HTC One M9 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 edge: vote for the better smartphone!

Introduction


The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge and HTC One M9 are two of 2015's hottest devices with their seriously impressive looks and top shelf components. These two in particular have been getting lots of attention lately, so we thought we'd toss the question to you, our passionate readers - which one is the better smartphone? Which one is more beautiful to look at, more enjoyable to use, and better for taking photos? We'll examine how the HTC One M9 fares against the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge in the all-important Design, Display, User Experience, and Camera departments, and we'll ask you to vote for your favorite in each category. And a week later, we'll check out how the voting went. May the best one win, folks!

Design


The One M9 follows HTC's well established all-metal design line, and it does so in a safe, reliable way. At first sight, it's a bit difficult to tell the M9 and its predecessor apart, but at some point you will surely notice that the M9 looks more like it took the best elements of the HTC One (M7) and One (M8) for itself. With ancestors like these, there's no way the M9 could possibly turn up ugly.

That was a real possibility for the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, though, because it had a less attractive set of design DNA patterns to tap into. However, Samsung drastically improved its smartphone design throughout the later half of 2014, and the GS6 edge is the culmination of these efforts. The plastic chassis is succeeded by a body constructed out of aluminum and Gorilla Glass 4. The GS6 edge is remarkably attractive, but it has to be noted that the curved side displays - arguably its largest design hallmark - are there mostly for show, not so much for function.

Ergonomics is another important design component. For the One M9, HTC came up with a new, slightly gripper finish to counter its predecessor's slippery tendencies. The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge has a bit of a problem with that, because it's all covered in glass, and that glass is a mean fingerprint magnet too!

As for compactness, with its 5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38in (144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61mm) frame weighing 5.54 oz (157g), the One M9 is hardly the slimmest phone out there, but those of you who like their gadgets with a bit of a heft to them will love it. In comparison, the GS6 edge measures 5.59 x 2.76 x 0.28 inches (142.1 x 70.1 x 7 mm) at a weight of 4.66 oz (132 g). Thus, it's actually not much bigger than the One M9, but it's even thinner and lighter. Here might be the appropriate place to note that the S6 edge manages to squeeze in a fingerprint sensor and heart rate monitor in its case, while the One M9 dons a pair of BoomSound stereo speakers. We'd say both HTC and Samsung used the available space efficiently, although the Galaxy S6 edge has a better screen-to-body ratio - 71.75% - compared to 68.52 % for the One M9.

Take a look at the design photos below, and vote for the smartphone you think is better.


Which one has better design?

HTC One M9
34.37%
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
65.63%

Display


Shunning resolution and pixel density extremes, the HTC One M9 flaunts a decent 5-inch 1080 x 1920 IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. The resolution is more than effective, with details across the board remaining sharp. Regardless of that, Samsung keeps pushing for more pixels with the Galaxy S6 edge's 5.1-inch quad-HD 1440 x 2560 Super AMOLED display and its pin-sharp 576ppi pixel density. Despite being painted with much less pixels, things look great on the One M9's display, but it's hardly the most color-accurate one out there. It exhibits a color temperature of 8100K (the ideal color temperature for a display is generally 6500K), giving off a cold tone and appearing bluish. Samsung, on the other hand, made another example of a color-accurate AMOLED panel. In Adaptive screen mode, which the majority of users opt for, the S6 edge boasts a color temperature of 6800K, slightly colder than the 6550K color temperature of the Galaxy S6, but nowhere near as skewed as the HTC One M9's LCD panel. Still, we’re glad to see the One M9's brightness output has been increased to 508 nits, even if that's a marginal increase over the M8’s 490 nits. Over at Samsung, the S6 edge's display gets illuminated with the force of 553 nits, which is a fair bit above the One M9's capabilities.

Take a look at the display measurements of the One M9 and the GS6 edge, and vote for the display which appeals the most to you.


Which one has a better screen?

