Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs. HTC One

Features Marin Perez 14:28, Mar 07 2013

We compare the Galaxy Note 2 vs. the HTC One and see which Android superphone takes the crown

The HTC One should be landing in the United States very soon but many of you have been asking if it's worth waiting for this or going with an existing phone like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. We've pitted these two Android superphones against each other to let you know what to expect. 

The HTC One isn't out yet, so we can't fully judge it yet but be sure to check out our hands-on preview. The Note 2 has been out for a few months now and we love it, as you can see from our Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review.  

Screen 

The HTC One will have a 4.7-inch display with a stunning 1920 x 1080 resolution. That's right, it will be a 1080p HD display and from our time with it, we thought it looked amazing. It packs a whopping 468 pixels per inch and it should be bright, responsive and great for videos, pictures and text messages. It should be one of the finest screens to hit the market. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 won't be able to outdo the HTC One in terms of resolution or pixels per inch but it wins in terms of real estate. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 sports a whopping 5.5-inch display with a 720p HD resolution and it's pretty nice in its own right. That extra space lets you do things like run two apps at once and makes watching videos on your phone a pleasant experience. 

The HTC One screen will technically be better than the Galaxy Note 2 but the Samsung device should appeal to those who want a bigger screen size. 

Design, Specs

Even though the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a large screen, it is a very thin and nice-looking device. Samsung has done a great job of making this long phone light, thin and easy to use. It's also packed with power as you get a 1.6GHz processor, NFC, 2GB of RAM, GPS, Wi-Fi, 8-megapixel camera, 4G LTE on certain carriers and it comes with the nifty S Pen to annotate web pages and jot down notes. 

On the down side, the Galaxy Note 2 is still a large phone because of its screen and you'll likely be using two hands when you interact with it. It also has the traditional plastic finish that Samsung uses and some of you may not like that. 

The HTC One looks and feels like an ultra-premium device with its gorgeous screen and the brushed aluminum finish. The Android superphone is super light, comes with a 1.7GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, NFC, 4G LTE, GPS and it will have an interesting UltraPixel camera. While this will "only" have a 4-megapixel camera, this is supposed to use larger pixels, so photos shoudl turn out amazing. 

On the down side, the HTC One won't satisfy those looking for a very large screen. Additionally, you won't be able to pop off the back casing to get at the battery and some of you find that important. 

Overall, I prefer the look and feel of the HTC One to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 but your own preferences may differ. 

Software

The HTC One and Galaxy Note 2 both run Android Jelly Bean but it's tough to tell that looking at them because each has a custom user interface on top. 

The HTC One will launch with Sense 5 and this really does provide a prettier interface than standard Android. The latest version includes a new font, pared down widgets and an improved virtual keyboard.

Two standout features of Sense 5 on the HTC One include BlinkFeed and Zoe. The BlinkFeed can live on your home screen and provide you with real-time updates from social networks and media sources without having to dive into apps. Zoe will use the camera to build three-second snippets of videos and pictures which can be shared on social networks. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes with the TouchWiz UI and it is filled with bright and somewhat cheery colors and icons. Samsung didn't skimp on the features either, as Samsung-specific things like ShareShot let you automatically share photos with other Galaxy devices. 

The Note 2 also features built-in support for the S Pen and this has neat things like the ability to hover the stylus above the screen and be able to preview messages. We've rounded up a lot of these features in our S Pen tips post.  

Of the two interfaces, I prefer TouchWiz over Sense because I think it adds more features and doesn't slow Android down as much as HTC's skin. 

Pricing, Availability 

The Samsung Galaxy Noe 2 is available on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon for roughly $300 with a new, two-year contract. The T-Mobile version will cost about $370 after rebates. You can likely find it for a little cheaper on Amazon Wireless.

We don't have a concrete date on when the HTC One will land in the United States but it will be coming to AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. We believe it should land within the next few weeks and I'd expect it to cost about $200 on AT&T and Sprint. The T-Mobile version may cost a bit more. 

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