Smartphone users generally have to choose between the Android and the iPhone. But for those siding with Android, the number of choices can be bewildering. Two flagship smartphones that have come head-to-head this year is the Samsung Galaxy s5 and the HTC One M8. Both won't sell for cheap, so making an informed decision before purchasing either phone is important. Here is a guide that may hopefully be useful:
Design and Feel
Similar in build to the iPhone 5C, the HTC One M8 has an aluminum case that adds better protection to the device if dropped. This comes at the price of the One M8 slightly being heavier than the Galaxy s5. However, the One M8's curved back allows for more ergonomically handling - allowing the device to fit nicely in the hand. The Samsung Galaxy s5 has a removable case that is made of plastic with embedded dots. Compared with the One M8, the s5 has a flat case.
Samsung has claimed that its s5 can be submerged in up to 3 feet in water. While HTC has not advertised the One M8 as being water-resistant, a recent YouTube video by TechSmartt shows the device still functioning after being dunked in water for more than an hour. If what is demonstrated on the video is true, the HTC One M8 demonstrates survivability in most minor water-related accidents. As per HTC's recommendation though, it is highly advisable not to try the experiment at home. But HTC One M8 users should have a peace of mind when using the device near water.
This is not to suggest that the s5 is not of solid construction. Both smartphones are well-built as expected with any high-end offerings. Simply put, the HTC One M8 upstages the Galaxy s5 in aesthetics, but both phones are similar in regards to survivability.
Processing Power and Software
In areas of performance, the two devices are just about evenly matched. The Galaxy s5 had a clock speed of 2.5GHz, while the HTC One M8 clocked at 2.3 GHz. Nonetheless, the advantage the Galaxy s5 has over the HTC One M8 is negligible.
Both devices have the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, microSD card support, and batteries nearly identical in size. The two flagships have the storage options of either 16GB or 32GB.
On YouTube, a 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited Test shows HTC One M8 taking on a score of 19,389 in opposite to the Galaxy s5, which scored at 18,288. But once again, the scores only indicate a slight advantage for the HTC One M8.
The Samsung and HTC devices run on the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat software. But both companies have made their own customizations that include differing user interfaces, apps, and services.
On examination, the Galaxy s5 is richer in color, and higher contrast - meaning the blacks are very black. This is in large part thanks to the Galaxy s5's use of the AMOLED technology. HTC, on the other hand, uses a simple LCD.
In regards to screen size, there is not much difference between the top, with the Galaxy s5 measuring at 5.1 inches and the One M8 at 5 inches. Even so, the Samsung Galaxy s5 display outmatches the HTC One M8 in presentation.
In this part of the competition, the Galaxy s5 is the winner with its 16-megapixel camera. A test reveals images to be superior in clarity and color representation. The HTC One M8 on the other hands cannot compete due to its 4-megapixel capacity.
The One M8 has the newfangled Duo Camera technology that supposedly gives better depth perception to images produced. But the same test reveals that the One M8 does not create images that are comparable in quality to that of the Galaxy s5.
In all honesty, no amount of fancy shenanigans is going to make HTC's 4-megapixel camera take better images than Samsung's 16-megapixel camera.
Bells and Whistles
The Galaxy s5 uses fingerprint scanners to lock and unlock the phone, while HTC has decided not to incorporate such security features on the HTC One M8. The lack of such features on the One M8 should be of no consequence, however, because tests have revealed that the fingerprint scanner can be easily defeated with fingerprint-lifting hacks.
Health-related functions are increasingly becoming more in demand with smartphone users. The Galaxy s5 caters to this need with its built-in heart rate monitor that is under the rear camera. Samsung has also included its own S Health software in the Galaxy s5. The HTC One M8 comes with the Fitbit software, but this feature is nowhere near the capability offered by the Galaxy s5.
But as a saving grace, the HTC One M8 has better speakers with two forward-facing Boomsound speakers that offer better sound quality. The music plays louder and clear on the HTC One M8, and the direction of the sound comes straight at the user rather than away. In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy s5 have smaller rear-facing speakers.