full price (making it _far_ more expensive than the N4) or buy it carrier subsidized, and therefore locked.

Things that weren't mentioned.

1/ Lack of Photosphere on the HTC One.
2/ Nexus devices will be rocking Android 5 as soon as it's released. HTC, well, who knows when (if ever).
3/ Nexus 4 is half the price of the HTC One, at not significantly slower or worse in any kep area.

1. Photosphere is a cool option.

2. Upgrades always happen for Nexus devices first, that's cool too. But HTC do upgrade pretty fast. As far as your carrier, that's a different story...isn't that right Verizon customers. I'm on Sprint, and we get updated pretty quickly.

3. You have the price comparison dead WRONG. The Nexus price of $300 is the Nexus with only 8 gigs of internal memory. Same Nexus phone otherwise. So a side by side comparison in this instance is fair. So a more accurate comparison in the automobile world would be a 2012 Ferrari versus a 2013 Lamborghini.

Let us stop being such fanboys of certain devices and carriers. Just state the facts, or personal opinions without trying to make someone look bad. The 8 gig Nexus is a GREAT phone for those that use cloud storage. I don't use cloud storage, so I would not get it. And as far as my Verizon comment...that was not an direct attack on Verizon customers or that carrier...But Verizon is very SLOW to update their phones....right?

"You'll also have to deal with the ugly on-screen menu block should you load an app that requires menu key functionality on the HTC One -- not the case on the Nexus, which conjures a smaller menu button in the bottom right corner."

Are you sure there isn't a setting that allows one of the buttons to double as a settings button? The One devices last year had this.

This looks like a great phone, but the button arrangement is a turn-off. Between that and sense, I'm glad I bought the Nexus 4, and didn't wait. If you could take the body of the One, and make it into a Nexus device with on-screen buttons, I think that would be a practically perfect phone.

There are about 382,472 options to modify/remove the on screen buttons...most require rooting or roming but its not difficult since it can be done it about 10 mins. Modifying the physical buttons sounds like a much harder task O.O

Physical buttons can be remapped as well. Just a matter of knowing the right file to modify and which values to reassign to the buttons.

Note 2 and N4 owner here. For value the N4 is tough to beat. I have never owned a HTC but the One is impressive on every dimension. HTC really stepped it up and learned to include more storage which doomed the One X.

I can't wait to see the One reviews post launch. The N4 works well and I am happy with my devices now but the bar is getting raised every few months now!

Storage did not 'doom' the One X. Please stop assuming you're a regular user with regular needs that actually matters to the quantity of sales on a smartphone.

What 'doomed' the One X was bad marketing, period. It is every bit the equal of the S3, better in some ways and worse in others; but had almost no marketing budget (not too mention model confusion), especially outside the US. Whereas the S3 did and was simultaneously launched everywhere.

respect to the N4 but i cant stand stock android...it's nice to have the latest and greatest when it comes to updates, but all in all, the One should be fine with updates, cant wait til next month when i get this upgrade. HTC has always been my favorite...and i've always hated LG and Samsung...Build quality matters...equally as much as software...

"the One should be fine with updates"

Said every HTC owner Ever.

the HTC one will see 4.2 about the time the next Nexus comes out, and i would be shocked if it sees anything past that. just like the HTC oneX....the US version JUST got 4.1 the Thunderbolt JUST got 4.0.

its fine if fast updates aren't important to you, but dont lie to yourself that it will be updated timely.

I do not know where you get your information from, but HTC do not send out updates to phones, the specific carriers do. the HTC One X, was a decision made by AT&T as far as it's updates are concerned.

The Nexus phone SHOULD get all Google updates first, It's a Google phone. Anything less would be unacceptable.

As far as NEXUS phones and updates are concerned...the Nexus 4 looks to be a GREAT phone, but DON'T FOOL YOURSELF, one day this phone will no longer receive updates, just like the original NEXUS phones. No matter what phone you have, there comes a time when it simply gets outdated.

