It has been six years since the launch of first iPhone back in 2007. A lot has changed since then around the world of mobile phones, or smartphones as they’re being called nowadays. However, one thing has remained the same, all these years, i.e., the Craze for iPhones and more importantly, how they are always held high as the pinnacle for both rivals and consumers alike. All these years, whenever Apple’s competitor introduced a capable device, before even seeing its features, people compared it to iPhone and ask whether it could be a potential ‘iPhone Killer’. But over the years, lurking in the shadow of the iOS, Google’s Android OS has also become a dominant player. Android is powering smartphones of many manufacturers like Samsung and HTC, which couple it with brilliant hardware, as well. This time, the release of the 7th generation of iPhone was different because, for the first time, Apple introduced two iPhones- iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S. The 5C is priced economically, while the 5S moves forward the legacy of Apple’s premiumness.
The launch of iPhone 5S was preceded by the launch of several top notch devices in the Android space. So, it’s inevitable to put Apple’s flagship devices against the cream of the crop from Android. While the various specifications of the devices can be taken care by the comparison table, the devices need to be compared upon essential features. So, the comparison of the devices will be based upon Display, Hardware, Software, Camera and Extra features-
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This is one aspect where iPhone 5S will either be loved or hated. Apple thinks that the smartphones should be able to be used by one hand easily and hence has fitted iPhone 5S with 4 inch display. It has the same Retina Display as of its predecessor iPhone 5 with resolution of 1140 x 636 pixels, resulting in pixel density of 326 ppi.
The HTC One has a 4.7-inche screen bearing Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) resulting in an impressive pixel density of 469 ppi.
Both Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z1 offers a 5 inch display with 1080p resolution, translating to a pixel density of 441 ppi.
All the smartphones are topped by the 5.2 inch Full HD display on the LG G2. This resolution gives the display a pixel density of 424 ppi.
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In terms of configuration, the iPhone 5S has Apple’s newest A7 chip which is based upon the ARM v8 instruction set. The chip boasts of being the first 64-bit processor in mobile. The chip has a dual-core processor clocked at 1.3 GHz. The device also has a PowerVR G6430 graphics processor. Another first that the device claims is the M7 co-processor with A7 chip, which frees up the main chip for all the motion sensing and tracking needs. Though, the processor doesn’t seem to be comparable to the quad-core (and octa-core) fitted in other devices, in real world performance, it seems to blow them out of the water.
HTC One is powered by a 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor complemented by Adreno 320 GPU and 2 GB of RAM.
The Galaxy S4 comes in two variants depending upon the markets, with one offering a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor with 1.9 GHz speed and the other powered by the 1.6 GHz octa-core Exynos processor. For graphics processing, it has a PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU. It also has 2 GB RAM.
LG G2 and Xperia Z1 are powered by the latest Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.26 GHz. Both the devices offer 2 gigs of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU.
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iPhone 5S runs on the recently unveiled iOS 7, which in Apple’s own words is the ‘Most significant change in the iOS ever’. The new OS brings a flatter and bright design. It also has a parallax feature which provides an animated look to the wallpaper of the device. There are a lot of new functionalities as well such as the Control Center, which allows a quick toggle of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. and ability to control media playback. It also has improved multitasking, notification center and few other changes.
All the other smartphones are running on JellyBean version of Android, and have some customizations from the respective manufacturer.
HTC has always been praised for its Sense UI on Android and the HTC One has a Sense 5. It has a feature called BlinkFeed, which gives users a glimpse of social network updates and news in a magazine format right at the home screen.
LG G2 also offers some nice tricks like Slide Aside for multitasking, KnockON, Plug and Pop, Guest Mode, Q Slide, and more.
Samsung has loaded the Galaxy S4 with plethora of features through TouchWiz interface. Some of the interesting features are Air View, Air Gesture, Group Play, Home Sync, etc.
Sony has done a minimal amount of changes on the stock Android for Xperia Z1. Its timescape UI has just few changes in terms of wallpaper and lock screen. However, the Small Apps feature is really useful allowing to open small version of some apps on top of any app a user might be using.
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iPhone 5S only has a 8 MP camera but with a bigger sensor size of 1.5 microns. The camera also has a six lens arrangement and an aperture of f/2.2. 5S also has a Dual LED Flash, called a True Tone Flash, since it has two colors of White and Ember which provides better color temperature to the pictures captured based on the lightning. The device also allows slow motion video capture of 720p @ 120 fps. The camera UI of the iOS 7 is also improved allowing for live filters and taking images in a square format.
HTC One, features even a larger sensor of 2 microns in a 4 MP module. This allows for impressive image quality during low light conditions. It also has a software feature called Zoe which shoots short 3.6 second videos.
LG G2 and Galaxy S4 both pack a 13 MP camera module at the back. However, the similarity ends here as only LG has an Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) which compensates for hand movements while taking the picture. There are software customizations as well from each of the manufacturers, though Galaxy S4 stands out with interesting options like Eraser, Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, etc.
Sony has a 20.7 MP G-Lens sensor with Exmor-RS optics powered by Bionz processor. Sony has added some exciting software features like Social Live, Timeshift Burst, Info-Eye, etc.
Other Noteworthy Features
Sony Xperia Z1 Review
Apple’s iPhone 5S leads the pack in this case with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the Home button. This means that the device offers better security and is less prone to theft. The Touch ID not only acts as unlocking mechanism, but also purchase of content from iTunes.
HTC One would be an excellent choice for multimedia enthusiasts as it has BoomSound, which means dual speakers at the front.
In case, you haven’t noticed the G2 has all the buttons at the back of the smartphone. This is because the finger feels naturally at that position and it’s easier to lock/unlock or increase/decrease volume.
Xperia Z1 is a robust and sturdy handset thanks to IP 58 certification, which gives it dust proof and water-proof capability.
In the End
It all comes down to personal choice and preferences. All the devices are great in their own right.
iPhone 5S might not be as innovative as the previous iPhones, but it does offer some great features like a 64-bit chip and fingerprint sensor which could become mainstream in future.
If you’re looking for a big screen experience, then you’ve got to look in the Android space, where each of the devices are better than the other in some respect. The HTC One stands out with its multimedia capabilities and unibody design, whereas LG G2 has potent configuration but marred with poor software. Galaxy S4 is an all-rounder of sorts, and Xperia Z1 is showing off the best camera of the lot with robustness.