Choose your smartphone wisely: Galaxy S5 or HTC M8?
The two flagship smartphones of the past months that have gathered a lot of hype around them are the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8 and all of us are waiting for them to become accessible for our pockets and regions. But when it comes to choosing between the two monsters, things become troublesome and we might encounter some difficulty assessing the practical value of each of these smartphones. Fear no more! LTG is here to save the day! We’ll try to compare the information and reviews we have on both phones, ranging from price to specs to size, from OS to IAPs and accessibility and overall practicality of each of them.
First off, if you’ve already made up your mind and decided to allocate an infinite budget for updating your technological whims, get both of them. That wouldn’t be smart, though, but it would be fun, since trying out both super-phones would be a dream come true. It would be best if you didn’t spend thousands of dollars, though, so you might want to try just volunteering to test these phones for a few months, which would be more than enough since I think none of you would like to encase them in glass and hang them on your walls. That would be plain irresponsible.
Lets just cut to the chase and start comparing the pros and cons of these smartphones and try to reach an objective decision on which the average smartphone enthusiast should choose.
Design-wise, the S5 doesn’t offer much. It does implement the new concept of a perforated case out of plastic, with a metallic finish, but honestly, that’s not my cup of tea. It’s available in four colors, charcoal black, shimmery white, copper gold and electric blue. With the perforated pattern, I think a selection of pastel colors would be nice, because the existing schemes remind me of my kitchen stove, honestly. I would also appreciate if the case was available in a matte design, without the perforations, but that’s just my own whim. It’s got rounded edges and a silver lining as well, but ultimately, design-wise, the S5 disappoints in the face of the M8 and iPhone 6.
Even though Samsung is reaching for the top, the S5’s appearance rates as a minus in our comparison, because it’s tailing behind many top-notch smartphones on the market. Even budget models like the LG L70 look better than the flagship, even though it’s an older model. The HTC One M8 on the other hand, surpasses the Galaxy S5 in its metal casing and silky feel. The two phones’ weights don’t differ as much, both being between 140 and 160 g, even though the heavier M8 is considerably larger in size than the S5, which feels much lighter in your hand, being slimmer than the HTC M8 as well. The Galaxy S5 is flatter than the M8, which is a plus for some (including me, I like flat phones), and less slippery than the 90% aluminium-case of the HTC One M8. A plus in the Samsung Galaxy S5 is that you can remove the battery, while it’s not removable in the HTC M8.
When it comes to performance, the Galaxy S5 definitely doesn’t disappoint! We’ve been used t excellent performance and features from Samsung for a while now, and the evolution promised after the S4 release did indeed take place, with small impractical additions like the heart rate sensor. All specs considered, there isn’t much difference between the M8 and S5, Both phones are water resistant and advertise themselves as tanks against environmental damage, but keep in mind that they were not designed to use in water, just to protect against it. Both are backed by Qualcomm Snapdargon 801 processors (Shamu is going to be better!), with 2 GB RAM, either 16 or 32 GB internal storage and a card slot to extend storage up to 128 GB. Both offer the now standard NFC, wifi, LTE, bluetooth features, but their screens differ. The S5 is far ahead of the M8 in color reproduction, depth, contrast and brightness, with customizable features and a better user experience. The M8 on the other hand, is a bit faster in processing speed than the Galaxy S5, which is a peculiar outcome.
The S5 is sporting a 5.1 inch Super AMOLED, 1080 p screen, while the M8 has a 5 inch 1080 SLCD3 screen. In direct sunlight, the M8 fares better than the S5, so if you use plan to use your phone a lot outdoors in sunny weather, you might lean towards the HTC One M8. A neat thing that M8 incorporated is that you can unlock the display with touch gestures much like the LG G3 and G2, whilst you have the option of a fingerprint scanner in the S5. The scanner is a bit tricky though, considering that it doesn’t always work according to plan and you might block your lock screen a few times before getting the hang of it. It is position awkwardly as well, in the Home button on the bottom of the phone requiring vertical motion to activate it, which is a not so popular gesture nowadays, but you can’t say it’s as inconvenient as to be a deal-breaker.
Both devices are running Android 4.4.2 Kitkat, as usual when it comes to UIs in HTC and Samsung. While the interfaces are greatly similar, if you value attention to detail more than feature-load, the M8 offers just that, while the S5 is a bit overloaded with things you probably won’t use. The S Health app incorporated in the S5 is a good option for those of you who use your phone for health monitoring and sports activities, but if you prefer to use wearable devices like Galaxy Gear 2, Gear Fit, Google Glass, Pebble Smartwatch or Sony SW2, then the M8 is more suitable for you (and me).
The hanging app-toolbox and multi-window option in the S5 are a plus when it comes to software, combining practicality with accessibility and are perfect for those like me, who consistently multi-task on their phones. Airview is a nice addition as well, letting you hover your finger on certain objects in the UI showing you previews of the content of the targeted object. The option to choose between private and blocking mode is nice for those of you who are bothered when people flip around your photos and might see things that were not intended for them.
Camera-wise, the S5 is far better than the M8, with a 16 MP vs. a 4 MP Ultrapixel camera, with a few hiccups when it comes to low-light conditions and camera response. The focus options on the S5 make it a slightly better option than the more basic M8, making it a better choice for those of you who shoot and share a lot with your phones and might be a deal-breaker for the M8. If you’re like me, though, who uses my phone’s camera only to capture valuable moments and keep them to myself, the M8 remains the better choice. If I want professional photos, I’ll save up for a DSLR. Or get a Nokia Lumia device… In capturing video, neither are perfect, but the M8 is slightly better at capturing audio and video in high quality, although the S5 does shoot in 4k while the M8 has a limit of 1080p.
Otherwise, cellular reception and battery life are about the same, high quality and prolonged, of course. Speakers are considerably better on the M8, the Samsung having a mono-speaker combined with the Beats Audio app, while the M8 sports BoomSound speakers that are louder and clearer, making call audio better as well.
Now, for the most important part. Price. You might not be surprised, but the two phones’ prices are kind of the same with carriers and around $650 without. So price needn’t be considered when trying to decide which phone to get. Ultimately, there is no clear winner, both phones offer exceptional performance and quality and both live up to expectations, but if you take into consideration the S5 screen, camera and features, it would be the better choice. On the other hand, if you consider the M8’s superior audio capabilities, video capturing, design and attention to detail, then the M8 would be the better choice. Eventually, it becomes your personal choice. You have to think of what you value more when it comes to capabilities and flaws in each flagship and choose the one that fits your daily needs better. Good luck!