Sony Xperia Z2 vs HTC One (M8)
Over the past couple of years, Sony has struggled against the forces dominating the high-end smartphone scene. Its top handsets, although good, all lacked that extra mojo needed for a phone to truly stand out. Now, however, it looks like Sony may finally have a winner on its hands, namely the Xperia Z2. Long story short, it is an awesome smartphone, and if you're not convinced, feel free to read our in-depth Sony Xperia Z2 review.
But now that the Sony Xperia Z2 has finally launched, it has to compete against a number of flagships from other well-known companies, and one of its rivals happens to be the HTC One (M8). There's a lot to love about the latter – it looks great, runs flawlessly, and those front-facing speakers sound pretty darn amazing. Yet is the HTC One (M8) better than the Sony Xperia Z2? Read on to learn more.
Both the Sony Xperia Z2 and the HTC One (M8) rank near the top of the “awesome” scale with their outstanding designs, and picking a favorite isn't as easy as it seems. That's probably why having them side by side for a comparison makes us feel as if we're in the middle of a clash between Thor and Superman.
Sony's flagship is a gorgeous, flat piece of glass and metal that gives us a solid, reassuring feel when held. Its rectangular shape will not appeal to everyone, but we think that it doesn't look bad at all. What really bothers us a bit, on the other hand, is that the phone feels quite large when gripped, partly because Sony's trademark OmniBalance design relies on straight lines instead of curves, and partly because, well, the phone is pretty big in size.
As for the HTC One (M8), it is an awe-inspiring phone encased in a beautiful, metal-made body, and we can't help to think that the general audience would find it more attractive, at least visually, than the Xperia Z2. What's more, although HTC's top model is about as wide, as tall, and as heavy as its rival, it fits better in the palm thanks to its curvy corners and back side.
True to its design traditions, Sony has placed the power and volume keys on the right side of the Xperia Z2. They are easy to reach, but somewhat lacking in feedback. Below them resides the 2-stage camera shutter key, which is used for taking pictures and for launching the camera from any screen. HTC has chosen to place the power key on the top edge of the (M8). Reaching it is a bit difficult since there's quite a bit of stretching that an index finger has to perform. To remedy the situation, HTC has added the option to activate the phone's screen with a double tap. The volume key is on the right side and could have had a little bit more travel to it.
Most of the ports on the Sony Xperia Z2 are protected by flaps, and for a good reason. The handset boasts an IP58 specification, which means that it is resistant to dust and water damage, unlike the great majority of the smartphones around. It is not invincible, however, so don't dip it in the hot tub just to see how much abuse it can take. The HTC One (M8) should also be able to withstand a light water splash, but a dip in a pint of lager could be fatal.
Sony has placed the Xperia Z2's SIM card and microSD card slots on its side where one of the aforementioned flaps keeps them safe. The cards placed there shouldn't be hard to eject if that is needed – all it takes is a fingernail or the tip of a pen. With the HTC One (M8), however, you'll need a pin or a similar tool to get its SIM or microSD card out as they both are placed in their own slide-in trays.
Both smartphones sport a pair of front-facing speakers, which is a perk you won't get from another maker's flagship. That produce high-quality stereo sound, but we'll save our comments for when we get to the multimedia part of this comparison.
The Sony Xperia Z2 sports a 5.2-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels, while the HTC One (M8), despite being about as large as its rival, packs a slightly smaller, 5-inch 1080 by 1920 pixel panel. Not that a difference of 0.2 inches is a deal breaker, but it still counts as an advantage for the Z2. Details in images shouldn't be a concern regardless of which phone you pick. Both smartphones have more than enough pixels per inch stuffed in their screens, which explains why high-res images displayed on them look amazing.
You'll be bombarded with buzz words when reading the description for the Sony Xperia Z2 display and the technologies thrown into it. First of all, the panel is of the IPS LCD variety. It also touts Sony's Triluminos display tech with Live Colour LEDs, which work in tandem to deliver a broader range of displayable colors and a more uniform brightness across the screen, according to the manufacturer. On the software side, the X-Reality image enhancement engine adds extra sharpness and contrast to photos and videos viewed in the phone's gallery. To put things in plain words, the Z2's display is a beauty that produces lively, eye-catching color hues even when viewed at an angle. Color accuracy isn't perfect, as our measurements demonstrate, but the screen is better in that respect than Sony's previous flagship models. We got a color temperature of 6900 kelvins, which is very close to the reference point of 6500K – whites are displayed very faithfully because of that. Overall color vibrancy is increased by a notch, and whether you like that or not would depend on your personal preferences.