And to be honest, updates are alright, but not that great. I would rather the HTC ONE right now over the NEXUS 4. There is no update to get you to a 1080p screen, or to get the Nexus camera on equal ground, or to make your speakers sound better. To me, it seems like the Nexus devices are always catching up when it comes to features for phones...in my opinion.

Nexus phones aren't about having the top hardware, never have been. They are about showing off the latest Android software. And he's not fooling himself, he knows and I know that the Nexus 4 will be updated long enough to see it replaced with a new phone in 2 years, the HTC will get one update and they you're stuck with that version till you can afford a new phone or your contract finishes.

Not true, my original EVO had three major updates. Just received another update last month..and that phone is three years old almost. So please stop putting out false information. Real phone geeks like myself know that Google phones get quicker updates, but they do not get all the updates over time. Phones do phase out.

I still have a soft spot in my heart for HTC, because the G1 was my first smartphone and the first Googlephone before the Nexus series was started. Then I jumped to the Nexus One and again I became a diehard HTC fan. I'm sure many other hardcore Android fans feel the same.

But those were both stock Android devices. My next phone was the HTC Sensation with Sense. My god what an awful phone and what an awful skin it was. I really couldn't take using it compared to Stock. It was just too gimmicky and dumbed-down, plus it was a resource hog which made the phone run slow as hell after a week of use.

If HTC at least offered the option to choose EITHER Stock Android OR Sense at the setup, and at least updated the stock Android side fairly quickly like Asus, I would come back to HTC in a heartbeart because I love their hardware.

However, every HTC phone runs Sense, and even running a different launcher still gives you everything else that is Sense-based. My one gripe is how HTC decided to offer only two buttons. WTF is up with that? Give me software buttons like the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 and screw buttons etched on the screen.

If Google were smart, it would give HTC the next Nexus. This would bolster HTC against Samsung and give Google a bit more leverage until the Motorola development cycle catches up to today and then Google can launch the X-Phone.

Yes said every not US HTC (or any other) owner ever.. Dont blame the manufacturer blame your wonky networks. Dont your carrier versions of the nexus also get slow updates? My S3 had a Samsung 4.2.2 ROM (albeit a leak) before some of your Nexus'.

I've always felt that the hardware is the only thing that really matters with Android handsets - the software side of things can always be sorted afterwards. Want updates? Root and flash. Want an AOSP experience? Root and flash. Simple. Therefore, the One's superior hardware seems like the way to go.

yap thats the same way I see it, as soon as CM10 hits this I'm picking one up and getting rid of the N4.

Good luck waiting... The latest HTC device the DNA has been out for 3+ months and still doesn't have a fully working AOSP rom. HTC have been bad with hack-ability lately.

Good luck waiting... The latest HTC device the DNA has been out for 3+ months and still doesn't have a fully working AOSP rom. HTC have been bad with hack-ability lately.

I'm sorry but AOSP roms are not a given anymore with HTC devices. There will be a dev version of the phone coming out but it will be unsubsidized so be willing to spend $600 and also hope there is enough of a dev community to support the phone.

I liked the Nexus 4 when it came out, but there are some great phones coming down the pipeline like the HTC One and the Moto X. Still, I think the Nexus holds up well against other soon to be released phones like the Samsung Galaxy 4. Competition is great.

Nexus 4, HTC One, Motorola X, and Samsung Galaxy S IV are going to be the Top Android Smart Phones for 2013.

I don't think it will happen, but I would LOVE to see a Sprint EVO version of the HTC ONE. Sprint took the HTC One X, and made a better phone of it (EVO 4G LTE), by adding a sd card, kickstand, better hardware. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make a EVO version of the HTC ONE.

Sprint needs to stop making special versions of phones and dump that $$$ into making their network better. Their network coverage and QoS is dead last among US carriers; and it's not even close to HOW dead last they really are.

I guess the fact that they starting building their network after everyone else has nothing to do with that huh? I swear some people dont even think before they type.

