The HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: both are two of the hottest flagship phones on the market. Both have some new cutting edge features and run the latest version of Android 4.4.2 and have some of nicest styling of any of the phones on the market. But which is best? Does one outshine the other, or are they comparable?
HTC One M8 Vs Samsung Galaxy S5:
1 – Hardware:
First, we must look at the hardware of both phones to be able to make a fair comparison. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is powered by a 2.5GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, has 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU. This makes for a lightning fast phone, and whilst running the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat, has little lag software wise.
The HTC One M8 has a 2.3GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 801 Processor and 2GB of RAM and the same Adreno GPU. For some reason, the HTC is sold as 2.3GHz in the US/EU/UAE whilst the Chinese and Asian markets get the same full speed processor the Samsung has. This, however, does not mean that the HTC is underpowered nor does it suffer in comparison to the S5. In our tests, the M8 and S5 were comparable when we performed the benchmark tests, with the Samsung Galaxy S5 scoring 36096 points and the M8 scoring 33683, very comparable in today’s market.
The rest of the hardware on both phones is almost identical: WiFi, Bluetooth 4, Infra red port to control the TV, NFC, USB and Micro SD. As for the display, both have a 5 inch screen (the S5 has a 5.1 inch screen, but the difference is negligible). The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080×1920, whilst the HTC One M8 has a Super LCD3 screen with the same resolution.
So how can we call this round on hardware? Despite each having some minor advantages, to the average consumer, there is next to no difference between both phones on the Hardware front.
2 – Camera:
When looking at both camera’s, we have to realise something; they are built-in different styles. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 16MP camera with Auto-Focus and flash. The HTC One M8 on the other hand has two camera’s on the back, both 4MP but HTC call it UltraPixel as it has a 1/3′ sensor, which allows for more light capture. The dual camera also allows for better and easier focusing on objects near and far. It’s possible to get great depth of field shots with the HTC One M8 with a simple tap on the screen to focus on the area desired.
The same can be achieved with the Samsung Galaxy S5, but you have to play with the settings, which can be tricky, especially for the spur of the moment photo. Even with the settings selected, however, we found it was difficult to get a consistent result with the depth of field option, as the phone kept saying it was unable to process the image. Whether it was a matter of keeping the phone still for long enough of some other problem, the phone didn’t explain.
Otherwise, both phones had much the same feature, being able to add filters to photos in real-time (rather than after the photo had been taken in editing), taking easy panoramic shots (the HTC had the added bonus of being able to take full 360 degree globe pictures) and several handset specific modes such as ZOE shots on the HTC, which allow you to make a ‘presentation’ of your photo’s and short Vine-like video’s of an event. The Samsung, on the other hand has downloadable modes that allow you to take specific types of photos. Their newest is something called 3D Tour, where you take a short video and walk round to give a guided tour of an area (a new house for example).
When it comes to the camera’s, unless you’re going to be taking professional photos, the HTC One M8 is the best bet in our view, purely because of it’s simplicity and ease of taking great photos. But if we go on pixel density alone, then the Samsung Galaxy S5 wins hands down.
3 – Software:
Android version aside, both phones have different approach to the software that comes pre-loaded on the phone. Samsung goes with a ‘All or nothing’ approach, where as HTC takes a slightly more relaxed ‘essentials only’ approach.
Like all Samsung devices, the Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with their proprietary TouchWiz Launcher. This is a simple yet functional launcher, but one that most tend to replace with one from the Google Play Store. As for apps, Samsung pre-loads the device with numerous apps they think you’ll want, such as S Note, S Health, GeoNews, Samsung Wallet and numerous others. Having owned a Samsung before, we know that most of these apps won’t be used as there are better alternatives on the Play Store (although in all honesty, we were impressed with S Health).
HTC’s approach is much more serene to Samsung’s and as a result takes up less memory on the device. Apart from the usual of having their own version of calendar, email client and file browser, the HTC One M8 has few apps to hog room on your phone. There is a backup assistant as well as migration assistant, but other than that, they leave you to choose from the Play Store. What the HTC does have, however, is Blinkfeed, a social media, news and weather centre that keeps all your feeds in one place, rather than make you flit from app to app. HTC also have their own launcher called Sense UI6.0, but most people will probably use their own anyway as it still doesn’t feel quite polished enough.
4 – Infra Red Remote:
Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 have an IR beam to allow you to control TV, DVD, DVR and HiFi units from your phone. Both devices use their own methods of doing this however.
The HTC One M8 uses an app called SenseTV, which not only shows you an electrical TV programme but can also suggest shows and films for you based on your likes and dislikes. The app is also integrated into Blinkfeed, so you’re less likely to miss a favourite show or news about your favourite film.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 uses a mix of new and old, pulling in features from the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active’s WatchOn app and adding it to the Smart Remote app. Just like the One on the HTC, it allows you to set reminders for your favourite shows and gives you a EPG for your TV provider and area, but this side of it is less developed than the HTC’s.
Setting up the remote on either phone is easy enough, if potentially long-winded, pointing the device at the TV and tapping buttons until something happens. The one advantage with the HTC is that it allows you to set up different rooms, so if you have a TV in the Lounge, and one in the bedroom, both of different makes, you can simply switch rooms and you are presented with remotes for all the devices in each room.
5 – Build and design:
The one obvious feature of that makes these two phones different is that the Samsung Galaxy S5 is IP67 standard, which means it’s water and dust resistant. You can even take photo’s underwater up to a metre deep. The one downside of this feature, however, is that it means the Samsung Galaxy S5 has less attractive feel and look. Using a thin plastic back (like all its predecessors) and a chrome effect band around the entire edge which, experience tells us, will be the first to chip over time.
The HTC One M8, on the other hand, has gone from gorgeous metal covered phone, to a stunning singular piece of brushed aluminium similar to many modern laptops and worthy of metal smith. Rather than the thin piece of metal which covered the back of the last model, this is a singular piece of metal which flows uninterrupted from edge to edge. As a result, the Micro SIM and Micro SD slots have moved from slots on the back to trays on the sides of the device. The look isn’t spoilt on the front, with a single piece of glass with no physical button to blemish the look. In this test, the HTC One M8 wins over the Samsung Galaxy S5 hands down.
Both phones are almost so similar it’s difficult to choose one over the other. If you’re after feature packed and full of impressive gimmicks, then chose Samsung Galaxy S5 and enjoy taking pictures underwater and feeling like you’re in the future by unlocking your phone with your finger print.
If, on the other hand, you’re after style, simplicity and ease of use with the same performance, then opt for the HTC One M8. Fans of either manufacturer will likely stick with their favourite, although there are some that are disappointed with the Samsung and opting for other flagships such as the LG G3 (when it’s released).
What would be your favourite? Would you choose the HTC, or the Samsung? Or would you opt for something completely different? Let us know in the comments.