HTC One M9
14.84%
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
85.16%

Interface


HTC’s modern Sense UI is an example of meticulous design, approached with the same dedication as its flagship smartphones. HTC Sense 7.0 running on the One M9 isn’t a revolutionary departure, but we’re glad to see HTC kept the same streamlined look for Sense 7.0. Samsung headed in the same general direction too. Since the design rework on the S6 edge is quite thorough, it makes sense that Samsung took a long hard look at the latest TouchWiz too. Like Sense, the interface discards the non-essential and focuses on meaningful features. The result is a familiar, but more direct experience that we're sure you'll find welcome.

We love that HTC made nearly every aspect of the Sense UI customizable – from the theme colors, down to the look of the icons in the apps panel, and even the Android on-screen buttons. Looks-wise, TouchWiz is still distinctively Samsung's, but it bears some of stock Android's visual design elements and has that dynamic flow thanks to Google's hyped-up animations. However, Samsung too pounced on the customization trend and introduced a theming engine that lets users choose color accents, icons, and layouts of core apps. But Sam’s implementation is more superficial, as Sense has a nifty additional feature which lets users generate custom themes from stored images and photos.

Beyond that, HTC Sense includes BlinkFeed in the left most homescreen panel, as well as various Motion Launch gestures, the HTC Sense Home widget, and no redundant features in sight. TouchWiz still has stuff like Air Gestures, Air View, and a handful of other quirky features, but they have been pushed deeper into the settings. Also, TouchWiz still has the upper edge when it comes around to no-bull multitasking, thanks to its Multi Window feature which puts two apps on the screen side by side.

Take a look at the screenshots from both interfaces, and vote for the one you like better.


Which one has a better interface?

HTC One M9
48.18%
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
51.82%

Camera


Armed with a number crunching 20-megapixel auto-focus camera, the HTC One M9 sounds like a serious upgrade over its predecessor and a formidable competitor to the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge. Speaking of the devil, it boasts the same 16-megapixel 1/2.6” Sony IMX240 sensor found in the Galaxy Note 4’s camera, but it’s been modified with an even wider f/1.9 aperture lens. Thus, the the sensor can draw in more light, which proves useful for low light photography. So, does the One M9 sound more capable on paper? Technically yes, but the reality is very different.

The M8’s 20-megapixel camera captures plenty of detail and offers enough flexibility to crop images without much loss in quality. Colors, however, appear washed out at times. Despite that, the M9 is capable of taking some incredible looking photos outdoors, as long as lighting is plentiful, naturally. But the Galaxy S6 edge's camera outputs high quality photos to the practical extent of doubling as a thoroughly impressive point-and-shoot camera. Details are aplenty without being over-sharpened, dynamic range is handled decently, color production is very natural, and the HDR mode rules at bettering the shadows and highlights to draw out details.

Alas, using the M9 for low light photography is, arguably, its biggest disappointment. The camera gives out smudgy shots with limited dynamic range. Brighter areas appear over-exposed, and in HDR mode at night, the M9 appears more prone to blurring due to the longer snapshot time for image processing. Using the flash makes photos appear devoid of color. With its wider f/1.9 aperture lens, the Galaxy S6 edge has none of the One M9's night-time problems. Of course, photo quality gets diminished, but details remain defined in the shots, accompanied by a good white balance setting. The S6 edge doesn’t exhibit much noise either, which is especially welcome.

In the field of video recording, the One M9's upgraded camera gives it the ability to record 4K resolution video, in addition to the usual 1080p vids. Results in 4K are a fair bit sharper, especially since the One M9's 1080p video quality is light on the details and heavy on the softer tones and artifacts. At least, audio recording is pretty clear for the most part, and the exposure adjustment is pretty good too. Ultimately, those favoring video capture will be more confident in the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge's abilities. Not only is there a wide degree of shooting modes, such a UHD, QHD, 1080p at 60 FPS, 1080p at 30 FPS, and 720p at 120 FPS to name a few, but the results from each are consistently great. With 4K resolution video in particular, so much detail gets captured that digital zoom is actually effective for a change. Other notable qualities include smooth auto-focus, minimal artifacting when panning, a gradual exposure adjustment, and clear audio recording. A weak link is 1080p/60FPS video capture, which gives the picture a strange watercolor-like appearance. But thankfully, 1080p/30FPS video recording is free of this problem.

