We're still weeks, or possibly months, away from HTC and Sony launching their new smartphones but almost every flagship gets leaked online ahead of the announcement so we're able to take a look at how they might compare.
There are plenty of rumours around the Sony Xperia Z4 and HTC One M9 so that's exactly what we're examining here. We'll also add in our professional opinion and although leaks after often correct, take them with a nice pinch of salt.
MWC 2015 is only a few weeks away and the smartphone and tablet focussed tech show which takes place in Barcelona seems the most likely place for both to be unveiled. HTC has an event on 1 March where it will almost certainly announce the HTC One M9 and other new products.
Sony hasn’t scheduled a press event at MWC yet but might still do. It will certainly be showing off new products but it's unclear whether the Xperia Z4 will be among them. Sony sticks to a six month refresh cycle placing MWC perfectly following theSony Xperia Z3 launch last September. However, rumours suggest a May or even November launch for the device.
Whenever they arrive, let's compare what the rumours say about hardware.
HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z4: Hardware
For the Xperia Z4, rumours suggest an increase in screen size from 5.2in to 5.5in matching the LG G3 and iPhone 6 Plus. The resolution is also supposedly going to jump from Full HD to Quad HD (1440 x 2560), also matching the LG G3.
Meanwhile, HTC is rumoured to be sticking with 5in and Full HD for the M9 but going by leaked photos, a larger version will also be available alongside it – like Apple has done with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Processor and memory
Rumours suggest, and it is highly likely, that both the Xperia Z4 and One M9 will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor which is octa-core and 64-bit. Apparently, Sony will offer more RAM at 4 GB compared to 3 GB on the HTC.
The Geekbench 3 database suggests very similar scores of 3576 for the Xperia Z4 and 3587 for the HTC One M9.
Sony tends to stick with one storage capacity and the Xperia Z4 will reportedly come with 32 GB plus a microSD card which we expect to support up to 128 GB cards.
HTC will supposedly expand things on the storage front to 16-, 32- and 64 GB. There's no word on a microSD card slot but theHTC One M8 has one so we assume HTC won't drop this from the spec sheet.
Various leaked images suggest HTC will drop its Duo Camera setup and use a more traditional single rear camera, 20 Mp to be exact with support for 4K video recording. The front camera will most likely be 4 Mp UltraPixel.
Sony looks like it will stick with the same 20.7 Mp camera with Exmor RS CMOS sensor which has appeared on previous Xperia Z handsets. You can hardly blame the firm with the pixel count and we expect improvements and features. A curved sensor is rumoured. There's no word on the front camera but this could jump to something like 5 Mp for higher quality selfies.
There's little information about other specs for the Xperia Z4 but Sony will build on the High-Res audio support of the Z3 with a dedicated amp. The design will remain dust- and waterproof and we expect top end wireless such as 11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and Cat 6 4G LTE. Sony doesn't normally offer things like a fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and IR blaster and although this looks like it won't change with the Z4, don't rule it out.
The HTC One M9 is rumoured to come with a 2840mAh capacity battery inside a slim 7 mm chassis. Bluetooth 4.1 and 11ac Wi-Fi (2x2) are also rumoured. The front facing BoomSound speakers will remain a headline feature but they will be more hidden, like the Nexus 9 tablet design. NFC and an IR blaster should remain on the spec sheet.
HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z4: Hardware
It's not hard to work out that both the HTC One M9 and Sony Xperia Z4 will come pre-installed with Android 5.0 Lollipop. However, HTC will run its own Sense 7.0 user interface while Sony will use its own styling.
Buying Advice Come back soon when these phones are official for a full verdict