Since I might be in the market for one of the Android flagships, I'd like to hear som opinions!
Since I already have done some borwser-beased web research on the topic, I might start off with what I found so far (and I might fill in as I find more):
Comparisons from What Hifi
The Galaxy S4’s poor audio performance is all the more apparent when it’s compared with its rivals. Apple still wins in the sound stakes, with the iPhone 5 delivering subtle detail, tight and snappy rhythms, and notes that start and stop with precision. It’s definitely the most entertaining experience of the current crop of smartphones.
Sony’s Xperia Z and Google’s Nexus 4 join Apple on the podium with clear and sharp detail, while the HTC One offers a warmer sound without robbing the music of its vibrancy.
Samsung S4 Sound Quality
For anyone who has questions about the LTE Vs Oca variants of the S4 and how they sound out of the headphone output:
Over a 45 minute blind volume matched listening session S4 Octa Vs S4 600 I can't really discern any difference in the sound between the two. There is a very very slight difference, but it would take me a lot longer to drill down into that and work out exactly what it is. So basically, unless you're using low impedance IEMs (in which case the i9505 is unusable) the headphone output of these respective models is not a differentiating factor in choosing between them. That said, when custom kernels come along that allow audio tweaking the Wolfson may have more scope for improvement I suppose.
HTC One Audio Quality
HTC One Can be used for digital out via USB
Xperia Z Audio Quality
USB OTG Host http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqqLBCllVJM
General reviews of Xperia Z / HTV ONE / Galaxy S4
Seems like the S4 is the best for outdoor/high light pphotograpy, while the HTC one is beter at low light conditions.
Xperia update gives better pictures: http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_z_gets_firmware_update_improves_camera_quality-news-6041.php
HTC One update gives better pictures too.. http://pocketnow.com/2013/04/30/htc-one-camera-after-update
Edited by ardilla - 6/6/13 at 3:29pm