As a whole, the One M9's camera isn’t well-rounded enough to compete against the one on the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge. Take a look at the camera samples below, and vote for the camera you like better. We've included side-by-side crops, as well as original camera samples from both phones - mind you, these take quite a while to load!


Which one has a better camera?

HTC One M9
16.37%
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
83.63%

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)
Galaxy S6 edge
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2600 mAh(26h talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

93 Comments

4. mr.techdude

Posts: 571; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

htc is gonna feel the pain this year, why did they do this to themselves man, my head really hurts from them now. long time htc fan and im actually considering on buying the s6 edege

9. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

HTC used to destroy its flagship every year. Last year they came with a great phone and crappy camera. This year they probably introduces a worse same phone with less s**tty camera

14. Awesoman64

Posts: 292; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

No, its camera is crappier than new.

93. Z3R091 unregistered

No, the camera in good light is better now. But in low light it is crap.

11. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

When your company isn't doing well, the last thing you want to spend tons of money on is R&D. Just saying :P but HTC is pretty screwed this year for sure. M9 is really not a very stand out flagship. I would rather pick the Asus Zenphone 2 for the price over look. Asus is going to do really well in their home country.

30. sniper1087

Posts: 537; Member since: Dec 31, 2011

I still dont see why people like the edge, I rather get the normal 6, is a phone you are going to hold and I thinks it is most comfortable to hold a more ergonomic design that one that the edges feel sharp. There is no real usefulness for the edge design the only reason the note edge didnt sell well either. Now dont get me wrong samsung is trying different things and I do commend them for it, but if you bring a phone stick to your guns, they brought the edge and the normal 6 because they werent too sure the device will sell well, they did the same with the note 4 and edge, which the edge was barely being sold.

41. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Nope if samsung was able to then it was only going to be the edge, just can not make the number needed and they need to make way more than they got even witht he very hi price, if this was the normal s6 price then it easy out sell the iPhone without even trying

90. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

1. The edge looks fantastic. 2. Swiping off screen is nice. Is that not reason enough? Sounds like a good reason to me.

40. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Htc m9 with sd card reader = lag fest after 2 to 3 months of use even without adding card reader and it lag as new Samsung s6 with no sd card reader and ufs 2.0 = 24 months time supper fast as new speed no lag like if new

63. chebner

Posts: 249; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

How many times are going to post the same stupid comment. Is there a flaw in the design of the M9's Micro SD card slot? Had my M8 for a year now, I have a 64GB SD card. My phone isn't laggy. SD card will only add lag if you move apps to the SD card. If you keep them in phone storage, then no lag. Wow, that was tough to figure out. SD card is perfect solution for media storage, very easy to move from one phone to the next. SD memory is cheap, portable, and if you know how to use it right doesn't negatively impact performance. You Samsung fans are no different than iSheep. You lambast other OEMs for not offering or taking options away that Samsung offers, but then when Samsung takes away an option it's the best thing since sliced bread. One of the complaints Samsung fans had about the original ONE M7 was that it didn't have an SD slot. Now when Samsung gets rid of it, "SD storage makes phones laggy.". What a crock of sh!t. This year Samsung does the first major redesign since the S2 or S3 and all Samsung fans have to say about the M9 is that it's the same rehashed design. So what does that make the S4 and S5 then? At least HTC is rehashing a good design. So obviously I'm an HTC fan, but I can at least give credit where credit is due. This year Samsung made the better overall phone. But the margin of victory is no where near as big as you Samsung people are boasting. I still much prefer the design of the M9. The design of the S6 Edge is pretty cool, though I don't like the way it feels in the hand. The design of the S6 is a joke, yes it's new and it's metal, but those are the only good things I see in the new design. Honestly it is a combination of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 4. No originality in the design at all. The only things that differentiate it from an iPhone 6 is the Samsung label on the front, the oval home button, the placement and shape of the back camera and the glass back, but the glass back is a rip off of the iPhone 4 among others. They should have just stuck with the Edge. Samsung obviously has the better Camera but the M9 is fully adequate in most realistic situations. Performance wise, as is typical Samsung has mostly better benchmarks but in real world use you'll never notice a difference. This year I have to give the screen nod to Samsung, but just for color accuracy only, QHD is useless. I don't know how HTC screwed up their color, but then again the color accuracy issues on the M9 are nowhere near the cartoonish and ice cold color spectrum of Galaxies past. My biggest surprise in the S6 and dissappointment in the M9 is battery life. I figured with 1080p the M9 would have another jump in battery life comparable to last year. Apparently the SD810 isn't nearly as efficient as it is hyped up to be. I still think the S6 would be a much better phone with a 1080p screen, it would look just as good, but even better battery life. UI HTC all the way.

