HTC One M9 vs Apple iPhone 6: first look

Apple listened and delivered with the iPhone 6, evident by sales figures and the constant demand for the prized smartphone. There’s no doubt that it’s the phone to beat at the moment, but there’s a new phone lurking about that’s hoping to give Apple’s prized stallion some competition. The HTC One M9 is gearing up for a launch, where it’s obviously expected to tangle with several flagships in the space at the moment – the iPhone 6 included, naturally. HTC has spent a solid year perfecting and fine-tuning its latest flagship smartphone, but the ultimate test will be in how it’ll compare against the iPhone 6.


When the iPhone 6 was announced, its design drew many comparisons to the HTC One M8 – more so in how they offer metal bodies broken up in the back by those spacers. With the arrival of the HTC One M9, however, it doesn’t really try to outshine the iPhone 6 in the size department, since it’s still thicker and heavier.

There’s no arguing the premium aesthetics between the two flagships, as their metal constructions prove that point all the way home, but the iPhone 6 is remarkably more comfortable to hold in the hand. Of course, that’s attributed to its lighter weight, more streamlined chassis, and the fact that it has a seamless design – whereas with the HTC One M9, its “dual finish” design leaves this gap on its sides that feels rather sharp to hold.


Quite frankly, there’s nothing terribly new with the HTC One M9’s display – a 5.0-inch 1080 x 1920 screen. That’s not too terrible in this direct comparison, considering that the iPhone 6 features a 4.7-inch 750 x 1334 Retina Display. Technically on paper, it’s the HTC One M9 that outshines the iPhone 6 when it comes to pixel density, since it has the upper hand at 441 ppi, as opposed to the iPhone 6’s count of 326 ppi. Despite that, just briefly looking at the two, we can’t complain about their equal visibility from a normal viewing distance.

Employing LCD technology, the two offer good outdoor visibility and color reproductions that are on the natural side – though, we do notice that it’s the iPhone 6 that shines brighter. Of course, the HTC One M9 that we’ve been checking out is a pre-production model, so there’s still time for improvements.


Ah yes, it’s that age old comparison between Android and iOS – something that’s never-ending when you think about it. Sure, the two are totally different from one another, but the two follow the principle of being straightforward and to the point. Visually, though, we’d give HTC Sense 7.0 the thumbs up for its more modern styling – and that there’s an unprecedented level of personalization that iOS can’t match.

However, what makes iOS so appealing to the masses is its simplistic operation. Most folks just don’t want to be bothered by having so many software features at their disposal – choosing instead something that’s uncomplicated. On the other end of the spectrum, HTC Sense 7.0 enhances its sensing powers by delivering contextual suggestions in the lock screen, as well as a new smart launcher widget that appropriately changes based on what apps you use.

Processor and Memory

Apple has always proven the notion that specs don’t necessarily dictate the performance of a phone. That’s true just by checking out the iPhone 6, which is powered by a 64-bit based dual-core 1.4GHz Apple A8 processor with 1GB of RAM. In comparison, the HTC One M9 seems like a beast on paper with its 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC with 3GB of RAM. When it comes to speed and snappiness, there’s no denying that the two offer plenty of it – so it’s nice to see them operating at a higher level than some other phones.

We’re all familiar that the iPhone 6 is available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities, but the HTC One M9 is going to be offered out of the gates with 32GB of internal storage. Unlike Apple’s pride and joy, which doesn’t offer any sort of expansion, the HTC One M9 features an always handy microSD card slot to supplement its amount.

GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 48.9
HTC One M9 49
GFXBench T-Rex HD off-screen Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 42.3
HTC One M9 50
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 25.8
HTC One M9 24
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 2927
HTC One M9 3738
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 1630
HTC One M9 1209
GFXBench Manhattan off-screen Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 17.8
HTC One M9 24


Complaints centered around the HTC One M8’s “UltraPixel” camera, so HTC went ahead to bless the M9 with a number crunching 20-megapixel camera. Going from 4-megapixels to this is undoubtedly drastic, but the iPhone 6’s 8-megapixel iSight camera has proven itself in being one of the best – and that’s despite being nowhere close to the higher count cameras in some other flagships.

In fact, the iPhone 6’s 8-megapixel camera has proven itself to be a versatile thing – capable of taking stellar shots in all sorts of lighting conditions. We’ve snapped several photos with the HTC One M9’s 20-megapixel camera, but we’re not quite convinced by the results just yet, so we’re hopeful that things will get better when the final product rolls along.

Where HTC definitely makes significant advances over the iPhone 6 is in the amount of cool photo effects Sense 7.0 offers. To that end, there’s just no comparison because we find more fun in what HTC has delivered with the experience in beautifying our photos.


Apple continues to dominate the space with the iPhone 6, it’s just on a level that no other smartphone can reach at the moment. For HTC, they’ve had a year to really prep the HTC One M9 to not only be a great Android smartphone, but a great smartphone in general. Obviously, they’ve made some changes to the phone, both physically and in the software, but it’s going to need to run on all cylinders if HTC expects it to make a dent in Apple’s dominance.

When it comes to design, there’s no denying the obvious that the HTC One M9 continues to be a darling of a gem, as its industrial styling in combination with its premium aesthetics make it a beautiful thing. But then again, the iPhone 6 is every bit the same – with the exception that it’s thinner, lighter, and more compact.

Related phones

One M9
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP / 4 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2840 mAh(21.7h 3G talk time)
iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1810 mAh(14h 3G talk time)



2. Retrospective1

Posts: 45; Member since: Feb 24, 2015

Cue people saying HTC copied Apple with design. The Irony boy.

7. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Troll fail.

3. Derekjeter

Posts: 1515; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

That iPhone 6 plus is looking pretty good to M8 users right about now. Lol.

4. delavecmaister

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

i really hate that the front design of the m9 is just look like the m8

5. ankiipankii

Posts: 81; Member since: Jun 21, 2013

i am going to buy iphone 6+ now

8. delavecmaister

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

smart man i have the iphone 6 and it is just joy to use it

6. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Damn suddenly the iphone looks kinda pale and sad .... nice work HTC.

9. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The M9 looks better from a glance but once you see how much fatter it is compared to the iphone 6, it goes downhill from there.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.