Display and audio quality.
Starting with the display, the ASUS PadFone Infinity uses the first generation Corning Gorilla Glass while the HTC One uses the second generation Corning Gorilla Glass. This means that the ASUS PadFone Infinity’s screen is more prone to breakage as compared to the HTC One. When compared side by side, the HTC One also leads with a better viewing angle and better color accuracy. All is not lost for the ASUS PadFone Infinity though – its larger 5-inch screen size allows for use of the screen at a larger distance while a higher maximum brightness allows for better readability under direct sunlight.
Audio wise, the ASUS PadFone Infinity’s speakers fared much better than the HTC One’s speakers in terms of raw sound quality, but once both smartphone’s preloaded sound enhancements were activated, the HTC One trounces the ASUS PadFone Infinity at the loss of substantial volume – not that it matters as the HTC One is equipped with dual speakers, providing a significantly louder output than the ASUS PadFone Infinity’s single speaker, with or without sound enhancement enabled. One interesting observation I had with the ASUS PadFone Infinity was that the sound quality on the ASUS PadFone Station was noticeably louder and better than the ASUS PadFone Infinity by itself, possibly due to a larger speaker being used in the dock that has a bigger leeway in accommodating larger hardware. The HTC One’s dual speakers also complements well with watching videos on the go, providing stereo sound that gives a slight but noticeable boost in sound separation and clarity. Sadly though, both smartphones’ 3.5mm audio output aren’t living up to the hype they are touted to be – while decent enough for regular use and causal listening, neither of the phones are providing audiophile-level sound quality.
Next, we move on to the microphones. The HTC One’s dual HDR microphone helps improve audio capture quality and noise cancellation by leaps and bounds as compared to the ASUS PadFone Infinity’s single regular microphone. However, this may be subject to change following a recent injunction by Nokia forbidding HTC’s HDR microphone suppliers from providing HTC with any more new stock of its HDR mics, meaning that when HTC runs out of its current stockpile of HDR microphones, it may possibly revert to a similar regular microphone used by the ASUS PadFone Infinity.
ASUS and HTC have taken radically different approaches to the phone’s UI, with HTC heavily customizing the user interface with its Sense 5.0 UI while ASUS have taken the “stock” route by providing minimal customizations of the user interface, keeping it close to Android’s original user interface. Despite each company’s completely different approaches to the user interface, both are equally as good – both UIs are well-received by many and have their own plus points.
The HTC One’s Sense 5.0 providing users two useful choices for its homescreen – BlinkFeed (which provides its users an at-a-glace update of the latest news and feeds from Facebook, Twitter, etc) and the regular Sense UI (which allows users to pin their own widgets on the homescreen to suit their needs).
The ASUS PadFone Infinity’s UI is actually rather similar to stock Android UI – those looking for the “vanilla/pure” Android experience would love the fact that ASUS has made minimal modifications to the look and feel of the UI, keeping the UI as close as possible to stock Android itself.