HTC has an accessory back shell with a kickstand for the new HTC one. Also HTC has a flap cover case that also functions as a horizontal stand. Do a search for HTC One accessories.

Moreover the on-board 64 Gb version should provide more than enough storage with better functionality. Although I will miss the external focus and shoot camera button hardware on the EVO LTE.

Wow, big difference in the lower light photos. Both look decent but man you can certainly tell that the ONE is taking in much more light and getting a much more natural photo. That is impressive. Good work on getting some indoor lighting photos in there. I would have liked to see some faces in the indoor pics so see how the colors are done but now I'm just nitpicking.

Alex, thank you for addressing the significant performance problems Sense has had in the past. I've been a bit disappointed in how we glossed over this back then but nevertheless, you answered a BIG question of mine. Glad that HTC is finally over the hump here and can compete with AOSP roms. As much as I love CM10.1, it doesn't have the Camera tech we all need. No more significant performance trade off.

Battery life is about the same as the Nexus 4 and you consider that good? Even after the 4.2.2 update, my Nexus 4 drains way too quickly. If the HTC One is like that, it's not going to cut it.

Exactly!that is my biggest worry I have the N4 and I love the One but I would not go near a phone that has the same battery performance no matter what else it does.

Actually, the HTC looks like they took the Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE, and upgraded/updated it to make the HTC ONE.

The EVO 4G LTE already was using aluminum materials for a better build and feel.

If HTC could have incorporated an sd card slot, and kickstand...this would be the perfect phone.

HTC has an accessory back shell with a kickstand for the new HTC one. Also HTC has a flap cover case that also functions as a horizontal stand. Do a search for HTC One accessories.

Moreover the on-board 64 Gb version should provide more than enough storage with better functionality. Although I will miss the external focus and shoot camera button hardware on the EVO LTE.

The AC guys will use the HTC One until May 15, then the new version of Android will drag them back to the Nexus. Then the GS4 will distract them over the summer until the next version of Android comes out, maybe on a new Nexus. It's human nature to want to play with the newest newest toy, whether it's software or hardware.

Bottom line, these are all great phones and we're living in great times.

So much wasted space on the Nexus due to the onscreen buttons.

Also, the HTC One looks like the EVO LTE which everyone thought was ugly. Kind of funny it is beautifully designed now.

I added matr1x kernel to my Nexus 4, and I get two days worth of use, right now at this second, I'm at 1 day 6 hrs 21 minutes six seconds on my last charge, with 47% left...

Two things stick out for me with HTC.
1. The HTC keyboard is terrific and much better than stock Android (I know you could use another 3rd party kb, but the HTC one is my fave).
2. HTC Sense has always done a much better job at contacts and calendar management working with Outlook and Gmail contacts/calendar. Which, for my work travel, is a must. This is what drives me nuts about iOS in how poor it is in that regard compared to Sense.

Questions for Alex - is the HTC kb different on the new One? (I don't care about swype entry, just the layout and longpress alternative characters like it is now)
Are there any significant changes in contacts/calendar management on the new One?


Nexus 4 wins easily for me. I'll be happy with it 18 months from now too on the latest Android version while the HTC One is one or two versions behind. I'm not into rooting or custom ROMs anymore so the argument of buying the HTC One and slapping a custom ROM on it doesn't concern me, nor does the horrific button layout they've decided on, on screen buttons all the way for me now. A mighty shame I can no longer even try to get an official bumper for the Nexus 4 though.

I get what you're saying, but not every Android update is major. JB was a huge update in so many facets of the OS. Some you could see and others your phone could feel. But was the jump from ICS to GB that big? Not really. People complain about HTC updates but there are two factors here: the plethora of devices they are trying to update and the carriers. With the One, they won't have to code for 20 devices. It should help updates roll out faster and might even get the older phones updated a little quicker. And even when they do get it done, have fun waiting for an extra few months if you're on Verizon or AT&T because... who knows why, really? But people on this site, and others, still piss and moan about HTC updates because their AT&T version just got JB last week. Meanwhile, the rest of the world had JB last fall (including the EVO on Sprint, which is impressive since CDMA devices need a little extra to get them updated).

