Home > Phone Comparisons > HTC One M8 vs. Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. HTC One (M8)
|Carrier: all major carriers
Manufacturers: HTC, Samsung
Posted April 18, 2014 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
Here it is, the yearly Samsung vs. HTC Android flagship phone battle. For 2014 that means the Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. the HTC One M8. Both are available on all major carriers for $199 with 2 year contract and approximately $650 without contract. Both run Android OS 4.4 KitKat, but Samsung uses their TouchWiz UI while HTC has Sense 6. Sense as ever is the cleaner, closer to pure Android experience while TouchWiz swipes a big paint brush over the UI and adds lots of apps. Which approach is better? That's up to your tastes--some folks love Samsung's added apps like Smart Stay and Multi Windows while others prefer HTC Sense's more minimalist treatment of Android.
Design and Materials
You're bothering to read this section? Good for you, since you probably expect me to wax poetic about the HTC M8. But I might surprise you. Indeed the HTC One M8 pulls ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S5 in terms of quality look and feel thanks to its aluminum body and an original and stunning design. We're particularly fond of the gunmetal color that's available on all carriers since it looks like brushed stainless steel. As I said in our full review of the HTC One M8, it gives you a Rolex moment--serious class and good looks. I haven't had problems with scratches either.
But it's not all doom and gloom for the Samsung Galaxy S5. It actually feels a bit better in hand, particularly the black model with soft touch back. The thinness and curves are just right and the phone feels like it was meant to be held, at least if you have big enough hands to find any 5" smartphone comfy. And it's actually not a bad looking phone, through from the front it looks like nearly every other black-faced Android phone. The back is faux leather with a stippled texture and it's attractive... and better yet: removable. The Galaxy S5, unlike the HTC One M8, has a removable battery. Practical. Yet it's very slim and light--Samsung puts plastic to good use here. The Samsung is also both dust and water resistant, while HTC says the One M8 is only dust resistant. I know there are videos on the Net showing someone splashing the M8 with water in a sink, but remember that HTC doesn't say it's water resistant and the warranty thus won't cover water damage.
So the HTC One M8 gets the point for better materials and looks. But the Samsung Galaxy S5 fights back with a removable battery, a lighter design that isn't slippery and water resistance. Tie.
Performance and Horsepower
They're the same; nothing to see here... move on. Both run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU clocked at 2.3GHz (HTC) and 2.46GHz (GS5). Both have 2 gigs of DDR3 RAM and Adreno 330 graphics. In the US, the HTC ships with 32 gigs of storage vs. 16 gigs for the Samsung. Overseas you may get the HTC as a 16 gig model. Both have microSD cards for storage expansion and feel very fast and responsive.
We'll give points to HTC for taking the front camera seriously. In a world of selfies and video chat, the front camera is important and they went with a 5MP front camera that can shoot 1080p video. Though Samsung's 2MP front camera shoots better than expected 1080p video and does nicely for video chat, it doesn't look nearly as natural and detailed as the One M8.
Flip to the back camera and it's a different story: HTC went with the same 4MP equivalent Ultrapixel camera, while a secondary camera to record depth info. We'd really hoped for more because detail just isn't sufficient for cropping and the camera still overexposes bright areas of outdoor shots and video.
Samsung's 16MP rear camera is the bee's knees. It's one of the top camera phones on the market right now. It captures well exposed photos and video with pleasing colors, has myriad settings and modes and it can even record 4K video.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S5. Since the Samsung's front camera is pretty decent and I suspect folks still care more about the rear camera, the Galaxy S5 gets the win here.
||3DMark Ice Storm
|Samsung Galaxy S5
|HTC One M8
It's another tie here--both are running the same CPU, display resolution and have larger than average batteries. That means they run equally long on a charge. They both also support the latest version of Qualcomm's quick charge, so they charge quickly. Samsung gets points for a removable battery though.
Tie for battery life. Special mention for the removable battery on the GS5.
There are quite a few more points to cover, so do watch our Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. HTC One M8 Comparison Smackdown video directly below. Both earned our Editor's Choice award, and they're two of the top phones on the market for the first half of 2014, and I'd be happy with either. Which do I personally prefer? Watch the video to find out!