If you allow yourself to forget for a moment about all the other phone makers in the world, especially those that make value lines, there are basically a handful of manufacturers that turn out that one handset every year that people want. The first, and probably always the most popular is the annual trek to the Apple Store to grab the latest iPhone. Behind that, the epic struggle between HTC and Samsung for the best Android device of the year. Of course, we don’t want to discount the LG G series, of which the G3 is still the current model with the G4 not being released yet. Nor do we want to forget the Moto X, which turns plenty of heads with its great design and customizable looks.
Taking all of that into consideration, this is the weekend that all Android fans look forward to as two of the top premium device makers on the planet go to war over you next phone upgrade. This year, HTC continues their One line with the addition of the One M9 to their lineup. Samsung also continues to evolve their Galaxy lineup with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. We’re going to focus on the former in this case as spreading the dough across more than two devices will be tough, so we will limit the battle to these two monsters.
GSM Arena was awesome enough to do a breakdown of what they thought the dominant handset was on paper, but there is quite a bit more to phones than just the spec sheet. That said, here’s what they said.
Samsung Galaxy S6 over One M9
- Bigger screen diagonal: 5.1-inch vs. 5.0-inch screen
- Higher resolution screen – 1,440 x 2,560 vs. 1,080 x 1,920px
- Optical image stabilization for the camera
- PayPal-certified fingerprint scanner
- Thinner and lighter – 6.8mm and 138g vs. 9.6mm and 157g
- Heart rate and blood-oxygen (SpO2) sensors), barometer
- Wireless charging (market dependent)
- 5MP selfie with QHD video vs. 4MP/1080p selfie camera
HTC One M9 over Galaxy S6
- Metal unibody vs. metal and glass body
- Stereo speakers
- Higher resolution still camera – 20.7MP vs 16MP; dual-LED flash
- Expandable storage with microSD card slot
- Larger battery – 2,840mAh vs. 2,550mAh, both sealed
While taking a glance at the major features, most users would be more than happy with either device. Software tweaks will roll out over the following weeks to battle for battery life, video play back and a few other keys, but overall, Samsung delivered a stronger set of hardware in the S6. The the sheer number of categories that the Galaxy beat the One in benchmarks clearly shows this. Of course, just like specs, the end user experience trumps all others.
This is where the HTC One M9 tends to get a bit better in the grand scheme of things. The One includes “Uh-Oh” protection and the HTC Advantage programs. The Advantage program offers users a free screen replacement, 100GB of Google Drive space for 24 months and a guarantee of software update support for 2 full years. Part of this is also the 90 day push that HTC almost pulled off with the rollout of Android 5.0. The “Uh-Oh” plan is really where it gets crazy…
“Uh-Oh” covers you against device damage, breakage and mishaps that normally cost you $100 insurance claim. It also just happens to cover you if you decide to leave you carrier for another. This means if you buy the AT&T device today and in 6 months you move to T-Mobile, they will swap out that One for one that is compatible with your new carrier. It’s another first, and frankly, a killer selling point.
Samsung clearly won the battle of specs on the 2015 Flagships, but HTC will win customers with their amazing services and support. Of course, to be honest, the $650+ price tag on either one of these guys is a bit tough to swallow when you consider you can pick up the gorgeous One M8 for about $150-300 less depending on carrier versions and purchase locations or our long time favorite Galaxy S 3 for even less!