Interface and Functionality

When we take apart their respective custom Android experiences, there’s a clear cut distinction to each one of them – to the point where they’re opposite ends of the spectrum in what they’re intent on accomplishing. Sense 6.0 is the latest experience to come out of HTC’s camp, sporting some new improvements and enhancements while retaining the UIs already established sleek and modern looks. They’ve kept it simple and to the point – without a whole lot of redundant features to bog down or alienate first time users.

In contrast, Sammy’s TouchWiz Nature UX experience running on the Galaxy S4 is heavy on the features set. Some people will argue that it’s a good thing, since more features tend to up the ante with its overall value, but others will say that it’s bloated and complicates the user experience. Additionally, we’re not particularly too fond of the cartoony look of TouchWiz – it just doesn’t scream modern!

Underneath it all, the two smartphones have all the benefits that come along with the diverse Android experience – like its vast personalization options and tight integration with Google’s services. They even boast the same notifications and multi-tasking elements. However, TouchWiz deepens the experience with the latter thanks in part to the expanded functionality we see from its Multi-Windows feature for true multi-tasking.

With the new HTC One, we appreciate what HTC has done in being able to quickly access some basic functions of the phone while its turned off or locked. Specifically, it pertains to the various Motion Launch gestures in play with Sense 6.0, which permits us to quickly peek the time & date, unlock the phone, jump straight to the various homescreens, and launching voice dialing by utilizing a handful of gestures.

TouchWiz has something similar, where it registers a wave over the display – thus, causing the handset to ‘breathe’ pertinent information like the time date, and notifications. Also, there are a handful of Air Gestures and Air View functions that deliver some meaningful functionality. For example, we can wave our hand from side-to-side in the gallery app to navigate through photos, or hover our finger over a date in the calendar to get more details about an appointment.

Processor and Memory

Being the newer phone, the HTC One is bearing newer hardware, which in turn, produces the overall superior performance. Outfitted with the latest piece of silicon from Qualcomm, a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 330 GPU, it outclasses the now dated quad-core 1.6GHz Snapdragon 600 SoC with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 320 GPU stuffed inside of the Galaxy S4.

At the bare minimum, the two prized devices in this comparison are available with 16GB of storage. Nowadays, that figure is something we’d regard as inept, but there’s the comforting knowledge that they both have memory expansion via their microSD card slots.

Quadrant Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 19139
Samsung Galaxy S4 12078
AnTuTu Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 31075
Samsung Galaxy S4 24701
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 1171
Samsung Galaxy S4 704
Vellamo HTML 5 Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 1673
Samsung Galaxy S4 1702
Sunspider Lower is better
HTC One (M8) 693.1
Samsung Galaxy S4 1082.9
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 11
Basemark OS II Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 1071
Basemark X on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 9.148

Internet and Connectivity

In this day and age, it’s rare for high-end devices to flounder in the web surfing department – more so when they’re normally stuffed with cutting edge hardware and 4G LTE connectivity. Not surprisingly, these two smartphones cater to the experience with their fast page loads and mighty smooth navigational controls. The Galaxy S4 packs some secondary features with its stock web browser that once again highlights the handset’s wealth of software features. From being able to scroll vertically by waving our hand, or using the alternative eye scrolling feature, Samsung goes the extra distance in giving users several ways of accomplishing the same tasks. Yet again, we need to stress that these feature might not be viewed as useful for those who prefer simpler operations.

All the usual connectivity features are in tow here, like 4G LTE connectivity, so there’s no shortage of lightning fast speeds for all of our web surfing needs. Of course, all the other usual suspects are on board as well – such as aGPS with GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, NFC, IR blasters, and video-out functionality with the help of optional adapters.



1. seanwhat

Posts: 321; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

waste of an article, your justification for comparing it to the s4 is dumb, sorry.

3. seanwhat

Posts: 321; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

i just read this back and realised how rude it sounds, my bad. the time between releases of the phones is surely what you should use though.

10. Dthawk

Posts: 42; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Don't you dare be sorry. If anything, I think you were being far too kind!

16. gaines

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 16, 2009

It wasn't a waste for someone, like myself, who is considering an upgrade to the HTC One M8 and currently owns the Samsung Galaxy S4. The real waste was in you taking the time to leave such a negative comment that's of absolutely no value to anyone. Why did you even read this article if you weren't interested in the comparison?!

2. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Got the review unit already?

4. ady_lad

Posts: 83; Member since: Jul 17, 2013

Did Samsung pay for this review? Biased to hell, why would you compare htc one m8 with the galaxy s4 first of all. Besides that, overall htc one m7 is a better phone than s4.

6. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Not really no. The M8 is a Big fail.

15. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

your existence is a Big fail

8. numan

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

IMO, I think it's a good practice to make this kind of reviews and it's just because for people who owns a SG S4 that wants to know if it's really worth it to pay for a brand new device that will not make that huge difference compared to what they currently have. I really wanted to change my S4 and I was expecting more from HTC, I'm not saying the M8 is a fail, but certainly it is not a marvel, I'm just saying that I wanted something impressive. I think I'll save some bucks and wait until next year.

9. g2a5b0e unregistered

I always thought these types of comparisons that PA does are pretty dumb, but I never thought of it that way. Thanks for the perspective. +1

5. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Lol the dimensions of the S4 sound SO much more appealing than these 2014 giants that it's not funny. Let's hope LG doesn't drop the ball. They are our last chance because I am pretty sure Motorola is going to drop it hard again by putting in a weak processor and removing some cores.

11. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

HTC M8 essentially has a 4.7 inch screen thanks to the on screen buttons. The screen looks way bigger on the GS4 in the display comparison.

12. gman4mf

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

Good review ! Thnx for the very useful comparison. If money would be no issue i would go for the M8 without a doubt.

13. MobileGuru

Posts: 82; Member since: Jan 18, 2014

THAT battery life! Even better than G2?!

14. Architect3

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

I know its one year apart so HTC is guarenteed to have better specs overall. However, for people saying s4 is better or deciding between the two, please see my side. I'm going to get htc one m8 this weekend after using s4 for half a year because of couple reasons. Just to be clear, I don't hate everything about the s4, just certain aspects that has convinced me HTC is better. Looking at reviews, htc sense is overall clean and responsive. After couple weeks, I noticed s4 being sluggy when exiting applications and just using the phone in general. Battery life on the s4 is unexpected as turning on most of the features it provides drains it quickly. I don't need that many features so htc wins me over again. And just to throw it in here, the build quality is no competition.

17. DerpyHerbies

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 25, 2014

Next on their list, PS4 VS. Atari 2600.

18. Plaigh

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 12, 2014


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