Alex thanks for this article. It's good to see how far Android has progressed. Seems like almost all major manufactures have top notch devices. Indeed there as so many options to choose from. Bravo tip HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung , and Sony for produces the current heavyweights of Android that can stand up to the competition .

On a side note, and maybe it's just me, but I think you all should stop writing any HTC-related articles. They all end up being one huge debate about batteries, SD Cards, updates, and Sense features. They are hands down the most hated Android manufacture (if I used the comments from HTC topics as proof). Really go back and read the comments; it's the same thing every time

I am really excited to see if the One can lead to a bounce back year for HTC, really a beautiful phone. I even wouldn't mind having it as my daily driver. I just don't want to pay $600+ for a phone and I am done with resigning 2 year contracts.

I like many things HTC did with this phone, but you can't argue if you're looking to be contract free the Nexus 4 is by far your best value. If I was signing up via contract the HTC would be the winner for me this phone cycle, I don't see the GS4 making me change my opinion on that either. For now I'll gladly use my Nexus 4 and smile at my $30 a month phone bill.

I have to agree with you here. Now that I have a N4 I just can't see myself going back to the whole on-contract paradigm and spending $60+ per month so I can be stuck with a phone for 2 years.

I just really hope and pray that Google continue doing what they started with the Nexus 4, i.e. selling top-shelf phones at stupid-cheap prices. I mean, I just upgraded from a Galaxy SII, which I had for almost two years, and at the time I bought my Nexus 4 the SGSII was still more expensive to buy new & unlocked. That's insane.

If Google keep the Nexus program running as is, they have a customer for life here.

People who complain about the on screen buttons on the Nexus taking up so much extra space really haven't used a Nexus.

When watching video, the buttons disappear and the video fills the entire screen. When rotating the phone, the buttons rotate to the correct orientation. On custom roms lime AOKP, you can change the color of the on-screen buttons (Back, Home, Recent) or even add/remove buttons. The buttons also reconfigure when using the keyboard. It's very intuitive.

Try doing all that with buttons etched on the screen. It almost seems rudimentary to see static buttons on a phone now. Even worse is that HTC decided to complicate matters by removing a key button and adding their logo. Talk about form over function....

Or you can do what I did on my N4. Using AOKP I hid the Nav bar and now I use LMT launcher for my Nav (Similar to PA PIE) That way it doesn't use any screen RE and the nav is there when I need it

HTC has always cared more about form then they do function. The One X proved that. The At&t version looked great but functioned like crap. A high end smartphone with no multitasking capability.

The Nexus will always the advantage of running clean Android and the latest OS. Next winter when the Nexus is running 6.0 or 6.1, the One will still be bootloader locked to Jellybean with the senseless UI.

Personally, I'm keeping my Galaxy Nexus (effortlessly running 4.2.2) and would see the HTC One a step down unless HTC unlocks it.

Both phones are very well built. I'm a very big Nexus fan but the lack of storage kept me away. 16gb is pathetic. HTC One will have a developer phone available which means the HTC One will probably get unlocked and get very good dev support. It is great to have choices.

Really odd off topic question. But where do you get all the backgrounds from when you review devices. I really like some of the phone backgrounds used, is there an easy place to find them?

Links to both the HTC One and Nexus backgrounds are posted by participants earlier (above) in this forum thread.

The one looks like an awesome phone. But I think most nexus 4 owners will tell you they wouldn't trade their phones for anything. Nothing else can match the combination of sim unlocked, ease of bootloader unlock, guaranteed os updates, and readily available factory images, regardless of price.

How do you get the Umbrella sign on the Lock screen and a gmail unread email count on nExus 4?? Is this specific to nexus 4? Or is it for all 4.2.2 devices? I donot see the umbrella sign or the notification count on my Gnex running stock 4.2.2. To know exactly what I mean take a look at the video at exactly 2:10.