HTC One vs Nexus 4

Vs Paul Briden 18:04, 1 Mar 2013

Which is better: the Nexus 4 or the HTC One? We find out in our head-to-head comparison

Now that the HTC One has officially been launched we’re re-comparing its full spec line-up with that of the Nexus 4, following our predictive analysis from earlier in the year.

The Nexus 4 is Google’s current Nexus flagship, it’s built by LG and sports a premium spec at a low price tag. This includes a quad-core Qualcomm processor, a 4.7-inch IPS+ display and a stock build of the latest Android version, 4.2 Jelly Bean.

HTC’s latest offering, the HTC One, has a sculpted aluminium chassis containing a 4.7-inch Super LCD3 touch display and Qualcomm’s latest quad-core Snapdragon 600 chip. It brings Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with the company’s most up-to-date Sense 5 interface overlay.

Nexus 4: Key specs and what’s hot

The Nexus 4 possesses a high-end spec line-up with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 APQ8064 quad-core chipset clocked at 1.5GHz, an Adreno 320 graphics processing unit (GPU) and 2GB of dual-channel RAM.

This much power would be a boon on any handset, but here, running a stock version of the latest Jelly Bean build and carefully optimised under the watchful eye of Google we’re looking at possibly one of the slickest Android smartphone experiences currently available.

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean has all the same advantages as version 4.1 before it and 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich before that.

This means it has a more intuitive and visually interesting interface with a more logical menu layout, as well as faster and more stable performance. The Butter UI optimises display and software latency, ensuring you get a very smooth and responsive touch experience with fluid transitions and animations.

Multitasking is excellent, as well as handling simultaneous apps running at once. The interface gives you quick and easy access to an intuitive app carousel, making it easy to hop between apps or to swipe them away to close.

Notifications in the drop-down bar have been expanded and you can now swipe-in a second bar for quick settings controls.

There’s also Google Now, which is a useful notifications suite for searches, location-based information and other alerts centred around you.

A choice from over 700,000 apps is another big plus.

The display is a 4.7-inch IPS+ LCD with a 1280x768 pixel resolution at 318 pixels-per-inch (ppi). This produces crisp, punchy visuals with decent brightness, strong colours, good contrast and deep blacks.

HTC One: Key specs and what’s hot

The HTC One’s most standout feature is its exterior build – an aluminium unibody which looks more like some kind of alien spacecraft than a phone. It’s incredibly premium in fit, finish and feel, as well as stunning in visual design.

The display also outclasses much of the competition. It’s a 4.7-inch Super LCD3 with a Full HD 1920x1080 pixel resolution giving an unprecedented 469ppi pixel density.

As you’d expect, image quality is tremendously sharp with good colour and brightness. HTC has also optimised its Sense 5 UI to the display for an enhanced user experience.

With Android 4.1 you get the majority of the same perks as with the Nexus 4, although it lacks the quick settings menu and a few other fairly minor tweaks. On the whole though it’s still a rewarding Android experience.

Another advantage is the new-generation Qualcomm quad-core chip. It’s a Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T clocked at 1.7GHz with 2GB of dual-channel RAM and an Adreno 320 GPU. Initial benchmarks indicate that this is the fastest setup currently available – good news if you’re after plenty of power.

Direct spec comparison: Shootout

Device HTC One
Nexus 4
Dimensions 137.4x68.2x9.3mm, 143g 133.9x68.7x9.1mm,139g
Display 4.7-inch SLCD3,1920x1080 pixels,468ppi 4.7-inch IPS Plus LCD,1280x768 pixels,318ppi
Camera 4-megapixel,LED flash,1080p video,Optical stabilisation 8-megapixel,LED flash,1080p video
Storage 32GB/64GB 8GB/16GB
Processor, RAM, Graphics 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 S4 quad-core APQ8064T,2GB RAM,Adreno 320 GPU 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon APQ8064,2GB RAM,Adreno 320 GPU
Operating System, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
UI  HTC Sense 5 n/a
Connectivity microUSB,Bluetooth,NFC,Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Direct,Wi-Fi Hotspot,DLNA,4G,GPS,MHL Bluetooth,microUSB,NFC,Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Hotspot,DLNA,GPS
Battery 2,300mAh 2,100mAh

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