Now that we have had some time to let the water settle with all the new announcements of flagships that have been going around, we decided to take a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9, to see which one of these smartphone behemoths is better than the other (keep in mind this is not meant to be a full review on both products, as it only addresses some key points and features.).
The Samsung Galaxy S6 boasts a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with a 2560 x 1440 screen resolution and 577 ppi pixel density. Try saying that five times fast. Anyway, words cannot do the Samsung Galaxy S6 justice, as images on the device just popped out with vibrant colors and rich blacks. That is due in part to the Super AMOLED displays that Samsung uses in all its current smartphone models. What is Super AMOLED display? It’s Samsung’s proprietary display technology that promises more than 90% color reproduction on its screens and a 100,000:1 contrast ratio. What all that means is that colors on Super AMOLED displays are much richer than other kinds of displays and blacks are nice and deep. Paired with the extremely high resolution of a QHD display, and you have a screen that blows others out of the water.
Moving on to the HTC One M9, you get a 5.0 inch Full HD display with 441 pixels per inch. The same display used in its predecessor, the HTC One M8. On paper that is a considerable downgrade from the display used on the Samsung Galaxy S6, in terms of resolution and technology. With that said though, the human eye can only detect so much before it can no longer make a distinction. If you were to use both devices hand in hand, you would be able to tell the Samsung Galaxy S6 clearly has a better display, but only barely. It would not be enough to blow your mind out the water, as they both carry great display technology. Another added benefit to the lower resolution display is the fact that it uses less battery juice to keep it going, so you get better battery life in the end.
In the end, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is the clear winner its Super AMOLED display, but if you already had plans on purchasing the HTC One M8, the display should not be enough to sway you away, as both devices looked great overall.
One of the biggest gripes with modern smartphones is the pitiful battery life that comes with them. You can consider yourself one of the lucky few if you can get buy on a full day with a single charge and not have to plug it in during the day. You would think that with all the advances that technology has seen in these past couple of years, batteries would have hopped along for the ride. Alas, I digress.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 comes equipped with a 2550 mAh battery that is, well, decent. It’s not as big as the Droid Turbos or most modern phablet smartphones, but it should get you through the day with moderate usage, if you are not watching videos too much, or browsing the internet every thirty minutes. Why, you may ask? Well, remember that great display I mentioned earlier? That resolution and clarity comes at a small tradeoff with battery life. While many enhancements have been made under the hood, primarily with how the processor handles takes, its still going to be taxing on the battery. So don’t expect to have a high screen on time and make it through the entire day without having to plug it in here and there. If you do find yourself in trouble of a dead phone though, you can always turn on the Ultra Battery Saving Mode that will tone down the screen brightness, limit the processor speed, and turn off some unnecessary features that should get you some more time with your smartphone. Just in case you forgot you needed to call your mom because you spent all day with your friends and forgot it was her birthday (Don’t worry, we have all done it…right?).
"And in Ultra Power Saving Mode, at only 10% power, you’ll still get calls and texts for up to 24 hours."
The HTC One M9 has a slightly beefier battery coming in a 2840 mAh battery. That’s 290 mAh more than the Samsung Galaxy S6. That might sound like a lot, but that could add an extra thirty minutes or so to an otherwise dead smartphone. HTC states that the HTC One M9 should net you around 21.7 talk time on 3G. We are not inclined to disagree with them as the batter is a good size, and considering that HTC opted to use a lower resolution screen on the HTC One M9, it won’t be constantly taxed by having to power any extra pixels. If the HTC One M8 is anything to go by (it has been my daily driver for over a year now), the HTC One M9 will get you through a full day and then some. My HTC One M8 has been fantastic where battery life is concerned, so the HTC One M9, with a more efficient processor, bigger battery life, and Android 5.0, the HTC One M9 is a much better choice if battery life is your top priority.
This is where there is very little competition going on, as the Samsung Galaxy S6 has a much better camera that its rival. Sporting a 16 MP front rear shooter and a 5 MP camera up front, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is ready to document all and any future shenanigans you may find yourself in. The camera up front has a wide angle lens to allow more of your picture to be captured and the rear shooter has optical image stabilization and an auto-HDR feature, so you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take some great stills. This should come as no surprise, as Samsung has been known for a while now for including some great camera capabilities in its flagships. Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S5 was praised for its great camera and the awesome pictures that it took. They only expanded on that and it shows, as the Samsung Galaxy S6 is capable of taking some really great pictures, with the only bottleneck being the user.
