HTC One M9 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: in-depth specs comparison


Two flagship smartphones. Lots of metal. Premium looks. Hot-shot specs. This is the Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 in a battle for your attention, love, and wallet. Both are among the best 2015 mobile technology has to offer with their heavyweight specs, high quality builds, and software designed to put hundreds of hours of productivity and entertainment under your fingertips. It's about time we put these two against each other for an in-depth specs comparison. Enjoy!

Design


The Samsung Galaxy S6 is a showcase of metal and glass that certainly looks very alluring to the eye. It upgrades the Galaxy S series' immediately recognizable, and often copied look with a blend of premium materials that redefines the devices' look for an age in which cheap plastic no longer cuts it for the average user. The Galaxy S6 measures 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm and weights in at 138g, making for a thin and portable device, despite its sizeable display. It's also one of the few smartphones remaining to have a physical Home button below the display. Tradition and a fingerprint reader to empower a new payment system - that's two solid reasons for keeping the Home button around!



To face against this formidable foe, the HTC One M9 relies on the same stunning good looks that happened to define HTC's all-metal design as iconic. Simply put, there's no other Android flagship which comes close to that machined aluminum look - so pure, it doesn't have a shard of glass on it! In addition, the HTC One M9 flaunts a pair of stereo speakers that make it a much better boombox than the Galaxy S6 ever hoped to be! Dimensions-wise, the HTC One M9 measures 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61mm and weights in at 157g, making it a heavyweight contestant in comparison with the Samsung Galaxy S6.


Display


To make another fine example of its display manufacturing prowess, Samsung chose to outfit the Galaxy S6 with a 5.1-inch 1440x2560 resolution AMOLED display which racks up an outrageous pixel density of 576PPI. It looks stunning in person, but so does the HTC One M9 with its 5-inch 1080p screen (441 pixels per inch) which sets the GS6's as complete overkill. But let's not argue over this tired case again. Until we get the chance to run our display tests and compare numbers, rest assured that both fantastic flagships come with brilliant displays that will put a whole world's worth of color and light underneath your fingertips.


Processor and memory


Both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 showcase the best of 2015's processing technology. In the former's case, a Samsung-made Exynos 7420 octa-core SoC runs the main parade, paired with a hearty 3GB of LPDDR 4 RAM. In addition, Sammy threw in UFS 2.0 flash storage that's touted as being 2.7 times faster than what most smartphones - the HTC One M9 included - currently have at disposal. In the Galaxy S6, you will find either 32, 64, or 128GB of the stuff, but you can't add more via microSD.



As for the M9, this one's a Qualcomm-powered beast in entirety, running on the US chip-maker's latest Snapdragon 810 octa-core silicon, and paired with 3GB of RAM. It also has 32GB of expandable storage on tap.


Interface


The Samsung Galaxy S6 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop skinned with the South Korean maker's renowned TouchWiz UI. Samsung refined the interface for its 2015 hero phone, opting to further simplify its once confusing menus and come up with a cohesive design language. While traces of TouchWiz's troubled past will remain for some time to come - it's no easy task designing something as complex as an user interface inside a huge company - Samsung noticeably tightened the skin and brought upon a welcome improvements in aesthetics, navigation, and response speed. Comparing the latest TouchWiz to the one we may recall from the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 is like comparing night - a rough one, at that - and day.



How does TouchWiz compare to the new Sense 7, though? Well, although they both worship the modern flat style, the two are vastly different. HTC has a very clear concept for its user experience, and its approach to functionality is less "let's please everyone" and more "let's give everyone something to remember". You remember BlinkFeed and Zoe, right? Well, they are coming back, and so are those beautiful menus whose response speed rivals that of iOS on the iPhone 6. In the end, both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 provide a rich and modern user experience. And if there's something about them that irks you, feel free to personalize the UI to your heart's content thanks to Samsung and HTC's newfound appreciation for extensive theming, or switch to a completely different launcher. Your call!



Finally, let's not forget about the Samsung Galaxy S6's fingerprint reader and heart-rate sensor - two nuggets of additional functionality that the HTC One M9 does not offer.

Camera


The comparison becomes really interesting here! For starters, although those 20MP camera rumors didn't pan out for the Samsung Galaxy S6, the phone came out with a respectable 16MP flash unit that, at the very least, should be able to match the Galaxy Note 4's wonderful daylight and low-light performance. The camera sensor also has extras such as Auto Real-time High Dynamic Range, Smart Optical Image Stabilization, and IR Detect White Balance, which combined, will provide a superb photography experience.



However, the HTC One M9 comes more than well prepared to brawl the Samsung Galaxy S6 in our of our camera comparisons! Waving a final goodbye to the UltraPixel camera and relocating it to its new duty as a selfie snapper, HTC dealt away with duo-cam gimmicks as well, and did what the people were longing for - it placed a huge 20MP camera on the M9's back. Now that's what we call making amendments! This cam has it all - sapphire cover lens, big f/2.2 aperture to make the most of the available light in dark situations, and a camera app to die for! In addition, both flagships shoot 4K video like they invented it.



Battery life


The Samsung Galaxy S6 will have to make do with a 2550mAh battery, which seems just a little bit wimpy considering the sharp screen and fast processor that shall prey upon its electrons! But we will draw our conclusions after we put the Galaxy S6 through our proprietary battery test. We're actually optimistic, as we saw Samsung do wonders with the specs-intensive Galaxy Note 4, which lasted longer than a workday of non-stop on-screen action.

As for the HTC One M9, its thicker build allowed for a bulkier 2840 mAh unit. We have very optimistic expectations towards its battery life, because the smartphone has a less power-hungry screen, while benefiting from a modern processor and a sufficiently large battery unit.

