I can't lie: we know very little about the next HTC One. The M9, or Hira, will likely launch in the next few weeks, however. And as the first flagship Android phone of 2015 it will be a big deal. And, if HTC's recent performance is anything to go by, a great smartphone. HTC needs a winner right now, and we hope it is the HTC One M9 Hira. We've scoured the web for the latest HTC One M9 Hira rumours, and used the best info we can glean - and our own knowledge - to analyise exactly what we should be anticipating. Should you get anHTC One M8 or wait for the HTC One M9 Hira? Read on and we will explain. (For more, see HTC One M9 'Hima' UK release date, price, specs rumours.)
HTC One M9 Hira vs HTC One M8 smartphone comparison: UK price and availability
The HTC One M8 is widely available in the UK. At launch, the HTC One M8 cost £550 on a SIM-free basis – but these days you can get it for less. Shop around and you can find this great handset for as little as £400 - £450. Of course, the HTC One M9 remains nothing but a rumour at this stage. We expect it to arrive on 1 March 2015, at a launch event to which HTC has already sent out invites. It will likely cost £550 - £600, and be available immediately in the UK. (See also: Best smartphones in the UK | Best phones | Best mobile phones.)
HTC One M9 Hira vs HTC One M8 smartphone comparison: design and build
The HTC One M8 has a uni-body aluminium design. It measures 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4mm and weighs 160g. Relatively large for a 2014 flagship, it doesn't feel too large in the hand. Of all the Androids the HTC One M8 is the only one that feels like an iPhone-like premium smartphone. Ergonomic, but also sturdy. This is important because, as well as feeling like a device which has been carefully designed and put together, it doesn't feel overly delicate.
There is a case for the HTC One M8, but we doubt you would need it. From launch, the M8 itself is available in three different colours. The most popular is likely to be 'Metal Grey' but there's also 'Artic Silver' and 'Amber Gold'.
HTC is set to shake things up on the design front with the One M9, following a design closer to that of the Nexus 9 than the HTC One M8, according to rumours. The M9 will remove the black bar that housed the HTC logo on the One M8, and the logo will move down to the bottom speaker panel. The plastic strips that previously covered these BoomSound speakers will now be taller, too, taking up more of the available space. These speaker panels are also now hidden behind edge-to-edge glass, save for the slit speaker grills that sit at the phone's top and bottom edges.
More rumours suggest the HTC One M9 will measure 144.3x69.4x9.56mm and be availablein Dark Gunmetal, Silver/Gold, Gold and Dark Gunmetal/Gold. However, 9.56mm is pretty chunky for a flagship smartphone, so we're more convinced by a 7mm rumour we've seen elsewhere. You can find all the details on ourHTC One M9 'Hima' release date page. (See also: 16 best new phones coming in 2015.)
HTC One M9 Hira vs HTC One M8 smartphone comparison: display
HTC has given the One M8 a 5in display - that's actually a little on the small side in the current big beasts phablet market, but we found it a great size in a well-sized handset. The screen's resolution is a 'mere' Full HD (1920x1080). This gives a more than healthy pixel density of 441ppi. The HTC One's display is crisp, vibrant and looks stunning. We like the contrast ratio and viewing angles.
One thing we particularly like about the M8's screen is its silky gloss finish which, more than other phones, means your finger glides brilliantly across its surface. It's just another detail which makes this phone feel so premium.
We know next to nothing about the HTC One M9's display. The HTC Hima is rumored to pack a 5in 1080p Super LCD3 display. We would hope for a QuadHD resolution, but watch this space.
HTC One M9 Hira vs HTC One M8 smartphone comparison: specs and performance
The M8 runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. In this case the 801 quad-core chip has a slightly lower than average clock speed of 2.3GHz. And there is 'only' 2GB of memory. The HTC One M8 continues to offer outstanding performance, and around 24 hours of battery life with reasonable use.
Expect a Snapdragon 810 chip in the HTC One M9 Hira. This will offer an octa-core processor with 4 Cortex-A57 cores at 2.0GHz and 4 Cortex-A53 cores at 1.5GHz, Adreno 430 GPU and 3GB of RAM. The battery is expected to offer 2840mAh capacity, and should result in similar battery life to the current model.
Mysteriously, the HTC One M9 has shown up in the Geekbench 3.0 database, a benchmark we use to compare smartphone- and tablet processing power. According to the database the HTC One M9 recorded 1232 points in the single-core component, and 3,587 points in multicore. If true, that would make the HTC One M9 faster than any smartphone we've ever reviewed. Whether you need a faster smartphone is another question, but expect good progress in this space.
HTC One M9 Hira vs HTC One M8 smartphone comparison: storage
The HTC One M8 comes with only 16GB onboard storage. You will need more storage than that, and you can add it: there is an SD card slot that allows you to mount an additional 128GB. Expect 16-, 32- and 64GB storage options in the new HTC One M9 Hira, with an expansion slot.
HTC One M9 Hira vs HTC One M8 smartphone comparison: cameras
With its recent cameras HTC has eschewed the megapixels arms race. And that is probably a good thing. The HTC One M8 has a HTC UltraPixel Duo Camera including a 5Mp front camera with wide angle lens. There isn't as much detail in photos compared to the M8's rivals but because its pixels are bigger the phone is better suited to low-light situations. The dual-focus feature is interesting and fun. Sadly video quality is poor.
HTC One M9 Hira vs HTC One M8 smartphone comparison: software
The HTC One M8 runs Android KitKat. HTC's BlinkFeed feature is more in your face than a standard Android install, but remains beloved by some. Sense 6.0 brought with it some new features, including on-screen buttons, full-screen mode, and Motion Launch Gestures. There are other minor tweaks, but customisation has been improved with the ability to select different theme. In a similar way to other phones which use themes, a wallpaper is tied in with a particular colour which is then used throughout the software such as the settings menu. We haven't tried this out yet but you can also choose a different system font to create a very different look and feel.
HTC One M9 Hira vs HTC One M8 smartphone comparison: verdict
It is clearly way too early to make a judgment as to how good is the HTC One M9 in comparison to its predecessor. Suffice to say that if the rumoured specs are true, on speed and camera alone it will be a worthy upgrade. (For more, see HTC One M9 'Hima' UK release date, price, specs rumours.)
Buying Advice It is clearly way too early to make a judgment as to how good is the HTC One M9 in comparison to its predecessor. Suffice to say that if the rumoured specs are true, on speed and camera alone it will be a worthy upgrade.