Sony Xperia Z2 vs HTC One (M8)
The 20.7MP camera that made its debut on the Sony Xperia Z1 is now gracing the Xperia Z2 as well. We're not complaining, of course, as we know what the snapper is capable of. The 1/2.3” size of the sensor makes it bigger than those found in most other popular smartphones, and with cameras, a bigger sensor is always a good thing. Pixel size, however, is average at 1.1 microns.
HTC has taken an unorthodox approach when designing the 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera found on the HTC One (M8). It is practically the same one that the last-gen One M7 had, but with an added secondary camera that captures depth information. The latter gives us the option to apply fancy effects to photos – to blur out the background or to convert images into 3D-like renditions. On a technical note, the One M8 camera relies on a 1/3” sensor with 2-micron pixels, and pixel size is touted as the camera's advantage over other cameraphones. These larger pixels should be able to capture more light, which is projected to result in good low-light performance. Resolution, however, is the UltraPixel camera's biggest drawback – it captures 4MP stills at a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Launching the Camera app on the Sony Xperia Z2 brings us to a clean and intuitive user interface, with large buttons for taking photos or video. The camera opens up in Intelligent Auto mode by default, which attempts to set the scene mode automatically, and it tends to be pretty accurate at that on the Z2. A manual mode has not been omitted, however. It lets the user control scene settings as they wish, to turn HDR on or off, and to take full-resolution, 20.7MP stills (Auto mode yields 8MP ones). Furthermore, Sony has added slow-motion video effects, background defocusing for professional-looking close-ups, 4K video support, and the option to download additional camera modes.
The camera UI on the HTC One (M8) isn't bad. We like that it is clean, with no knobs and toggles in the viewfinder's way, but switching between photo and video mode, or between the front and rear cameras, takes more taps than it does on the Z2. Nevertheless, kudos go to HTC for adding true manual controls to its camera software.
When it comes to actual image quality, the Sony Xperia Z2 is a class above the HTC One (M8). First of all, its images pack a lot more detail. Also, Z2's camera tends to be better at setting the right exposure, while the M8 might leave the photo under- or overexposed. Unless we use a tap to manually select the area that we want exposed, that is. On top of that, digital noise is more discernible in the M8's photos. Low-light indoor photos from the HTC One (M8) may turn out a bit lifeless, with dull colors. The Xperia Z2, on the other hand, produces livelier colors in a low-light indoor situation. Interestingly, very dark scenes in which the HTC One (M8)'s flash has fired look quite good, if not better than those from a Z2 with its flash on.
Sony Xperia Z2 vs HTC One (M8) Sample images
All in all, the HTC One (M8) UltraPixel camera is still a good one – it is fast and its photos are definitely usable – but it falls behind when compared to the camera on the Z2, or any other of today's flagships.
The Sony Xperia Z2 takes smooth, good-looking 1080p video at a steady 30 frames per second. Sound is clear and dynamic as well. The option to shoot 4K video with it is welcome, but it would be hard to truly appreciate it unless you have a 4K TV to enjoy the footage on.
The HTC One (M8) shoots daytime 1080p videos that are about as good as the Z2's. Framerate is set to 30fps by default, but there's also the option to crank the dial to 60fps for extra smoothness. Night videos, however, are not as fluid as those from the Xperia Z2 and exhibit a stronger motion blur.
1. Sony Xperia Z2 Sample Video
2. HTC One (M8) Sample Video
There's a lot to love about the Walkman music player on the Sony Xperia Z2. First of all, it has a UI that is both beautiful and functional. We like its option to fill in any album art that happens to be missing in our collection. Modes and tweaks are present, to no surprise. You get an equalizer, which you're allowed to modify yourself, as well as ClearAudio+, which is an option that aims to enhance audio automatically, depending on what's being played. The Music application on the HTC One (M8) is also a pleasant-looking one, although we find its lack of an equalizer rather puzzling. It has a music visualizer, on the other hand, and like the Walkman, it can pull missing album art from the internet.
Watching videos on the Sony Xperia Z2 is a pleasure thanks to its large and vivid display. Moreover, the stock video player did not have any troubles playing back videos of any popular format. Either the gallery or the dedicated Movies app can be used to play videos with, both the ones you have recorded and the ones you have copied onto your handset. The latter has a clean and stylish UI, with a built-in option to edit videos shot with the Z2. There is no dedicated video player app on the HTC One (M8). (You can download a third-party one, of course). Instead, videos are listed in and viewed from the Gallery application. The video playback UI is clean and simple, but can also be used to trim videos in case that's required.
As we mentioned earlier, both phones sport front-facing speakers that produce high-quality stereo sound. The HTC One (M8), however, outpaces the Z2 in that respect. The former's speakers are louder and with much more depth, while the ones on the Xperia Z2 can't reach the same output level and have less presence in the lower register.
Another perk that makes the HTC One (M8) stand above the Z2 is its built-in IR blaster. With its help, HTC's phone turns into an intelligent remote control for your TV and set-top box. The pre-loaded TV application lets you switch channels, adjust the volume, and browse the TV menus, all the while acting as a TV guide (not available in all markets). The Xperia Z2 does not have an infra-red blaster, unlike many other flagship smartphones.
Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 1.28
Sony Xperia Z2 0.29
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 75.2
Sony Xperia Z2 71
17. Sauce (unregistered)
Z2 looks pretty cheap and not classy. The white trim ruins it.
21. emadshiny (Posts: 1142; 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: 1142; 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: 591; 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: 1139; 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: 3682; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
hah 8.8 is pretty high for ultragimmickpixel camera.
11. pwnarena (Posts: 1046; 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: 3682; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Sorry didnt get the point till the edit time passed out. :-)
4. FaisalWibowo11 (Posts: 152; 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: 2026; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
M8 since it offers more internal memory, and up to 128GB ?
10. pwnarena (Posts: 1046; 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: 99; 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: 3682; 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: 1271; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
Id give the M8 the edge in multimedia, boomsound+ higher output headphone jack+ ir blaster.
31. FCB-Eto (Posts: 32; 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: 3682; 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: 354; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)
Z2 overall win for me. I'd buy Z2 over M8.
26. GoBears (Posts: 426; 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: 16; 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: 1002; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)
Z2 anytime of the day. Waitin for z2compact and z3 before upgrading my z1 compact.
32. tiara6918 (Posts: 1922; 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: 1632; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)
4mp on m8,not even close to the Z2.ILL GO WITH Z2..
38. ogee4life (Posts: 27; 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: 32; 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: 22; 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: 228; 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: 9; 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: 9; 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: 9; 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!!