Expectations


With wide availability across major US carriers, retailers, and a global release, we expect both the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 to sell like hotcakes! Both are very attractive, well-rounded smartphones that are worth your hard-earned cash if you're after the best Android experience and nothing else. The Galaxy S6 will start selling in April, while the HTC One M9 could come a bit earlier - you might be able to snag one by mid-March already, if all the cards line up right. So, which one's your pick?

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
  • 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 2550 mAh(23h 3G talk time)

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38 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

S6 Edge all the way.

4. usermaxthon

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 20, 2015

This article isn't about S6 edge and M9. This is a comparison between S6 and M9. Looks - M9 still wins. Spec - S6 obliterates M9. But M9 has some critical advantage over S6 like microSD slot support, bigger battery. HTC is really good with their battery life. I know Samsung is also good with battery life. Let's see how Samsung optimizes their battery life with such a small battery life.

6. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 919; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

Bigger battery doesn't make better battery life.

11. Supraman21

Posts: 467; Member since: Jun 09, 2010

Exactly! The M8 had similar battery results as the S5 even with a smaller battery.

21. pitzy

Posts: 42; Member since: May 15, 2014

you're joking no? s5 blew the m8 in terms of battery life, you can find the comparaison on PA.

23. ToxiD

Posts: 54; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Samsung blows everything on PA lol

35. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

S5: 7:38 M8: 7:12 26 min difference or 6% better. Hardly blowing it. That being said, I have an S5 because of the swappable battery, Micro SD, and IP certification. All reasons it will possibly be my last Samsung.

37. pitzy

Posts: 42; Member since: May 15, 2014

what are these number for? talk time: s5 (lollipop) - 27h talk time: m8 (lollipop) - 14h for me, twice better is kind of mind blowing! the only category where the m8 is better is web surfing (9:39h vs. 12:29h)

26. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

make it: Bigger battery doesn't ALWAYS make better battery life.

5. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 919; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

Can I ask why the edge over the S6? Just curious.

15. limporgyuk

Posts: 355; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Agreed, nobody cares one iota about the standard S6, its all about the edge.

17. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

I love both devices but my heart loves GALAXY S6 more. Samsung has a lot of surprises, new features and technology. Good news: Samsung fixed GALAXY's cluttered UI + headphone jack at the bottom. Bad news: fingerprint magnet. I have a sweaty hands. HUHUHU. HEHEHE. #INNOVATION. CUTTING EDGE TECH.

27. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Sorry but does phone area have any idea about tech, they just said the htc go a less power screen then the s6, sorry but that not the case pleas upte your blog post, 2k does not have any problems with samsung oled screens and I be think will take way less power then htc screen being used.

39. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

I usually prefer Samsung, but HTC just did better this time. It stuck with what it did well, fixed what it didn't (camera) and gives us better battery life and UI. Samsung shot itself in the foot with taking away various things (removeable battery, microsd slot, waterproofing) whereas HTC didn't take anything away from the previous edition, everything it has is equivalent or better than the previous model.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 30899; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

M9 definitely in looks by a million miles. Everything else is tit for tat. I'd take an M9 over it any day though. Sammy dropped the ball here a bit.

7. maherk

Posts: 6749; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Of course you would man!! I love your insecurity though, keep it up ;)

14. limporgyuk

Posts: 355; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Agreed, plus Sense 7 looks much better than the 'new' touchwiz. I would take the curved cold aluminium over fingerprint magnet glass any day.

3. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

the looks aren't much appealing

8. SremmLife

Posts: 30; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

I'd like the M9 better if it had OIS and a fingerprint sensor, while I'd like the S6 better if it had Boomsound and a 1080p display. Both are probably gonna slay

29. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Why I the 1080p unlike htc where lcd is crap above 1080p it jousts gets better and better for oled the more your add, there is no batterry problem with oled and the s6 as. Way better gpu then the htc m9 to cover it

36. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

As a person with 20/20 (sadly not blessed with better) I can't tell the difference with my friend's 2k vs my S5's 1080. I'll take less work for the processor.

9. Derekjeter

Posts: 1459; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I still don't like those ugly icons. The phone looked amazing in that platinum color.

24. abdbar94

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Agreed. The touchwiz icons are awful. Would have been a perfect device otherwise. Plus having an SD card slot would have been nice too tbh

30. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

You do have themes , try again

10. vuyonc

Posts: 1089; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

No MicroSD slot :( so close to perfection, Samsung. HTC did a good job with the M9 too hopefully the thermal throttling issues affected only LG.

20. surethom

Posts: 1634; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

If they had not made it so thin they would have roomier Sd card slot & a bigger battery :(

31. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

The sd card as been removed due txt he speed of the mem being used I the phone, it will turn it I tot he lag fest even more so then my note4 whnw using sd card, just removed it and now all my images load in sec, sd card I old tech when all phones had 16gb, it will now take you longer to install sd card I to your phone and display all images on your htc m9 then if I transsfer the same images to my s6 and then displays them on the included software

13. newbey123

Posts: 699; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

HTC hands down. Good job HTC. Best android available.

34. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

Keep saying that to yourself.. poor sammy hater..

16. jellmoo

Posts: 2541; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

The M9 falls victim to a bit of "same old, same old", but they managed to work on two of their big problems: camera and device size. Still, it's a little hard to get excited for a device that didn't change much. Samsung made some nice changes, especially in design. But, getting rid of the micro SD Card is a bit of a kick to the sack. They're offering multiple storage options though, and if they price them in a reasonable manner it might not be so bad. The elephant in the room though is the battery. Upping the resolution and shrinking the battery seems like a terrible idea. Time will tell how the battery fares in real world usage, but this is a huge red flag for me...

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