HTC One will reportedly land in Australia this week and the question pops: Is it worth going for or you'll hold off a bit more for Samsung's next flagship, the Galaxy S4, which is set to hit store shelves by early April?
Both handsets are JellyBean and backed by super specs that will please even the most discriminating gadget experts. The only difference is the pedigree in which Samsung's Galaxy enjoys more prominence.
Even before its debut, the S4 is likely to garner some 40 million pair of eyes ogling at its beauty and power. They already own the Galaxy S3 and no doubt many of them will be convinced to upgrade.
How on earth the HTC One will merit a second look from loyal Samsung fans?
The form factor and the guts contents
All HTC One components are enclosed in a mixed body-material held together by a seamlessly-built aluminium chassis, prompting experts to conclude that HTC engineers were pushed to the limits in designing the shell that will house the One's inside elements.
Underscoring the zero-gap unibody approach, HTC indeed let out a handset that "feels sturdy, has reassuring heft, and its smooth metallic skin exudes high-end craftsmanship," CNET said.
These observations are equally applicable to the black and silver-white variants, CNET added.
"HTC has always made great hardware," BGR News said, affirming that the One is almost rock solid, which cannot be said of the Galaxy S3. If the same production template - plastic materials covering most of the handset - is applied by Samsung with the S4, the upcoming handset will be waylaid hands down.
Will it be the same inside? HTC One screams of the following jaw-dropping line up: a 1.7GHz quad-core processor in Snapdragon 600 fresh from Qualcomm's production lines, 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal memory (no expansion option though) and a 2300mAh battery that promises at least 10 hours of intense smartphone usage.
These specs are confirmed and they will go against the rumoured muscles of the Galaxy S4 that pretty much will look like the following: quad-core processor from either Exynos or Qualcomm with varying speeds of 1.5GHz to 1.9GHz plus RAM, storage and battery capabilities that are par with that of the HTC One.
In this respect, Galaxy S4 and HTC One are standing in equal terms.
JellyBean 4.1 is teaming up with Sense 5.0 in powering up the HTC One. HTC has indicated that it overhauled its skin for better integration with Android. More works are need in this department for HTC while Samsung has somewhat gained enough traction via its Premium Suite that seems to complement the whole Android experience.
While Sense is drowned out by the basic power of Android, TouchWiz at least points to Samsung's ability of fusing its imprints within Google's engineering genius without losing its identity.
UltraPixel sensor at 4MP plus a dedicated ImageChip are the base power that supports the hype about the HTC One camera. Paired with the proven competence of HTC in smartphone camera technology, consumers are getting more than what they paid for in the One - an extra compact cam that is able to capture images with stunning quality, one early review said.
For the Galaxy S4, Samsung is known to at least provide decent camera features with its Galaxy devices, even for the high-end line up, and it remains to be seen if its new smartphone will succeed in convincing camera enthusiasts that there is more to get from Samsung's imaging technology.
The S4 is said to rollout with a 13MP main shooter but experts are hoping that beyond the megapixel race, Samsung is porting more impressive cam features with the handset.
In the U.S., the HTC One can be had starting at $US200 plus two-year contract. The handset is also set for a European deployment under the name HTC M7 with a sticker price of no lower than $800 unlocked. No definite pricing in Australia for now but if major telcos will pick up the phone for distribution, subsidies will set in and Aussies will get a taste of cheaper HTC One.