Call quality


One area in which HTC's flagship clearly surpasses the performance of Samsung's is call quality. The One M9's earpiece produces loud, clear tones, and the other side reported just as great results. With the Galaxy S6 we're looking at a more average showing, with audible, but hissy voices coming through the tiny speaker on top, and equally powerful, but thin voices heard on the other side.

The same can be said for the performance of the two loudspeakers – you can hold call with both, but while the Galaxy S6 mostly banks on being loud enough so that a call can be comfortably held, the One M9 tops that with both volume and better sound clarity.

Battery life


Like the microSD card, gone is also another trademark Samsung feature – the removable battery. This first in Samsung's book is owed to to the extremely thin body of the S6, and the sacrifices didn't stop there – the company also had to go with a relatively small, 2,600 mAh battery. The HTC One M9, too, doesn't allow users to meddle with the cell, but the one embedded within has a slightly higher capacity at 2,840 mAh.

In reality, these capacities translate into battery endurance in a way you wouldn't expect, especially since the M9 has a bigger battery and a far less pixel-dense display. Indeed, while the Galaxy S6 manages the very decent 8 hours and 11 minutes on our custom battery life test, the One M9 is average at best, with a score of just 6 hours and 25 minutes. Still, do keep in mind that all devices that go through our battery life test are set to 200 nits of brightness, which was impossible with the Galaxy S6 edge – manually, the most you can set it to is 180 nits. In other words, the S6 edge went through our test with a slightly dimmer display than the rest.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 8h 11 min (Average)
HTC One M9 6h 25 min (Poor)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 83
HTC One M9 106


Conclusion


If you've ever struggled picking between two great flagships in the past, you'll likely know what we ourselves understand all too well – when you're looking to make the most out of your hard-earned cash, choosing can be difficult. Fortunately, with the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge and the HTC One M9, things are clear-cut enough for you to simply have to identify what's important to you personally – the answer will come to you by itself.

So, do you value camera performance and battery life above all else? The Galaxy S6 edge, then, is the obvious choice – it steamrolls the One M9's unsatisfying, 20-megapixel shooter, and manages almost an hour longer on our battery life test. It also has the slightly larger display, which is notably superior to its competitor's solution when set to 'Basic' mode.

Are you more intrigued by the design work that goes into your gadget? Is sound quality an overly important consideration for you? And are you annoyed by software gimmicks? If you mentally noted a 'yes' whilst going through those three questions, then your choice is fairly straightforward, and its name is HTC One M9. Indeed, while Samsung has spent considerably amount of effort trying to classy up the Galaxy S6 edge, and we sure dig the futuristic-looking display, the M9's full aluminum unibody is uncompromisingly beautiful, and comes with none of the oily mess that is the S6 edge's back. What's more, the One M9 is a far superior platform for listening to music – whether you go wired or not.

Ultimately, point-for-point, the Galaxy S6 edge is the superior device of the two. But it's not the classier – a subtle, but important difference.



Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

Pros

  • Considerably thinner and lighter
  • Has a more color-correct display in 'Basic' mode
  • Offers a more feature-rich experience
  • Speedier internal flash storage
  • Markedly better camera, especially in low light

HTC One M9

Pros

  • Arguably the classier phone
  • Has a more streamlined interface
  • Handles graphics-intensive benchmarks better
  • Superior, stereo front-facing speakers
  • Better call quality


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