48. j10oreo

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 11, 2015

Have an m9, and outside of the camera. Everything works beautifully and I do not have any buyer's remorse despite everyone raging over a camera. The user experience is really good, but I will admit that I'm perfectly fine with it because I do not use my camera heavily, my girlfriend tends to take all the pictures (iphone). Everything else, especially sense, is great.

91. onenation55

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 01, 2015

I agree with you as I am a long htc fan but I am buying a s6 due to the camera. If htc would have made a camera on par with the s6 then i would have hands down got the m9 but as it stands the camera is terrible.

5. Fallen1

Posts: 288; Member since: Nov 14, 2014

I love HTC and I think they really dropped the ball here. Even though they did fix the obvious bugs of the M7 and M8. They still released what the M8 should have been

12. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

I wonder they are following Apple's footstep and doing major changes every other flagships and whatever flagship is in between just become the refresher of last year's flagship.

15. You_Dont_Say

Posts: 431; Member since: Jan 26, 2015

Problem is that you can't do this when you are not Apple or Samsung.

20. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

So true. Especially all other smaller makers are right on HTC's tail right now. If they don't bring their A game soon, they'll get knock right out of the game.

45. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

They are out of the game, last year sites was saying best phone , best looking phone, now it's just sound better but just as load as the s6. Hm its game over, out of busness

17. Awesoman64

Posts: 292; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

First of all, Apple doesn't bring major changes everytime. They just bring major design and hardware every 2 years while giving its "s" series of smartphones a hardware boost. Still got your point though. Kudos to you:D

18. JaneChenLong

Posts: 374; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Next year is HTC turn to unveil their project ZERO. Then after that, it will be Nokia (the real one) Then after that SONY or LG.

19. Awesoman64

Posts: 292; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

HTC=No Nokia=f**k YES

21. maherk

Posts: 6879; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You know that haters are votinf against the S6 Edge when there are 24 haters(so far) voting for the m9's camera lol

42. seven7dust unregistered

well no , As you know I'm not a Samsung guy myself , not a fan of their products per se, but I voted for the s6 camera and it's winning 85% of the votes , what more do you want? I also voted for the samsung s6 camera over the iPhone camera , even though we all know the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world according to flickr n Instagram. So no hating here.

22. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

It's like comparing cat vs tiger. LoL S6 edge blows HTC M9 out of water!

23. Awesoman64

Posts: 292; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Cat vs tiger Different size,same attitude

24. AppleJuice

Posts: 145; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

It's more like leopard vs tiger.

26. kabukijoe

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 06, 2010

I think I'm going to go with none of the above. The S6 looks really nice, but I see waaay too many Galaxys with charging issues in my tech center to feel comfortable getting one. It's by far the most consistent and most common complaint hear. Normally I'd be all about the HTC, I have the M8 and love it. Their devices never gave me any issues, they perform well and it feels like a quality product in the hand. However the M9 doesn't seem like enough of an upgrade from the M8 to make me really care to get it. They could have at least updated the look of it, by doing the iPhone thing and releasing the exact same thing with a few minor enhancements is disappointing. I think I might wait for the next Nexus...

46. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Hm, why they removed the removale battery and changed the battery tech as it Was crap

73. Venkatramanan

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

It is taking so long to realize this for you and Samsung. All other OEMs have already realize and put non removable battery already.

78. Awesoman64

Posts: 292; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Basically the S6 is made to compete with the iPhone 6. Samsung is proven to be a scared pussycat.

35. ChowMein

Posts: 76; Member since: Jan 01, 2015

no competition. S6 edge is better.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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