The HTC One M9, on the other hand, has slacked behind in recent years with the cameras that have been included in its flagships. The HTC One M8 of last year was criticized for having a camera that just, well, disappointed. It was only able to take good pictures in well-lit areas, as dim-lit area pictures really suffered. The UltraPixel technology that HTC developed was just not good enough to make up for the lower resolution that the camera offered and the poor performance. Thankfully though, it seems that HTC learned a thing or two from its mistakes and changed things around for the HTC One M9. Sporting a 20 MP rear camera with a sapphire crystal lens, and an UltraPixel front facing camera, the HTC One M9 was more than capable of taking some decent pictures. It definitely improved in lower lit areas, and the higher resolution camera did make a difference, as pictures looked crisper and sharper. Unfortunately though, the camera technology on the Samsung Galaxy S6 came out ahead again this year though the HTC One M9 was able to hold its own this time around.
Performance is where neither device really has an advantage over the other, as they are both fast, smooth, and just great to use. Apps all ran great on both devices, and things never showed signs of slowing down. For future reference though, we will include the difference in specs on both devices.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 runs on Android 5.0 with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface on top. It has an Exynos 7420 Octa-core 64-bit, which is exclusive to Samsung devices, as old Sammie has not made the processor available for other OEM’s to use. It also comes with 3 GB of ram and 32/64/128 GB of internal storage. For those not counting, that is eight, EIGHT cores. While most apps will not utilize all of those cores, you can still tell people that your smartphone has eight cores and thus is better than theirs. What makes the Samsung Galaxy S6 still more impressive is the fact that it runs on a 64-bit architectures. This, in theory, should make apps, that have been updated to take advantage of that architecture, to run faster.
On the other side of the arena, the HTC One M9 uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor. The Qualcomm Snapdragon processor also boasts eight cores and a 64-bit architectures. The real difference is the fact that Samsung’s Exynos processor uses 14-nm transistors which make the processor smaller and more effect. The HTC One M9 also runs on Android 5.0 and it also has its own interface, dubbed HTC Sense. It comes with 32 GB of internal memory and 3 GB of ram. As you can tell, both devices do not differ too much from one another in this department and they are both great to use.
No smartphone would be complete without some handy features that its makers made sure you couldn’t find anywhere else. Well, at least almost nowhere else.
If you decide to go with the Samsung Galaxy S6, you will get a fingerprint scanner for added security and fast charging that will bring your device from 0% to 50% in thirty minutes. Now that is what I call speed. The fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is located on the home button up front. After you set up a required pin code, you will be able to use nothing more than your fingerprints to access your device. You will still be able to use the pin code to gain access, should the device not regret your fingers.
The fast charging capability doesn’t really requires too much explanation, as the name states it all. You will be able to charge your phone up to half of its battery life in thirty minutes. That is a great feature of the device since it can be a bit power hungry due to its display.
If you decide that those features don’t impress you, then perhaps the BoomSound features found on the HTC One M9 is better suited for your needs.
BoomSound was the result of HTC’s great engineering minds when they decided that speakers should be facing you, not away. I honestly don’t know why other OEM’s have made a change to moving the speaks like HTC did, but that is a story for another day. The HTC One M9 has two speakers up front, top and bottom, that provide crisp and awesome sound to the user. Having owned the past two HTC One models, I can tell you that the difference in placement and having two speakers really makes a difference when trying to enjoy multimedia on the device
As we stated at the very top, the purpose of this article was not to write a full review on both products and then show you why one is better than the other. No, it is for those that had already done some research on both devices and just wanted some affirmation on one or the other. With that being said, you could probably tell that we leaned towards the Samsung Galaxy S6. Reason being, it just offered a bigger upgrade than its last year’s model and it offered more than the HTC One M9. Don’t get me wrong, the HTC One M9 is still a fantastic device and if you had already made up your mind on getting one, then you should stick with it. For those of you though, that did really know which device you should get, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is going to offer you more in the long run. There is a reason why the Galaxy line of phone has been such a great seller for so long.