Clash of the titans: HTC One (M8) vs the competition

March 25, 2014
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htc one m8 launch aa (8 of 27)

We’ve already given our first impressions as to how the new HTC One (M8) stacks up against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5, the iPhone 5S, and the last gen HTC One (M7), but that barely scratches the surface of high-end smartphones. To save a little time, let’s throw each manufacturers current high-end smartphone into the arena and see who comes out on top, shall we?

Here you’ll find a closer look at how the new HTC One (M8) compares to the rest in each major hardware category.

Display

 
Display (inches)
Resolution
PPI
Display Type
HTC One (M8)51920x1080441LCD
HTC One (M7)4.71920x1080469LCD
iPhone 5S41136x640326LCD
LG G25.21920x1080424LCD
Moto X4.71280x720312AMOLED
Nexus 54.951920x1080445LCD
Oppo Find 75.52560x1440538LCD
Samsung Galaxy S451920x1080441AMOLED
Samsung Galaxy S55.11920x1080432AMOLED
Sony Xperia Z25.21920x1080424LCD

1080p Full HD has been the standard display resolution for high-end smartphones for the past year or so, and the HTC One (M8) fits right into this category. With a 1080p 5.0 inch display, it’s positioned snugly in between the slightly larger Samsung Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2, whilst offering up a plenty more screen space than smaller 4 inch devices like the iPhone 5S.

PPI is a relatively good measure of display clarity, and so far Oppo is still the only major manufacturer to have released a handset with a display resolution greater than 1080p. This has had a hugely positive effect on the handset’s PPI number, and puts the smartphone at the head of the pack by quite a margin.

HTC One M8 PPI compared

As for the HTC One (M8), it sits comfortably in the middle ground with a PPI of around 441. There’s very little to compare between any of the major flagships handsets in the 5-inch display bracket, and the HTC One easily keeps pace with the new Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung Galaxy S5. If you’re looking for a super crisp display, the Oppo Find 7 can’t be beaten. If you’re less picky or happy with the status quo, then you’re spoilt for choice already.

As you can see from the table, LCD is a common choice among smartphone manufacturers. If you’re looking for AMOLED, Samsung or the Moto X are your only real choices, the rest of the manufacturers are all using various LCD implementations.

CPU and GPU

Qualcomm is the dominant chip manufacturer in the high-end smartphone market, with Oppo, Samsung, and Sony all announcing handsets that make use of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 801 CPUs. Not one to be left out, HTC’s latest handset also offers a similarly clocked 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU, or 2.5GHz if you’re living in Asia or China.

Despite the additional digit in the name, there’s actually not much of a performance difference between this new chip and slightly older Snapdragon 800 CPU devices, a topic that we covered extensively a little while ago.

 
SoC
CPU Speed (MHz)
CPU Cores
GPU
RAM (GB)
HTC One (M7)Snapdragon 60017004Adreno 3202
HTC One (M8)Snapdragon 80123004Adreno 3302
iPhone 5SApple A713002PowerVR G64301
LG G2Snapdragon 80022604Adreno 3302
Moto XSnapdragon S4 Pro17002Adreno 3202
Nexus 5Snapdragon 80023004Adreno 3002
Oppo Find 7Snapdragon 80125004Adreno 3303
Samsung Galaxy S4Snapdragon 60019004Adreno 3202
Samsung Galaxy S5Snapdragon 80125004Adreno 3302
Sony Xperia Z2Snapdragon 80123004Adreno 3303

As the Snapdragon 801 still uses the same Krait 400 CPU cores as the Snapdragon 800 and is built on the same manufacturing process, clock for clock performance is going to be virtually identical to handsets already on the market. The graph below details the differences in clock speed between the current range of and upcoming flagship smartphones which utilize Qualcomm Snapdragon 8XX processors.

HTC One M8 CPU freq comparison

There might not be a lot to tell between all of these high-end handsets, at least in the performance department. But compared with the last generation HTC One (M7) and Galaxy S4 (both using the Snapdragon 600 with four Krait 300 CPU cores), you’re looking at a more substantial performance improvement.

The HTC One (M8) sits comfortably near the top of the performance table, along with quite a few other Qualcomm powered handsets, so performance isn’t going to be the device’s defining feature. If it’s performance that you’re after, any of the current and future crop of flagship models will suit you just fine.

