Sony's custom Android UI vs HTC Sense 6.0
HTC's approach to UI design is slightly different. On the new HTC One, we're seeing the all new Sense 6.0 user interface running on top of Android 4.4 KitKat. BlinkFeed – the news and social network feed aggregator that debuted in Sense's previous major release – is going to be present as well. In fact, the feature is going to be upgraded and will allow for content to be sorted in groups. Standard Android home screens, with icons and widgets, will be available at a swipe's distance. Furthermore, a number of gestures will be augmented into the UI, including a double-tap-to-wake one. It is also worth noting that the new HTC One will feature on-screen navigation buttons, as opposed to last year's model, which had capacitive ones.
Processor and memory
The Xperia Z2, however, might have just a slight edge, due to it sporting the whopping 3GB of DDR3 RAM, while the new HTC One features “only” 2GB of DDR2 RAM. Yet nevertheless, we're assuming that the real-world performance of both phones should be equally flawless, with the Z2's advantage of having extra RAM making a difference only in cases of very heavy multitasking.
16GB of storage is what you get with an Xperia Z2, along with the option to augment that by throwing in a microSD card. The new HTC One will be available in 16GB and 32GB flavors, and thankfully, it will also sport a slot for microSD cards.
The Sony Xperia Z2 uses a camera that is very similar to the one found on its predecessor, the Sony Xperia Z1. Not that we have anything against that – the snapper on the latter is well capable of taking good photos, as we know from our experience with it. Besides, leaked photo samples suggest that the Sony Xperia Z2 will perform well in the camera department. For those who are into technical details, the Z2's 20.7MP camera has a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor with 1.1-micron pixels and Sony G Lens optics. Feature-wise, you get a ton of bells and whistles, including 4K and 120fps slow-motion video recording, augmented reality effects, Background Defocus for still images, and much more.
The peculiar Duo Camera on the HTC One
A peculiar detail that we also have to mention is that the new HTC One sports a 5MP front-facing camera with a wide-angle lens and HDR capabilities. Imagine the selfies! Of course, the 2.2MP front-facing camera on the Sony Xperia Z2 is probably going to be almost as suitable for the purpose.
Sony is definitely not fooling around. Its Xperia Z2 is shaping up as a serious contender for the top spot in the Android hierarchy, adopting all there was to like about its predecessor and improving in many key areas where room for improvement was present. As far as we can tell, HTC is taking a similar approach. The new HTC One (M8) is not radically different from the 2013 flagship Android model, but it will introduce a number of welcome upgrades over its predecessor, including the addition of a bigger screen, a much faster processor, and, hopefully, a more capable main camera.
Of course, at this point in time, it is not possible to say whether the Sony Xperia Z2 or the new HTC One is the ultimately better smartphone. After all, we're yet to hold both handsets side by side in the flesh. What we can say, on the other hand, based on all the info that has been announced, is that the HTC flagship might have a hard time outperforming Sony's finest. Sure, the HTC One is an awesome phone, but the Z2 might be able to give buyers slightly more bang for their buck, in case they dig its glass design.