Both the HTC One M9 Hima and Samsung Galaxy S6 are at the top of the most anticipated smartphones of 2015 list, and for good reason. Expectations for these flagships are enormously high and many say that neither company will be able to meet those expectations. There are rumors about bending screens, fingerprint sensors, eye-tracking sensors, optical zoom, 3D interfaces, 4K resolution displays, thin bodies and bezelless design, but most would like to have them all in one phone, which is nearly impossible.
The Galaxy S6 as well as the HTC One M9 Hima aim to be pinnacles of design for their manufacturers, and both have promised innovation for their flagships. Samsung has uninspired-ly dubbed the Galaxy S6 as Project Zero, on account of the fact that the company wanted to start the design and development process from scratch. With that in mind, everybody that heard the news decided that Samsung would completely amaze everybody with a new design on the Galaxy S6, without considering the fact that there isn’t much the South Korean company can do, save for maybe a hanging edge display or some flexible tech, even optical zoom without compromising the design.
Our expectations are equally high when it comes to the HTC One M9 Hima. Some say that if HTC wants to get ahead of the competition, it will have to come up with thin bezels and an overall bezelless design to impress. At the same time, people were asking for much improved cameras both on the front and the rear, while having excellent front-facing speakers, as well as a fingerprint sensor, wireless charging and a massive battery. Some users go as far as saying that the HTC One M9 will come with a flexible design. As you can imagine, OEMs try to listen to their customers as best as they can, but they can’t make the impossible happen.
With that in mind, we are going to present what we (think) we know about both the Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 Hima so that we might be able to figure out which will end up being the more popular device upon its launch. To be blunt, both devices are highly expected appearances at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Neither of the manufacturing companies have confirmed that they would be introducing their handsets at the MWC, but it seems like the most likely stage, perfect for flagships and the timing is also great. Until we have confirmation from Samsung or HTC that their flagships are indeed set for an MWC launch, we will just speculate on which will end up being more popular.
Design and Display
Since we’re basing this comparison mostly on leaked images, leaked specification sheets, mysterious renders and off-beat statements, take all the specs and features with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, we do have a pretty good idea what to expect from both the Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 Hima in terms of design and display. First off, the Galaxy S6 will probably come in two versions, the standard one, and the one with the curved edge screen, most likely dubbed the Galaxy S6 Edge. Aside from that particular element of design, we can only hope that Samsung keeps its promise of providing a premium phone. With that in mind, most Samsung fans out there are expecting a full metal unibody to decorate the Galaxy S6, for that ultimate premium feeling.
The HTC One M9 design is pretty mysterious, as various leaks and renders depict different design elements and traits. Most likely, HTC will keep the brushed metal unibody on the device, as it was one of the most appreciated features on the phone. Front-facing speakers should also be included, but the bezels should be slimmed down a bit. With front-facing speakers, there’s not much room for bezel-shrinkage, so to speak, but HTC might be able to make the bezels on the side much thinner, getting a better screen to body ratio in the process.
As far as displays go, Samsung had provided some statements about the company wanting to get into 4K smartphone displays, but the Galaxy S6 is far too early for that implementation, as there aren’t many apps or games that can take advantage of that resolution without eating away at the battery extremely. In consequence, we are expecting a QHD panel with a resolution around 1440*2560, depending on what size display the company decides to go with. Some say that the Galaxy S6 display will measure 5.3 inches, while others are confident that a 5.5 inch display would be more suitable. That’s because the phablet trend is really taking off nowadays, so if Samsung complies with a pretty large flagship device, it might be in for a nice year. (fyi: Samsung didn’t have a great 2014 in smartphone sales).
The HTC One M9 will most likely remain a bit smaller and have another variant with a larger display, dubbed either the HTC One M9 Hima Ace Plus or the One M9 Plus, we’re not sure. In any case, the base model will either tout the same 5 inch FHD display, or a slightly larger 5.2 or 5.3 inch one. QHD doesn’t seem like a likely route the company would take, as HTC seems to be more keen on battery life rather than overly crisp display. Moreover, you can’t really tell the difference between displays if the pixel density is over 350 ppi, so QHD doesn’t seem like a viable choice for a regular display. Nonetheless, we can’t exclude the possibility that HTC will adhere to current QHD trends, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Hardware and camera
Usually, smartphones evolve concomitantly with each other, which means that flagships launched in the same quarter of the year will probably share quite a few hardware specs. Even though companies always try to innovate, like Apple did with the M8 motion co-processor, innovation in hardware is hard to come by when you don’t have the technology already at hand. That being said, we expect both the Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 Hima to come with the Snapdragon 810 CPU, 3 or even 4 GB RAM, a few storage options, most likely microSD card slots on both flagships and that’s about it with regards to what we can realistically predict.
The Galaxy S6 will most likely include a heart rate monitor, as well as a fingerprint sensor, as seen on the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5. Besides these extra-features, we have heard rumors about wireless charging being included. That doesn’t seem likely, as Samsung usually omits putting Qi wireless charging in their handsets, providing instead cases for affordable prices that can deliver that feature. The case version seems to sit better with users, as you would rather have a better designed phone with a bigger battery, than a phone which has Qi wireless charging which you can optionally get with a case.
The camera setup on the Galaxy S6 should improve quite a bit over its predecessor, so we are expecting a 20 MP sensor on the rear complete with optical image stabilization and a wide-angle 5 MP camera on the front. Optical zoom seems to be out of the question at the moment, as putting that capability into a phone would compromise design and footprint. The HTC One M9 should bear the same rear camera as well as optical image stabilization, but it will most likely have a 4 MP Ultrapixel camera on the front, according to reports. Whichever the case may be with the two smartphones, they will both blow minds.
These are all the specs and design elements which we can pinpoint based on the leaks and reports that have surfaced so far. Naturally, you should take all these with a grain of salt until we finally get a glimpse at the real Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9. Since both are allegedly scheduled for the MWC, we don’t have much time to wait for them to show. Based on rumors and speculations, as well as the fact that TouchWiz might be revamped or changed altogether with Iconic UX, we do expect two massive devices with impressive features to boast with. From where we stand, the HTC One M9 seems to be taking all the hype in, as more and more people are talking about the handset. The Galaxy S6 has to come with something really special in order to overpower HTC fans, but maybe if the Galaxy S6 Edge has an affordable price, Samsung has a good shot at this.