We think the HTC One is easily one of the sharpest-looking phones ever made. But if any company can give it a run for its money, it's Apple. How does Apple's latest flagship compare to the phone HTC has staked its future on? Read on, as Gizmag compares the features and specs of the iPhone 5s and HTC One.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
As the sizes of Android phones have crept up over the last few years, Apple has been a lot less eager to boost the iPhone's size. So here we see the One measuring about 11 percent taller, 15 percent wider, and 18 percent thicker than the iPhone 5s.
The iPhone 5s is also 22 percent lighter than the One.
Both phones are made of aluminum. The iPhone 5s is available in three colors: Space Gray (with a black front), Gold (white front), and Silver (white front). The One is most often seen in silver and black, but there are also red and blue versions floating around.
Whether you like huge Android phones or not, one big perk is that they give you a lot more screen real estate. This is a great example of that, as the One has 38 percent more screen area than the iPhone 5s. It's a significant difference, and screen size is probably one of the biggest things you'll want to consider before throwing down for one of these phones.
The HTC One's display is much sharper, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the iPhone 5s' pixel density. These comparisons between 300+ pixels per inch (PPI) screens and 400+ PPI screens usually translate to "plenty sharp" vs. "ridiculously sharp."
The iPhone 5s has the same two cores and 1.3 GHz clock speed as its predecessor, but the A7's big change that Apple is marketing is its status as the first 64-bit smartphone. That probably doesn't mean a whole lot to us right now, but it does pave the road for future iOS devices with desktop-like amounts of RAM.
In our review, we found the iPhone 5s' performance to be as good as it gets, but we doubt too many people will have complaints about the One's horsepower either. We'd recommend other factors, like features and screen size, swaying your buying decision more than processing.
The iPhone 5s also has an M7 chip, whose sole purpose is to process information from your phone's sensors. So the 5s can process data from the phone's accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope without sucking the life out of your battery.
Right now, the M7 is a great fit for fitness apps and accessories, like Fitbit, Jawbone Up, or Nike's Fuelband. Down the road, though, we'd bet that motion-sensing chips like the M7 will play a leading role in an Apple smartwatch.
The HTC One can still, of course, track motion and send that data to fitness apps and accessories. It just doesn't have a separate chip dedicated to the job, so expect more typical battery drain.
The iPhone 5s delivers on Apple's 2012 purchase of Authentec, letting you secure your phone with your fingerprint. Maybe we'll see a fingerprint-based payment system down the road, but right now the Touch ID sensor, which lives beneath the home button, is used for unlocking your iPhone and making iTunes purchases.
The HTC One's 4-megapixel rear camera fights above its pixel count, taking solid pictures and great low-light images. But we also have high hopes for the iPhone 5s' 8 MP shooter, with its F2.2 aperture, slow motion video, and new burst mode that automatically chooses the sharpest shot for you.
The 5s also sports a dual LED flash, which Apple is branding as "True Tone." The goal of the two LEDs is to make for more balanced and realistic colors when you're using the phone's flash. It's another 5s feature that we'll dig deeper into before long.
The iPhone 5s also has the same 1 GB of RAM found in the iPhone 5. The One doubles that with 2 GB.
The iPhone starts out with a smaller 16 GB, but otherwise the two phones' storage options are even. Neither handset supports microSD cards (except for Asian variations of the One).
According to an FCC disclosure (discovered by Anandtech) the iPhone 5s' battery holds more juice than the iPhone 5 did. That still doesn't hold a candle to the HTC One's 2,300 mAh battery, but there are too many factors that determine battery life to draw any conclusions from capacity alone.
Both phones support 4G LTE data. Absolutely no surprise there.
Near-field communication (NFC) is a promising technology, but NFC payments haven't caught on the way many people expected. Apple has never bothered with the technology, but the HTC One does have an NFC chip for things like transferring local files, or maybe syncing up with that crowdfunded NFC ring.
The HTC One also totes an IR Blaster. Why in blazes would you need infrared in your smartphone? Well, the most popular use is to turn it into a remote control for your TV. The One comes bundled with an app that lets you do just that.
We wouldn't normally bother talking about speaker placement, but we loved the HTC One's front-facing "BoomSound" speakers. They deliver the best audio we've heard from a smartphone, and the fact that they're facing you has a lot to do with it.
Like every other iPhone, the 5s runs iOS. Here we're looking at the brand new iOS 7, which brings a new flat design, as well as a quick-settings control center, improved multitasking, and iTunes Radio.
Some versions of the One have been updated to Android 4.2, but other carriers still have it stuck on Android 4.1. HTC's Sense UI sits on top of all versions (except for the Google Play Edition). It adds a home screen feed reader called BlinkFeed, as well as the camera app's Zoes, which are short clips you can share as-is or use to pick the best still shot.
If HTC sticks to an annual update schedule, then we could be about halfway towards a proper follow-up to the HTC One. For the iPhone 5s, life is just beginning.
With the One having been on store shelves for a while, some retailers and carriers have dropped the 32 GB model below its suggested US$200 with a new two-year contract. But that's still the standard, which equals the asking price for the 16 GB iPhone 5s.
Wrap-upIt's hard to find two sharper-looking phones, and it isn't necessarily going to be easy to find two phones that are better overall. Of course we won't really know that until we put the iPhone 5s through the paces. But based on its feature list and similarities to the excellent iPhone 5, we wouldn't be surprised if it's a solid candidate for your smartphone dollars.
The biggest questions may be whether you can live with the iPhone's much smaller screen, and how badly you want that fingerprint sensor. There are still a lot of question marks about the 5s, but based on this quick look, those are jumping out at us as the most pressing issues here.
Of course there's also the Android vs. iOS thing, which is never a small consideration. But as both platforms have great app selections and similar feature lists, that may be more of a personal preference issue than a clear-cut advantage for one phone or the other.
Stay tuned for much more on the iPhone 5s in the coming weeks. And if you're still thinking about that other flagship from a little company called Samsung, you can check out our comparison of the iPhone 5s to the Galaxy S4.View gallery - 20 images