Speaking of top Android device manufacturers all over the world, Samsung and HTC can be both nominated without doubts, Samsung has occupied the top position for a time while in the past several years, HTC is trying to get to the peak all the time. However, the sales for Samsung is crumbling down last year. Hopefully the newly released Samsung Galaxy S6 is the best shot to stop the decreasing market. Meanwhile, HTC is refusing to be the inferior. It catches the good momentum when M9 comes into the public. This year must be a drastically competent year for both Samsung and HTC. Now let’s go and compare the flagships of both the companies.
Design and style
If you have used one Samsung phone before, then you maybe able to get the hang of all the Samsung devices. Plastic phone shell leads to cheap feeling. That is applied to almost all Samsung smartphones before 2014 and it reflects to the sales of Galaxy S5 which really fails user’s expectations. Galaxy S5 starts to make some small changes with metal frames. The Galaxy S6 does more than small changes however.
Galaxy S6 remains the common Samsung design but replaces plastic all over the whole phone body. Its front and back are all covered with glass and the body is sealed with aluminum. You are not able to see the painted chrome plastic specifically made for Samsung’s flagship anymore. You have two choices about the Galaxy S6. One is normal flat 5.1 inch screen while the other one has a unique curved screen around the edges. The curved screen may seem a little unpractical in daily use in my personal opinion although this special design may add some artificial feeling.
There is a home button along with multitasing and back button on the surface of the device. The fingerprint sensor now depends on touch rather than swipe. Yes, in some aspect Galaxy S6 refers to iPhone 6 to some extents. But we have to see the positive changes made by Galaxy S6 since the clumsy Galaxy S5.
If you pay attention the past Samsung devices, then you may notice that a removable battery and addable micro SD card are two dispensable features of the past devices. But new Galaxy S6 cancel that features. This move may seem a little unacceptable for some users for now, but the new device expands the memory space of its device to 32GB, 64GB and 128 GB.
HTC One M9 has a lot of common features with Galaxy S6. It is also a sealed device like M8. You cannot remove the battery but you can expand the memory space by inserting a memory card. Galaxy S6 changes a lot about its design and appearance while HTC One M9 seldom change the outlook from M8 to M9. M9 is also a 5 inch screen and unibody device sealed with aluminum and equips with front facing Boom Sound speakers. You can not even tell the difference between M8 and M9 from some angles.
HTC also made some changes regarding design although some changes are hard to notice. First of all, you will see the black bezel at the downside in the front shrinking to a smaller size. The previous top power button has been moved to the side. Some lines on the device also slightly changes. You will see a large camera sensor rather than dual cameras on the back.
Batteries vs. screens
Both HTC and Samsung remain the same size of screen from the flagship devices last year. Galaxy S6 equips with a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED panel and M9 has a screen of 5 inch LCD. The screen size of Samsung maybe identical to the last flagship, but the resolution of the screen has been improved to 2560×1440. HTC keeps using the 1080p in this successive third year.
The quad-HD AMOLED of Samsung Galaxy S6 means that it can retain more pixels in a tiny space than other devices. The outcome reaches stunning 576 pixels per inch. M9 however remains 440 pixels per inch. The number seems certainly different. But normal eyes can hardly tell the difference of the resolution during the experience. If you do not have excellent vision, then the pixels the screen tries to reach you maybe wasted.
The screens of the two devices use two various technologies. Samsung makes the greatest AMOLED screens all over the world. Its effect is marvelous on the Note 4 and it will even be better in the Galaxy S6. Samsung solved many problems of AMOLED screens such as warm colors and low brightness. On the other hand, LCD is a dependable technology that provides sophisticated colors and outdoor visionary.HTC adopts excellent LCD panels.
Judge from the screen, it is probable that Samsung has a better performance. But the battery life only grows to 2550mAh (2600 in S6 Edge), so it should make some efforts in the lengthening the battery life. HTC’s 1080p screen consumes less power however and it is equipped with a 2840mAh battery. That means you can have more usage time for HTC device.
Both the flagships have their own advantages. You can decide what attracts you most. More clear screen or loner last one.
In 2013, HTC M7 came with the 4MP UltraPixel camera and it equips with another 4MP camera with M8 in 2014. A depth sensor was put to 2013’s camera. The Duo Camera was somehow neglected by users. So this year, HTC M9 wants to go back to the basic parameter to improve the resolution of the camera. One M9 puts a 20MP camera as the back camera and the 4MP sensor is put to the front.
Since the M9 was just released to the public, so it is hard to say what the photographic effect will be. But HTC has many details to work on. With the 4MPcamera of M8, you are not able to crop a photo without unclear spots. So it is quite important for HTC to optimize its software and the post photo processing. And the most tricky problem M9 faces is that it doesn’t have optical image stabilization. Without this technique, the chance of blurriness due to handshaking is much increased.
When we talk about the photography effects of Android devices, Samsung always definitely stands on the top. The hardware is of no much difference with OEMs nowadays. Samsung knows exactly about the software tricks that enables to get average photos even under poor light environments. The effects of HDR shots of Samsung phones are also excellent.