LG G2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 Hands On -1160916

The Galaxy S5 may have the fastest processor right now, but it doesn’t offer a massive performance jump over slightly older Snapdragon 800 handsets, like the LG G2.

On the graphics side of things, the Adreno 330 will be familiar to any current Snapdragon 800 handset owners, however there is a decent clock speed increase to at least 550MHz with the Snapdragon 801 SoC, up from the standard 450Mhz. This puts the handset slightly above smartphones like the LG G2 and the Nexus 5, although we’re currently not sure exactly how the GPU stacks up against the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Oppo Find 7. It’s going to be very close by any measure.

With very little to tell between each manufacturer’s flagship devices in terms of processing horsepower, let’s take a look at some other areas which might help separate the pack.

Camera

Camera technology has continued to advance with the latest generation of handsets, with virtually every major manufacturer managing to cram even more megapixels into their devices year on year. That is, apart from HTC.

 
Rear Camera MP
Front Camera MP
4K video fps
1080p video fps
HTC One (M7)42.1n/a30
HTC One (M8)45n/a30
iPhone 5S81.2n/a30
LG G2132n/a60
Moto X101.3n/a30
Nexus 582.1n/a30
Oppo Find 71353060
Samsung Galaxy S4132n/a30
Samsung Galaxy S51623060
Sony Xperia Z220.72.23060

It might be disappointing to learn that the new HTC One (M8) is still using the same 4 UltraPixel image sensor from the older M7 handset, which didn’t really blow us away when we tested it before, although some improvements have been made. The new Duo Camera configuration might open up the handset to some interesting effects, but it’s disappointing that not more has been done to improve the camera’s overall quality, given that Sony and Samsung are both making big strides with their own technology.

Compared with the likes of Sony’s 20.7 MP Exmor sensor, Samsung’s new ISOCELL, and Oppo’s impressive 50MP shooting capabilities, the HTC One’s clarity and level of detail could turn out to be disappointing.

Oppo Find 7 50MP Samples-20140105014616 1

The Oppo Find 7′s 50MP software shooting option creates some highly detailed snaps. Click to enlarge.

HTC’s rear snapper is also missing 4K video capture, which is now a common feature found in upcoming flagship smartphones like the Z2 and Find 7.

HTC One M8 camera vs

The handset does have a saving grace in the impressive 5MP front facing camera, which HTC rates as ideal for “selfies”. The 88-degree wide angle lens should also help capture a wider image with the front facing camera, allowing photographers to capture a bit of more the background. The only smartphone with a comparable front image sensor is the Oppo Find 7.

Perhaps HTC’s new software features will offer amateur photographers something more substantial to get their teeth into. While the Z2 and the Galaxy S5 also feature selective focus functionality, the One (M8)’s ability are far more impressive thanks to the addition of the depth sensor above the main camera.

Storage options, batteries, and more

Pfew, what else is there? Storage wise, there’s the familiar choice between 16GB and 32GB options, depending on your budget and storage needs. HTC has finally gone back to including a microSD card, a feature which separates it from its predecessor and some of the other high-end handsets currently on the market. However, Samsung, Sony, and Oppo have all announced microSD card slots for their next handsets too.

 
Max Internal Storage
Micro SD
Fingerprint Scanner
Water Resistance
Thickness (mm)
Weight (g)
Battery
HTC One (M8)32GByesnono9.41602600mAh
HTC One (M7)32GBnonono9.31432300mAh
iPhone 5S32GBnoyesno7.61121560mAh
LG G232GBnonono8.91433000mAh
Moto X32GBnonono10.41302200mAh
Nexus 532GBnonono8.61302300mAh
Oppo Find 732GByesnono9.21713000mAh
Samsung Galaxy S464GByesnono7.91302600mAh
Samsung Galaxy S532GByesyesyes8.11452800mAh
Sony Xperia Z216GByesnoyes8.21633200mAh

The Xperia Z2, LG G2, and Find 7 hold the largest battery charges by quite a margin, although the M8 has received a slight increase in battery capacity from the older M7. Better yet, HTC is boasting an extreme power savings mode, that allows the M8 to last 40% longer than its predecessor, but we’ll have to wait and see how that holds up in real world tests.

