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MWC 2015: HTC One M9 vs Samsung Galaxy S6, a tech specs comparison


Samsung and HTC have launched their new flagships for the year 2015 and we take a look at the specs comparison between the two smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9.

Design, Screen size: For Samsung, this is one flagship that has won praise from critics from a design perspective. It looks like Samsung has finally bid farewell to plastic in construction of its flagship phones, after years of criticism. With the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung has given us a unibody-metal design with a glass front and rear. Sadly, the battery is no longer removable in the S6. It’s also a slimmer smartphone at 6.8 mm thickness (the Galaxy S5 was 8.1 mm thick) and weighs lighter at 138 g, while the S5 has weighed 145g.

Where the HTC One M9 smartphone goes, it follows the same design style as the earlier M8 and frankly you can’t tell how the two are any different. It has the same metal unibody design that was started by the HTC One series in 2013, although in this case, HTC has added dual-tone silver and rose gold finish along with mirror-polished gold sides. It’s a beautiful looking phone no doubt, but we’re not sure if this polish will help the M9 stand out in an already over-crowded market.

Samsung galaxy s6
Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge on display at MWC 2015.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 outdoes the HTC One M9 in terms of screen resolution. While HTC One M9 sticks with a 5-inch full HD display along with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution at 441 ppi, Samsung Galaxy S6 has a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLOED display with 2560 X 1440 resolution which comes to a very high 577ppi pixel density. Both smartphones have Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for protection.

In terms of design and screen, Samsung has certainly outdone itself and the HTC One M9 doesn’t really stand out.

Processor, Storage, RAM: The HTC One M9 is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor and comes with 3GB of RAM. It has an internal storage of 32GB which can be further expanded upto 128GB via microSD card.

On the other, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are powered by the Exynos 7 Octa-core processor which contains two quad-core processors clocked at 2.1 GHz and 1.5GHz respectively. The smartphones have 3GB RAM as well.

Samsung has introduced the world’s first 14 namometer mobile processor with a 64-bit platform, and these phones have a new LPDDR4 memory system and UFS 2.0 flash memory which the company claims, will provide higher performance and enhanced memory speed with lower power consumption. LPDDR4 is the latest memory system with higher internal fetch size and external transfer speed. There’s no mention of a Galaxy S6 with a Snapdragon SoC.

In terms of storage space, the Galaxy S6 will be available 32GB, 64GB and 128GB storage variants (like the Apple iPhone) but sadly there will be no microSD slot, unlike the HTC smartphone.

The HTC One M9

Samsung has the edge for now in terms of processing power as compared to the HTC One M9 given that it has launched introduced a 14 nm chip and a new LPDDR4 memory system.

Battery, Connectivity: The Samsung Galaxy S6 has a 2,550mAh battery, while the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has a 2,600mAh battery. Both support universal wireless charging. Samsung also claims that they support incredibly fast wired charging (around 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5) providing about 4 hours of usage after only 10 minutes of charging.

In case of HTC, the battery is also non-removable and is a Li-Polymer 2840 mAh capacity one.
HTC’s smartphone doesn’t support wireless charging unlike the Galaxy S6 which is a shame. Where battery is concerned, it should be noted that we can only say more once details are released on how long each smartphone is expected to last, perhaps when the first reviews start coming in.

In terms of connectivity, the HTC One M9 has Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, HTC Connect, for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to compatible multi-room audio system, NFC and Micro-USB. This also supports 4G LTE bands including LTE TDD bands 38, 40, 41. LTE TDD means the phone will support LTE in India as well.

Samsung galaxy s6 and s6 edge
Samsung Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge during the launch event. Reuters

Samsung Galaxy S6 supports LTE Cat 6 (300 Mbps download / 50 Mbps upload), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), HT80 MIMO(2×2) 620Mbps, Bluetooth v4.1, USB 2.0, NFC and an IR Remote. It’s not clear if the smartphone will be an LTE one in India too.

Camera: With HTC One M9, the company has finally gone with the big megapixel number at least for the rear camera. HTC One M9 has a 20MP rear-camera along with a sapphire cover lens and an Ultrapixel front-facing camera with BSI sensor. The camera also shoots movies in 4K resolution. The front-camera resolution has not been specified by HTC but we’re guessing like other Ultrapixel cameras its at 4 megapixels. The HTC camera has a host of features in the software side as well like allowing editing, filters, skin correction, etc., which frankly isn’t anything new. The HTC One gallery will now allow users to sort their images according to year, data, location, etc, similar to what Apple already offers.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 has a 16MP rear camera along with a 5MP front facing camera. Some of the other features on the camera include Tracking AF, Auto Real-time HDR (Front & Rear), f/1.9 aperture, Low Light Video (Front & Rear), High Clear Zoom, IR Detect White Balance, Virtual Shot, Slow Motion video, Pro Mode and Selective Focus.

Although it may seem like the HTC One M9 has an edge over the Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge, in terms of a higher megapixel count camera, we all know that a higher MP number does not translate into a better camera. Both the phones are offering a lot of features alongside the rear cameras. We can only tell which one is better after putting the cameras through their paces. For now, both phones offer impressive camera specs and features on paper.

Other features: Both devices run on the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop with Samsung and HTC’s own UI on them. The HTC One M9 has the HTC Sense 7, which the company claims makes the smartphone highly customisable with themes and more intelligent BlinkFeed (HTC’s much mocked version of Flipboard) and so on.

But Samsung it seems has learnt that TouchWiz UI isn’t perhaps the best thing that it was adding to its smartphone. According to this BGR report,”Android Lollipop shines through much more clearly on the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge than Android has on earlier phones, and Samsung said it reduced the number of features by 40% in its latest software.”

Let’s face it, BlinkFeed and HTC Sense haven’t impressed users, and themes isn’t anything new. For Samsung to have realised that S6 doesn’t need too much of TouchWiz is quite a big step, unlike the HTC One M9.

Samsung also announced new protected mobile payment called Samsung Pay, similar to Apple Pay.

Samsung claims its service is compatible with more locations than any other competitor (a clear taunt at Apple Pay). Protected by Samsung KNOX, fingerprint scanning and advanced tokenisation, Samsung Pay works with both NFC and MST technology. How Samsung Pay does remains to be seen, given that not too many Samsung software-based features have taken off in a big way.
HTC One M9 will be available in Silver, Pink, Gold and gun-mental Grey. Pricing and availability remains unclear for now. The Samsung Galaxy S6 will come in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (Galaxy S6 only) and Green Emerald (Galaxy S6 edge only) and will start rolling out from 10 April. Again we have no information on the pricing.

Conclusion: For now the Samsung Galaxy S6 looks like a fresh take from the company, with less bloatware and a better design. The HTC One M9 seems to be boring, despite its beautiful design, which definitely won’t help the struggling smartphone maker.

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