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Samsung Galaxy S5 vs New HTC One (M8)

The upcoming Android heavyweights go head-to-head.

By Vlad Andrici for
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs New HTC One (M8)
Credit: @AndroidHeadline

As the title of this article suggests, we’re about to do a comparison between two of the most anticipated smartphones of the year. You might wonder how can we compare these devices, when only one of them is officially announced? The Galaxy S5 was made official at the Mobile World Congress, so there are no mysteries surrounding its hardware specs and features. On the other hand, the HTC M8 is set for an official unveiling on the 25th of March, so isn’t it a bit too early for a side-by-side comparison?

Well, not really, and the reason for this is quite interesting. In a nutshell, the HTC M8 is one of the most leaked smartphones around, and if you’ve read The Diplomat’s previous story on the device, then you should already be aware of this. While the leak-streak continues, earlier this week a boxed HTC M8 bearing Verizon’s logo has been sold through eBay for $499. Indeed, the level of leaks has reached a point where the smartphone has been sold by an anonymous person, before its official announcement (let alone release).

Needless to say, this gives us an opportunity to compare the Galaxy S5 and the HTC M8 – at least on paper. We can do this, simply because the boxed unit contained spec sheets confirming some of the rumored specifications, and revealing new ones. So without further ado, let’s see how these two giants of the mobile world compare to one another.

Hardware Specs

The first thing we should clear out is that, while we were initially referring to the upcoming HTC flagship by the codename M8, or the rumored “All New HTC One” moniker, it appears that the Taiwanese manufacturer will stick to its old formula. Based on the packaging, the upcoming flagship will simply be called the “HTC One.” This might make things rather confusing, given the fact that the company’s last year’s flagship smartphone bears the same nametag.

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Moving on to hardware specs, the new HTC One seems to be in the same boat as the Sony Xperia Z2 – at least CPU-wise. The One appears to be powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor, much like the Galaxy S5 is. However, the difference lies in the fact that SGS5 makes use of the MSM8974-AC variant of the same 801 CPU which boasts a frequency of 2.5 GHz. In contrast, both the HTC One and the Xperia Z2 feature a MSM8974-AB SoC, clocked at 2.3 GHz.

The CPU is being accompanied by 2 GB of RAM on both the SGS5 and HTC One. There’s also an Adreno 330 graphics chip. Storage-wise, the Galaxy S5 will be offered with 16 or 32 GB, with the possibility to expand the storage by up to an additional 128 GB via microSD.

The HTC One (2014) on the other hand, features 32 GB of storage (at least the model sold on eBay), and there have been rumors of a 16 GB variant as well. Fortunately for HTC enthusiasts, the all new One also takes advantage of a microSD card slot that can read cards of up to 128 GB.

Display and Multimedia Features

As most of you already know, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is equipped with a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display that’s protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The screen features a resolution of 1080 x 1920, resulting in a pixel density of roughly 432 pixels per inch.

The HTC One boasts similar specifications in this regard, as it comes with a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1080p. While the type of display is not specified, I suppose it’s safe to assume that HTC remained faithful to Super LCD.

In the camera department, the SGS5 comes with a 16 MP unit with phase detection autofocus, a 1/2.6” sensor size, HDR, and 2160p video recording capabilities. On the front panel resides a 2 MP camera able to record [email protected] videos.

In contrast, the all new HTC One comes with a unique camera combination, boasting two sensors on the back panel that work simultaneously. The “Duo Camera” setup is expected to come with UltraPixel technology and HTC ImageChip 2, and the main unit appears to be featuring an F2.0 aperture with 28mm lens. Sadly, the spec-sheet doesn’t reveal the exact amount of megapixels. It has been reported that the main unit could pack 4 MP, while the secondary sensor would boast 2 MP, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Fortunately the spec sheet revealed some details concerning the front-facing unit as well, and as rumored before, the camera boasts 5 MP. It is reportedly a back-illuminated sensor with a wide angle lens, 1080p video recording capabilities and HDR.

Naturally, the all new One comes with a high quality audio setup as well. The phone appears to take advantage of dual front stereo speakers with HTC BoomSound, similar to what we’ve seen on the original One. Sadly, there’s not a lot to say about the Galaxy S5′s speakers, so the One takes the cake.

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Other features included in the HTC One are Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, GSP/AGPS + GLONASS and 4G LTE capabilities, but let’s not forget that all of these goodies are also available on the SGS5.

Final Words

While it would usually be a bit too early to reach a conclusion given the fact that the HTC One (2014) is not out yet, I guess it’s safe to assume that this year, we’re going to deal with some déjà vu. In other words, the new HTC One appears to be the better device in terms of design (or at least build quality). The handset continues to feature great multimedia features such as the stereo speaker setup (just like last year), and a rather unique camera combo.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has the more powerful processor, and appears to be a good all-rounder that takes a more conservative approach to the high-end market. In other words, it offers all the tools you need, but very few bells and whistles. No stereo speakers and no premium materials. It does, however, come with a fingerprint scanner and a heart rate sensor, and that’s something that other users might prefer over a better audio setup and a metal case.

In what camp to you find yourself? Are you rooting for the new HTC One? Or is the Galaxy S5 the better device for your needs? As usual, we invite you to write us a line (or more) in the comment section below.

Vlad Andrici is editor for and writes about technology issues. Follow Vlad on Google Plus.