HTC One M9 vs HTC One M8 quick look

by: Joshua VergaraMarch 1, 2015

As expected, HTC has unveiled the next revision of its HTC One flagship smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Building on the successes of the HTC One M8, the HTC One M9 is more of a evolution rather than a revolution. With the M9, HTC has opted to use the same basic design philosophies of the M8, but with improvements where needed. So here is a quick look at how the new HTC One M9 compares to its previous iteration.

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The design language of the HTC One M9 is certainly familiar — the new device looks very similar to the M8 and borrows heavily from its playbook. If you liked the way the M8 looked then you are going to love the M9. However if you were expecting something different then you are going to be disappointed.

In terms of size, the two devices are almost identical. The body of the M9 is basically a fraction smaller than the M8. It is 1.8 mm shorter, 0.9 mm narrower, but 0.21 mm thicker. When held in the hand you would be hard pushed to feel the difference in size.

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One of the subtle changes on the M9 is that the edges are more pronounced, which should make the device easier to grip, compared to the rather slippery M8. However the biggest design difference can be seen on the back. The One M9 features a squared camera module that protrudes slightly in order to accommodate the large sensor, while still maintaining the curved profile of the phone. HTC also gave up on the depth sensor from the M8, and relocated the power button to the side, which is a welcome change.

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While the HTC One M9 looks very similar to the One M8, the display is actually identical. While some OEMs are making the jump to Quad HD, HTC has decided to remain will Full HD (1920 x 1080) at the moment. For many people Quad HD is an unnecessary luxury at this time, so HTC’s choice should keep the majority users happy.

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The One M9 is among the first wave of devices to use the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC. The 810 contains a 64-bit octa-core CPU and an Adreno 430 GPU. The eight cores are made up of four 2GHz Cortex-A57 cores and four 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 cores. HTC also upgraded the memory on the M9 to 3GB of RAM, while storage starts from 32GB.

The processor package is a nice leap up from last year’s M8. Which is quite as statement as the M8’s processor package was no slouch. Its Snapdragon 801 processor used four of Qualcomm’s highly respected Krait 400 cores, clocked at 2.3GHz.

The Snapdragon 810 doubles the number of cores from 4 to 8 and also introduces heterogeneous computing into the mix – meaning the more battery friendly 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 cores run simultaneously with the faster 2GHz Cortex-A57 cores, with Android utilizing the best core combinations for different workloads.

Thanks to the combination of 64-bit Lollipop and the latest 64-bit from Qualcomm, the M9 should perform really well at all tasks. However, with rumors swirling around potential throttling issues, caused by overheating, we’ll need some more time with the M9 to pass a judgement. With that said, in our time with it, we haven’t really seen any red flags, and the device ran like a champ.

One other small change is that the M9 uses a 2840 mAh battery, a nice little step up from the M8’s 2600 mAh unit.

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HTC has finally decided to go back to “normal” camera sensors for the M9, well at least for the rear facing camera. The M8 used a 4 MP UltraPixel rear camera, with a Duo depth sensor, and dual LED flash. However the M9 uses a 20 MP sensor with a f2.2 lens. It can record video at 4K and has sapphire cover lens. On the front of the M9 the 4MP UltraPixel camera makes a reappearance, this time for selfies. It has a f/2.0, 26.8mm lens, and can record video in 1080p.

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HTC has made a few thoughtful additions to the software experience on the M9, mainly by adding some of the intelligence from Blinkfeed to other parts of the OS. For example, BlinkFeed is now integrated into the lockscreen, where it offers contextual info, based on the time of day and other factors.

The app launcher is smarter too, thanks to a widget that attempts to predict what apps you will need at any given moment. Another change over M8’s Sense 6 software, is the addition of a Theming app that will make it easier to change the appearance of the OS, either manually or through downloadable packs.

HTC One M9HTC One M8
Display5-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels SLCD35-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels SLCD3
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 810, octa-core, 4 x 2GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz, 64-bit
Adreno 430 GPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, quad-core, 2.3GHz, 32-bit
Adreno 330 GPU
Storage32GB, microSD card slot, up to 128GB16GB/32GB, microSD card slot, up to 128GB
Camera20 MP rear camera, sapphire cover lens, f2.2, 27.8mm lens, 4k video
4MP UltraPixels f/2.0,  26.8mm  lens
4 MP UltraPixel rear camera, Duo depth sensor, dual LED flash
5MP front
Battery2840 mAh2600 mAh
ConnectivityGPS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1GPS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4
Networks3G 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE FDD:  Bands  1,3,5,7,8,20,28
TDD:  Bands  38,40,41
LTE band 20, 8, 3 , 7
SoftwareAndroid 5.0 Lollipop with HTC SenseAndroid 5.0 Lollipop with HTC Sense
Dimensions 144.6  x  69.7  x  9.61  mm, 157 grams146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm, 160 g
Color variantsBlack, Silver-Golden, GoldenGray, Silver, Gold

So there you have it – a quick look at the HTC One M9 vs the HTC One M8. In essence the HTC One M9 remains true to the HTC One design philosophies, however it is better. There is a faster processor package, more internal memory, and a new camera. For HTC One fans the M9 should receive a warm welcome, and from those who haven’t ever owned a HTC device, the M9 shows how HTC can take a good thing and make it better.