In terms of additional features, the HTC One (M8) doesn’t offer up any water or dust resistance, or fingerprint scanning technology, but the Duo Camera feature and the BoomSound speakers should be enough to tempt media focused consumers. If you’re concerned about weight or thickness, the One (M8) is one of the heavier 5 inch devices on the market, weighing in at a hefty 160 grams, but the new Find 7 and Xperia Z2 are also quite heavy compared with Samsung’s handsets.

And the winner is…

I’d struggle to pick an absolute winner, as it’s not clear than any one handset dominates every category, although the Xperia Z2 and Galaxy S5 are very strong all-rounders. Sadly for HTC, its new handset appears to be struggling for an identity when stacked up against the other big players.

htc one m8 launch aa (7 of 27)

Performance wise, the One M8 is right at the top, along with a variety of other handsets, and is a worthy upgrade to the last gen M7. However, the smartphone doesn’t appear to have made the same strides in areas like camera technology, waterproofing, or unique features, as some competitors have. If you’re in the market for a decent camera, you’re likely to prefer the Z2 or Find 7, or if you’re looking for additional features then the Galaxy S5 is a much more fleshed out smartphone. BoomSound is HTC’s headline grabber, but nothing important appears to have changed since the M7, apart from loudness.

The HTC One M8 is certainly a good handset, but it lacks a defining or ground breaking feature that would have made it great. How do you feel about HTC’s new flagship, and do you prefer any of its competitors?

Comments

  • MasterMuffin

    Find 7 is an absolute beast! Boomsound and waterproofing to that and it would be the ultimate phone! But for those who like the smaller phones, I’d say One and S5 are objectively on par, so it’s a matter of opinion (as always :/). I still prefer Z2 out of the new 2014 phones, though NEXUS 5 FTW

    • Vardan Nazaretyan

      I prefer the M8 but it isn’t a substantial upgrade on the Nexus 5 so I won’t get it, well unless I win a giveaway of it somewhere!

    • AndroidBoss

      Yeah Nexus 5 is the best Android smartphone. Although it’s last year’s phone, it still is one of the best smart phones out there, especially for that premium Android experience at a low price tag. One very nice feature that I would have loved on my Nexus 5 is the tap to unlock feature like on the G Pro 2 (LG knock) and HTC One M8. We’ll have to see what this OnePlus One is all about. Hopefully its stock Android. Btw writing this from my Nexus 5 :P.

      • MasterMuffin

        Tap to unlock is available with root :) Also, OnePlus One will have Cyanogenmod! Aaand I’m writing this from N5 too :))

        • AndroidBoss

          W/o root would be better.

      • Vincentius Phang

        Xperia Z2 also have tap to unlock
        but i know how you hate it

        • AndroidBoss

          Hate what? The Z2? No it’s a great phone. Never said I hate it, only said it isn’t the best out of the latest Android smartphones that came out. Each has something better than the other.

    • Brendon Brown

      Oppo Find 7 + Boomsound + Waterproofing = Sony Xperia Z2… Without the 2k… But better colour.

      • mittNamn

        Wooooord!

      • M3D1T8R

        Yeah, the z2 is looking more and more like the best. Only two things I wish were different about it: Should have 32GB internal standard. HTC did that right. And I wish it wasn’t so big. Hopefully they make a Z2 compact with all same specs including great display. But I wish the z2 had stayed at 5″, and reduced the side bezels to make it easier to hold.
        And for me I unfortunately need it to come to Verizon.
        And finally I need a way for WiFi hotspot to work with my unlimited data, without paying Verizon another $30 a month. Which brings me right back to the beginning and why I didn’t buy the new One today. My DNA is still working in that one crucial area, these new phones don’t, as of right now.

    • Vincentius Phang

      if you bring smaller phone, i think unarguably Z1 Compact is the clear choice

  • Julian Pierre

    Winner Oppo find 7

    • Andrew White

      Agreed. Bang for buck….Oppo all the way, but willing to wait to see what LG’s G3 offers considering they have the same screen. Why not want the absolute best resolution.
      Oppo’s fast charging is simply mind blowing and a real standout and Jelly Bean works for me also.

