HTC One (M8) vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3



When you’re atop the Android world, it means that everyone is looking at everything you’re doing – both the big and the small. Samsung, as we know, is the biggest fish in the pond at the moment, as they’ve proven to us that they can deliver the goods. Everything came together with last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a monstrous smartphone that’s argued by many as the company’s second flagship smartphone of 2013.

HTC tried its darnest to compete with Samsung’s aggressive efforts, but to no avail, they couldn’t keep up with the fanatical pace of its rival. This year, however, the HTC One M8 has already been acclaimed to be a formidable figure – one that intends on being relevant for quite some time. Consumers will no doubt have some homework to do, figuring out exactly what phone will deliver the goods that matter most to them. HTC’s offering is hot out of the gates, but we wonder if it has the steam power to overcome the features rich Samsung Galaxy Note 3.


The key selling point of the HTC One (M8) is its meticulous, modern looking design. HTC has proven again that it’s a step ahead of Samsung in this department, as the One M8’s stylish appearance and premium finish puts it a solid leap ahead of the more conventional looking Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Sure, there’s a subtle sophisticated look to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, with its stitched patterned design and faux-pas leather casing, but it lacks the quality ingredients seen in the HTC One M8’s package. Of course, the question between metal versus plastic has been visited numerous times – and from our perspective, the brushed aluminum chassis of the HTC One M8 screams out voraciously.

Size-wise, there’s an obvious disparity between them. Considering that the Note 3 is technically a phablet-sized device, its immense size over its rival is warranted – albeit, it’s something that proves to be more cumbersome to hold. In comparison, the HTC One M8 is still perceived as gargantuan, but it’s nevertheless the less unwieldy of the two. Furthermore, the arch frame of the HTC One M8 adheres better to our hand as we grasp it, making it feel more natural and comfortable to hold.

Samsung tried doing something different with the Galaxy Note 3, which is evidenced by the stitched pattern. When it boils down, though, it still lacks the charm, charisma, and oh-so attractive looks of the HTC One M8. Cheers to those designers over at HTC, seeing that it shows how committed they are in crafting a smartphone that’s instantly recognizable for its design.

Taking a look around their trims, there are several things they have in common – like their 3.5mm headset jacks, various microphones, IR blasters, and microUSB ports. With the latter, the Note 3 benefits by featuring a microUSB 3.0 port, in comparison to the HTC One M8’s older microUSB 2.0 port, which provides for faster data and charging connectivity. Paying attention to their respective power and volume controls, there’s not one particular set we like more than the other.

Finally, they have their own unique features. For the HTC One M8, it has dual front-firing speakers with HTC BoomSound that direct sound towards us – instead of against. Meanwhile, the Note 3 gains a productivity element with its S-Pen, which is special for accomplishing a handful of tasks.

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Much like their size difference, there’s also a huge disparity when we look at their displays. On the HTC One M8, it features a 5-inch 1080p Super LCD-3 display with Gorilla Glass 3. Technically, it sports the higher pixel density count of 441 ppi (in contrast to the Note 3’s tally of 386 ppi), but to tell you the truth, it’s not noticeable enough to the effect that we can recognize from a normal viewing distance. In fact, the Note 3’s larger sized 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 delivers a potent punch with its details as well.

Utilizing different display technologies, they each have their strong attributes. Comparing the colors they produce, the Note 3’s oversaturated tones have an iridescent glow that instantly gets our attention, but the colors aren’t nearly as accurate as the colors produced by the HTC One M8’s LCD-based display. Viewing angles, though, go to the Note 3 mainly because it retains its vividness more. However, when it comes to outdoor visibility, the stronger 490 nits of brightness from the One M8’s panel is more visible than the weaker 360 nits of brightness pumped out by the Note 3.

We have to mention, too, that there’s some additional technology implemented into the Note 3’s display. Specifically, the display has the ability to recognize when our finger or S-Pen is hovering over it – providing us with numerous functions via its Air View features. Despite the added functionality of the Note 3’s display, some folks might not even use them a whole lot. At the end of the day, we like the two displays.


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