Battle of the giants, take two. The duel between Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, which split the Android world into two this first part of the year, might have ended with a no contest win for the former (as far as sales are concerned, at least), but something tells me the GNote 3 vs. One Max brawl is to be much more evenly matched.
Of course, HTC continues to be the underdog, as Samsung has turned everything it’s touched in the past couple of years in solid, pure gold. Then again, there’s no more debating the Taiwanese have the upper hand in terms of build quality while being on-par with the competition in hardware and close enough in software.
And yeah, I know it seems far too early to put the Note 3 and One Max in a head-to-head bout, but come on, it’s not like their looks and spec sheets are a big secret anymore. That said and without further ado, I give you the clash of the century second part of 2013, the royal rumble, the ultimate smackdown or however you want to call it:
Design and build quality
Technically, the Note 3 and One Max are brand new phones. In essence however, they’re nothing but jumbo-sized versions of the Galaxy S4 (with S Pen support) and HTC One respectively. Which makes this duel so very easy to settle.
Granted, the big plastic vs. metal debate is far from wrapped up, with still as many fans of the former as of the latter, but given Samsung’s execs have themselves caved in and will reportedly seek to “improve” the image of upcoming Galaxy stars, I think it’s very clear who comes out on top here.
Winner: One Max
It’s funny. Until now, Samsung had the upper hand in display size (5 inches vs. 4.7), while HTC prevailed in pixel density (469 ppi vs. 441). The One Max however will be larger than the GNote 3 (5.9 vs. 5.7 inches) and sport the exact same 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution (aka Full HD), so the resulting ppi will be lower (373 vs. 386).
With that in mind, you’d probably be quick to hand this win out to Samsung, especially that the Koreans seem to have done a fantastic job in boosting the usable screen real estate compared with the Note 2 while keeping the total size of the chassis under control.
But as usual, it’s a matter of taste. Dig larger screens? Then go for the One Max. Want something a little more compact (though by no means tiny) and with a top-notch ppi? The Note 3 is your man.
Winner: It’s a tie
Processing speed, RAM and cameras
Here’s where things get a little tricky. While the One Max is nearly guaranteed to pack a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU and 2 GB of RAM, Note 3’s internals remain under contention. Most likely, Sammy’s “next big thing” will come in two flavors, one with S800 heat and the other powered by an Exynos 5 Octa processor.
But what about the RAM? Will there be the traditional 2 gigs or will that get bumped up to 3? And the camera, will it be a traditional 13 MP unit as well or up the ante in pixel count and/or with optical image stabilization?
As soon as we get definitive answers to all those questions, we can name a winner in this battle. For the time being, we’ll call it a draw also, even if chances are One Max’s UltraPixel snapper will be no match for the Note 3 regardless.
Software and battery
Pre-loaded Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or Android 4.3? Probably the latter will be valid for both phones, but if you ask me the bigger, more important question is which of the two will get upgraded to 5.0 Key Lime Pie first. Sorry, HTC, but as much as you stepped up to the plate lately, I still don’t trust you when it comes to swift software updates, so point Samsung.
And another point for Samsung as far as the battery is concerned – the Note 3 is rumored to come with a 3,450 mAh ticker (and remember, smaller screen), compared with the One Max, tipped to carry a 3,200 or 3,300 mAh battery.
Winner: Galaxy Note 3
No microSD support for One Max, non-removable battery, but a never before seen (in Western smartphones, that is) fingerprint scanner. Hmm, this is a tough one, so my guess is it will all go down to pricing, availability and, as cynical as it might sound, marketing.
Yes, marketing, and I’m not ashamed of admitting it. I, like most of you out there, am a victim, nay a product of consumerism, which bases its foundations on advertising. Though you may not realize it at times, many of your purchases are aided or influenced by how much buzz surrounds what phone, tablet, TV or blender.
And since there’s a good chance the Note 3 and One Max will cost about the same and hit the same carriers at around the same time, what will drive most of you to buy one or the other will likely be how much you’ll see of Robert Downey Jr. and how many billboards and anti-Apple ads Samsung will invest dough in. End of story, though I welcome as usual all opinions and thoughts, especially those contrary to my own. You have the floor.