Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9: Full specs comparison

The HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 were both announced at MWC 2015 a few days ago, and will most likely be the two most talked about smartphones at 2015, unless Xiaomi or Motorola do something big.

The two Android rivals have always fought for market share and in the past few years Samsung has pulled ahead of HTC. In 2012, HTC’s sales fell dramatically, while Samsung continued to soar.

In 2015, Samsung is trying to prove it is still the best in the business, but for HTC it is all about making the One even better than it the previous iteration.

Design

The HTC One (M8) was one of the most well-designed smartphones in 2014, competing with Apple’s iPhone 6 and Motorola’s Moto X for the top spot, this year HTC has made some minor improvements to the design including a two-tone front and back.

Samsung has made huge changes on the Galaxy S6 however, adding a dual-glass front and back with metal frame. The improvements to the Galaxy S6 are blaring, while the HTC One M9 only has minor changes.

Still, even with the minor changes the One M9 looks incredible. The aluminium unibody is almost impossible to beat and HTC keeps making it even better year-on-year. Even with the Galaxy S6 design changes, we don’t think it trumps the One M9.

Display

Samsung decided to go all out on a Quad HD display, 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, the highest in the industry right now for mobiles. HTC decided against the pixel increase, sticking with the tried and true full HD, 1920 x 1080 pixels.

The actual difference in pixels is quite small and hardly noticeable unless compared side-by-side, certainly neither will show any pixels. The actual screen panel is a good topic for discussion, since Samsung uses AMOLED while HTC uses LCD.

AMOLED does offer a richer color palette with the capabilities of extremely dark blacks, but the color saturation and accuracy is normally a bit off when compared to an LCD display.

The display does tie into battery life concerns, but since neither has been tested heavily yet it is really a matter of ‘wait and see’, for now Samsung wins on pixel count alone.

Camera

Samsung has - for the most part - always been ahead in this category. HTC tends to try out new types of cameras that fail to deliver the accuracy and efficiency other cameras with normal sensors offer.

This year the HTC One M9 has reverted back to megapixels rather than Ultra Pixels, and instead of 4 Ultra Pixels the One M9 features 20-megapixels. The Galaxy S6 features the same 16-megapixel sensor from the Galaxy S5.

Both cameras are quite good but once again the One M9 has issues when it comes to reliability, not having the same amount of accuracy or quality when it comes to 100 photos. Sure, one photo can look great on the One M9, but compared to the Galaxy S6 over a long-term spread it will be outperformed.

Under the hood

This would have been a rather boring part if Samsung hadn’t of decided against using the Snapdragon 810 processor, and instead going with its new 64-bit octa-core Exynos CPU.

The Snapdragon 810 is also 64-bit and features an octa-core design, but the Exynos chip uses a 14-nanometer node, the new semiconductor benchmark that the Snapdragon 810 failed to hit.

This means the Exynos is not only smaller but uses less battery than the Snapdragon 810. Both devices have 3GB of RAM and similar quad-core graphics chips, so we have to give a slight edge to the Galaxy S6.

Verdict

The HTC One M9 is for those of us that love the feel of a full metal design, while the Galaxy S6 should be the option for benchmark nuts.

Both have very similar advantages and disadvantages and both run Android Lollipop at launch, but the Galaxy S6 wins out slightly in most of the categories presented.

See the table below for the full specs sheet

Galaxy S6

One M9

Display

Screen Size 5.1-inch 5-inch
Resolution 2,560 x 1,440 pixels 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Pixel Density 577ppi 441ppi
Type Super AMOLED Super LCD3

Processor and Battery

Family Exynow 7420 Snapdragon 810
CPU Cortex-A53 / Cortex-A57 Cortex-A53 / Cortex-A57
Cores Octa-core Octa-core
Clock Speed 1.5GHz / 2.1GHz 1.5GHz / 2.1GHz
GPU Mali-T760 Adreno 430
Battery 2,550mAh 2,840mAh
Claimed 3G Talk Time Unconfirmed Up to 22 hours

Storage and Memory

RAM 3GB 3GB
Internal Storage 32 / 64 / 128GB 32GB
MicroSD No Yes – Up to 128GB

Camera

Rear 16-megapixel 20.7-megapixel
Video 2,160p@30fps, 1,080p@60fps 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps
Front 5-megapixel 4-megapixel

Wireless

Standard 4G LTE 4G LTE
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
NFC Yes Yes
Bluetooth V4.1 V4.1
Integrated Wireless Charging Yes No

Dimensions

Size 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.6 mm
Weight 138g 157g
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop Android 5.0 Lollipop
Price (Sim free) Unconfirmed Unconfirmed
Availability April 2015 April 2015