The HTC One (M8) comes with a Super LCD-3 display that delivers the goods. Next to the Z2's display, however, it is clear to see that M8's panel has a blueish tone to it, visible when displaying white or shades of grey. Our measurements confirm its presence as HTC's flagship has a display color temperature of 7150 kelvins. It is close enough to the desired reference value, but not as close as the Z2 gets. At the same time, colors don't look as vibrant as they do on the screen of the Z2, but technically, they are represented more accurately, and that is, again, evident from our display benchmarks.
Outdoor visibility isn't an issue with any of these two phones. That's partially due to their adequate brightness output – the Z2 clocks in at 454 nits while the (M8) gets to 490 nits – but also because their screen surfaces manage to filter out some of the sunlight that hits them. Still, if we had to pick a favorite, that would be the One – its screen is a bit easier to see in broad daylight. When set to minimum brightness, both phones get down to 16 nits of brightness, which is tolerable, but probably not good enough to ensure a comfortable viewing experience at night. The Galaxy S5, in comparison, can reach a figure of 2 nits with its screen.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|HTC One (M8)||490
|Sony Xperia Z2||458
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|HTC One (M8)||79.6%
|Sony Xperia Z2||90.4%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
17. Sauce (unregistered)
Z2 looks pretty cheap and not classy. The white trim ruins it.
21. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
Are you drunk or what??
I think your profile pic exactly fits you!
22. Sauce (unregistered)
Glad to know my opinion deeply hurts your poor feelings LOL.
I think my profile pic exactly fits what I'm doing right now to you.
23. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
You need sth to sooth your burning bro.
24. Sauce (unregistered)
34. hari120 (Posts: 21; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)
@emadshiny as longs as everyone has eyes no one give a damn **** to his comments
36. marcski07 (Posts: 598; Member since: 25 Apr 2014)
have you ever seen one in personal? :) xperia z I agree it's not classy, but not looking so cheap also, but hell, ugly. It looks like a brick and u can bitch slap anybody using that phone, but z1 and z2, really looks premium, and eye catcher... i love z1 compact, because i have small hands, and i don't want to use 2 hands for a phone, for multi-tasking purposes. plastic yes, but it doesn't look cheap, it's beautifully crafted really well made, and very comfortable to grip and browse with your thumb only... :)
2. Birds (Posts: 1151; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
Ultimately it comes down to aesthetics for me because both phones are truly beasts at what they do. I'd prefer thee HTC One simply because I'm a huge HTC One fanboy. The Sony Phone is utter perfection though. I just wish the back had like this shattered look to it so when you drop it and it actually shatters, you can't tell.
3. giani (Posts: 269; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)
So, as per yr conclusions general score is 4-1 in favor of m8. But the z2 has a higher rating in the individual review. Hah ?!
8. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
hah 8.8 is pretty high for ultragimmickpixel camera.
11. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
that's what you call cosolation or a balancing act. no ad-subsisting site or blogwould want to offend fans. there should be some redeeming factor somewhere.
15. giani (Posts: 269; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)
Straight edgeNexus, if you dont get my point, please don't TROLL.
I was only trying to make Nick T confess. It is very clear from the comparison that he prefers the M8.
16. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Sorry didnt get the point till the edit time passed out. :-)
4. FaisalWibowo11 (Posts: 160; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)
HTC one M8 is a near perfect phone, great design, great specs overall, but only let down by its camera. But had it has a 1/2.3" 8MP ultrapixel sensor, then it is perfect..
18. MichaelA (Posts: 18; Member since: 14 May 2014)
It's not all about MP's, but don't even think about printing a photo from the M8 to anything like a 4x6 or 5x8 because it's going to look terrible. I rarely ever do this, but when I do I want a alright pic, not crap. If I had to choose I would go with the Sony, but why not just wait for the LG G3 instead?
5. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 2230; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
M8 since it offers more internal memory, and up to 128GB ?
10. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
at least all flagships released this year can use sandisk's 128GB sd card. that's been tested and proved on some youtube video.
6. cyborg009 (Posts: 109; Member since: 17 Sep 2011)
Sony has good UI but it should be smooth not laggy... they should focus on optimizing it. I'm using Sony phones from old SE times and though I'm entirely in love with Z2's display I'm thinking of either getting a lumia 930 or oneplus one as my next phone.
7. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Ergonomics- Htc One(curved back)
display-Tie i guess
UI-One Sense more beautiful and functional
Camera-LOL no comments
conclusion- Z2 due to all rounder IMO
29. BattleBrat (Posts: 1428; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
Id give the M8 the edge in multimedia, boomsound+ higher output headphone jack+ ir blaster.
