How come the HTC One has a 4.7″ screen, yet it’s roughly the same size as the Samsung GS4?

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 17 Mar 2013

Size is important, as so the cliché goes. Depending on the type of person you are, you either hate that smartphones are getting larger and larger each and every year, or you welcome the added screen real estate. Myself, I used to be a firm believer that the 3.5 inch iPhone 4/4S was the perfect form factor, but then I wanted to buy a tablet.

That got me thinking, do I really want to own a smartphone and a tablet, or could I get away with just one device? The latter argument won, and I’m now the proud owner of a Galaxy Note II.

But enough about that, I want to talk about two of the this year’s hottest Android smartphones: HTC’s One and Samsung’s Galaxy S4. You’d think that the HTC One would be markedly smaller since it has a 4.7 inch screen versus Samsung’s 5 inch screen, but that’s not the case.

Here are the dimension of the HTC One, straight from HTC’s website: 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm

And here are the dimensions of the GS4, courtesy of AnandTech: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm

Your eyes are not deceiving you. Samsung’s phone is actually shorter than HTC’s. And as for width, it’s only packing an extra 1.6 mm. The two devices are thus virtually identical in size, yet Samsung has managed to squeeze in a display that’s 0.3 inches larger.

I’m not ready to say which phone is better, because I haven’t had a chance to touch either device, but just think about someone going to their local electronics store to do some comparison shopping. If they pick up two devices, and they’re both the same size, but one has a larger display, wouldn’t they want the device with the bigger screen?

HTC’s argument is that people want build quality. As someone who used to own an iPhone 4, I can tell you, hand over heart, Samsung’s phones feel like plastic garbage, but you get over that quite quickly. The screen just sucks you in and you forget about the rest of the device.

[Image Credit: C|Net]