Interface and Functionality

As both user experiences are very well designed, the One (M8)'s Sense UI differentiates itself by having a bit more character to it.

Running HTC Sense 6.0 on top of Android 4.4.2, the One (M8) brings a user interface that's in line with recent software design trends, being flatter and lighter, but this doesn't mean the HTC has abandoned its traditional UI style, which makes its software appear very polished and mature. In comparison, the Sony Xperia Z1S runs Sony's custom Android interface, which is also quite cool and modern, but overall, HTC's offering has a bit more character to it.

Both user interfaces are quite profound, as they customize almost every core OS application, such as contacts, messaging, calendar and others. Luckily, the two UIs offer strong alternatives to the stock applications, so users have no reason to feel bad about having an Android smartphone with a custom interface. After all, the customizations make the phones look and feel unique, and when you factor in that both are quite polished and free of any major issues, this do look pretty good on the software side for both.

Apart from their customized apps, Sense UI and Xperia UI offer some unique features to entice customers with. To start with, HTC's One (M8) sports the BlinkFeed news and social networking aggregator. The feature has gotten smarter in the M8, detecting what you're more interested in with a higher degree of success. Plus, it's now integrated with Fitbit, so if you're a fan of the service, then you have an additional reason to give BlinkFeed a try. Moving on to other unique aspects of the M8's UI, it's the new motion gestures that capture our attention. Instead of trying to create something fancy but gimmicky, HTC has actually come up with a few really useful gestures that we can see ourselves getting used to in the long run. We already mentioned double-tap-to-wake, which is used to wake the display up and view the lockscreen. However, you can also directly unlock your phone from an idle state by doing a swipe-up gesture. Conversely, swiping from the top edge of the screen will execute the voice-dialer.

Obviously, Sony has decided to put more effort in some other areas, such as camera and entertainment, as far as unique software features go. That is why we don't see the manufacturer put so much emphasis on the general user experience part of things. Still, we can mention things like Sony's small applications, which can be used to give your multitasking game an edge. Another cool option is the display color temperature setting, allowing you to tweak the colors of the screen to your own liking.

Processor and Memory

800 is a big, respectable number in the world of smartphone chipsets, but 801 is even bigger.

Geez, mobile silicon has been developing so fast that at the current time, getting a flagship phone with a chipset that's one or even two generations old will practically secure you all the horsepower you may need, in most usage scenarios. Indeed, we're in a situation where mobile software has failed to keep the same pace of advancement as hardware, which is why the fact that the One (M8)'s Snadpragon 801 SoC is slightly more powerful than the Z1S' Snapdragon 800 isn't really so important. Still, you'd never see us running away from the prospect of having a faster chipset, so yeah, the M8 sure is the more desirable option on the performance front.

Getting a bit more specific, the HTC One (M8) relies on four Krait 400 cores, each of which can be revved up to 2.3 GHz. Meanwhile, the Xperia Z1S' speed limiter is almost equally generous, as its four Krait 400 cores can reach 2.2 GHz, if need be. Being seemingly the same on paper, the Adreno 330 GPUs powering the two phones will no doubt guarantee superior graphics performance. However, in various scenarios, the one in the M8 should be able to perform up to 28% faster than its counterpart in the Z1S.

RAM is set to the healthy amount of 2 gigs on both devices, but there's a slight difference when it comes to their storage options. Namely, the HTC One (M8) comes in variants with 16 and 32 GB of internal storage, while the Sony Xperia Z1S is only available with 16 GB of storage space. Thankfully, both phones sport microSD slots, letting you insert memory cards in order to expand their storage.

Quadrant Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 19139
Sony Xperia Z1 20277
AnTuTu Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 31075
Sony Xperia Z1 30838
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 1171
Sony Xperia Z1 1115
Vellamo HTML 5 Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 1673
Sony Xperia Z1 2889
Sunspider Lower is better
HTC One (M8) 693.1
Sony Xperia Z1 746.2
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 11
Sony Xperia Z1 9.57
Basemark OS II Higher is better
HTC One (M8) 1071
Sony Xperia Z1 927.6

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