31. FCB-Eto (Posts: 36; Member since: 17 Aug 2013)
Battery life the Z2 kills the M8 and S5 those two respectively do 71hrs and 72 but the Z2 manages 89hrs it's on Gsmarena, but get this that's without any power saving enabled.
12. papss (unregistered)
I love both actually. I prefer the looks and design of the z2 (I like square phones with sharp corners) but like the UI of the m8...
13. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Yeah i love sense 6, 5 days on and i have no tempt to flash ROMs, unlike s5 touchwiz when i was dying to flash CM.
20. sanyamjain75 (Posts: 14; Member since: 04 Dec 2013)
I wish they both join hands and design a piece of perfection..
Strength and the weaknesses of others can be helped by both Sony And Htc as they both are not in a good condition..
25. Totse2k15 (Posts: 442; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)
Z2 overall win for me. I'd buy Z2 over M8.
26. GoBears (Posts: 447; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)
I think it's pretty awesome that both these fantastic devices run Android and we have choices like this. I like the M8 myself. I wish the M8 had the Z2's camera but the M8 camera isn't near as bad as people make it out to be and I'm really loving the fact that it has s-off and bootloader unlocked. Running CleanROM with xposed gives me tons of options on an already awesome phone. Android FTW!
27. therons (Posts: 40; Member since: 25 Feb 2014)
Both is monster. if HTC put better camera and waterproof thing, i will go with HTC.
but overall Z2 is best choice.
anyway i love HTC M8....is a design masterpiece..
30. techperson211 (Posts: 1159; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)
Z2 anytime of the day. Waitin for z2compact and z3 before upgrading my z1 compact.
32. tiara6918 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
I can't believe the m8 won even though the z2 got a higher rating at pa's review
37. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 1963; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)
4mp on m8,not even close to the Z2.ILL GO WITH Z2..
38. ogee4life (Posts: 105; Member since: 12 Apr 2014)
PA are completely confused, ui lag? First I ve not seen any site or reviewer complain bout lag even with cramped or heavy loaded home screens. The only thing I may accept the htc beats the Sony over is the quality of the speakers. But from tests I have seen on you tube and elsewhere it's marginal and remember the Sony is water proof will take that any day over a bit louder or clearer sound. The multimedia apps on Sony kills anything htc has to offer, htc multimedia apps very boring in design and visualisations nothing compared to the Sony that I know for sure for eg the walkman player the camera ui and movies ui plus effects available.
40. Phoneboy123 (Posts: 3; Member since: 12 May 2014)
Sony's interface is kinda bad :o ( no BlinkFeed etc , just a basic launcher )The additional it has over M8 is kinda useless since M8 doesn't lags at all while Z2 does sometimes. Moreover the movies UI plus effects is purely software addon , and sadly it lags on the Z2 too. Personally I'll prefer M8 haha.
43. FCB-Eto (Posts: 36; Member since: 17 Aug 2013)
In your dreams blinkfeed and Zoe are cool add ons but don't come and talk about lag on Z2 you're lying. Sony's interface is good and none of the soft key ui comes close expecially with the theme engine Sony introduced in jellybean 4.3, with a simple change of a theme softkeys on the navbar and icons on the status bar are changed not to mention the background in various menus across the system. When you bash Sony you should say in your opinion.
45. Branson28 (Posts: 33; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)
I have the Z2 and have never experienced lag, even when under a lot of pressure. Hell the phone doesn't even heat up at all when working intensive processes like other phones do. I personally like how unobtrusive the UI on Sony is. Honestly when I had a Samsung Galaxy S4 I deleted all the extra crap that touchwiz adds. Some people prefer a more basic approach, and we don't use/need all that extra stuff :)
42. steedsofwar (unregistered)
better battery life,
Better physical size (grip width),
greater internal storage,
The Sony slightly edges it and takes the trophy me thinks. I own an LG G2 so I am torn between the 2014 flagships.
46. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
If it weren't for the camera, I'd chose the M8 over the Z2 with my eyes closed.
47. mark_ray (banned) (Posts: 35; Member since: 26 May 2013)
In my openion the HTC One M8 is the best phone in 2014. The only contendor now is LG G3 which will be released in couple of days, to let's wait and see
48. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
nope, it isn't ... the terrible camera .. the huge bezels with no ip67 certification to make up for it .. these are bad things for a flagship in 2014.. but it's okay though
49. theo14461 (Posts: 313; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
Has anybody wondered why Phonearena picked these two models, for a comparison? Okay, so the Sony has a kick-ass camera, I'd still rather have the M8.
50. Altair (Posts: 367; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
There is one major difference between these two devices here. One is a copycat and another is a true original design, that others follow.
