The battle on the smartphone market will be at least interesting this year with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, or Sony Xperia Z2 already introduced to the public, and LG’s G3 flagship expected to arrive later this year. Even though Samsung’s flagship is not yet available on the market, we though with compare it against what it seems to be its biggest rival in the Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 specs battle.
You may know from our previous Versus articles that the Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 battle will have ten different rounds each worth one point. We will be judging the performance of the two smartphones in terms of Display, Dimensions, Connectivity, Memory, Operating System, Camera, Processor, Battery Life, Price, and Design and, at the end of the battle, the smartphone that manages to score most points will be declared the winner.
Even though we’ve heard a lot of rumors saying that the flagship smartphones launched early 2014 will arrive with Quad HD screens, both Samsung and HTC considered that Full HD resolution will suffice for most users.
Samsung Galaxy S5 packs a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen with 1080 x 1920 resolution, 432 ppi pixel density, and Gorilla Glass 3 protection, while HTC One M8 sports a 5.0-inch Super LCD3 screen with the same 1080 x 1920 resolution and Gorilla Glass 3 protective layer, but with a slightly higher pixel density of 441 ppi.
Both panels come with great contrast and brightness and because the both the S5 and the M8 have similar sized screens, the Display rounds ends as tie.
HTC’s One M8 measures 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm and has a weigh of 160 grams. On the other hand the Galaxy S5 is 142 mm tall, 72.5 mm wide, 8.1 mm thin, and weighs 145 grams.
The metal body of the One M8 increases the weigh of the smartphone, while the curved back makes it thicker. The Galaxy S5 is more compact and lighter than its rival, so it wins the Dimensions round, scoring one point.
Connectivity-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, IR blaster, and microUSB 3.0, USB On-the-go, USB Host.
On the other hand, the HTC One M8 sports HSDPA, 42 Mbps (21 Mbps – AT&T), 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, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, IR blaster, and microUSB 2.0, USB On-the-go, USB Host.
As you can see S5 is using Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology and microUSB 3.0, compared to M8 which has standard BT 4.0 and microUSB 2.0. Aside of that the two smartphones are identical in terms of connectivity, so we’re calling this a tie.
The Android phones are among the few capable of providing real multitasking so you’ll need a decent amount of RAM. Furthermore if let’s say you want to carry your music collection everywhere along with some of your favorite TV show episodes, you’ll need a fair amount of storage.
The Galaxy S5 comes with either 16 or 32 GB of storage and support for microSD cards up to 128 GB. HTC One M8 packs 16/32 GB of storage, plus microSD support up to 128 GB. Both handsets arrive with 2 GB of RAM so the multitasking experience will be similar.
Since both the S5 and the M8 can max to 160 GB storage and have the same amount of RAM, the Memory rounds is also a tie.
Both smartphones run Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box, but the experience they deliver is quite different due to the skins the two OMEs applied over Android.
HTC One M8 leaves the factory gates pre-loaded with Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sense 6.0 UI on top of it. BlinkFeed, the news and social media aggregator received a new face with support for even more sources, while the UFocus feature allows the user to choose the focus point in a picture after it was taken.
By far the coolest software feature of HTC One M8 is Motion Launch, which is actually package of gestures that allow you to quickly wake up your device. For example if you double tap on the screen while it’s of, the device will wake up to show you notifications. Swipe to the left to unlock, to the right to bring up BlinkFeed, or hold the device in portrait mode and press the Volume buttons to launch the camera app.
On the other hand, the Galaxy S5 has the latest version of TouchWiz UI installed on top of Android 4.4.2 which brings all the software features of its predecessors and several more. The handset is now capable to re-focus after a picture was taken with Selective Focus, to turn the display black and white and shut down unnecessary processes to drastically improve battery life courtesy of Ultra Power Saving Mode, or to allow the users to hide certain apps or files using Private Mode.
Galaxy S5 also comes with a feature called Download Booster which combines the LTE and WiFi speeds to increase download speeds and mobile payments using PayPal that can be performed using the fingerprint sensor.
Even though the Galaxy S5 has far more software features, One M8’s Motion Launch is far more useful. Furthermore, the Sense 6.0 UI is cleaner and closer to stock Android than Samsung’s TouchWiz, therefore the Operating System round goes to the Taiwanese handset.