      • Jorge

        Totaly agree on the charging. Got my Find 7a a couple of days ago and the fast charing is really a winner!! I’m also really surprised that it is so nice designed – except for the length it doesn´t feel any bigger than my Galaxy S3.

  • dandroid13

    http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_one_m8-review-1062.php

    “Main disadvantages

    4MP camera can’t match higher-resolution rivals

    No 4K video recording or OIS”

    A BIG EPIC fail.

  • Leandro Brandão

    i will wait to see lg g3 later this year. htc one m8 is most beautiful device of 2014, but for me is not a big upgrade from lg g2.

    • kia

      g2 failllll ! epic one really ! i had it and i still have it with broken screen ! and it doesnt worth shit . not working at all ! i had galasy s3 and still working with 100 hits on every where . but my g2 broke with its first fall from 0.5 meter on the corner

      • Leandro Brandão

        Phones are not meant to throw at the floor. Get a Nokia 3310. My g2 is working fine, I don’t even use a case or screen protector you just need to be careful, is a 600$ phone.

        • Peerpressure

          Agree. No case on my G2, and still working flawlessly. I also don’t drop it. Amazing how knowing that this phone would cost $300 to replace makes me a little more careful.

  • Joshua Hill

    You compare thickness but fail to compare the other two device dimensions. Why no comparison showing how ridiculously long the HTC is? If they removed their logo and dropped a mm or two off the top and bottom bezels I’d consider a one.

    • Vincentius Phang

      lets just say they didnt include the “screen to phone ratio”

      • Joshua Hill

        My favourite Android phone on the market, the Z1 compact has one of the worst screen to phone ratios. That doesn’t bother me, the ridiculous length of the HTC is my problem and the fact that AA’s comparison doesn’t include it.

  • M3D1T8R

    Funny how the Iphone with it’s tiny 640 res display has only about a third (35%) as many pixels as the One and all the other flagships that have 1080p, including my 16month old DNA. Apple is so far behind it’s beyond laughable and just getting to be pathetic at this point.
    On the other hand having a third as many pixels to push means Apple can get by with using a half sized 1560mAh battery as well! The Apple fanboys just keep paying top prices for three year old tech, and don’t even realize what they’re missing. But it’s great for Apple’s profit margins!

    • Aniruddh

      And that is why Apple has $100 billion lying around in it’s bank
      Forging money from iSheep xD

      • K

        I prefer the GS5 over the iphone any day, and it is better than the iphone, but the iphone is still a very very good phone.

      • TheWay

        Well they earned that money for giving people reliable phones instead of gimmick features heart rate sensor, octa core, ect in what Samsung does

        • Joe

          Octa core is a gimmick but 64 bit isn’t? Actually, neither is. People were calling dual core PC’s a gimmick years ago, both companies are releasing important improvements that will hopefully be integrated together in future devices. Competition is a good thing, but one thing I don’t agree with Apple on is the idea of their ‘retina’ displays – get close enough to your phone (like I have to when my contacts aren’t in) and you can DEFINITELY tell the difference between an HTC M7′s screen and an iPhone’s. The only reason iPhones are supposedly ‘reliable’ is because people are morons who don’t understand how to use their phones properly, so Apple decided to put on the training wheels for incompetent users.

    • TheWay

      If Apple’s iPhone is far behind why is Samsung still copying it?

    • Fox Ray

      What I find pathetic is that apps on my HTC One m7 don’t scroll as fluid as on my iPhone 5s. That apps simply crash for no apparant reason. That my iPhone notifies me of new emails and my HTC takes sometimes 20m not notify me. That I need to hook up my HTC for about 2h to charge it while it only takes 30m to reach 80% on my iPhone.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like my Android device, but don’t speak about a product you have only been reading about without actualy having used it.

      • Homie

        I love when people compare charging times. It takes 2 hrs to charge the HTC and only 20 mins for 80% charge for the icrapple. How much more time does it take for the other 20% for the icrapple?

        • Fox Ray

          About 30 to 40 minutes, thats still one hour less. But thats not the point, when my iphone is as good as dead charging it for 10 to 15m will get me going for a couple of hours, my HTC will get me no further than 15 to 30m.

  • Zv3r

    “…but it lacks a defining or ground breaking feature that would have made it great.”

