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iPhone 5s vs. HTC One


September 16, 2013

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the iPhone 5s and HTC One

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the iPhone 5s and HTC One

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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.


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.

Motion coprocessor

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.

Fingerprint sensor

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.

Camera flash

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.

Release cycle

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.

Starting price

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.


It'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.

Buy this on Amazon About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin


The new battery is about 10% bigger which translates to 2 hours extra LTE usage or 25 hours of standby.

Inappropriate Response

An indication of the HTC battery life would have been good, and based on the fact the iPhone 5 battery is only 9% better than the iPhone4, the best to expect with the new iPhone5 would be only a fraction better than it's predessessor, thus should give you some idea of what the battery life are for both.

Furthermore, I have mentioned this before, when are we going to see phones that have sunlight readable screens? Great to brag about how many colours and pixels, but useless unless you are inside.



Not to put my tinfoil hat on, but the intention is to keep everyone inside. Tethered and dependent on a charger due to small battery life, ordering online, and communicating with each other via Social media etc,..

Heaven forbid that people should go outside and appreciate how the world is turning for the worse.

In saying this, I too am waiting for a review of the new Xperia that is supposed to have an outdoor readable screen.


$200 isn't the real price, the missing thousand or so being sucked out of you through some carrier contract or other - it would be nice to see the real price along side these.


You forgot to mention the HTC Zoe camera software when mentioning the iPhone's camera software - which does all that and more.

Alex Haws

Personally I think that if you are comparing phone prices you need to forget what it costs via a carrier. The real cost of the phone is an unsubsidised one. The 'unlocked' global one surely? You might get the phone for $200 but in many cases the cost of the phone over 24 months will be greater than the cash outlay. Just saying...

Simon Middlemass

You mention "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."

Just because it has a separate processor to handle the motion capabilities doesn't mean that it won't use the battery to do it. We are still uncertain how much of a savings the phone will gain from this, if any at all.

Tim Hodgson

lol @ 2gb storage? Nice failure to mention that you can buy 32gb for $20 online. It has a slot for microSD card, right? The HTC?

Dylan Hunt

HTC Zoe does everything the as new as it's gonna get IPhone's camera does + Action Shots, Object Removal and more. HTC has NFC which is only good for a variety of different conveniences; like paying a bill wirelessly with your phone. Gizmag never surprises me anymore when reviewing apple products. Iv know the HTC is relatively old, but it still does A LOT the iPhone won't because if they did it they wouldn't have anything to bring out next year. (remember how the i-Phone was one of the LAST 4G phones? Remember the FIRST sold in the U.S.? Let me remind you : The HTC Evo) Does apple still sound so innovative? To the millions of close-minded fanboys it will.


This is nothing more then an article made to make the iPhone look better then any other phone.

talking about cameras. sure the One has a 4mp camera but it has UntraPixel built in witch "you’ll be able to quickly shoot vivid, true-to-life images with a wide range of colors, even in low light conditions" Does the iPhone have that?

Also almost all comparisons make the iPhone look better, even to go as far as to compare infrared and saying " Why in blazes would you need infrared in your smartphone? " trying to make the One look worse then the iPhone.

I really like unbiased articles. Not an article with hidden agendas. Just quote the facts and ALL the facts. No opinions. Not to mention the one is 6 months older then the iPhone and it still holds strong against it. I would be more inclined to try an iPhone if it was not for the media making it look better then it is. I am surprised to see you did not mention the phone has Facetime or some other feature Apple created.

But it is what it is. Writers of gizmag have always liked the iPhone over ANY Android phone.


I wouldn't be surprised if for 2014 Apple does the following: - the successor of the 5c is a plastic 5s - the successor of the 5s is 5-6inches big and sports 1080p resolution, TouchID and whatever new Apple decides to throw in

4inches is, imo, the sweet spot for a "low-specced" iPhone. Not too small, not too big. I bet they'll probably lower the price a little bit. ~100USD is no big difference between the two models.

With that nailed, Apple may give us a phablet (iPhad, anyone?), along with the two iPads.

Τριαντάφυλλος Καραγιάννης

The iPhone actually has a more refined design... more boutique like.

Jony Ive knows what he is doing in trying to pull things together and develop a clean iPhone image.

Actually Google ironically has had the shtick down for some time now.

But vexing problems remain... no seconds display puts us back before 1770 and Ben Franklin's invention of the sweep second hand. By now we should have readouts of the NBS standard time. What's taking the Boys so long?

And the calendar is horrible just like all the rest.

Interesting that there is no consideration for our time... everything but the damn time!

The generation that produced these miracles must want to pretend that they took no time.



Lewis Dickens

One more HTC One advantage: optical image stabilization. It works really well, especially with video.


But competition is good, I prefer android but would not like it to crush apple completely which it looks to be doing. Apple should open up and encourage a moders community to really use the power of the 64 bit chip. And the possibilities are endless with that piece of hardware.

Sadaf Dawar

You forgot one big important reason too! The iPhone is starting to look real old...It looks like tech from a decade ago!


Since when did Iphone 5 became excellent? It's neither excellent nor innovative.


I really want to move back to my HTC one, but can't for one reason - when my screen is locked and the phone in my pocket, there is no control over music or voice commands. I can't just press the mic button and say "Call my wife". That feature is now such a part of my life along with being able to text, read my texts etc... I keep thinking, Google, just make it like Siri PLEASE!

But they don't, and that's a shame. Sigh.


The HTC One blows the doors off the iPhone. I have had mine for 3 months and it is simply the best phone on the market.

The screen resolution, the quad core processor, the battery and yes I use the infrared to control my home entertainment center.

Its an amazing phone.


I kind of want to get an iPhone 5s, just so it's easier to support my clients who use it, but I'm very happy with my HTC One and when it's time to replace it, I imagine it'll be with the HTC One, 2014 edition.

Syon Bond

"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."

What you fail to mention is the HTC One has burst mode, has slow motion video, has the ability to take a still from a video and has Zoe. If you're going to compare the thing at least do it right. Misleading much?



You need to learn how to use Google Now properly...


I just bought an HTC one and am quite happy with it. I looked at the I phone and found it to be a good phone , but a little small in screen area so the HTC one being basically as good as the iphone was my choice.

I guess also I was never one to follow the crowd or be fooled by marketing tricks or claims of one phone being the ultimate phone when there are many comparable phones to iphone on the market.

Barabus Quin

Have been with HTC since the start of the Android platform and found their products to be on par with the best. The plus to having any android phone is the ability to install aftermarket ROMs and third party apps. Currently running Android Revolutio HD 12.1 Software. Have a wide choice of apps to change the operating speed at will, block all ads in games and YouTube. I operate 3 of my TVS and entertainment system with the IR. Able to dowload any song or video and convert them to iOS format for my friends iPhone 5s. The HTC One is suited for users who want their phone to do what they want. An iPhone is for those who do not care for customization but to take whatever is offered to them.

HTC original

HTC one and Iphone 5 are good to use but If you are looking for budget smart phone with desired functionality then HTC one would be better choice for you to purchase .

Diana Smith

"$200 isn't the real price, the missing thousand or so being sucked out of you through some carrier contract or other - it would be nice to see the real price along side these."

The data plan (required) is going to run $ 90/month after taxes thru Sprint, but that's pretty much the same regardless of phone you choose.

James Camp
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