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. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • http://Website Ben

    The carrier will tip the scales for me. With Sprint charging a minimum of $140 per month for a 2 phone family plan, I’m passing on the EVO unfortunately. Hopefully the Galaxy S finds a better carrier.

    • http://Website JaylanPHNX

      The Galaxy S has been spotted on video with several T-Mobile-specific app icons on the screen, and there has been rumblings that T-Mo and Samsung have a big huge announcement coming, so it’s a virtual lock that T-Mobile will get it. And with their EvenMorePlus plan, you can get two lines w/720minutes (+nights&weekends), unlmtd text, and unlmtd data for about $110. That’s all without a contract. The only drawback is you have to pay full price for the phone (payments can be split on your bill, though), but once the phone is paid for you get great savings over the subsidized/contract plan.

      • http://Website Name (required)

        It came with tmobile apps but do we know if it’s Tmobile USA or Tmobile UK. You remember the Desire fiasco don’t you?

        Chance of Tmobile getting this phone without it first getting through the FCC is a big fat ZERO %

      • http://Website perry

        Probably, Galaxy has a good amoled Screen, but the EVO 4G is just monstrous.

    • http://Website DiMA

      Where did you get that plan pricing info??
      Sprint’s family plan with Any Mobile Any Time and 1000mins to share for landline phone calling and everything else unlimited and N/W starting at 7pm >>>> only $129.99 , plus you can ask for discount or get employee discount on top..

  • http://Website kenny

    Motorola droid xtreme outperform the two phones

    • angermeans

      Source? Cause all I have seen is rumors. Whats to say that it isnt running 2.2 and still slower than the Nexus One? I have heard rumors that it is launching with it. I really think this phone will be nice and I am waiting on pins and needles but I just dont see how a 700 mhz (give or take a few) can run faster than the 1 ghz hummingbird on the Galaxy S

      • angermeans

        700 mhz is supposed to = 700 ghz sorry

  • http://Website Carl

    I want to see a fight include Motorola Shadow

  • http://www.goldfishview.com David Shellabarger

    I hear good things about the Super AMOLED screens. It could be more an advantage than initially thought. I can’t wait to see one in person.

  • http://Website Jeffrey

    @ Kenny, how in the world do you know that?

  • Prince77

    Bottom line, I will never get another Samsung phone. I’m on T-Mobile, I will be going back to Sprint to get the EVO. And from now on I will only get an HTC phone because I love Android and HTC does eveything well will Android on their devices. YES, I am venting because I have that POS Behold 2.

    • http://Website linzie

      Yesss i gave the behold 2 fuck. Samsung and this phone the evo or incredible will bee n my pocket.

  • http://Website Wes

    I’m in for the Evo tomorrow, but mostly because I’ve been dying to switch back to sprint. I love big screens (within reason. I don’t want an ipad) so that’s the selling point for me.

    • Prince77

      I am with you Wes, I want to go back to Sprint.

      • http://Website Edward

        I also agree. I really like Sprint. I never had a problem with them at all. The only downside was their lack of cool phones. Seemed like they were always behind the curve. Now they are catching up. Hopefully Sprint will be fast about upgrades to FroYo for the Evo or any other phone. The Hero was a slooooow.

        • http://androiddelight.com/ Audio

          I agree, if I wasn’t on Verizon I would go with the EVO on Sprint. They always worked well for me before and now they have a great phone and would be well worth while with 4G.

  • http://Website achilles

    No camera flash = fail for Samsung.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      From what I was told there will be different versions for different carriers. Some are likely to include a camera flash.

  • http://Website William Furr

    Since I’m tied to T-Mobile, it’s not much of a competition for me. I’ll take the first ARM Cortex A8-powered phone that hits T-Mobile that I can get upgrade pricing on and keep my existing plan.

    • http://Website Wayne

      You know you can switch over to an even more plan for a $35 fee, that plan is without a contract so you can feel free to cancel it and switch to Sprint without paying the ETF. Only thing is you cannot reverse it so make so you are really serious about dropping T-Mobile.

  • http://Website deeb215

    im headed back to sprint tomorrow, as long as they don’t slap me with a huge security deposit on arrival! i think the evo has the advantage, and that homescreen on the galaxy s is beyond ugly and i’m not interested in slapping some bulky home replacement on top of it. i’m still not noticing how to scroll the evo screen. i’ll just go increase my anxiety by viewing some videos :)

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

      Not sure what phone or home replacement you’re currently using, but I have had no issues with home replacements on my Nexus One, and I never found any of them to be ‘bulky’. Helix Launcher 2 perfected the 2.1 launcher, in my opinion, adding just a few little shortcuts and niceties on top. Trying awd launcher right now, and it runs very fast as well.

      I’m pretty sure the Galaxy would run just fine with a home replacement, and there might even be the option to just use the default launcher.

  • Nick Gray

    For me, it’s all about pricing and carrier availability. I have been on T-Mobile for way too long to simply jump ship for a new handset. Sprint will be charging an extra $10 a month on top of the regular data plans since the EVO is 4G capable.

    That being said, I’m not planning on getting either. I’m still rocking my G1 and am really hoping that HTC comes out with a Snapdragon powered replacement for it some time soon.

  • http://Website Leonard

    I will sure buy the galaxy s, i just hate it doesnt even have dual led flash and the screen borders are wayy too big, what happened samsung?

    • Haulngas

      Samsung has allot of things on their plat at the moment, they are making microwaves,television sets, blu-ray players and all appliances for the home. T hey should just concentrate on developing a great android phone to make us all happy.

  • AndMac

    Agh, I wish the Galaxy was a Google Experience phone. Then I don’t have to be dependent on Samsung for upgrades.

    I like the 45nm chip in the Galaxy, too – it should be less power hungry. I am a little nervous about all the negative reports regarding the EVO battery life.

    • http://Website Sullivan

      That’s my hang up here too. I’m tempted to just suck it up and buy a Nexus One. I don’t know that I’d get that much use out of a front facing camera…and though the hardware for both the EVO and Galaxy S sound superior, it’s more about the software for me.

      I *was* going to jump the AT&T ship for Sprint tomorrow…until Sprint started nickel and diming us with all the pricing. For a family plan, they’re too expensive.

    • http://Website kevin


      Some of the reviews I’ve seen of the Galaxy S have the Google Stamp on the back of the phone, so does that make it a Google Experience Phone? Not trying to be coy – I don’t have an Android phone right now, am waiting for announcements from AT&T as to what they’re offering. I keep hearing more and more rumors that they’re going to launch several mid to high-end android phones next week.

      I’ve heard about the Galaxy S Super AMOLED screen. How hard are those things to scratch? Are they like the gorilla glass found on the Dell Streak where they are practically scratchproof or do they scratch if you exhale on them too hard? Anyone know?

      I also heard a rumor that the HTC Desire was coming, but if they miniaturized it (aka Aria), I’m not interested.

      • http://Website Kevin

        Oh yeah, and since I have the unlimited plan currently with AT&T – I’m grandfathered in and whatever phone I get is $30 unlimited data (not really interested in the tethering option as I don’t carry around a laptop with me anywhere), but should I want to switch to one of the new plans, I can.

        Go AT&T!

        C’mon – they needed some love. :]

      • http://Website Ber

        I’m with ya. Been on AT&T forever, it’s just a shame that they are so late on Android devices, stupid iPhone killed it for Android lovers who are stuck on AT&T.

      • http://Website Darkseider

        I too have seen some shots of the Galaxy S with the “with Google” stamp on the back of it. It may have changed since because I believe in order for a device to carry that moniker it must run the full suite of google apps, pre-installed, as well as having a vanilla Android interface which we know the Galaxy S no longer has.

  • http://Website deeb215

    @anakin..im not just referring just to the launcher which are really good on the market, i <3 ADW, i meant like dxtop or pandahome. i would think it should perform better on those devices tho you're right about that. I'm a firm believer that all devices should be able to use the custom UI's or Vanilla at will. Also, battery life is a concern for me on any and every smart phone i've touched…

    imho Samsung should of rolled some type of upgrade out for that Behold, i think that will come back to bite them in the arse sooner than later…*cough galaxy S sales

  • http://Website deeb215

    i just had 2nd thoughts. i will wait a few days before grabbing my EVO. My G1 running SuperBad will do fine until i see what consumers are saying after the weekend with the EVO ;)

  • http://Website tk

    Why anyone would support Samsung after the crap they pulled with the Behold 2 is beyond me.

  • http://Website JinxDroid

    Evo 4G all day long over Samsung and their weak UI

    • Nick Gray

      I don’t get why people keep knowing the TouchWiz 3.0 UI. It’s plain an simple. Users can control home many screen they want (up to 7) and 3 of the four docked buttons at the bottom can be customized. The launcher has a panel layout and users can manually sort and organize their apps there without the need of having to do it on the phone screen (giving you more room for widgets). The app launched also allows users to uninstall apps directly with a single click without having to to the app manager of the market to do so.

      Personally, I hope HTC is already working on a major update for HTC Sense that will include many of these features.

  • http://Website deeb215

    hi it’s me again…just read that the EVO has been rooted already so maybe i’ll grab one tomorrow, idk i’m up on a fence now…

  • http://Website Earthrazer

    Well, after months of decrying phone after phone, I am going to jump on the Galaxy S/SGH-t959 when it comes to T-Mobile. The Super AMOLED screen was the deciding factor, it looks vibrant on every last video I’ve seen online, and the DLNA can stream to my 55″ LED Samsung TV wirelessly, which is just awesome.

    The 5mp vs 8mp is moot on a cell phone, so I don’t consider that a factor worth weighing. So you’re basically talking .3″ vs a brighter screen.

    Furthermore, Samsung is making quite the bid for a chunk of the global smartphone market with the Galaxy S, so I think support will be fine. This is Samsung’s definitive iPhone-level offering, the fact that they’re going to roll it on all 4 US carriers (like the original Nexus One plan) and all over the world proves they want this phone to be a household name.

    Plus my unlimited family loyalty and cheap family messaging is impossible to beat elsewhere (2 lines for only $100), so I can’t really go Sprint :)

  • http://www.typhon4android.org/ Mike Leahy

    As things go there clearly are some launch bugs with the EVO 4G regarding real time apps & games. There clearly is improper capping / frame rate limiting for 2D (like after the Droid 2.1 update) and now unfortunately OpenGL ES. Anything that renders over 30hz (FPS) will trigger this bug and it indeed is a bug. I am not making this up as I have an EVO 4G from I/O and it’s clear as day. Until this issue is fixed the EVO 4G is hobbled for real time app / games. I really hope they somehow have a quick OTA or some fix after launch. If the Galaxy S is not thus limited it will perform way better.

  • http://Website David

    HTC Incredible.
    Verizon coverage is the best.
    Data is still unlimited.
    Its just as fast as the EVO. Surprised it hasn’t received more press. They’re hard to come by with the AMOLED shortage.

  • http://Website Inquisitor

    I seriously don’t see what the big deal is over the Galaxy S. It looks incredibly fugly and the UI is downright hideous. Reminiscent of some of LG’s disgusting UI’s on their dumbphones. So far, Sense UI has been the only custom UI of Android that is better than stock (but the new motoblur on the Droid Shadow seems promising)

  • http://Website Joe

    am going for the htc evo . Am Done with samsung after they lied to the behold 2 Owners . No support for their phones

  • http://Website ObsceneJesster

    I love how people dis the new TouchWiz UI when they havn’t even used it yet. Yes the previous versions of TouchWiz sucked but can’t a company learn from mistakes and improve upon them. Secondly, don’t listen to the people who keep saying Samsung doesn’t upgrade their phones. They didn’t upgrade the Behold 2 because it was a shit phone and they did not sell a lot of them. They upgraded the Galaxy Spica and Moment to 2.1 though. What about the myTouch 3g? Last time I checked HTC didn’t upgrade that to 2.1.

    Bottom line is that every review on the Galaxy S has been stellar. GSM Arena said it is on top of the Android food chain and once you use the new TouchWiz UI you will not want to use anything else. If for some reason you don’t like TouchWiz, Samsung implemented a option to turn it off. GSM Arena also said that the Nexus One and the HTS Desire are not up to the Galaxy S standard.

    Samsung will upgrade this phone because of how many units they will sell spread across 115 country’s. If this phone comes to T-Mobile I will enjoy using the most powerful Android device poised to release this year.

    • angermeans

      It might be the fastest for a month or so, but I keep hearing dual core 1.3 ghz is right around the corner. This phone is nice, but the pace that Android is moving they needed to release this phone around March cause they just wont compete with HTC

      • http://Website Earthrazer

        But don’t forget, at a certain point, cpu speeds just get stupid. Much like with PC’s a decade ago, 1GHz and 512 ram is really going to handle all your web and multimedia needs.

        Most people aren’t going to use their cell phone for those kind of high-end applications that need more power. For one, most of them require multiple gigs to install, and two, the screen is too small for the extra horsepower to really pay off. They’re probably also not available for mobile platforms.

        Anything over 1GHz is just marketing and a waste of your battery life. Someday quad cores might be useful in mobile devices, but our wireless internet speeds aren’t there yet.

  • http://Website ObsceneJesster

    @Earthrazer….The faster mobile CPU’s get only means apps can get more powerful. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if we start seeing app descriptions giving minimum and recommended requirements just like we see with PC software/games.

    Second, a more powerful processor is arguably better on your battery power. Engineers have stated that a more powerful processor will finish a process faster and return to it’s idle state.

    Third, I think your right that a 1GHZ processor and 512mb of RAM is enough for the average users need but this phones processor is different than other 1GHZ processors when it comes to processing graphic. The Hummingbird chipset is 3 times faster in the GPU department than anything else available right now including the Snapdragon. This kind of technology only means that mobile games can become more in-depth along with delivering a better graphical experience.

    In the end, the more powerful our hardware get’s means our apps and software become more powerful.

  • http://Website JerryC

    The (Sprint) Samsung Moment still has a major GPS problem, even after the 2.1 update. I think Samsung needs to prove they have an adequate GPS antenna solution before people have confidence in their new phone.

  • http://Website DROID Sam

    I don’t really like the look of the Galaxy S but from all the reviews I have read, it will actually kick the crap out of the EVo is they ever meet up in a dark alley. I have been buying HTC phone for years but am actually not picking up the EVO today, hoping to see if the Galaxy S does actually show up on T-Mobile this summer.

    If the GPU numbers prove to be true, the Galaxy S will be the best android phone for gaming. Just imagine what it’ll do once samsung rolls out Froyo or someone from MoDaCo hacks this baby.

  • http://Website Earthrazer

    @ObsceneJesster Oh I’m not saying I’m not a hummingbird fan. Quite the opposite, in fact. But at a certain point, more powerful apps put more strain on the battery, and then, well, it’s not as mobile cause you’re always plugged in.

    It’s like how all the laptops used to make a big deal about “speed step” which would clock down your processor on the battery to extend the funtional life. I don’t know that they make so much noise about it now, but I imagine most laptops still do that, to some degree.

    I just hope the DLNA allows me to stream to my Samsung TV without too much lag!

    Now if I could just get a freaking date on the Galaxy S I’d be happy. I’ve been harassing the hell out of @TMobile_USA, @Samsungtweets and @SamsungMobileUS for info on twitter, so far to no avail. :(

  • http://Website john

    The galaxy s is going to kill the new iphone that hasnot evenbeen iphone realesed and outmatch the
    evo witch was released today the fact is that the galaxy s is going to be and remain for quite some time the thinest brightest fastest smartest full feather smartphone its super amoled screen is biggest amoled screen that will be availible on the market the evo is tft it will wash out in sun light and kill your batterry the cutting egde super amoled is 80 percent less reflective in sunlight no glare at all no now speed it 1ghz hummingbird processor their be no lag what so ever processes 90 million triangle making it three x more powerfull then a one ghz snapdragon and even if htc release a phone with one point five snapdragon it still wont be faster the evo sceen is to big and is dull even compare to amoled no mind super amo now the galaxys is also gointo a twin with a keyboard g s pro did i mention internal memory that even couldnt runout of also gsm a world fone it is all roung going to be the best phone it has a frontfacing cam free vid chat

  • http://Website Mike Gibson

    Samsung Galaxy S for Me :D

  • http://Website john

    no more sprint for me, too many bad experiences. today i played with my friends Evo, and it feels and operates like a phone that was rushed in all areas. im going to wait for the Galaxy S with its awesome super AMOLED. once you have looked into the SAMOLED screen, nothing will do. plus i will be able to control all my samsung products wirelessly with the Galaxy, not to mention sending vids, tunes, photos, etc…to my HDTV without any wires or cables. IMHO, to put it simply, the Evo is a “ghetto” phone. people who don’t know sh*t about technology.

  • http://Website Carrie

    It’s inevitable that HTC will begin to make mistakes when they rise up in power, like Samsung and Sony.

    After trying out the Evo, I’m disatisfied from the feeling of rushed technology. Plus, I’ve seen other Evo users walking around and frankly, the sheer size of the phone makes people look a bit goofy.

    But for me, Samsung’s Super AMOLED is the selling point and I will be switching as soon as it comes out. :/

  • http://Website soby

    Sorry but i choose the htc over samsung..ebcause the people from HTC really do care about they’re customers and they update they’re phone softwares…now i have the samsung galaxy gt7500..i received as a gift..and ic an’t sell it..everybody know it’s a slow phone..a really slow one..the software is uncompatible..and..is the worst phone ever..i hate samsungg….they didn’t even answer to all my emails i send them regardin this stupid phone..

  • http://Website Roshan B

    There are many phones that will come out and try to compete. I think we are in a position where computing power is faster than data speeds. The Samsung Galazy S may compete on specs, but the biggest thing about the EVO its the 4G capabilities and the ability to access data much faster!

    Of course the 4G coverage needs quite a bit of growing, but no other carriers will match 4G speeds and coverage for quite a few months.

    And that’s a huge deciding factor.

    • http://Website ari-free

      if in fact the samsung will be on all 4 carriers then it will be something. You’d pick a carrier based on its performance/coverage/other perks and not whether it has the amazing phone. That was the gamechanging ‘promise’ of the Nexus One but that thing fizzled out for various reasons.

    • http://Website john

      4G will drain ur battery in few hrs, maybe less on Evo.

  • http://Website ObsceneJesster

    @Roshan B…..T-Mobile HSPA+ is reported to be faster than Sprint’s WiMax network. I live right outside of D.C. and am getting 6780 MBPS download 988 MBPS upload. Thos speeds are plenty fast enough for this technology.

  • http://Website Dave

    SAMSUNG GALAXY S all the way baby!!!! EVO 4G is not really 4G… with that small coverage what are their chances winning against T-Mobile’s HSPA+?? EVO 4G does have nicer camera and led flash but it doesn’t matter if the mega pixels are higher because i noticed that HTC devices does not really have a good camera comparing to other phones but this will be a pretty good match up and i had android devices for some time but to me samsung galaxy s is more attractive to me

  • http://Website Cecilia

    has anyone heard of the “june 19″ “promotion” w/ t-mobile stores opening up 2 hours early?

    ok, so first off, sorry I didn’t read through all the comments above so I’m sorry if it’s already said and i’ve been out of the loop for a bit so I don’t know much about the SGS.

    is it possible that maybe the big hype about june 19 would be the combination a plan promotion with the launch of the SGS?

    i hear bad things about samsung, but that doesn’t mean i won’t listen to anything else.

  • http://Website s15274n

    I’m curious if T-Mobile and Samsung announce the Galaxy AND HSPA+ when they hold their conference later this month…. We all know T-Mobile said they were going to roll it out this year, right? Well… why not announce it with the mention of your new flagship phone that can utilize those speeds?

    just saying…..

  • http://Website ObsceneJesster

    @s15274n….They have already started rolling out HSPA+ all along the East Coast. I am getting between 3.7 and 6.2 download speeds while in DC and outside of Baltimore.

  • http://Website alex

    Remeber the Galaxy S also has atmelMax tuch sensors, im definetly getting the Galaxy S.

  • http://Website Jan

    Mugen power batteries just update the extended 1800mAh battery for EVO 4G and HTC Incredible,
    longer battery life than the original battery come with the phone!

  • http://Website luciano

    Got the Samsung.
    But as I am in the Netherlands the Evo4g is not available (yet…)
    Or else I probably would have gotten that, partly because I really like HTC sense ui.

    But, that said..:

    Absolutely love the Samsung!!!!
    It’s super Amoled screen dwarfs al the other stuff that is out (haven’t seen the iphone4 yet…)
    It runs incredibly fast with ZERO-lag.
    It’s touch screen is 1-1 iphone.

    One would be fair to say that basically, it’s a copy-iphone.
    But what the heck, I like Subaru too.
    All the stuff you’d miss on an Iphone is available on the Samsung/android platform.

  • http://Website master of mobile


  • http://Website master of mobile

    evo is amazing the best fon ever.all galaxy has is the screen but apart from thet it’s just a normal crap samsung fon.evo forever

  • http://Website pimpdady

    Evo sucks don’t buy the battery runs out to fast!