Do we have a good one for you today – The HTC One M9 all-metal smartphone goes up against the new metal and glass Galaxy Note 5. The slightly redesigned One M9 goes up against the completely revamp Galaxy Note 5 – gone is the plastic and enter the glass. Both devices are well built, beautiful and certainly exude a premium look. Yes, the HTC One M9 is an older model smartphone, but it is the best we have from HTC and it needs to be compared to the new Galaxy Note 5.
There is not much on these two devices that one could call similar – they both have 64-bit octa-core processors, they both have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.1 on One M9 and 4.2 on Note 5), GPS, NFC capable, a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data transfer and they both have quick charge non-removable batteries.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
HTC One M9
HTC started the all-metal designed smartphone with their original One M7. It stirred up praise from the critics, and created a loyal following. However, by the time the One M9 came out, both the critics and many customers were already tired of the same looking device. On the One M9, HTC did not make many changes in the design of the case, but did include a subtle redesign around the sides of the body and added a small lip to provide better gripping. It still retains a nicely curved back making it’s a pleasure to hold.
The HTC One M9 sports a 5-inch Full HD Super LCD3 display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – the Note 5 has a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with 518 PPI. HTC selected the 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with four cores clocked at 1.5GHZ and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz to power their flagship. The Note 5 uses a homegrown 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor. The One M9 packs 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage and has a microSD card for additional storage up to 128GB. The Note 5 offers a 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB on internal storage with no room to expand the internal storage.
HTC has been playing with the cameras on their One model since it came out and they just do not seem to know how they want to handle this particular area. For the One M9 they made another big change, and while they succeeded in making it better, it still does not include OIS. HTC took the old 4MP UltraPixel camera and moved it around to the front, which should provide great selfies and video chatting while allowing you to take good low-light pictures. HTC replaced the main camera with a 20MP sensor with autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. This compares to the 16MP main camera on the Note 5, along with a large 5MP FFC. The One M9 uses a non-removable 2840mAh battery, which is much smaller than the 3000mAh non-removable battery in the Note 5. The One M9 does support Quick Charge 2.0 thanks to its Qualcomm processor and the Note 5 supports quick rapid charge and quick wireless charging.
The HTC One M9 retains the dual front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound, a built-in IR Blaster, stereo FM radio and comes in Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose Gold and Gold/Pink. It is running Android 5.1 Lollipop and pricing is around $600 – $650 off contract.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a stretched out Galaxy S6 with a few added features – 4GB of RAM rather than 3GB and a few deducted features like the 128GB option found in the Galaxy S6 and the IR Blaster – a mainstay with Samsung on the S series and Note series. These changes upset many Note 5 customers as Samsung always improved the camera area and/or processor over the Galaxy S series. True, it is probably the most advanced smartphone currently on the market, but disappointing it did not distinguish itself more from the Galaxy S6.
The Galaxy Note 5 is sporting the same size 5.7-inch display as the past two years with improvements made every year. It has a QHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 518 PPI and chosen by Display Technologies as the best display on the market. This goes up against the Full HD LCD display found on the One M9 with 538 PPI. It uses Samsung’s 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and the other four cores clocked at 2.1GHz. This goes up against the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor in the One M9. The Note 5 packs 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM rather than the 3GB of DDR3 found in the One M9. When it comes to internal storage, the Note 5 has a 32GB or 64GB option of much faster UFS 2.0 Flash memory and no room for expansion. The One M9 offers 32GB, but also offers a microSD card slot for expansion.
The main camera on the Galaxy Note 5 is a carryover from the Galaxy S6, which means it is one of the best in the business. It is 16MP with a fast startup, faster focus, larger aperture at f/1.9 and better software – and it will take some of the best pictures found on a smartphone. The Note 5 also has a large 5MP FFC with the f/1.9 aperture and wide-angle and Live HDR for selfies and video chats. This compares to a 20MP main camera on the One M9 and a 4MP FFC. The Note 5 has a non-removable 3000mAh battery, but it has quick charge and quick wireless charging capabilities, while the One M9 has a 3000mAh removable battery.
The Galaxy Note 5 has a fingerprint sensor, heart rate sensor, is Samsung Pay capable and PayPal certified and has its speaker on the bottom of the device. It comes with a much more sensitive S-Pen with added features giving it even more functionality. The Note 5 has more flexibility with longer documents, can send live broadcastings of your videos and you have an optional slip-on physical, BlackBerry-style keyboard. It is running Android Lollipop 5.1.1 and will cost you about $700 outright.
…And The Winner Is…
I know, I know that the Galaxy Note 5 is a niche type device and more expensive than the HTC One M9. But the Note 5 is so technologically advanced over the One M9 that I cannot in good conscience select the One M9 over the Note 5. Will you ever use all of the available power or features found on the new Galaxy Note 5…probably not, but it is nice to know they are there if you ever need them.
The Note 5 gives you a much better display, a more advanced processor with 14nm technology, more RAM and the faster DDR4 type, much faster UFS 2.0 Flash Memory, a much better camera area, quick wireless charging, fingerprint sensor that is PayPal certified and Samsung Pay ready. Certainly last, but not least, is the stylus or S-Pen and all of its software and available features. The Heart Rate and Oxygen Saturation sensor are also on board for those that use the S-Health features.
The HTC One M9 has dual front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound, memory expansion via microSD card, FM Radio, an IR Blaster and an all-metal body, but other than those features, it really is uninspired when compared with the Galaxy Note 5. While the Note 5 is more expensive than the One M9 and there is a good reason for that and why I am picking the Note 5 as the winner of this specification comparison.
Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.