Sony Xperia Z3 vs HTC One (M8): first look

The Sony Xperia Z3 has just gone official, and it ups the ante in terms of style with a curved edge all around, while retaining the great-looking glass on the front and back. But even with such a great design, the Xperia Z3 is not alone in the market of premium and good-looking Android devices. The first rival phone that comes to mind is the HTC One (M8). HTC’s creation has established a standard in the Android market with its good looks and unibody aluminum styling.

However, the newer Xperia Z3 should have an advantage in terms of pure silicon power, and it’s got the largest camera sensor of any Android smartphone. How does that compare against the HTC One (M8), and which is the better device? Let’s find out.


Speaking of design, both Sony and HTC are among the most admired companies in the Android market. The reason is simple: they both make some of the best looking gadgets: the Xperia Z3 continues on the tradition of the Z series with glass body, but this time around it adds rounded edges, while the HTC One (M8) is already there with its curvy forms on the back and the sides. At this point, it’s hard to say which of the two is better - it all depends on your own personal preference.

In terms of size, the Xperia Z3 is the one with both the slightly larger display, and the slightly larger body. The One (M8), on the other hand, is narrower and easier to handle, plus its curves make it fit a bit more comfortably.


Both handsets feature similarly large displays: the Xperia Z3 has the slightly larger 5.2-inch one, while the M8 features a 5-inch, and both feature a 1080 x 1920-pixel resolution. The difference in resolution is really minute: 424 ppi on the Z3 versus 441 ppi on the M8, a level of variance that is practically non-distinguishable as both look more than sufficiently sharp.

Both phones use LCD displays, and while we are yet to test the one on the Xperia Z3 in greater detail, it’s obvious that it has vibrant and pleasing colors. The HTC One (M8) has already proved to be one of the best out there - not perfectly color-accurate, but with vibrant, impressive tones.


Both the Xperia Z3 and One (M8) come with Android 4.4 KitKat on board, but the skins they use are very different. The Xperia Z3 comes with a slightly polished Timescape UI with plentiful, but short and snappy animations, and with icons that look stylish without being over the top cartoonish. The One (M8) is similar in the mature looks of the Sense skin. Both, however, are not bloated with too many additional apps like the skins from, say, Samsung and LG.

What struck us also is that both skins are very snappy, working without a hiccup (something you can’t say for, say, Samsung).

Processor and Memory

The rule of thumb for silicon is ‘the newer, the better’. Of course, that’s exactly the case with the Xperia Z3 and One (M8). The Z3 comes equipped with the Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC running at up to 2.5GHz, while the M8 features a different variation of the 801 with a 2.3GHz processor. RAM is also a bit more on the Z3 - 3GB for it versus 2 gigs on the M8, and this could make some difference for heavy multi-taskers.

The one area where HTC has a clear advantage, though, is the amount of internal storage available: a plentiful 32GB on the One (M8) versus just 16 gigs on the Sony handset. Both support memory expansion via microSD and that’s a plus.


The Xperia Z3 has been the champion of Android camera sensors for a long while - its 1/2.3” sensor is the largest in the market. It also takes excellent pictures, and the Xperia Z3 features it again, after the Xperia Z1 started that tradition. This time around, Sony claims that in low-light situations the camera is capable of capturing shots at up to 12,800 ISO, more than any other smartphone camera. Plus, it’s fixed all bugs around 4K video recording crashing.

The HTC One (M8) has a very humble 4-megapixel (or UltraPixel, if you prefer) shooter with a smaller 1/3" sensor that simply cannot match the Sony one in terms of level of detail. Images it captures are clearly sub-par when compared to those from the Z3, and even the neat background-blurring effects from the secondary rear camera don’t help much (the Z3 has got a similar trick up its sleeve).

For selfies, we have a whopping 5-megapixel high-res camera on the M8, while the Xperia Z3 has decided to turn a blind eye towards the trend and continues shipping with a 2.2-megapixel front shooter.


With all this in mind, it’s time for a wrap-up: which one is the better phone, the new Xperia Z3 or the oldie and goodie HTC One (M8)? Design boils down to personal preference as both are very good looking, and performance is also not hugely apart, plus the screens are similar. However, camera junkies would definitely turn out much happier with the more detailed and powerful 20-megapixel camera on the Xperia Z3.

Related phones

Xperia Z3
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh(14h 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. FarmerStyle

Posts: 37; Member since: May 17, 2014

No comparison . Z3 is clear the winner . Z3 > Z2 > M8 > G3 >S5

3. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

I don't agree with you, for me the M8 is the worst phone when compared to the others (Z3, Z2, G3, and S5).

5. FarmerStyle

Posts: 37; Member since: May 17, 2014

S5 is too ugly and looks like cheap plastic toy . G3 is overheating , lagging and battery life sucks .

9. dil2abu

Posts: 315; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

S5 may look ugly, but it's best among M8 and G3

14. maherk

Posts: 7011; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

And since when glass is the definition of premium? I didn't see Sony boys nagging about plastic when the Xperia S and Arc S were made out of plastic!! The Arc S had a glossy plastic, hell, even the Z compact had a plastic back (yes it looked like glass, but it is glossy plastic at the end of the day). anyways, Sony fanboys are just like those 16 year old bratz we see on MTV, all they care about is how good their dresses look.

12. Eclectech

Posts: 355; Member since: May 01, 2013

Specs aside, The HTC One is reportedly consistently faster at carrying out tasks than the G3 and Z2. Perhaps, if you had actually spent some time with one you'd come to the same conclusion.

2. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

Design : Both are great looking but i prefer Z3 design language. Display : Looks like Z3 gonna win here. Processor and Memory : Same processor but Z3 has extra 1 gig ram, Z3 wins. Camera : Lol. Just check this out. Battery life : Looks like Z3 gonna win. Overall : Z3 wins

4. vipervoid123

Posts: 163; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

This is overwhelmed ~

6. maherk

Posts: 7011; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Best designed phone in the M8 vs Best Android phone at the moment(phablets not included). Sony don't need an overhaul in their design language, but they need to tweak it just like HTC did with the M7. And HTC needs to stop their silly stubbornness and quit the stupid 4mp strategy.

7. PhoneBuff

Posts: 12; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

What about their Speakers ?

8. Freelist86

Posts: 37; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

Sony Z3

10. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Sony become the leader of smartphones seens Z2 ( z1 has a some downsides like speaker , display..) , now z3 best phone in android market.. So happy with my z2 and i will wait for z4 or z5 :)

11. supa_dupa

Posts: 80; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Poor Sony...HTC M8 is still on top...

15. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

Where? Based on HTC they losing money everyday

13. npaladin2000

Posts: 165; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

"The Xperia Z3 has been the champion of Android camera sensors for a long while" Wow that's amazing considering that the device was just announced.

16. narendraujn

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 03, 2014

I used both but HTC is much batter in all fields aceept camera...not good as xperia but nice...speaker r worst in xperia..vibtrats in music..faulty notification..

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