HTC - Silently stealing
53. yudevil (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Jun 2014)
Can someone tell me what is that m8's wallpaper i can not find it :(
54. arturg7 (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Jan 2014)
JUST A REMINDER,, SONY HAD TO COMPRESS THEIR HARDWARE AND MAKE A GREAT DESIGN TO HAVE THE (WATER-PROOF CAPABILITY).
REASON FOR SOUND PROBLEMS
56. skywalker (Posts: 11; Member since: 05 Jul 2014)
Tested both countless times...HTC is just a much more solid phone so far. Reviews lean on HTC's software is more smooth and responsive than Sony is. When you actually compare them both directly, you'll instantly know what that means. just seems to me that Sony just doesn't know how to make best use of Android and... even the top-notch hardware it tends to include（ie. the 20.7MP camera） its apparent that Sony relies almost solely on hardware to compete with HTC and other flagship devices, yet Sony doesn't make enough use of it (and its so expensive because of this).
Even the camera... ppl keep saying how Sony beats HTC in this dept hands down. How so? Just by larger MP? Lets not mention that Sony only actually offer 8MP for the most extensively used smart scene mode(or whatever it's called,I used Chinese version so...), HTC BEATS Sony hands down when it comes to capture speed, camera loading speed, and camera stability..... (and trust me, these are just what most people need on a day to day basis, imagine trying to capture a fast moving penguin in the aquarium....), these are much more important than a few more MP.... okay, lets talk zooming in... when you zoom in with HTC, it gets blurry faster, but it blurs beautifully, cleanly. In contrast, when you zoom in with Sony, its all grains and noise along with blurs. when you take pictures with Sony anywhere other than day time scenery(including low light, it captures at a much slower speed than already is, and less quality and MP, much more noisy... doesn't even feel like 8MP anymore.
Now lets talk typing on touch keyboard... HTC, with its own keyboard, just feels much more smarter and responsive and more accurate than sony is, Chinese AND English, actually, Sony's Experia keyboard is just...totally unusable for me, I had to go get Google keyboard to sub for it, HTC's own keyboard beats Google's keyboard by far as well in my opinion.
Overall, HTC phone is just... better.... its true it lacks MP in the camera dept... this is probably its only flaw if you like, but it still beats Sony's in many practical ways. Also, seems to me that HTC knows this themselves, so they are just downing their camera just so that they won't have to give it their all to beat other flagahips; they beat others in every other way. this way HTC still leaves space for improvent and at the same time still beat Sony...
57. skywalker (Posts: 11; Member since: 05 Jul 2014)
And lets not forget how much better HTC sounds both in and outside calls...and how much better it looks for more people, and lack of problems.
Sony with its camera overheat problems and the build problems(top right side)....... actually, heating problem isn't limited to camera usage for Sony; it heats up so easily doing anything, and also camera lags or force closes from time to time.
for the water proof gimmick from Sony, they state that the water cannot be hot, cold, or impure in any way(swimming pool water and ocean water are unacceptable.) okay, in what way is water proof feature useful? what's the use of putting the phone in a glass of room temp drinkInc water?
also, placement of ports is better for HTC as well, having both 3.5km headphone Jack and micro USB 9n the same short side. I hate that Sony has micro usb port on the top left side, good thing they also have a magnetic charging feature...
For Sony's exclusive dedicated camera shutter button feature, it's hard to use, I find myself leaning towards using the on screen shutter button. what's a really good camera shutter button? check out the old HTC evolution 3d...
also, for the record, I typed thsee long comments with a Sony, it's a pain in the rear end if you ask me... have to keep correcting. HTC was just better by experience.
58. skywalker (Posts: 11; Member since: 05 Jul 2014)
forgot to mention... if the water proof feature is useful in any way, it is to resist unavoidable splashes from say rain-water, but HTC does this just as well. And I didn't mention before that Sony does not guarantee water-proof with dust at cover-edges.... this is like... impossible... basically this says that if Sony is ever damaged by water, it's gonna 100% be OUR OWN fault..... DON'T dip Sony Z2 in water; treat it like HTC to be safe...
I meant to type 3.5mm in my previous post, not km.... excuse me for this (Sony typing....)
Sony's Stamina mode is really useful, but ONLY limited to off-screen. When you use it, the battery would drain, but I have not compared the usage time between those... from various reviews, however, they seem similar. But think, HTC's 2600mAh vs Sony's 3200mAh... In my experience, I have to charge both of them on average maybe every 1.5 days.
I know I forgot to mention SOMETHING more about Sony's disadvantage... I just can't remember on the top of my head now... but I hope these are helpful for people who are having a hard time choosing between the two devices... all these said, Sony Z2 is still a way-above-average phone, and one of the best-looking phone for sure.
Waiting for HTC's next year flagship!!