So both HTC and Samsung dropped their Flagships for the next year ahead, and they are both very glitzy and shiny flexing their tecchie muscles as MWC. Both offer similar specifications but for now there is one question that still needs to be answered. Which is better? A simple question with a complex answer that cannot be fully given right now. But watch me try anyhow.
Round One- the outside. Well, I guess this is the simplest round of them all as I see it. HTC comes with a 5 inch screen with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 and is blasted out the water by the S6 with a 5.1 inch screen with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 giving a ppi of 577 which munches the 441 of the HTC. Size wise, the Samsung wins again with a thinner body 6.8 mm compared to 9.6 and a smaller weight of 138 to 157 grams. HTC’s ace is the metallic body finish, but in this numerical crucible of facts it counts for little. As I haven’t tried either device I cannot fully give the verdict, but numbers wise, Samsung takes Round 1.
Round Two – Insides. Both devices sport LTE connectivity and use 3GB if RAM. The M9’s heart is a snapdragon 810 which is a mix between a 1.5GHz Quad-core Cortex A53 and a 2.0GHz Quad-core A57. Roughly similar specs are offered by Samsung, which uses their own Exynos chip, which has a 2.1 GHZ A57. This is however where the HTC rams its way back to even the contest. With a superior battery of 2840 besting the 2550 mAh and a micro SD slot present, The HTC sweeps the power specs. To top the cake, HTC also added Dolby Surround to their front facing speakers giving a more immersive experience which should easily out shout the stereo set up of the S6
Round Three – Software. And here it gets interesting. Both devices run customs skins on top of the perfection that is Lollipop 5.0 and thusly for me at least any deviation from pure Android deserves negative points. M9’s sense is now in its seventh generation and with improved blink feed, the skin becomes a little more bearable that it has been before. New location based suggestions bring it closer to Now but still aren’t as good. With Samsung you will get a much rolled back version of Touch Wiz. Samsung have said themselves that they have decided to de-clutter their UI and they certainly have. A few S-apps still sadly remain but it isn’t as bad as it used to be. A good bonus is that most of the annoying Samsung trash was replaced by clean cut Microsoft Office applications. A great upside but not enough to make me overlook Touch Wiz and all of its problems. Again, I can’t say for definite, but going on past experience if HTC did actually improve their okay-ish UI, then it will rule over the criminally bad Touch Wiz. Again, I need to try both phones to actually decide.
Final Round – Camera. I will discard the front facing cameras as it really doesn’t matter how good it is, people will still take selfies with it and the specs become irrelevant. For trivia purposes, the HTC comes with their god awful Ultra Pixel technology and the S6 offers a 5mpx front facing cam capable of 1080p at 30fps. But again, who gives a damn. Now down to business, The M9 has a 20.7 mpx camera on the back. It is capable of 2160p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps and 720p at 120fps. The S6 camera has the exact same video capabilities but comes with a 16 mpx sensor that has optical image stabilisation which is a huge upgrader over the M9. Early reports suggest that pretty much every single aspect about the M9’s camera is poor, from the aperture to the autofocus and low light imagery, the HTC M9’s camera falls short on every level. With apt improvements over the S5, the S6 steals this category by a landslide. By actually being able to take photos in the dark and being able to focus properly, the S6 evens the match.
It seems I didn’t think this through and I need a tie breaker. And this one isn’t very scientific at all. Personal preference shouldn’t be used to decide this, however, the metallic finish of the M9 as well as the Front facing speakers and the longer hypothetical battery life are things that I don’t think that I could accept to live without. If I am purchasing a top end smartphone that I’ll probably have to tolerate for two years, I’d have to go with the HTC. Yes the crap camera is a big trade off, but I don’t use my camera that much however increased battery life and a solid finish are thing that I would take in a heartbeat over a thinner and lighter device. In the end, everyone will need to go to their local phone shop and play about with both. If it was up to me, I would get rid of the launchers and replace them with Now launcher. With that said, I hope for a Google Play version that would rectify this issue. I guess, much like this article, it comes to personal preferences. Sorry Samsung, better luck next year.