Most Android phone makers already unveiled their flagship smartphone for 2014 and, until the iPhone 6 is released, they will compete against Apple’s iPhone 5S. HTC’s latest and greatest handset is one of the big players of this year’s smartphone market, therefore we though we should compare it to Apple’s smartphone in a iPhone 5S vs HTC One M8 specs battle.
Our loyal readers may know from our previous Versus articles that the iPhone 5S vs HTC One M8 battle will be split in ten rounds, each worth one point. We will be judging the performance of both smartphones in terms of Display, Dimensions, Camera, Operating System, Memory, Connectivity, Processor, Design, Price, and Battery Life, and, at the end of the battle, the smartphone that manages to score most points is declared winner.
Even though all other smartphone makers are moving towards 4.5+ inch displays, Apple has remained loyal to their 4-inch screens.
The iPhone 5S packs a 4-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD screen with 640 x 1136 resolution, 326 ppi pixel density, and Gorilla Glass protection. The HTC One M8 boasts about a 1080 x 1920 5.0-inch Super LCD3 screen with 441 ppi pixel density and a Gorilla Glass 3 protective layer.
While the iPhone 5S has a screen that’s more comfortable to use with one hand, the one fitted on the One M8 is better when it comes to pixel density, web browsing, gaming, or watching videos, the most common tasks performed with a smartphone. The One M8 wins the display round.
Apple’s iPhone 5S measures 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm and has a weight of only 112 grams, while the HTC One M8 is 146.4 mm tall, 70.6 mm wide, 9.4 mm thin, and weighs 160 grams.
Because it needs to accommodate a significantly smaller screen, the iPhone 5S is more compact than HTC’s flagship. It’s also thinner and lighter, therefore it wins the Dimensions round.
As technology advances, the cameras fitted on the back of modern smartphones are getting better, becoming a reliable tool when it comes to snapping photos or taking videos on the go.
The iPhone 5S features an 8 MP rear-facing camera with autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, 1/3” sensor size, 1.5 µm pixel size, simultaneous HD video and image recording, touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection, HDR panorama, HDR photo, and support for 1080p@30fps and 720p@120fps video recording. The secondary camera of the iPhone 5S is a 1.2 MP unit with HD video recording support.
HTC One M8 arrives with Dual 4 MP UltraPixel Camera with autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, 1/3” sensor size, 2µm pixel size, automatic simultaneous video and image recording, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, HDR, panorama, and 1080p@60fps and 720p@60fps video recording capabilities. On the front panel HTC has mounted a 5 MP sensor with full HD video recording support and HDR.
Real life tests have shown that the One M8’s camera outmatches 5S’ iSight sensors in most situations, therefore the point allocated to the Camera round goes to the HTC flagship.
Android and iOS are not doubt the most popular mobile operating systems in the wild, each coming with advantages and disadvantages.
iOS 7 was the biggest update Apple’s mobile operating system received since its debut in 2007. iOS 7 has ditched the skeuomorphic design elements over flatter ones that look cleaner and because it was a major update there were major improvements, too. All iOS native apps got updated, but they look like Apple got their inspiration from somewhere. The lockscreen, the Music app, and Safari are a reminiscent of ICS lockscreen, Google Play Music, and Chrome, the SMS, Calendar, and Multitasking, were borrowed from Windows Phone 8, and the list may continue.
It’s true, Apple’s mobile operating system got even better with iOS 7, especially with the new Control Center and the more powerful Notification Center (also borrowed from Android), but it lost everything its fans loved about it: its simplicity.
The HTC One M8 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box, of course customized with company’s proprietary Sense 6.0 UI, and its packed with very useful software features. Aside of UFocus (allows the user to choose focus point after the picture was taken by taking advantage of the two primary cameras), updated BlinkFeed, and Extreme Power Saving Mode (turns off unnecessary processes promising 15 hours of use with just 5% battery), Sense 6.0 brings Motion Launch which is one of the most useful software features I’ve seen in a while.
With the help of Motion Launch you will be able to access certain areas of your smartphone while the screen is turned off. If you swipe to the right you launch BlinkFeed, a swipe to the left launches the widget panel. Swiping down turns on voice dialing, a swipe up gesture unlocks the device, a double tap wakes the screen up, and if you hold the device in landscape mode and press the volume buttons you will launch the camera.
