The iPhone 5 had an 8MP camera and so does the 5s, but it’s been significantly improved. Each pixel on the sensor is 15 percent larger than those on the 5’s sensor and the aperture has been widened from F2.4 to F2.2, which equates to 33 percent extra light sensitivity. That makes the camera a lot handier in dimly-lit conditions, and colour and contrast are noticeably improved too. There’s also a new True Tone flash which allows you to take much more natural looking nighttime photos, particularly when it comes to the colour balance of skin tones. Overall it’s a classy camera and a significant step up from its predecessor.
The HTC One features only 4MP but they’re larger than most phone camera’s (2 microns across to the iPhone 5s’ 1.5). Images are crisp and low light performance is excellent – but we think the iPhone 5s has the edge on both image quality and usability (and it can film 120fps slo-mo video, which the HTC cannot).
Winner: iPhone 5S
iOS 7 vs Android 4.2.2
iOS7 is a major upgrade to Apple’s mobile OS, with flat (dare we say it, Android-style) icons and textures replacing the skeuomorphic approach of past versions. New features like Airdrop and an improved Siri make it a big advantage, as does its superior roster of apps. Read our full review of it here.
The One uses Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean which, while it isn’t the very latest iteration of Google’s OS, is still very swanky – and more customisable than iOS. The HTC Sense UI is laid over the top of it, and some might prefer the incoming “Nexus” edition of the One, which sticks with the cleaner, less adorned version of Jelly Bean.
This is really a case of which OS you prefer. And to be honest, if you’re already in love with either iOS or Android, you’re probably going to stick with the handset that features it.
The iPhone 5S isn’t cheap: 16GB version will set you back $988. The HTC One 32GB can be acquired for $968. Either way you slice it, quite a bit cheaper than the iPhone 5S.
Winner: HTC One
It’s really a very close call as to which of these two fantastic smartphones is “better”. But decide we must - and we're calling this a win for the HTC One.
The iPhone 5S is lighter, thinner and more compact, equipped with a better camera and, thanks to its 64-bit architecture, possibly geared up for better app support in the near future. If the camera is a priority, you want the best selection of apps on the market or you feel the need for Touch ID in your life, you'll be very fond of the iPhone 5s.
But the HTC One has a sharper, larger screen, arguably better looks and comes at a cheaper price. That's reason enough to opt for the HTC One over the iPhone in our books, as the extra screen space makes it that bit more versatile in use, and all the better to enjoy a hi-def game or video on.
Check out our definitive list of the world's 10 Best Smartphones to see how we rank both handsets overall.