Interface


Android 4.4.2, which is the latest version of the platform available right now, comes loaded on the Sony Xperia Z2 and the HTC One (M8) out of the box. Don't expect seeing any stock Android UI elements on either of them, however. Sony has treated the system's interface to a thorough overhaul, adding both visual and functional improvements to the OS. Similarly, HTC has loaded Sense 6.0 onto the (M8) – a well-polished and consistent Android UI with a clean and modern look.

If you've ever used an Android device, then you should have no troubles adapting to Sony's custom interface as it is organized much like the stock one – with several home screens for apps and widgets and an app drawer listing all your installed applications. We must note that folders can be placed in the drawer, which is a welcome option since that lets us get all rarely used apps out of the way. In addition to this, there's a side panel in the app drawer for sorting and searching through installed applications. This panel hasn't been designed optimally, however, as we tend to toggle it on by accident every once in a while.

Sony has spiced things up a bit by adding theme support and a handful of its own live wallpapers, thus giving users more personalization flexibility. Toggle buttons in the notification panel are also present, to no surprise. Another handy feature are the so-called Small Apps – tools that run in their own window hovering above the UI. You only get a handful of these pre-loaded, including a voice recorder and a notes app, but the Play store contains dozens of these for you to try.


Sense 6.0 running on the HTC One (M8) is a bit more radical departure from stock Android, although you can make it feel a lot more stock-ish with a few tweaks. One of the UI's highlights is BlinkFeed – a home screen dedicated to aggregating your social networking news feeds with articles from online news outlets, thus bringing relevant information at the user's fingertips, available at a swipe's distance. You might like this feature if you're a heavy SN user, but in case you're not, you're totally free to turn BlinkFeed off.


The Sense 6.0 experience is complemented by various gestures used to accomplish a variety of tasks. A double tap on the screen when the handset is in stand-by, for example, will turn its display on, as if its power button has been pressed. Then a swipe up can be used to unlock the device, while a swipe to the right or left will bring us to BlinkFeed or our standard home screen respectively. It is also neat that the camera can be launched by placing the phone horizontally and pressing any of its volume buttons.

We tested Sony's on-screen keyboard, which comes loaded on the Xperia Z2, and we ended up feeling quite pleased. It has been developed with focus on personalization as it can be easily tailored to the user's preferences – it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. A wizard helps you configure options like auto-correction and word prediction. Accuracy is top notch.


The virtual keyboard on the HTC One (M8) is also a pretty good one, with plenty of options to configure and languages to select from. Personally, we find the one on the Z2 a little bit more accurate, but at the end of the day, using an on-screen keyboard efficiently is often a matter of how used your thumbs are to it.

Quadrant Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 18584
HTC One (M8) 19139
AnTuTu Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 34088
HTC One (M8) 31075
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 1177
HTC One (M8) 1171
Vellamo HTML 5 Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 1584
HTC One (M8) 1673
Sunspider Lower is better
Sony Xperia Z2 925.4
HTC One (M8) 693.1
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 12.4
HTC One (M8) 11

Processor and memory


On paper, the Sony Xperia Z2 and the HTC One (M8) share a lot of hardware similarities. The same Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 ticks inside both of them – model number MSM8974-AB – with a quad-core Krait 400 CPU that can run at up to 2.3GHz and Adreno 330 GPU. On a side note, this particular chip is slightly less powerful than the Snapdragon 801 model MSM8974-AC, which powers the Galaxy S5, but it is still one of the fastest around.

If you're assuming that the two phones perform equally well in real life, however, then you won't be entirely correct. The Sony Xperia Z2 tends to lag if its home screens are too crowded. Some UI choppiness can be seen as well. Keeping your home screen clean and tidy will take care of the slowdowns, but at the same time, we were expecting more from Sony's flagship in terms of UI smoothness. Nevertheless, even heavy 3D games run perfectly fine on the Z2.

We did not experience any performance issues with the HTC One (M8) during testing. Compared to the Z2, it feels snappier while browsing back and forth through home screens. Unsurprisingly, demanding video games run without hiccups on HTC's flagship as well.

Sony has equipped the Xperia Z2 with a whopping 3GB of RAM, which is an advantage that only a few other handsets can brag with. The HTC One (M8), on the other hand, has 2GB of RAM, which is still good and definitely enough to ensure the smooth switching between applications. We aren't entirely sure just how big of an advantage is that extra gig for the Xperia Z2, but we can confidently regard it as more future-proof than the M8.

Both smartphones come with 16GB of on-board storage, and both have about a third of that reserved for system files. What's left is approximately 10 gigs, more or less, of user-available storage, which many might find insufficient. Thankfully, a microSD card slot is present on the two devices and can boost their storage space by up to 128GB extra.

Quadrant Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 18584
HTC One (M8) 19139
AnTuTu Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 34088
HTC One (M8) 31075

Internet browser and connectivity


Chrome is the web browser pre-loaded onto the Sony Xperia Z2. It is fast, responsive, and comfortable to use as it inflates text in paragraphs, thus making it easier to read. Those who use Google's browser on their other devices will enjoy its option to sync bookmarks and tabs between them.