    What are you, a fucking retard? What is boom sound? Ultrapixel? Blinkfeed? How close is HTC ones design to other phones !!!??
    HTC one is the most differentiated android phone that exists.

    …geeez

    Anyway, for me, the camera is a deal-breaker. I also dont like the phone is so tall. Im getting a new phone, I hoped htc one would be what I wanted. Seems not.

    • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

      Agreed.

  • Andrew White

    How does one choose? So much has changed in only the last 2 years. Does brand loyalty exist anymore?
    If I had a spare 3k I would buy 4 flagship smartphones a year.
    Oppo Find 7 does seem to be the standout right now. However, if it is in fact equipped with LG’s 1440×2560 resolution screen, then it will definitely be worth waiting to see what LG’s G3 brings to the market, particularly in terms of further refinement regardless of additional expected cost.

  • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

    No ground breaking features? Lol this was written just to get some hits on the article, and start that silly arguing about specs. Anyway, here are some. .

    BOOM SOUND
    DUAL REAR CAMERAS
    WIDE ANGLE CAMERAS
    BUILD QUALITY
    BUILD QUALITY
    BEST BUILD QUALITY ON ANY PHONE, EVEN THE FIRST HTC ONE HAS THIS.

    • Clint McKay

      Its all good to hear but not groundbreaking my dear friend. Almost all those features were present in the previous One. And the way they markted it “Buyer’s remorse: Coming soon to S5 owners. March 25.”, was just too much. S5 is an ugly looking phone but it has some amazing features. And 4mp? Again? WTF were they even thinkin!!?

      • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

        You sound like one of those blog window shoppers. Ya never buy, Ya just scan web pages, and comment. Following what everyone else thinks.

        What phones do you have? Any of the latest? I have them all, including this one. (They are not loaners either) So If you didn’t buy it, or you don’t have it. You shouldn’t try to speak on it, ‘ my dear’ lol. (That’s lame by the way, and border line gay to say to another man.)

        Opinions are like assholes, we all get one.

        • Clint McKay

          Sorry to break your expectations, but I ain’t gay :D You’ve them all? Great! You seem like a real rich kid. I own a HTC One incidently. Before that I had a Nokia 1020. What was I even thinkin, from 41mp to 4mp!! And you say you have the new One? :D Bitch please :P

          What’s really gay is gettin offended by the word “dear”.. Get over it fanboy..

          • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

            Hey Clint, glad you found time to respond. I’m far from a rich ‘kid’, far from a ‘bitch’…so I will leave it at that…just click on my name, and you head over to youtube to see all the many devices I own. I’m not bragging, I’m just letting you know….if you don’t own it. How can you comment on it? Get it…so save the threats and curse words for some other ‘kid’ and grow up. Don’t let the internet make you into something you are not…of course you know, I have the original HTC One as well, great device.

            Looking at your profile, you seem to be new at commenting but you will be okay

            Have a good one.

          • Clint McKay

            Reading my own comment now I’m wondering if I was high :D Sorry man… I was just expecting too much from HTC. Was upset beyond belief at the 4mp camera, again!! Its one of the best looking phones n it deserved a better camera. Ultrapixel is cool but megapixels do matter. Don’t you agree?

          • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

            Yes I do. It’s cool, because in the end we all just want good tech.

  • MadSci

    Afraid to stack Androids up against Lumia I see.

  • esail

    Where is the Nokia Lumia Icon or the Nokia Lumia 1520? At least give them a fighting chance.

  • Caleb

    Check my new video
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  • Weeeewa

    Apple’s iPhone 5S has a 64-bit CPU compared to the newer Samsung Galaxy S5 which has only 32-bit, Apple’s A7 CPU is just as fast as the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 which is used on GS5, the fingerprint scanner of iphone is better than s5, and the screen even if its a low res screen, just look at it, you can never see a single pixel even when zooming because its retina display trick.

  • Tommy

    HTC, for all its challenges, has followed up last year’s popular One with a promising new iteration. Albeit one that forgoes its compact luxury approach to differentiation with an all-guns-blazing mission to catch up to Samsung and Sony in terms of size and specification. And if you have decided to become a proud owner of this device, perhaps you’re in the market for a solid and beautiful protection case as well.

    http://besthtccases.com/2014/06/best-beautiful-htc-one-m8-cases-2014/