HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S quick look

March 25, 2014
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After months of rumors and leaks, even including a couple of hands-on reviews prior to its release, just about the only thing we didn’t know was what the latest HTC flagship would be called. Well, the HTC One (M8) is finally here, and even though there was very little we didn’t know about the device, we are certainly impressed by the latest high-end offering by HTC.

Naturally, with any new release, comes the question of how it compares to other flagship devices. Here’s a quick look at the HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S!

Design

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The HTC One (M8) certainly gives the iPhone 5S a run for its money in terms of build quality. Both feature full metal bodies, with the iPhone featuring a more angular design, compared to the curves and smooth, rounded corners of the One (M8). The similarities end at the build quality though.

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The iPhone comes with its signature physical home button, this time was an integratedĀ fingerprint scanner. On the other hand, HTC does away with the capacitive keys that were a HTC staple, finally moving to on-screen software keys. You still do get the black bar at the bottom at though, but this time it just houses the HTC logo.

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And of course, the HTC One (M8) is a much larger device, and while it is taller than most current flagships, it’s isn’t as wide, and along with its curved back, it is a pleasure to hold and should be very comfortable to grip.

Display

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With its accurate color reproduction, brightness, and great viewing angles, there’s nothing to complain about when it comes to the IPS LCD display of the iPhone 5S. But even with a screen that 1-inch bigger, the HTC One (M8) gives a higher pixel density, and of course, vivid colors and fantastic viewing angles.

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Considering the fact that smartphones nowadays also double as media consumption devices, it’s a little difficult to get over how small the display of the iPhone is, and the additional display real estate with the HTC One (M8) is definitely a big plus in our book.

Performance and Hardware

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iOS is known for its fluid animations, impressive optimizations, and generally stutter-free experience. While iOS 7 did have its issues, things have gotten better with a new update to iOS 7.1. In the other corner, the HTC One (M8) features the best processing package currently available in the world of Android, and with HTC Sense getting even lighter and sleeker, performance is as smooth as ever. With both phones, overall performance is one area where you should have no issues, which is of course nothing short of what you’d expect from the two flagships.

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A by-the-numbers breakdown of the specifications is unfair in this case, as the HTC One (M8) obviously has the better specs, with a faster processor, more RAM, and a larger battery. That being said, these devices cater to two completely different ecosystems, and the lower specs of the iPhone 5S doesn’t in any way translate to poorer performance.

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One benefit the HTC One (M8) does have is the availability of expandable storage, which is always a welcome addition, and a much-needed feature that HTC itself re-introduced with its current flagship after a while.

Camera

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The rear shooter of the iPhone 5S is known for taking some great quality images, but doesn’t offer anything close to the software enhancements and capabilities available with high-end Android smartphones.

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The UltraPixel camera of the HTC One (M8) seems to fix a lot of the issues its predecessor faced, and with a new Duo Camera system, you get great images in all lighting conditions, and also allows for some creative effects that let you do more with your images than before. The front camera hasn’t been ignored either, and features a 5 MP sensor with a wide angle lens, for that perfect selfie in a large group.

Software

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iOS received an important overhaul last year, with the introduction of some key changes like a Quick Settings menu, and overall upgrade to the design aesthetics, resulting in a brighter, more colorful user interface. That being said, the basic idea is still unchanged, with all your apps available on the homescreens, and no real customization options.

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Gone are the days when the HTC Sense UI used to bog down a smartphone, slowing down systems that should have been lightning fast. With HTC Sense 6.0, icons and colors are generally more flat and toned down, and BlinkFeed as a secondary screen makes a return, with even better sources, and an interface that is much smoother and easier to use. With the last couple of iterations of the Sense UI, HTC has certainly found its way back on the right track.

You also get a lot of gesture-based enhancements with the One (M8) under the broad title of Motion Launch, with features that include allowing you to answer a call by simply raising the phone to your ear, a double tap to turn the screen on or off, and swiping to the left, right, or up, to open various apps directly.

Specs Comparison

 HTC One (M8)iPhone 5S
Display5-inch Super LCD 3, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 442 ppi4-inch IPS LCD, 1136 x 640, 326 ppi
Processor2.3 Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8011.3 Ghz dual-core Apple A7, PowerVR G6430 GPU
RAM2 GB1 GB
CamerasUltrapixel Duo Camera, dual-LED flash
5 MP front camera with wide-angle lens
8 MP rear dual-LED flash, 1.2 MP front
Battery2,600 mAh1,560 mAh
Storage16/32 GB, expandable16/32/64 GB
Networks3G, 4G LTE3G, 4G-LTE
ConnectivityGPS, GLONASS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, NFCGPS, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
SoftwareAndroid 4.4 KitkatiOS 7
Dimensions146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm, 160 grams123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm, 112 grams

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Conclusion at a glance

As is always the end result after such a comparison, you have to very different phones that cater to two different consumer bases. Both are premium quality devices, and it’ll always be difficult to convince one group to pick one over the other, but the HTC One (M8) is likely the closest you’d get to making a successful argument.

The iPhone 5S is definitely more accessible because of its size, but if size isn’t what is holding you back, the HTC One (M8) offers a lot of software features and enhancements, and packs top of the line specifications in a beautifully designed full metal body.

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