Jun 03 AT 10:23 AM Nick Gray 69 Comments

Samsung Galaxy S and HTC EVO 4G summer showdown

With the impending launch of the HTC EVO 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S, it’s inevitable that these two Android powered handsets will fight for consumer mindshare and dollars throughout the summer months.  The rivalry between the two handsets was born right on day one, when both handsets were announced earlier this year at CTIA. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S as their flagship Android device, only to have the wind stolen from their sails a few hours later when HTC and Sprint introduced the world to the first 4G capable Android phone, the EVO 4G.

On paper, the HTC EVO 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S appear to be pretty evenly matched.  Both feature Android 2.1, 1GHz processors, large capacitive displays, high resolution cameras that support 720p video recording, and front facing cameras for video calling. HTC may have the edge on display size with its 4.3” screen, but Samsung has the edge on display technology with their new 4.0” Super AMOLED screen.  The Galaxy S sports Samsung’s new TouchWiz 3 UI while the EVO is equipped with the latest version of HTC Sense.

As you can see, both Samsung and HTC have stepped up their game, but it’s going to be hard to predict which handset will be coming out on top at the end of the summer.  While the handset specs are incredible, they may not be the most important factor in this battle.

Samsung has had a pretty rough start with Android handsets over the past year.  The original Samsung Galaxy failed to impress consumers and due to low sales numbers Samsung has decided not up update the phones firmware beyond the original Android 1.5 which it shipped with.  You may have heard about the promised Android 2.1 update for the Samsung Behold II fiasco and then there’s the whole issue of TouchWiz.  But just because Samsung has had a few hiccups does not mean we should write them off completely.  The Samsung Galaxy Spica was the first Android 1.5 handset to receive an Android 2.1 update earlier this spring and the Sprint Samsung Moment joined the 2.1 world just a few weeks ago.  And we can also tell you that the new TouchWiz 3 is pretty comparable to HTC Sense (keep in mind that I’m a huge HTC Sense fan and write for an exclusive HTC blog).

On the other hand, HTC has an incredible history with the Android platform.  They pushed out two Android phones before any other manufacturer made it to market with their first one.  HTC’s Sense UI has received rave reviews from consumers and the press since the launch of the HTC Hero.  On paper, the HTC EVO 4G does have a slight advantage with the higher megapixel cameras (both front and back), LED flash, and communications chip to access Sprint’s 4G WiMax network, but HTC lacks the brand recognition that Samsung has built up over the years which will surely help them draw consumers into their corner.

Samsung’s distribution model is where the Galaxy S may actually take the lead.  There are reports that Samsung is planning a 110 country simultaneous launch for the Galaxy S which could kick off within the next few weeks and unconfirmed rumors indicate that both AT&T and T-Mobile could be selling Samsung’s flagship android phone before the end of the month.  On the other side of the spectrum, HTC has chosen to partner with Sprint as an exclusive launch partner in the U.S. with no indication or event speculation of a larger handset rollout across European and Asian market.  The exclusive partnership with Sprint may render a robust media campaign around the HTC EVO 4G, but may pale in comparison to a global ad rollout from Samsung.

It may be too early to predict a winner for this summer’s most intense android matchup, however we feel confident in saying that both phones will be hugely successful.  The HTC EVO 4G will most likely be a huge favorite for current Android users looking to upgrade from their current outdated hardware.  But Samsung will most certainly have the edge when it comes to first time Android buyers.  Their brand recognition is definitely the best card they hold and the fact that the Galaxy S could be coming to two U.S carriers simply gives more consumers the option to purchase the phone without having to switch service provider.

Now the question is which phone will you be buying this summer?

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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