Verizon HTC One prepares for civil war: here’s what it’s up against

Jul 17, 2013
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Verizon HTC One prepares for civil war: here’s what it’s up against

If you're planning on picking up the Verizon iteration of the HTC One, you'll do well to know the battle said phone will be facing when it appears amongst the 4G LTE smartphone ranks of the big red carrier. What we've done here is to run down the rest of the devices that will be carried by Verizon at the time the HTC One will be released (likely August 1st) [UPDATE: Now more likely August 15th], along with reviews if we've got them (if they're on the market already, that is), or connections to information on potential specifications if they're not.

Non-Android

Before we get too far into this competition and analysis, lets go ahead and get the devices NOT running Android out of the way. If you're here in the summer of 2013 looking for a smartphone and are considering the HTC One, you already know you're not going to want to pick up anything with iOS or Windows Phone 8 running on it. That much can be readily assumed.

If on the other hand you're one of the odd folks out there that've found yourself in a predicament where you absolutely must decide between the operating systems, there really are only a few devices you'll be deciding between.

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Starting with the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S, you'll either be paying $199.99 for the newest in new or $99.99 for the next-best thing. There's always the iPhone 4 if you only want the form factor and the cool factor, and that's free, but as far as getting anywhere near the processing and photo/video power that the HTC One has, the iPhone 5 is your only choice.

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If you're all about Windows Phone 8, Nokia's 920 family entry with the Lumia 928 will indeed be the cure you're looking for. It has a display that comes nowhere near the sharpness of the HTC One - or the iPhone, for that matter - but if you're looking for high-quality photos and video and the most solid package running this mobile OS, the Lumia 928 far and away beats any other Verizon-bound machine at this time.

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There's also the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10. If you're thinking about purchasing the HTC One and you've also got either one of these devices on your "maybe" list, please do yourself a favor and hold either of them in your hand and the HTC One in the other. Mobile OS completely aside, the HTC One makes both of these BlackBerry devices appear as though they've been released more than a year ago - they'd be better suited to do battle with the original HTC One S, and even then your humble narrator would choose the latter based solely on software ecosystem - and the HTC One S wasn't even carried by Verizon. You'd be better off waiting for the BlackBerry A10 instead.

Samsung

With the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note II, HTC's biggest competition comes in two hero-styled form factors. You'll be able to see our full Samsung Galaxy S 4 vs HTC One run-down in a separate article - such is the nature of this topmost competitor for the HTC device. Both machines have the same processor, both have nearly the same display sharpness and size, and both are aimed squarely at being king of the heap.

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The Samsung Galaxy S 4 rings in at $199.99 while the Galaxy Note II still costs $299.99 - a surprising price point given its makeup vs the GS4 and the notion that a next-generation Galaxy Note III is well on the way. The Galaxy Note II remains a high-powered beast of a unique addition to the Verizon lineup, on the other hand, continuing to be the one machine to offer a stylus built in to its body - and not some half-effort capacitive pen, either, a real value of an accessory in and of itself.

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Have a peek at our Samsung Galaxy Note II review and Verizon hands-on to see why this device has only yet been size-checked by the HTC-made DROID DNA on Verizon - we'll get to that soon.

LG

At the moment there's no real competitor both made by LG and carried Verizon that can compare to the HTC One. There's always the LG Intuition if you want to, once again, just be as unique as possible, but if you're going to that device for its stylus, you'll still be better off with a Galaxy Note II based solely on its software updates and relatively solid future-proof styling.

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Verizon may get the LG Optimus G2 later this year, but it'll be - at the very least - two months after the release of the HTC One that this fabled powerhouse is set loose with any carrier - and there's no guarantee it'll be released with Verizon either way. The LG Optimus G2 event is set for August 7th, if you'd like to follow along.

Motorola

There are three devices running on Verizon's 4G LTE network right this moment that could very well be updated in kind by the end of September - or very soon thereafter. There's a Verizon event scheduled for July 23rd to bring DROID back up to speed and based on every leak and tip we've come in contact with over the past few weeks, it would appear that these three machines are on the docket for replacement.

UPDATE: See our full coverage of the Motorola DROID lineup reboot now.

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There's the DROID RAZR HD, the slightly larger battery capacity-toting DROID RAZR HD MAXX, and the palm-ready smallest family member of the pack in the DROID RAZR M. As each of these smartphones runs with the same software, the same processor, and has effectively the same update schedule set from Motorola and Verizon, we must recommend them all the same.

