Samsung Galaxy S6 Vs. HTC M9: Which One Is Right For You? - InformationWeek

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3/27/2015
01:05 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Samsung Galaxy S6 Vs. HTC M9: Which One Is Right For You?

Are you on the fence between the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9? This InformationWeek guide will help you pick the better of the two smartphones.

Smartphone OS: A 22-Year History
Smartphone OS: A 22-Year History
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The Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 offer the best hardware experience available from Google's Android platform. They rival the Apple iPhone 6 in design, materials, quality, and features. Both phones are tempting in their own right, but each has clear advantages over the other. Here's a primer covering the pros and cons of these attractive and powerful new smartphones.

Design And Hardware

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the saying goes, but Samsung and HTC both crafted fine handsets in the Galaxy S6 and One M9. Each relies on a mix of high-quality metal and glass components that are assembled to create classy, premium phones. The GS6 has a metallic band that is sandwiched between two glass panels. The M9 is mostly aluminum and uses glass only for the screen. The GS6 is significantly lighter and also slightly smaller than the M9. Both devices have sealed batteries, but only the M9 has a memory expansion slot.

The smartphones are mostly on even footing here, but the M9 has one distinct advantage: Uh Oh Protection. HTC is offering one free replacement M9 to people who break the phone in the first 12 months of ownership. Samsung's dual-glass device doesn't offer that type of insurance.

Screen

The GS6 has a 5.1-inch quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) Super AMOLED display. The M9 has a 5.0-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) LCD screen. HTC's screen delivers more accurate color, but Samsung's is larger, much brighter, and far sharper. They each have about the same outdoor visibility and viewing angles, but Samsung wins this one hands down.

Camera

This is a case where megapixels simply don't count for a darned thing. Samsung's flagship has a 16-megapixel sensor and HTC's has a 20-megapixel sensor. Samsung's image signal processing abilities are far better, and the GS6 produces a more consistent series of good photographs. HTC prides itself on image quality, but it falls quite flat in this case. The M9's pictures aren't nearly as good as the GS6's, and, in fact, fall far short of most other flagships (Apple iPhone 6, LG G3, etc.). Samsung owns the M9 when it comes to camera quality.

OS

Both phones run Android 5.0 Lollipop at launch, with their respective manufacturer's user-interface overlay. Samsung's TouchWiz and HTC's Sense offer more personalization tools than does stock Android. Which one is better boils down to a matter of personal preference. Each one has its own set of fonts, icons, and graphics that offer dramatically different experiences. HTC's Sense is somewhat more customizable thanks to a variety of themes and accent colors.

Minutiae

Samsung ditched Qualcomm's processors in favor of its own Exynos-branded APs. Samsung is keeping somewhat quiet about the processor. We know it's clocked at 2.1 GHz and offers 64-bit computing, but we don't know how many cores there are, or what their configuration is. The assumption is eight in a big.LITTLE combination of some sort. The M9, on the other hand, has Qualcomm's premiere processor, the Snapdragon 810. The 810 has eight cores clocked at 2.0 GHz. Both phones have 32 GB of storage (base) and 3GB of RAM.

[ Read Samsung and HTC at MWC. ]

HTC's phone has stereo speakers that produce high-quality sound. Samsung's doesn't. HTC's phone is slightly water resistant. Samsung's isn't.

Advanced Functions

This is an area where the M9 falls a bit flat. First, the GS6 has a fingerprint reader for biometric-based security. The reader can be used to secure the phone or individual apps, folders, and files. Most significantly, it secures Samsung Pay, Samsung's Apple Pay competitor, which is scheduled to launch later this year. Offering mobile payments gives the GS6 a major advantage over the M9.

Is the HTC One M9 worth your money?

Is the HTC One M9 worth your money?

The GS6 also supports two different wireless charging standards. Wireless charging may not be a killer feature, but it's a convenient one. By supporting two standards, the GS6 can grab a charge from most existing wireless charging pads. The M9 will always need to be plugged into a charger.

The last issue here is enterprise security. Samsung's phone comes with its Knox enterprise security suite, which taps into many of BlackBerry's government-grade protection powers. The GS6 will be an easier phone for IT to manage, and a more secure one.

Availability

The phones are both going to be widely available from US carriers on April 10. They have similar price points, and come in several different shades and colors to suit personal taste.

At this point, if I had $650 burning a hole in my pocket, I'd go with the Samsung Galaxy S6 over the HTC One M9.

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Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
4/18/2015 | 3:28:10 PM
Re: wireless
Wireless charging is an amazing feature and necessary for everyone, considering the power consumption of smartphones. Nowadays everybody needs to carry extra charger when going outside.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
4/3/2015 | 6:11:44 AM
Re: wireless
Yes shakeeb, nowadays adding processors to enhance the speed or increasing the megapixels is being done by every smartphone manufacturers. To get the advantage over the competitor you have to come up with something more innovative. Having said that this wireless charging can pay back the company only for a couple of years until every other set will have this feature.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 11:34:14 AM
Re: wireless
I like the advantage given by HTC. This is an important after sales benefit given to the customers. Therefore in my view I prefer the HTC phone.
shakeeb
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50%
shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 11:29:45 AM
Re: wireless
@nomii. I agree with you. Seems like both are alike. Wireless charging is an important aspect for every one.

 
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 7:19:11 AM
Re: wireless
@yalanand: In terms of features there isn't an extreme difference among two of them, I would also prefer to have the one with the better looks and for me it is M9 right now. Wireless charging would be a plus for me when there would be quite a few hotspots around.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
3/29/2015 | 5:02:40 PM
Both devices have sealed batteries
I stopped reading after that.
glenbren
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glenbren,
User Rank: Ninja
3/29/2015 | 11:19:59 AM
Re: wireless
Wireless charging may be one of the best features of the S6, but they took away the micro SD card slot, waterproofing, and the removable battery? That kills it for me. Why would they do that?
yalanand
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50%
yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
3/27/2015 | 11:08:45 PM
Re: wireless
I would buy the HTC M9 just for its  Uh Oh advantage. I don't care about the features of a smartphone because whatever the features may be it gets my office job done, some calls and some social texting and whatsapping and some gaming is all I do and the M9 (it looks better than the S6 and probably is the best looking smartphone out there) is more than suited for such tasks.
yalanand
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50%
yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
3/27/2015 | 11:04:31 PM
Re: wireless
@Thomas: Wireless charging is the newest trend when it comes to convenience, because IKEA has been making furniture that charges the phone wirelessly if you put the phone on it. If that kind of furniture sells like wildfire, then wireless charging on the S6 would be better and people would go for the S6.
Thomas Claburn
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50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
3/27/2015 | 6:02:38 PM
wireless
>Wireless charging may not be a killer feature, but it's a convenient one. 

I'd say it's one of the best features of the S6. 
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