Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M8: first look


With the Samsung Galaxy S6 fresh out of the door, we'll take a look at how a last year's flagship smartphone - the HTC One M8 - compares to a product that's been through a year of innovation after the M8's MWC 2014 announcement.


The Galaxy S6 is unusualy design-conscious for a Galaxy phone: it’s slim, lightweight, and made of premium materials (metal for the frame and glass on both front and back). With these build qualities, the Galaxy S6 stands up mighty fine to the HTC One (M8), which we think is 2014's handsomest Android smartphone. Speaking of the devil, he comes fully clad in shiny gun metal-grey aluminum, which makes it a tad bulkier and heavier than Samsung's crowd pleaser. But for all its design qualities, the HTC One (M8) can be unwieldy due to its tall, slippery metal body.

As you can clearly see, the Galaxy S6 lacks those front-firing stereo speakers drilled on the HTC One (M8)'s upper and bottom bezels. But Samsung's flagship has thinner, more refined bezels, and gives a better overall look at the smartphone's centerpiece - the display.


With a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 1440 x 2560-pixel (Quad HD) resolution walking the front of the parade, the Galaxy S6 could realistically grab the mobile display crown of 2015. Not only is this screen impeccably sharp, but Samsung has improved the brightness levels too, with the screen reportedly reaching up to 600 nits!

The HTC One M8, on the other hand, comes with a 5-inch 1080p display that we fondly remember for its sharpness, vibrant colors, sufficient outdoor brightness level, and touchscreen responsiveness. It's an excellent display that definitely stands up to 2015's flagship mobile display material, even if its color reproduction and pixel density have been outclassed by considerable margins.

Interface: TouchWiz vs HTC Sense 6

For the Samsung Galaxy S6 and its curved screen compadre, Samsung put its TouchWiz Android interface on yet another diet. It seems even less cluttered now, more streamlined and overall cohesive. Of course, the typically Korean cheerful, jolly look to everything still stays. It's friendly, we like it.

HTC Sense, which runs on the One (M8), is a very streamlined, sleek user interface that's quite tight in all departments - visual, usability, apps and software features. It's a very focused, cleverly thought out experience that manages to please the eye without getting in the way of usability.

Processor and Performance

The Galaxy S6 features a 14nm octa-core chipset that is the first of its kind in the mobile industry, according to the company. Samsung did not say that it is using its homegrown Exynos 7420 processor, but we consider this a public secret at that point. It is paired with 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a powerful ARM Mali T760 GPU. Our first benchmarks have shown this configuration has seriously impressive capabilities, reporting excellent results in processing and graphics performance.

As for the HTC One M8, it's still a very sporty smartphone with its Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM that's just as capable as running the latest graphically-intensive games or browsing content-rich websites. Both the S6 and the One M8 come with 32GB of memory in their base models, storage-wise, but the Galaxy S6 has the advantage of really fast UFS 2.0 memory, whose read and write speeds are through the roof - better than any smartphone right now!

AnTuTu Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 31075
Samsung Galaxy S6 58382
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 28.3
Samsung Galaxy S6 37
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 11
Samsung Galaxy S6 16
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 2613
Samsung Galaxy S6 5127
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 888
Samsung Galaxy S6 1440


Samsung is a strong player in the mobile camera department, and by the looks of it, the Galaxy S6 will be a photography force to be reckoned with! The camera resolution stays at 16 MP, but it sees the addition of HDR, infrared white balance, and tracking auto-focus for the video camera. Samsung also upgraded the camera module with a wide, F1.9 aperture that could deliver better low-light image quality than that of the Galaxy S5, whose aperture size was F2.2. In addition, the camera app itself now resides permanently in the smartphone's RAM memory, and launches in a near instant with a double-press of the home button. As for the front cam, it's a 5MP unit.

The HTC One M8 has a much different camera solution - it's a 4MP camera with UltraPixel technology - that is, its camera sensor has bigger-sized pixels than regular ones, and they end up soaking in more light. It also has a second camera that's capable of some neat, but overall gimmicky photo tricks. HTC's bet on the UltraPixel camera for its flagship smartphone's main photography solution didn't pay off in the two-year run it had, which is why the manufacturer repositioned it on the front in its current flagship phone, the One M9. The One (M8)'s front cam is a 5MP unit as well - and curiously enough, it takes bigger photos than the main camera ever did.

Battery life

The Samsung Galaxy S6 packs a 2550mAh unit, which sounds a bit less reassuring than we'd like it to. However, Samsung is giving it a pretty good prognosis! It should be enough for 12 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 11 hours of browsing over LTE, up to 13 hours of media playback, and up to 49 hours of music playback with the display turned off. But still, we'd rather let our proprietary battery test be the final authority on the matter. In addition, the Galaxy S6 comes with fully embedded wireless charging, working with any wireless pad on the market that supports WPC and PMA standards. Not only that, but Samsung also developed a fast wired charging solution that's able to give you 4 hours of usage after just 10 minutes on the charger. Once again, we'll have to see about that in practice.

The HTC One M8 has a battery of similar capacity - it's 2600mAh, which is good for 7 hours and 12 minutes of constant, connected on-screen usage according to our battery test result. HTC rated it for 20 hours of talk time and 496 hours of standby time with 3G connectivity. Both batteries are non user-replaceable.


If you are researching the HTC One M8 in 2015, this means you're after a last year flagship that looks great and performs very well in all major departments compared to the Galaxy S6, with the exception of camera. With the price cut that should follow after the HTC One M9's announcement, the One (M8) will be more attractive than ever before, if you are willing to live with its imperfections - the slippery surface and the 4-megapixel photos.

Related phones

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)
One (M8)
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 4 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(20h 3G talk time)



1. ChowMein

Posts: 76; Member since: Jan 01, 2015

are you sure that's not the M9 you're using there?

2. rantao333

Posts: 346; Member since: May 21, 2013

to be honest, i prefer HTC m9 more thought samsung did a good job in improving their design, but they still have miles to go. and Htc decide not to jump in the higher pixel bandwagon also promise significant performance boost under snapdragon810 with 1080p. samsung using mali t760 to power 2k screen will gain nothing from the previous model. as for the camera, i think both also will take great pictures. samsung did edge m9 with better & faster memory, but whether will it transform into actual benefit to the user remain unknown.

3. Mutation.X

Posts: 185; Member since: Feb 09, 2015

Both looks kinda ugly. The S4 and M7 designs look way better. No more sharp corners, which makes a device sexy. Look at the Lenovo Vibe: super sexy and gorgeous slick. Both fail design.

4. Industriality

Posts: 131; Member since: Sep 08, 2014

Huge f**kin black bezels

5. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Lol the S6 looks way better.

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.