HTC One M9 vs iPhone 6: which phone is faster? (real-life speed comparison)

Among the many things the iPhone is loved for are its speed, responsiveness, and reliability. The phone, despite not rocking tons of RAM and a gazillion-core processor, performs so well that it can put many of its high-end rivals to shame. HTC's latest flagship, the HTC One M9, is no slouch either. Just like its predecessors, it runs swiftly and fluidly, without lags and slowdowns ruining the user experience. Is it faster than the iPhone 6, however? Well, that's what we're about to find out.

The setup

This speed comparison between the HTC One M9 and the iPhone 6 follows the testing model set by our previous comparisons. In a nutshell, we picked a bunch of apps which we launched on both phones, side by side, and observed their performance. We measured the start-up times for each pair of apps and gave a point to the phone that loaded it faster.

Of course, we wanted to keep the race as fair as possible for the two handsets, and to do that, we had the HTC One M9 and iPhone 6 connected to the same Wi-Fi network with speedy access to the internet. Also, they were configured to use the same accounts for email, contacts and other services. Before being loaded with our test apps, the iPhone 6 and the HTC One M9 were reset to their factory state.

The results

Unsurprisingly, the HTC One M9 started the race with a bang. Native apps like the phonebook, the calendar, and the dialer were first on the list; HTC's flagship handled these marvelously, as always. Its short and subtle transition animations make the whole UI feel snappy and responsive.

On the other hand, the iPhone shined with the nearly instant launch of its camera. We were also impressed by the swift operation of its web browser, Safari, which performed better than Chrome running on the One M9. In addition, popular third-party apps like Twitter and Instagram were noticeably faster on Apple's smartphone. At the end, the iPhone 6 got the higher score, although it wasn't exactly leading by a mile. 

All in all, both the iPhone 6 and the HTC One M9 excel when it comes to overall UI smoothness and responsiveness. According to our testing, however, the iPhone 6 can be considered a tad faster than the One M9 when it comes to real-world performance. Of course, the HTC One M9 is not a slow phone by any means, but it's going to take further improvements in the way it handles apps if it is to beat Apple's finest.

Software versions of the smartphones used:
HTC One M9: Android 5.0.2, software number 1.32.401.15
iPhone 6: iOS 8.3

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)



1. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

In fact M9 is even slower than M8. HTC cheated in benchmark but in reality it's slow.

39. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

M9 vs M8 speedtest

70. Jack58221

Posts: 157; Member since: Feb 23, 2013

So, the M9 has 2 quad cores... Is it using the more power or the energy efficient set for most of the YouTube clip. Also his during sucks. The M9 clearly won 2 that he gave credit to the M8, and all ties went to the M8.

47. singhkaran9830 unregistered

They might have cheated in benchmarks or else it would have been the throttling of SD810 which might have kicked in when testing the phones as it mostly throttles when running the benchmark 2nd time.

53. engineer-1701d unregistered

why are they using chrome not default htc browser, or use chrome on both.

55. Simona unregistered

Hey guys .. Just watched on internet how two idiots from USA almost killed each other bcos both been arguing which phone is better iphone or samsung So that is why they here arguing like mentals .. Can't believe they taking these sht things extremely seriously .. God

2. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Stop using chrome and the M9 will be as fast as the iphone 6 ..

4. vincelongman

Posts: 5720; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

True, we should use the stock browsers for each phone Since Google doesn't optimize Chrome, but the OEMs do optimize their own browsers e.g.

3. drunkenjay

Posts: 1696; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

do these times really matter? most phones are all speedy.

22. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

the same question as do we need flagship phone when midrange phone is enough?

28. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Good point! When I saw this article, I thought I was back in 2009 lol! This was back when smartphone e speed test were common and smartphones were still climbing the ladder trying to get faster. Now, it's like the last thing I think about when picking up a new phone. For 99% of what most people do with their phones, you can't even tell the difference anymore. Smartphones will always be useful and needed, but it's nothing new and exciting anymore.

36. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

In my opinion we don't need flagships since about 2 years. Phones like Optimus G and M7 were already enough with only drawbacks being batteries and cameras. From that point the only thing that evolves are numbers.

64. nodes

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

LG G2 has a sweet balance of performance and battery life.

45. Tanujtiwari

Posts: 84; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

I don't believe this speed test. It should be done with continuous recording. Who knows they didn't open any extra apps in the m9 while pausing the recording

51. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

well apple's twitter, Facebook and YouTube apps aren't designed the same as there android counterparts. the apps on ios use less ram and they have less detail than the android versions. so they load a lot faster on ios. you have to remember that apps on ios are better optimized and are specifically made to run on the hardware inside the iPhone, ipad, and ipod. there are only 23 different devices running ios compared to the almost 19 thousand different devices running android. so developers can quit easily tailor make their app or apps to get the full potential from all 23 ios devices. its sad the same cant be said about android but there are just to many devices to have apps tailor made for each and everyone.

46. samystic

Posts: 242; Member since: Mar 25, 2012

i believe the lag people talk about is seconds delay... talk about impatience... i also believe more expensive phones should concentrate on battery, screen quality and hardware (mostly sensors) opening Contacts on S6 Edge gave me a 'lag'... whats the point if i pay INR 50000+ for it??

5. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

I think these kind of tests are useless since the s800. The difference is noticeable between a s800 and s801/805 but only if you compare them side by side. The m9 starts most of the apps slower than my z3tc or my wifes z3 but if you use the phone i think it won't matter at all. Same goes for the iphone and probably the s6 didn't had the chance to test that phone but i have high hopes for the new touchwiz.

6. ama3654

Posts: 295; Member since: Nov 27, 2012

And people moan about touchwiz. Touchwiz is quicker and more responsive than both these phones on the note 4, let alone the Galaxy S6.

11. jellmoo

Posts: 2620; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

No. It isn't. While not really noticeable on it's own, side by side I can see most apps open quicker on my wife's iPhone 6 than my Note 4. That being said, some things are *really* slow on my Note 4. Pressing the Recent Apps softkey takes ages for results to show. Moving to the Gallery from within the camera app also is very, very slow. My device isn't an anomaly in this either. There are plenty of posts on places like XDA covering these issues.

24. jellmoo

Posts: 2620; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I have no frame of reference in comparison to an HTC One M9, only an iPhone 6. Regardless, that comparison still doesn't bring up the two serious speed issues I raised.

32. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

I donĀ“t know about the two anomalies you meantion, but in general the Note 4 is able to beat the iphone 6.

44. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

He also has a speed test between the S6, the M9 and the iPhone 6. Galaxy S6 vs. HTC One M9 vs. iPhone 6 Speed Test:

48. jellmoo

Posts: 2620; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

It's possible that he's getting the better speed because of it being the exynos version. My SD 805 carrying Note 4 is very capable (not taking anything away from it) but my wife's iPhone 6 is just a smidge faster with most apps.

49. singhkaran9830 unregistered

Agree with you.Even on my S4 opening galley and recents take forever to load,I am on stock lollipop,definitely caused by poor optimization of touchwiz.

54. thegeneral7010

Posts: 437; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

Just try the exynos variant of note 4 i ensure u that it's much faster than iphone 6 plus.

66. nodes

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

i have Note 4 running on Exynos. scrolling on Line messenger chat room choppy as hell.

56. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Might be for the first month until it decides to eat up every resource available.

58. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I'm six months in on my Note 4. Zero slow down. But you get an E for effort.

65. nodes

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

it's not only about speed. UI smoothness, scrolling performance matter a lot. for example, Note 4 stutters a lot and scrolling is choppy. i don't know what Samsung has done with that phone, it should be a beast.

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