The Galaxy S6 also comes with a 16MP camera and it is the same as Galaxy S5. Phase detection is used to make the focusing part faster and it claims that Galaxy S6 will run faster than S5. Galaxy S6 has a feature called optical image stabilization. It will enable the pictures to remain nice quality even in low light. But in order to reach this effect, the camera has to be thicker. So you will notice a slight hump on the back camera.
Both HTC M9 and Galaxy S6 have what it takes to take extraordinary pictures.
Internals and charging
Generally speaking, you are not able to find huge differences on the internal configuration of flagship devices from various phone manufacturers. They always use the latest and best chip from Qualcomm. The situation this year you may see something new. Since Samsung got involved with an issue with Snapdragon 810 when the device is still under design. So it had to replace the Qualcomm’s chip and use its own Exynos chip. HTC One M9 didn’t have such problems and had no other better choices so it still adopts Snapdragon 810 in the M9.
We still don’t know much about how the new Exynos performs in Samsung’s smartphone. In the past, Samsung only used this chip in the international devices and this will be the first time that Samsung uses the 14nm octa-core chips. The 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa 7420 can be divided into two parts.There are four fast Cortex-A57 cores and other four low-power Cortex-A53 cores in Samsung Galaxy S6. A technology named global task scheduling is used in this device so that it can automatically decide which cores to pass around the tasks in the most efficient way.A Mali-T760 GPU designed by ARM is paired with the cores.
The Snapdragon 810 chip lies in HTC One M9 is a 64-bit octa-core chip as well. The chip is based on the A57 and A53 setup. The Snapdragon 810 has the global task scheduling just like Exynos. As to the GPU, Qualcomm keeps with in-house Adreno 430. Of generally speaking, there isn’t too much difference between the two chips. But early test shows that the Exynos chip works better than the Snapdragon. It is still too early to tell the reasons. But without doubt both the devices can support smooth the running for most of the activities on the device for now.
Now we embrace the time of 3GB RAM for flagship devices and we can see both HTC One M9 and Galaxy S6 keep up with the trend. The only noticeable difference is that Samsung uses LPDDR4 while HTC still stays on LPDDR3. Whether this difference has certain effects about the performance of the devices is still unknown after all.
In the year 2014, Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 is absolutely the most attractive technology to me personally. The name varies according to the manufacturer such as Motorola Turbo Charging and HTC Rapid Charging. Technically speaking, the chipset can get extract 15 watts power out of a match wall adapter and you are able to get 1-60% battery life in just 30 minutes (3000 mAh battery). The One M9 supports this charging technique thanks to the Snapdragon chip while Galaxy S6 doesn’t support this Quick Charge technique. It is said that Samsung has another solution to solve the quick charging problem. But it probably requires the exclusive Samsung charger.
However, Galaxy S6 makes that up with the wireless charging technique. Because you cannot take off the back of Galaxy S6, so Samsung intents to put it in. On this field, One M9 doesn’t support wireless charging yet.
Both HTC One M9 and Galaxy S6 are running Android 5.0 Lollipop. And this Lollipop won’t be the exact Google Lollipop version for Nexus devices released months ago. You will find OEM skins or features like that on both the devices. For Samsung its TouchWiz and it is Sense 7 for HTC One M9.
Both Samsung and HTC have made efforts in the software. Many years ago, speaking of Sense, you may consider it out of date. However, HTC turns Sense into a completely new feature from One M7. Now you can see the interface of M9 clean and cool designed with a new theme engine.
TouchWiz hasn’t been spoken highly over the past years but you are still be able to find it on the Internet. Samsung didn’t quite take the transformation of Android serious which led to negative bloat and laziness. Then Samsung realize this shortcomings and start to change that by getting rid of unnecessary features from Galaxy S5. What’s more, TouchWiz also consider developing more helpful features such as ultra power saving mode and download booster.
Generally speaking, HTC Sense may sounds a bit more exciting. But Samsung is trying to make TouchWiz more user friendly and more accepted by users. On Galaxy S6, you will still see more extra things in the device than HTC, most of which you probably never use.
Which one is better?
It is obvious that HTC consider it can win the smartphone market in the war with Samsung. So it just makes some small changes with the One series. In the design of M9. You can see that some design features have been changed and improved. The camera, longer battery life and the power button are moved to a more handy place. If really have to make some comments about the move that HTC takes this year, then we can say One M9 isn’t quite attractive since the difference between M9 and M8 can hardly be told.
If you put M9 a year ago, it can definitely give Galaxy S5 a strong hit. However, beating Galaxy S6 in 2015, a complete new time for Android device, it is another thing hard to tell.
On the other side, Samsung listens to its users and rethinks the suggestions about the design of the phones. Galaxy S6 seals the device, which means it leaves no place to insert microSD card and the battery is irremovable. Maybe this decision will make some Samsung users uncomfortable for a certain time, but the design of unibody is a trend for smartphones and seems more upscale. Customers want to pay $600 to get a product that worth this price.
You may find Galaxy S6 more interesting due to its huge difference from the past products. But there is no doubt that both the devices are great flagships of the two brands.