On the HTC One (M8) we find a browser that's simply labeled as Internet, along with Chrome, which also comes pre-loaded. The former handles even the heaviest of web pages without breaking a sweat. It won't inflate text for you, however, and we're not fans of its tab switching interface. Of course, you're free to use Chrome instead, or an alternative third-party browserfrom the Google Play store.

LTE Cat4 (up to 150Mbps down) is supported by the Sony Xperia Z2 across 10 different bands, which is a perk that few other smartphones boast. When no LTE is available, you can still rely on good old HSPA+ at rates of up to 42Mpbs down. The phone's set of connectivity features also includes the latest flavors of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, MHL, A-GPS with Glonass compatibility, and NFC.

The list of LTE bands supported by the HTC One (M8) is a bit shorter, with only four different frequencies on it (may vary for carrier-specific models). Nevertheless, HSPA+ at up to 42Mbps is always at your disposal, along with Bluetooth 4.0, the newest Wi-Fi standards, DLNA, MHL, GPS with Glonass compatibility, and NFC.

FEATURED VIDEO

58 Comments

1. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Such beauties!

17. Sauce unregistered

Z2 looks pretty cheap and not classy. The white trim ruins it.

21. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Are you drunk or what?? I think your profile pic exactly fits you!

22. Sauce unregistered

Glad to know my opinion deeply hurts your poor feelings LOL. I think my profile pic exactly fits what I'm doing right now to you.

23. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

You need sth to sooth your burning bro.

24. Sauce unregistered

#fail

34. hari120

Posts: 22; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

@emadshiny as longs as everyone has eyes no one give a damn **** to his comments

36. marcski07

Posts: 600; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

have you ever seen one in personal? :) xperia z I agree it's not classy, but not looking so cheap also, but hell, ugly. It looks like a brick and u can bitch slap anybody using that phone, but z1 and z2, really looks premium, and eye catcher... i love z1 compact, because i have small hands, and i don't want to use 2 hands for a phone, for multi-tasking purposes. plastic yes, but it doesn't look cheap, it's beautifully crafted really well made, and very comfortable to grip and browse with your thumb only... :)

55. Jillxz

Posts: 149; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

The Z2 is prettier to me.

39. craigy72

Posts: 41; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

HTC One all the way IMO

2. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Ultimately it comes down to aesthetics for me because both phones are truly beasts at what they do. I'd prefer thee HTC One simply because I'm a huge HTC One fanboy. The Sony Phone is utter perfection though. I just wish the back had like this shattered look to it so when you drop it and it actually shatters, you can't tell.

3. giani

Posts: 269; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

So, as per yr conclusions general score is 4-1 in favor of m8. But the z2 has a higher rating in the individual review. Hah ?!

8. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

hah 8.8 is pretty high for ultragimmickpixel camera.

11. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

that's what you call cosolation or a balancing act. no ad-subsisting site or blogwould want to offend fans. there should be some redeeming factor somewhere.

15. giani

Posts: 269; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Straight edgeNexus, if you dont get my point, please don't TROLL. I was only trying to make Nick T confess. It is very clear from the comparison that he prefers the M8.

16. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Sorry didnt get the point till the edit time passed out. :-)

4. FaisalWibowo11

Posts: 166; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

HTC one M8 is a near perfect phone, great design, great specs overall, but only let down by its camera. But had it has a 1/2.3" 8MP ultrapixel sensor, then it is perfect..

18. MichaelA

Posts: 18; Member since: May 14, 2014

It's not all about MP's, but don't even think about printing a photo from the M8 to anything like a 4x6 or 5x8 because it's going to look terrible. I rarely ever do this, but when I do I want a alright pic, not crap. If I had to choose I would go with the Sony, but why not just wait for the LG G3 instead?

33. adwienc

Posts: 136; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

And software buttons.

5. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2364; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

M8 since it offers more internal memory, and up to 128GB ?

10. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

at least all flagships released this year can use sandisk's 128GB sd card. that's been tested and proved on some youtube video.

14. josephnero

Posts: 795; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

lesser battery?crappier camera?

28. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

The Z2 accepts 128 gb cards too

6. cyborg009

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 17, 2011

Sony has good UI but it should be smooth not laggy... they should focus on optimizing it. I'm using Sony phones from old SE times and though I'm entirely in love with Z2's display I'm thinking of either getting a lumia 930 or oneplus one as my next phone.

7. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

design-subjective Ergonomics- Htc One(curved back) display-Tie i guess UI-One Sense more beautiful and functional Hardware-Z2 ram Camera-LOL no comments multimedia-TIE battery-dont know conclusion- Z2 due to all rounder IMO

29. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Id give the M8 the edge in multimedia, boomsound+ higher output headphone jack+ ir blaster.

31. FCB-Eto

Posts: 64; Member since: Aug 17, 2013

Battery life the Z2 kills the M8 and S5 those two respectively do 71hrs and 72 but the Z2 manages 89hrs it's on Gsmarena, but get this that's without any power saving enabled.

9. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

no contest here

12. papss unregistered

I love both actually. I prefer the looks and design of the z2 (I like square phones with sharp corners) but like the UI of the m8...

13. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Yeah i love sense 6, 5 days on and i have no tempt to flash ROMs, unlike s5 touchwiz when i was dying to flash CM.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless