HTC 1S vs Samsung Galaxy S2 – What Phone Is Right For You ?

HTC 1S vs Samsung Galaxy S2 – Introduction

One of the most relevant comparisons that the Whatphone team can perform for our visitors is between the HTC 1S vs Samsung Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S2 was a lighthouse device in 2011.

It set blinding new standards for the Android market. It had components, hardware specifications and a smooth user experience that broke new ground. Phones have moved on since the launch of the S2. The latest cutting edge devices have Quad Core Processors, screens bigger even than the 4.3 inches. They have larger allocations of built in memory.

But there are many people for whom a cutting edge device is not necessary. The real performance enhancements associated with Quad Core, right now, are limited. The software to max them out, isn’t written yet. For these people, the Galaxy S2 and HTC One S represent great devices. Smaller than their bleeding edge counterparts, more affordable and still capable of delivering a smartphone experience that rivals Apple’s market leading iPhone.

It’s time we figured out exactly what phone is right for you and put these two mid tier devices next to each other.

HTC 1S vs Samsung Galaxy S2 – Overview.

The HTC 1S appears to be HTC’s response to the success of the Galaxy S2. The HTC One range comprises 3 devices. The specifications of the HTC 1X, the 1S’s big brother are remarkably similar to the Samsung Galaxy S3. Equally, the capabilities of the HTC 1S are, on paper, very similar to those of the Galaxy S2. In real life there are some differences it’s well worth being aware of.

First is the feel of the products. The 1S feels higher quality and more modern with an aluminum two tone back cover. The S2 has a more plasticky feel to it. Looking at the aesthetics, to me, its a no brainer. The 1S wins the looks.


Today's Best Deal On The Samsung Galaxy S2

HTC 1S vs Samsung Galaxy S2 – What’s different ?

In a nutshell, not much is different between the two products.

  • Screen Resolution :
    As I covered in the introduction, both the 1S and S2 are mid tier devices these days. The screens reflect that. Both are 4.3 inches on the diagonal. The S2 has a 480 x 800 pixel resolution Super AMOLED screen. The 1S has a slightly better resolution 540 x 960, also Super AMOLED screen. Technology journalists will talk to you about pixilation when you flick to zoom in. To a mid tier user, I think these distinctions are meaningless. Both screens are great.
  • Expandable memory :
    One of the key features of the HTC 1S, that puts it squarely in the low / mid tier user camp, is the on board memory – 16GB. It cannot be expanded. 16GB is the minimum in my view for a mobile phone these days. It’ll get you a fair size music library and a film. And that’s it. The Galaxy S2 has an expandable memory slot which allows users to buy and insert as many SD cards as they need to ( one at a time of course ! ) This significantly affects the way you can use the device and puts the power in the hands of the user. The S2 is better in this regard for customers who want to be able to exercise their multimedia desires on their Smartphone.

HTC 1S vs Samsung Galaxy S2 – What’s the same ?

As I said at the start of this article, the HTC 1S and Galaxy S2 are direct competitors based on their specifications.

They have a substantial number of identical capabilities.

  • Processing power :
    The Galaxy S2 has Dual core 1.2GHz processors. The HTC 1S has Dual Core 1.5GHz processors. The practical experience is the same on both devices – slick with virtually no delay on the playing of HD film files or scrolling between applications, even with multiple applications running at one time.
  • Physical Dimensions :
    They are essentially the same size ( the S2 is half a centimetre taller. )
  • Weight :
    They weigh exactly the same – 116 grams.
  • Camera :
    They both have a 8MP camera but the 1S benefits from having an extra year before launch. The interface ( the camera interface is part of HTC’s Sense 4.0 User Interface ) is much better on the 1S. There are more options than I could ever use for taking pictures including burst mode and a bunch to apply effects when you’ve taken the picture. One of the great benefits of the HTC 1S software is that you can shoot pictures, video and pictures from video in the same place. You can also take pictures more quickly. The 1S seems to auto focus quicker than the S2. I found I could get a picture out in less than a second. The camera on the S2 is fine. The colors seemed a little less bright and colorful than the 1S. Obviously, pictures on phones are taken more for fun than anything else. The camera facility is about convenience more than anything. However, with the extra software features, warmer colors and quicker time to take a shot, the 1S wins this important feature by some way.
  • Video :
    Both take videos at 30 FPS ( Frames Per Second ) and give a ( mostly ) smooth panning experience as a result. The 1S images are warmer and the software is better – as explained in the camera section.
  • Battery life is comparable but the S2’s regularly gave me a couple of extra hours of the same sort of usage. For mid tier / low end users, this should be fine. You’ll get a full day. But the S2 also has a removable back plate remember which means that, if you want to, you can carry a spare.

HTC 1S vs Samsung Galaxy S2 – Summary

There’s never been a better time to buy a mobile phone. As a mid / low tier user – some might call this a ‘normal person’ – you won’t go wrong with either of these great devices. The 1S looks and feels more modern. The pictures are better and if expandable memory is a feature that you struggle to see the benefit of, this is likely to be the device for you.

For me, it’s the Galaxy S2 all the way. I love this phone and always have. Expandable memory means a lot to me. The better battery life is very important. The way things look is less important to me than what they do and how they do it ( you’d know that if you could see my shoes. )

The Galaxy S2 is the closest thing the mobile phone market has to a classic. The fact that it’s been around more than a year and competitors still try to match it spec for spec tells you something. This is a masterpiece of technology. Perhaps the most important element of the equation though doesn’t relate to the product itself : –

Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S2

HTC 1S vs Samsung Galaxy S2 – Price Alerts

For most customers, the device capabilities are only half of the question. When you’re choosing what phone is right for you, the other side is the cost. And the Samsung Galaxy S2, while it’s still around, is a steal. I never quote the prices themselves in the reviews – because they change all the time.

Why not compare the pricing on the HTC 1S and the Samsung Galaxy S2 on the Whatphone Product pages and see what you think ? Having been around for a year, the S2 has come down a lot in price. In my view, it might be the best phone per dollar that you could spend.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.