Camera

A clear winner is hard to produce, though the One M8 does provide a much richer feature set.

If you thought that the 4-megapixel “UltraPixel” camera on last year's HTC One was just a short-lived experiment, you're wrong. The Taiwanese vendor appears intent on steering away from the megapixel wars, and is instead focusing on other parts of the never-still equation. With a very wide, f/2.0 aperture, the One M8's 1/3'' sensor should, theoretically, capture more light than your average flagship, and those extra-large, 2-micron pixels are said to help with that. The new One also sports a companion camera, which focuses exclusively on gathering depth information in stills, which then allows for some cool tricks. Lastly, and to complete the overall package, the One ships with a differently-colored, dual LED flash combo, dubbed “Smart Flash”. OIS, this time around, is absent, and you instead only get software stabilization.


In comparison, the Nexus 5 camera bundle instills less of a “wow” effect. Google's flagship features an optically-stabilized, 8-megapixel snapper with narrower, f/2.4 aperture, and a smaller, 1/3.4'' sensor. There's no secondary flash to speak of.


In reality, however, the results produced by the two shooters are pretty much on par, at least when looked at as a whole. So while the Nexus 5's 8-megapixel unit captures more fine detail than the UltraPixel camera on the One M8, the latter is better at keeping colors realistic-looking. They are palpably more natural, and true to the scenario at hand. This stalemate of sorts also extends to indoor and low light shots, which again are very much on equal footing, though they get different parts right or wrong. For example, the Nexus 5's algorithms don't always churn out optimal results, and often crank up ISO levels noticeably, resulting in noisy pictures. At the same time, the One M8 is a hit or miss in darker-than-usual indoor environments, and sometimes ends up with stills that are simply unrealistically bright. Neither of the two is overly fond of using its flash unless absolutely crucial.



Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 2.3
No data
444
363
Google Nexus 5 3.5
4
406
347

An area in which the two can be clearly told apart is the feature set of both cameras. Thanks to its Duo Camera, the One M8 is capable of pulling off some sweet effects, and easily. Applying a faux-bokeh effect at either the foreground or background is pretty straightforward, and nets you an artistic-looking shot. We also found the One M8's parallax-inducing Dimension Plus effect to work well. In contrast, the Nexus 5 is sticking to the basics, like white balance and exposure controls, but nothing more.

When video capture is concerned, we're back on equal footing. Both devices can, of course, capture 1080p video, and both offer clear and stable results during the day. At night, however, there's a palpable drop in quality with both devices, with visible digital noise and even some noticeable blur making an ugly appearance.


Multimedia

Boom go the BoomSound stereo speaker. No contest here.

With wonderfully-detailed, 5-inch 1080p displays, there's little to no cause for complaint when it comes to watching video on either of our contestants. Playback is smooth, though both offer little in terms of extra features with their built-in video players. The same goes for both phone's respective Gallery apps, which really focus on executing the essentials well. That said, HTC's skin, once again, proves to be the more visually-attractive of the two, and few would contest that notion.

Where the two really proved to be on entirely different levels was audio reproduction. The BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers on the HTC One M8 blow the speaker on the Nexus 5 out of the water, and any other smartphone's for that matter. Those are seriously loud, and cranking the volume to the max comes at no considerable cost to sound fidelity. Moreover, the placement of the two BoomSound speakers on the top and the bottom gives you an actual stereo effect.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 1.28
Google Nexus 5 0.36
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 75.2
Google Nexus 5 71


FEATURED VIDEO

23 Comments

1. amiroo

Posts: 269; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

Htc all the way..

2. papss unregistered

This should be a no brainer..

3. zuckerboy

Posts: 898; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

Im gonna buy g3 one isnt good for me

4. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I like the HTC, though it's not enough to make me migrate. With that said, good job HTC. For myself, I'll replace my N5 with, N6 which will smoke this M8.

5. papss unregistered

I agree if you have a N5 there isn't a reason to upgrade.. unless you have a phone addiction like myself lol..

6. Killua

Posts: 270; Member since: Nov 25, 2013

I thought M8 RAM is DDR2?

7. papss unregistered

No it's ddr3

8. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

I am confused, Half articles says ddr2, other half ddr3...

11. papss unregistered

No I'm looking at my box for the m8 and it clearly says ddr3

9. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

ALL top tier flagship cameras > HTC's Ultrapixel

12. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

I agree but I can also say: HTC ONE M8 speakers > ALL top tier flagship speakers HTC ONE M8 design > ALL top tier flagship designs HTC ONE M8 sense skin > ALL top tier flagship skins HTC ONE M8 front facing camera > ALL top tier flagship cameras(except few chinese ones that aren't even available)

13. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

2 are probably true 2 are subjective, extremely subjective

15. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

I agree also, but my point is that the camera that the whole fuss is going around can be balanced by a great design speakers and much more. The fact that the phone has SD slot and no one even mentions it while last year Samsung trolls were having a party over M7 which didnt have SD slot.

14. wildhammer

Posts: 56; Member since: Mar 16, 2014

There are many people who doesnt lyk sense ui....

21. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Nothing is true here. Design ? Htc one 2013>htc one 2014 Speakers? Z2 S force> boom sound UI? In par with others in terms of functionality Front facing camera? Why the hell did they put it in front not At the rear part? So in par with others as well.

23. desniper9

Posts: 38; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

Front facing camera is wrong. That title is the Oppo n1's

10. wildhammer

Posts: 56; Member since: Mar 16, 2014

So far i have seen m8 has the best display

16. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

There is an article by some pro site that says S5 has best display ever on a phone, but I have read ONE M8 display has the most accurate colours of any display yet. So I am guessing both are great displays and depends if you like exaggerated colours like on S5 or natural ones like on M8.

18. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Not really. That's why we provide stuff like Color charts -- even a layman can see that colors are far from the most accurate on any display. :)

17. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Nothing attracts me about this m8 over s5 and z2

19. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Its worth noting that while M8 is better looking, N5 is more durable and better to hold as M8 is quite smooth, durability and better grip is just as if not more important than looks to some individuals.

20. janis

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

We live in the era of the smart phones and stupid people. some years ago when there was no smarthones with 20 mp cameras, i really enjoyed looking at pictures in some social media, now for example FB all these 20mp pictures from phones looks like sh*t, does not metter hom much pixels u got there its all about how big is sensor and how good is lenses. I prefer for pictures my full frame canon. So u guys are disscussing here is picture from M8 big sh*t or nexus 5 is bigger, because all of them looks like sh*it.

22. bokimaricu

Posts: 89; Member since: Dec 21, 2013

Both 5 inchers, but look at that size difference.. Ridiculously huge device for a 5 incher this One is. And of course it's better than N5 because it's (more than) double the price of an N5. By the way i think as far as manufacturer UI's go, this one is the best and cleanest so far, so kudos for that.

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