The new wave of Android phones is coming: Samsung, HTC and LG will unveil their best phones soon, and while none of them is official, a lot of information and images have already leaked out. And when there is so much smoke, there must be fire.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and HTC One M10 (codenamed 'Perfume') in particular are two of the most powerful phones that will soon enter direct competition.
It's about time we compared the Galaxy S7 versus the HTC One M10 in a cold-blooded specs battle to see what each brings to the table.
Which phone are you more excited about?
Samsung Galaxy S7 | S7 Edge
HTC One M10 Perfume
#1: Design and display
Samsung made a giant leap forward with its design last year when it unveiled the glass and metal Galaxy S6. After years of boring plastic phones, Samsung reinvented itself. The Galaxy S7 won't be a change of that gigantic scale, but it does not need to be: it will bring slight improvements that further refine the design of the S6: it will add curves around the edges of the phone so that it fits more comfortably in the hand and it will reduce the size of the camera hump (but the camera will still stick out the back slightly).
It's worth noting that Samsung will unveil both the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge at MWC, with the main difference being that the Edge version features dual-edge screen, but also a larger, 5.5" display and bigger battery.
HTC, on the other hand, has always been a front-runner when it comes to design. It was among the very first to use metal in its phones and its industrial design has won praise, but at the same time, HTC is guilty of adding that dreadful additional raw below the display with no buttons and no functional use except to hold the HTC logo.
The HTC One M10 will deal with this annoyance, but it will also be a big departure from the current design of the flagship M series. Yes, it will still be made out of metal, but gone are the dual front-firing speakers, and the looks of the new M10 are expected to resemble those on the One A9 a lot. For the first time on the M series, a physical home key appears right below the display, and chances are it will feature a fingerprint scanner, a feature that has become essential overtime.
When it comes to display, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are said to have a 5.1" and 5.5" ones, both with Quad HD resolution, and both - naturally - with the latest generation Super AMOLED panels. HTC, on the other hand, is said to use a 5.2" Quad HD display on the One M10, but it's not yet clear whether it'd be an AMOLED or LCD panel.
#2: Performance: Snapdragon 820 and a sprinkle of Exynos
In the United States, both the Galaxy S7 and HTC One M10 are expected to come with Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 820 system chip. Benchmarks from the Snapdragon 820 have already surfaced and it's a beast: the first custom 64-bit CPU core by Qualcomm finally catches Apple's A series chips in terms of single core performance and delivers on all other fronts.
It's worth saying that in some markets, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will come with a different chip, Samsung's Exynos 8890, which could perform even better. This is the topic of a future comparison, though.
Both the Galaxy S7 and HTC One M10 are expected to also feature 4GB RAM, and we are hopeful that Samsung has fixed its TouchWiz-related RAM management issues.
Adreno 530 is the GPU that will take care of the graphics and gaming tasks on the S7 and M10, and we expect absolute parity in this aspect as well.
Then, there is storage. Both come with 32GB of internal storage, and both support microSD cards. We're particularly happy to see expandable storage with microSD cards return on the Galaxy S series, after Samsung ditched support for cards in the S6.
Samsung has made some of the best cameras on phones in the recent past, and we expect the Galaxy S7 to up the ante. Rather than increasing megapixel count, it will get a 12-megapixel camera (the Galaxy S6 features a 16MP shooter). What's the deal with that? Simple, less megapixels mean that each singular pixel is larger and capable of collecting more light, so this new sensor comes with the promise of much better low light shots. Of course, expectations are that it will feature optical stabilization (OIS) and be able to record 4K videos. Hopefully, it will also be the first Samsung to not have a 5-minute limitation on 4K videos!
HTC, on the other hand, has been an absolute disaster with its cameras. The UltraPixel concept sounded promising, but never delivered, and while this new One M10 is also expected to have 'UltraPixel' camera, it will be a totally new sensor and technology. The latest rumors agree that the HTC One M10 will have the Sony IMX377 sensor, one of the largest sensors on a phone and the same one used on the Nexus 5X and 6P. Both Nexus phones have proven that the sensor captures stunning images, and with the computational power of the Snapdragon 820 chip, we expect faster performance and further improvements.
#4: Battery life
Battery life is consumer's number one concern these days, and Samsung seems to have listened: the Galaxy S7 is rumored to come with a larger, 3,000mAh battery, but it is the Galaxy S7 Edge that really goes one step further with a massive, 3,600mAh battery that should last in the two-day range. With the same design used before, we expect the batteries will be sealed and not user-removable.
HTC, on its part, has made phones that are known to last for quite a while. We don't know the exact battery size of the One M10, but expectations are that battery life will be a priority for HTC as well.
Samsung is really bringing all guns out with the S7 series: rumors say it will add water-resistance with support for the IP68 certification (this means you can submerge your phone in up to 3-feet deep water for as long as 30 minutes without damage), but that's not the only cool new extra. The other big new feature of the S7 is said to be a pressure-sensitive display, similar to that on the iPhone 6s. We expect it to work similarly: press harder to get a pop-up menu or additional options. Samsung should bake this in its own apps, but the big question is how long it will take developers to implement the feature.
HTC, on the other hand, is taken features away: the praised, but space consuming dual front-facing BoomSound speakers are said to be removed in the One M10. In fact, so far, we have not heard about anything special that will really add some flavor to the standard Android smartphone experience on the One M10.
#6: Prices and conclusion
Finally, what will be the price of the Galaxy S7 and HTC One M10? While there is no official info, we can make some educated assumptions. Based on prices of the phones in the past few years, here are the expected prices of these two:
Samsung Galaxy S7 32GB version: $650
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 32GB version: $750
HTC One M10: $650
The Galaxy S7 release date is allegedly set for March 11th in the United States, and the phone will be officially unveiled at the Mobile World Congress on February 21st. Samsung will livestream the event and we will be on the showroom floor giving you a first look at the new gadget.
The HTC One M10, on its part, is expected to come later on. The official unveiling is allegedly set for sometime in March, while the actual release date would most likely be in April.