Galaxy S4, HTC One

It's been a bit week for Samsung, with the European launch of its Galaxy S4 handset getting underway in full force. Meanwhile, the HTC One got its first over-the-air update, fixing bugs and tweaking the phone's "Ultrapixel" camera. And on the subject of cameras, we heard the first news of what might be Sony's mid-year refresh, with new Cyber-shot imaging tech on-board.

Get caught up on the week's international Android news after the break.

Samsung Galaxy S4 launch

After a limited launch late last week, the Samsung Galaxy S4 finally saw widespread availability in recent days. All the major UK network operators are now stocking the phone, as are independent retailers like Phones4U and the Carphone Warehouse. Other SIM-free outlets are still waiting on stock, but for the most part the GS4 is well and truly launched. As such, Samsung has begun a huge marketing push for the device, targeting TV, banners, movies and social media in the UK.

But the UK wasn't the only place the Galaxy S4 was launching this week. India's also getting the phone, and Samsung saw fit to subject audiences to a cringeworthy 'Gangnam Style' remix at the launch event in Mumbai. You'll find the video over here -- don't say we didn't warn you.

Here on the site, we're continuing to dive into the Galaxy S4 with feature guides and videos, so check out some of the ones we've published this week --

There's also our full review of the phone, if you've not yet checked that out.

HTC One gets first over-the-air update

European versions of HTC's flagship device got their first over-the-air update this week, bringing the device in line with the software on the American models. The new OTA adds tweaks to the location service, HTC Zoe, camera "parameter tuning" and Beats Audio, alongside the standard bug fixes. We've already seen improved results in HDR mode in the HTC One, and we'll be pitting it (and this new firmware) against the Galaxy S4 in a future article.

We also got our first glimpse of what might be HTC's mid-range offering for 2013, codenamed "M4." According to an image from @evleaks and PhoneArena, the "M4" will look almost exactly like its big brother, but with more budget-friendly internals and a 4.3-inch 720p display.

There was more bad financial news for HTC this week, though, as the company confirmed dismal Q1 results that reduced its operating margin to just 0.1 percent. The company expects things to turn around during the second quarter, fuelled by sales of the HTC One.

Sony Honami rumors

Sony traditionally refreshes its high-end Android smartphone in the fall, and it looks like this year's could be a doozy. The latest reports from VR-Zone point to the Sony "Honami" shipping with a new, larger image sensor, improved optics and software based on its Cyber-shot cameras (including a Sony G lens) and a possible output resolution of 20 megapixels. Other possible specs include a Snapdragon 800 CPU and a new kind of 5-inch, 1080p display with Sony's "WhiteMagic" tech (an extra white pixel alongside red, green and blue) for improved visibility.

We're still a long way out from the release of this device, if it's to come later this year. Look for a possible unveiling at IFA 2013 this September in Berlin, Germany.

That's it for this week's international round-up. If you've got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address!


Reader comments

International roundup: Galaxy S4 launch, HTC One update and Sony Honami rumors


Sony makes good looking devices with great specs. I just wish Sony/Sprint would partner up and sell a few of these devices. I know my daughter would and wife would buy them. On another note...when in the world is HTC putting out 4.2.2 (or better) for the HTC One (US Sprint version)?? I know HTC isn't all that great with updates but the One should have shipped with it installed respectively.

I've literally never seen a single Sony phone being used in public....and I constantly look to see what people are using!

I am the exception since I am in NY and use the Xperia Z.:)

I prefer to have clean 100% Sony devices, unlocked without any kind of carrier branding. They can be sold through the Sony Store (like today) or other stores, perhaps Best Buy et al.

It would be horrible to see a heavily modified "Sony Verizon" in the market. A Sony should always be a Sony. Not Carrier Sony.

I always think the same thing. I am constantly looking at what people are using, and i can also say that i have NEVER seen a sony device in someones hands. I think they make great looking devices and the fact that they are working so well with AOSP makes me want to try one, but not ever seeing one personally makes me a little nervous.

LMAO!! Just dont hold your breath! I had a one s on tmo, and it literally took them 7 months past the date they promised to get it out and its RIDDLED with bugs (battery issues from a lot of people). I really want to buy a one, but i think i will wait for the two (lol) and see if they can figure out how to update in a reasonable time (not to mention actually launch a phone WITHOUT it being out of date the minute it comes out)

I think HTC may skip 4.2 in general . Reason being is that 4.2 brings almost nothing new to what they have already added to sense ( new notification drawer is of no use to , new lock screen is of no use, and new camera is of no use). Only things i can think of that isn't added already is photosphere and daydream. Also with how close Google io is and the next version of android and on the normal pattern of updates this should be the big revision, it will take a lot of developing to update to 4.2 and immediately have to start on 5.0/4.3.

Love the Xperia Z, class looking phone. It's a real shame they don't get the same attention as Samsung and HTC.

I was really looking forward to the Z series, but that TFT screen needs to go. I can't believe they haven't started using IPS panels.