Call quality


Not only are voices exquisitely loud and commanding with the HTC One (M8), but they’re also clear and noise-free for the most part – making it very easy to hear our callers in extremely noisy environments. Lucky for us, that’s also the case switching it to speakerphone mode, where its dual front-firing speakers deliver a potent mixture of power and clarity. Lastly, our callers also benefit by being greeted to voices that are robust and lively on their end of the line.

Although not really amazing, the Xperia Z1S also does a good job when it comes to sound quality during calls. Loudness is just enough, while voices tend to sound clear enough to be easy to comprehend. Naturally, there's a second mic on the Z1, which is used for noise-cancellation, so your callers should be able to make out what you're saying even if you happen to be in a noisy environment. On the other side of the line, callers are mostly pleased by what they hear. The loudspeaker is neither very powerful, nor high-quality. It'll do the job if you're in a quieter place, but forget about using it outside when it's noisy. The M8's BoomSound speaker will be better suited for this task.

Battery


The HTC One (M8) is equipped with a 2600 mAh battery, which doesn't seem as impressive as the Xperia Z1's 3000 mAh juice-pack. However, having run both handsets through our custom battery life test, we've discovered that the One (M8) can offer great longevity. It actually surpasses the Xperia Z1 in this respect, suggesting smarter power consumption on HTC's part.

When it comes to official battery ratings, HTC claims the One (M8) can last for up to 20 hours on 3G talk-time and 20.7 days in 3G stand-by. Meanwhile, the Sony Xperia Z1S is rated at 15 hours of 3G talk-time and 35.4 days in 3G stand-by. Naturally, your real-life results may vary greatly, depending on your usage patterns, but as a whole, we expect the HTC One (M8) to deliver the better battery life between the two.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
HTC One (M8)
7h 12 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z1
4h 43 min (Poor)

Conclusion


There is no doubt that the HTC One (M8) is the better smartphone of the two... for the most part. The one area where the Xperia Z1S easily steals the show is the camera, as HTC's UltraPixel thing continues to lag behind the competition. That is not to say that the 4 MP shooter of the M8 is poor. No, it's actually pretty good for casual use, but if you want superior performance from your smartphone camera, then the 20.7 MP G Lens snapper of the Z1S will do a better job.

Aside from that, the One (M8) sports a newer chipset, better screen, nice front-facing speakers, and better battery life. In terms of exterior, well, both handsets are spectacular. The Z1S has the advantage of being water- and dust-resistant, but it's like the new One is the more likely phone to win a design award. Similarly, both handsets offer very nice and polished custom user interfaces, with that of the One being a notch fancier.

At the end of the day, the more advanced technology in the One (M8) allows it to bestow consumers with an overall better experience (except for the camera department). But we wouldn't have declared it a clear winner if it wasn't for the immense amount of work HTC has put in the design of this gorgeous smartphone.


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