The general opinion is that iOS is more stable than Android, but recent studies show that tables have turned after the launch of KitKat and iOS 7. Furthermore, Android is more customizable, so the Operating System point goes to the HTC One M8.
With over one million apps available for download in both Google Play Store and Apple App Store you’ll need quite a large amount of storage. Not to mention about your music collection, photos, and videos.
The iPhone 5S comes in three internal storage options 16, 32, and 64, but it doesn’t support microSD expansion. On the other hand, the HTC One M8 has 16 / 32 GB storage, and supports microSD cards up to 128 GB, maxing out 150 GB.
Furthermore, the HTC One M8 arrives with 2 GB of RAM, while the iPhone 5S only has 1 GB of RAM, so the multitasking experience will be better on the M8.
The Memory round is won by the HTC One M8.
Connectivity-wise, the iPhone 5S has DC-HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps, LTE, 100 Mbps; EV-DO Rev. A, up to 3.1 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, and USB 2.0 Lightning port.
In terms of connectivity, the HTC One M8 arrives with HSDPA, 42 Mbps, HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, IR blaster, and microUSB 2.0, with USB On-the-go, USB Host.
The One M8 has far more connectivity features than its rival, therefore it wins the Connectivity round, too.
The iPhone 5S arrives with a 64-bit Apple A7 chipset with dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based) CPU and quad-core PowerVR G6430. On the other hand the HTC One M8 sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 chipset with four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and quad-core Adreno 330 GPU.
Even though the A7 SoC is built on 64-bit architecture, you won’t feel its sheer power in real life or benchmark tests, because it isn’t helped by a sufficient amount of RAM. In fact the benchmark scores have proved that the HTC One M8’s Snapdragon 801 outperforms iPhone 5S’ A7 in most tests. Another point for One M8.
The iPhone 5S has the same design as its predecessor, and it doesn’t depart too much from the design language introduced three years ago by the iPhone 4. Being an Apple device it uses high-quality materials giving it a premium look and feel. On the bottom of the front panel you’ll find the touch ID fingerprint sensor that’s embedded in the Home button.
On the other hand, the HTC One M8 is a reminiscent of the One M7, bringing an aluminium body, with less sharper corners and no physical buttons. The front panel accommodates two stereo speakers placed on the top and bottom of the device.
The HTC One M8 is by far the best-looking Android-powered smartphone, but the iPhone 5S is far more elegant and more premium-looking. The Design round goes to Apple’s flagship.
Because most smartphones are sold on contract, we’ll be comparing the prices of the two smartphones of at three of the big US carriers.
The HTC One M8 is priced $199 at AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint and it comes with 32 GB of native storage. Even though the 16 GB iPhone 5S is priced $199 on contract, it would be fair to compare the price of the the 32 GB model. All three US carriers are selling the 32 GB iPhone 5S at $299 with two-year contracts.
It’s quite obvious that the HTC One M8 wins the Price round.
The battery life is one of the major issues of the modern smartphones, but it’s nice to see the companies are working hard to improve this aspect.
In our tests, the Li-Po 1,560 mAh battery of the iPhone 5S was capable of keeping the device awake through about 24 hours of moderate usage.
The HTC One M8 has a Li-Po 2,600 mAh battery which offers a decent autonomy, as the device went through about 36 hours of moderate usage on a single charge. We’ll not mention anything about M8’s Extreme Power Saving Mode because you can barely call the device a smartphone after you turn it on, because it’s mostly designed for emergencies.
We reached the end of the iPhone 5S vs HTC One M8 specs battle, so it’s time to see which smartphone scored most points.
The iPhone 5S outmatched its rival in the Dimensions and Design rounds, because it’s thinner and lighter and because it’s better-looking, therefore scoring 2 points.
The HTC One M8 has scored 8 points after winning the Display, Camera, Operating System, Memory, Connectivity, Processor, Price, and Battery Life battles, because it has a higher-resolution display, better camera, it runs Sense 6.0, has more storage and RAM, more connectivity options, more powerful CPU, is cheaper, and has longer battery life.
The HTC flagship wins the iPhone 5S vs HTC One M8 specs battle, but this is just our opinion. Maybe we misjudged certain aspects and we were unfair to the iPhone 5S. Please share your thoughts and prove us wrong in the comments section below.