Some of you may not consider a smartphone’s camera a selling point, but I’ve always though that the best camera is the camera you carry with you.
The Galaxy S5 features a 16 MP primary shooter with phase detection autofocus, LED flash, 1/2.6” sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, and support for 4K@30fps and 1080p@60fps video recording.
The HTC One M8 has a Dual 4 MP UltraPixel Camera mounted on the back 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 video recording capabilities.
The Galaxy S5 is capable of super fast autofocus (0.3 seconds, the fastest on a smartphone) and 4K video recording, while most photo samples shown that it’s capable of outperforming the One M8, therefore it wins the Camera round.
In the red corner, it’s the Samsung Galaxy S5 with a Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 chipset with quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 CPU and quad-core Adreno 330 GPU. In the blue corner it’s the HTC One M8 boasting about a Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801 SoC with four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and quad-core Adreno 330 GPU.
The 200 MHz higher clock speed of S5’s CPU is not enough to bring anther point to the Samsung flagship, so this round is a tie as well.
The Galaxy S5 comes with a removable Li-Ion 2,800 mAh battery that should be capable of getting the handset through about 48 hours of usage. Even though we didn’t get our hands on the smartphone because is not yet available on the market we based our estimations on comparing the S5 with its predecessor.
The Galaxy S4 and its 2,600 mAh battery can get thorugh around 36 hours of normal usage. The 200 mAh higher cell of the Galaxy S5 and the more battery-friendly Snapdragon 801 processor should bring around 12 hours of extra autonomy.
HTC One M8 packs a non-removable Li-Po 2,600 mAh battery, which performed fairly good in our tests. Unfortunately the 2,600 mAh could keep M8 lights up for more than 36 hours on a single charge.
Even though the S5 won’t be released on the market until April 11, the major US carriers already announced its price: $199 with two-year contracts with either AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. Unsurprisingly, the HTC One M8 also costs $199 with Verizon, AT&T or Sprint agreements.
We’ve also looked through the offers of the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon. On Amazon the both the AT&T Galaxy S5 and Sprint Galaxy S5 are available for pre-order at $189.99, of course with two-year agreements attached. The Sprint HTC One M8 and the Verizon HTC One M8 cost $149.99 on Amazon with two-year plans.
Because we can’t know how Galaxy S5’s price on Amazon will behave after the smartphone is released on the market, it would be unfair to give the point allocated for the Price round to the HTC One M8. We’ll call this a tie.
The Galaxy S5 doesn’t depart too much from the design lines of its predecessor, but it now arrives with sharper corners and a new dimpled plastic for the back panel that is meant to offer extra grip.
The Galaxy S5 is IP67 certified meaning its dust and water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes. The Home button of the S5 integrates a fingerprint sensor, while on the back there’s a heart rate monitor right below the camera, next to the flash.
HTC One M8 is definitely a reminiscent of the HTC One 2013, but the new handset ditches the capacitive buttons over on-screen software keys, has rounder corners, and it’s taller and wider than its predecessor, mostly because it has to accommodate a bigger display.
When you turn the One M8 around the first thing you notice are the two cameras on the back, flaked to the left by the dual LED flash.
HTC One M8 might not be water and dust resistant like the Galaxy S5, might not sport a fingerprint sensor nor a heart rate monitor, but it’s no doubt the best looking smartphone in the town. Without a doubt, the One M8 wins the Design round.
We’ve reached the end of the Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 specs battle so it’s time to see which of the two smartphones scored most points.
I’ll remind you that we’ve had five rounds that ended as tie: Display, Connectivity, Processor, Price, and Memory, because the two handsets have similar sized displays, almost identical connectivity features, they pack the latest and greatest Quaclcomm chipsets, are similarly priced, and have the same amount of RAM and storage.
The HTC One M8 has won two rounds (Operating System and Design), courtesy of the cleanness and utility of Sense 6.0 and its flawless metallic design. Two points for the M8.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 scored three points by outmatching the One M8 when it came to Dimensions (thinner, lighter, more compact), Camera (great autofocus speed and higher quality photos and videos), and Battery Life (higher battery unit and higher autonomy).
In our opinion the Samsung flagship is better than the All New HTC One, but you are entitled to think otherwise. If you believe we’ve been unfair to either of the smartphones please let us know in comments.