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Each has proven itself to be a top-to-bottom solid experience, and though they're certainly not going to win any photography contests, each device has proven itself an effective workhorse for our everyday mobile communication device needs.

Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
Motorola DROID RAZR HD MAXX Review (vs RAZR HD)
Motorola DROID RAZR M Review

If you've waited this long for the HTC One to hit Verizon and you're willing to wait a little longer for this DROID trio to bring on a reboot, we certainly wouldn't hold it against you.

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Until that reboot is made official, keep this in mind: if the DROID RAZR HD MAXX can back up both Chris Burns here on SlashGear and Android Community's Cory Gunther through the entirety of CES 2013 (earlier this year, that being the most intense week of on-site tech reporting of the year), this line is certainly good enough to continue trucking into a competition with the HTC One.

Though they may not be as stylish - depending on your perspective - as the HTC One or the Samsung Galaxy S 4, the DROID RAZR HD family is a high-class match of 2013 smartphone abilities with rugged cant-bust-em bodies to boot. That's a rarity on the market today, and we're expecting Google to make the most of it with the DROID line reboot - not to mention the Moto X.

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UPDATE: We've now go a Moto X full review for your perusal!

You'll also want to check out the Moto X since it's tipped to be hitting Verizon before the end of August as well - there you'll find what's essentially a cousin of this DROID family reboot, only made to seem of paramount importance to the future of Android in its push by Google as they push Motorola, a Google company. Expect the Moto X to seem a lot cooler than the DROID family reboot, though a specifications battle it will not win, by any means (that's not the idea, after all).

HTC

Here at the birth of the Verizon HTC One ends Verizon's push of the DROID DNA. It was because of the DROID DNA, make no mistake, that the HTC One was so very "delayed" as such. Whenever Verizon has a hero smartphone like the DROID DNA (aka the HTC Butterfly J, as it's known internationally), you'll find a frame of time that's placed between it and any other smartphone that directly conflicts with its specifications - this is especially true when there's another phone made by the first phone's same manufacturer.

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Because the DROID DNA and the HTC One are so very similar, Verizon's release of the HTC One will soon be followed by a distinct lack of interest by the public - and by Verizon - in the larger smartphone. If you're not too worried about software updates - especially if you're a hacking-friendly user - the DROID DNA remains a lovely device in its own right. Especially since it's current price at $49.99 is well below any other device rolling with a 5-inch display with sharpness so HD.

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The DROID DNA offers the same amount of pixels that the HTC One does, spread out a bit more (so it's just slightly less sharp) with a set of specifications that are more than ready to continue feeling impressive through the end of the year. Of course with the HTC One you're getting better external speakers, a better set of cameras, a processor that's literally the next generation replacement of the one living in the DROID DNA, and you've got a metal body instead of the DROID DNA's plastic, too.

But maybe plastic - polycarbonate, that is - is more your style. For you there's also the competition in the Samsung Galaxy Note II, a device with a rather similarly-sized display and the added bonus of Samsung's own S-Pen. If you're not all about Samsung's software family and don't feel the need to write with an accessory such as that, the DROID DNA still has a feature set that'll continue to fight with the Samsung "handheld."

Verdict

The HTC One is one of the most celebrated smartphones of the year, and it continues to be a smartphone worth releasing by Verizon even though it's been out on several other carriers for weeks - and out internationally for months. As it also appears as a pure-Android HTC One Google Play edition, it should be clear how good a job it was that HTC did with this smartphone.

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We're expecting HTC to release a smaller and a larger edition of the HTC One by the end of the year - code-named for now (only because the company hasn't given them full official final names) HTC One Mini and HTC One Max. Though these devices may offer unique perks in and of themselves when they're revealed fully, they'll be based in hardware and software largely on the HTC One, the original hero for HTC's 2013 generation of smart mobile devices.

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You can expect HTC to continue to support the HTC One's software for many moons, as its placed so much of its faith in this machine that it's all but annihilated any other efforts they've pushed for the rest of the year. Remember any other HTC smartphone releases since the HTC One was made official earlier this year? There certainly have been a few, but none championed nearly so hard as the One.

Expect the HTC One to grow in its software abilities well into the future while the hardware remains a solid package through the next several seasons with ease. Don't go away without making sure you're up-to-date with our AT&T HTC One Review and our original HTC One Review (international edition) before we get our hands on the Verizon edition - soon, and very soon!

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