  • Curious Iguana

    Ok, ok. But the big question they didn’t answer is – When can I buy one?? None of the news outlets seem to know…

    • Chinmay

      It will be out by end of this month

  • projetX

    The M8 looks better

    • Truism

      Nah. The chin bezel is like twice as big on the M8.

      • Eric Xu

        Hardly. I honestly didn’t notice the slightly smaller bezels of the M9 until the article stated it. Besides, HTC got rid of the M8’s beautiful chamfered edges. Quite disappointing, really.

    • ingram1225

      I saw the M9 in person… I own the M8 and the M9 is simply gorgeous in that light colored metal. It also comes in gunmetal M8 color.

  • DavidVarghese

    The M9 is an upgrade to the M8 in every way, yes, even the bottom HTC black bezel is smaller from the M8 as far as I can tell in the video.
    Although they played it safe, refinement is never a bad thing.
    Definitely a good upgrade for M7 users, not too sure about M8 users, unless the upgraded camera really speaks to you.
    Looking forward to the review!

  • Mark Washington

    You made reference to Galaxy S6 with no micro SD card on previous post …. can’t wait to see the M9 in person . Ask them when the Sense 7 will get on the M8

  • Donny Chau

    Does the rear camera have ISO?

    • Mark Washington


  • miria_osa

    Such a boring announcement! Everyone knew already that it will look like M8, that it will maybe have some better specs, as it does actually- – , that it will be another good phone from HTC and that’s it. Looking forward to the S6 event. There it might be something more interesting to watch ..

  • chris

    Boring!! I’d rather wait wait to see what Samsung has on the table with the s6 pr the note 5.

    Thanks but no thanks HTC.

  • fredphoesh

    The Galaxy 6 Edge is the new looks king… beautiful!!!!

  • crutchcorn

    Translation yall… NOTHING CHANGED :P

  • Ryan Whiteside

    I’ve had the m7 and the m8 and now I’m getting this because it is, by far, the superior phone. Everyone has something to bitch about. Don’t get what you don’t want.

  • DJ-DJ

    Solid phone with solids specs, yes, BUT same old design, not waterproof, camera not that solid from early reviews. Disappointing. Was eagerly looking forward to a sexy beast. Now will consider alternatives.

  • Btort

    HTC had their chance to take a dump on samsungs ceo’s face but they BLEW IT. LG will definitely get more grounding if they make their G4 correctly. S6 sucks, M9 sucks.

  • Ariel Jersey Jr.

    Its the same phone right? Like an Iphone.

  • BatDroid

    HTC is living up to their Motto. I think its a solid offering. Much like Moto X from last year… except better. No gimmicks. No bullshit. Frankly, I hardly ever noticed the black bar in my M7. Actually Its one of the better looking logos around…….. ;-) .

  • Your Mother

    Galaxy S6 Edge all day!!

  • brutalpanther

    I had the m7 model and liked everything except that horrible rear camera.So I switched to the LG G2 and Then the G3.Best phone on the market(my opinion)But I really liked the front dual speakers on the HTC.And the premium aluminum build was spectacular.So I’m definitely going to check out the M9.But it better be real special to even think of giving up my G3.On the upside if the 810 is having some heat problems,the aluminum on the m9 will help keep it cooler.

  • Stino775

    I think Htc is doing the same thing as Apple is doing with their iPhones. They’re not trying to do something special with their M-line. The same hardware, almost the same software… If you look at Samsung, they gave their new Samsung S6 a different look and they even made an Edge version. It’s really that they’re doing other things than the regular smartphone. The M-9 is not a ‘new’ phone, it’s just a little upgrade. I personnaly won’t spend money on a phone that you can buy cheaper if you buy the previous version. You will get almost the same specs anyway. I hope that the next Htc smartphone will blow the all the rest away, because it’s such a good brand. Also, Htc is lagging behind with their smartwatches, this is really disappointing.

  • Kavin William

    Nice post!!! I preferred HTC one M9 and provides good specification which is eye catching.

  • ingram1225

    but WHY did the move the power button to the MIDDLE of the phone? That is exactly where most dash mounts grab the phone.