The HTC One really put HTC back on the map and now its follow-up the (M8) has arrived and looks to build on that. It has a breathtaking design and impressive specs, but it’s launched under the shadow of the Samsung Galaxy S5, a similarly impressive phone which will almost certainly outsell it. But which is the better buy? Read on to find out.
HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 - Build
Design and build quality is one of the HTC One (M8)’s strongest elements. It looks simply stunning. The chassis of the phone is almost entirely brushed aluminium, curving off into the screen at the front and while the curved design leaves it a bit chunky it makes it very comfortable to hold. At 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4mm and 160g it’s not only thick but slightly on the heavy side, though that’s an inevitable trade-off for having a metal body. All in all though it’s easily the best looking phone around.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 doesn’t look anywhere near as good. It has a plastic build with a mottled finish, which stands out a little but doesn’t impress. However it’s also IP67 certified water and dust resistant, so while it may not look as good as the HTC One (M8) it is more durable. At 142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm and 145g it’s a little lighter and quite a bit slimmer than the One (M8) but overall the HTC One (M8) is so beautiful that it’s impossible not to choose it from a design and build perspective.
HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 - Display
The HTC One (M8) has a 5 inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD3 screen with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch and it’s very high quality. Colours look richer than on last years model and of course everything is super sharp.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 5.1 inch 1080 x 1920 Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 432 pixels per inch. So it’s the same resolution as the HTC One (M8), but slightly bigger, leading to a marginally lower pixel density. The bigger difference though is the display technology used and as good as the Super LCD3 screen on the One (M8) is we have to give the edge to the Galaxy S5 and its bright, rich Super AMOLED screen.
HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 - Power
The HTC One (M8) has a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM which is more power than any phone really needs right now and yet the Samsung Galaxy S5 has it beat, with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM. In real terms you won’t likely notice any difference, but on paper the Galaxy S5 is slightly more powerful.
HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 - Camera
The HTC One (M8) has a similar camera to last years model, specifically a 4 ‘UltraPixel’ one. The upshot of that is that the pixels are a lot bigger than on competitors phones, letting more light in and enabling it to take better low-light shots, the downside is that there are far fewer megapixels, so images are less detailed, especially when blown up.
Things have been improved a little this time around though as the One (M8) has a Duo Camera set up, which uses a second sensor to allow you to adjust the focus of the shot after taking a picture. It gives you a finer level of control but doesn’t improve the overall quality of snaps. The handset can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps and has a surprisingly decent 5 megapixel front facing camera, making it ideal for selfies and video calls.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 16 megapixel camera, following the more conventional wisdom that more megapixels equals better pictures. That’s not always true, but it’s hard to argue with the quality of the S5’s shots. They’re some of the best smartphone pictures we’ve seen and easily outdo the One (M8). It also tops the (M8)’s video capabilities as it can shoot 2160p video at 30fps or 1080p video at 60fps, though its 2 megapixel front facing snapper isn’t so impressive.
HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 - Battery life, memory and connectivity
The HTC One (M8) has a 2600 mAh battery which can last for up to 496 hours on standby or 20 hours of talk time. That’s pretty good and compares well to the Galaxy S5 and its 2800 mAh battery which can supposedly last 390 hours on standby or 21 hours of talk time.
Both the One (M8) and the Galaxy S5 have a choice of 16 or 32GB of built in storage and also include a microSD card slot which supports cards of up to 128GB.
Both phones also have much the same connectivity options, with Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, infrared and NFC included on both.
HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 - Features
This is rather more subjective as the Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor which will be very useful to some and go unused by others, while the One (M8) has front-facing BoomSound stereo speakers, which provide unparalleled audio quality without headphones. Again though, many users will make little use of it as they’re likely to stick to headphones.
HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 - Conclusion
It might only be March but if the Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8) aren’t two of the best phones of the year we’d be very surprised. Really you can’t go wrong with either of them, they’re both enormously impressive and both great upgrades over last years models.
But if we had to choose we’d say the Galaxy S5 is probably slightly better overall. It has a much better camera than the One (M8), slightly more power and a marginally better screen and while the design is nowhere near as good it’s water and dust resistant which the One (M8) isn’t.
So if style is the most important thing go for the HTC One (M8), but if you can live with a slightly ugly phone then the Galaxy S5 is the one to buy.
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