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HTC One (M8) vs. Samsung Galaxy S5


March 31, 2014

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the 2014 HTC One (M8) and Samsung Galaxy S5

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the 2014 HTC One (M8) and Samsung Galaxy S5

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You probably won't find a bigger Android rivalry than this. The new HTC One (M8) is about to butt heads with the Samsung Galaxy S5. How do their features and specs compare? Let Gizmag lend a hand.

Update: For a deeper dive on these two, we've run our hands-on look at these two phones.


The phones' dimensions aren't dramatically different, but the HTC One (M8) is three percent longer, three percent narrower, and 16 percent thicker than the Galaxy S5.


The Galaxy S5 is nine percent lighter than the One M8. That probably has a lot to do with this next category ...


I admit having a soft spot for Samsung's pleather. It's light, I think it looks pretty good, and it's comfortable in hand. But there's no question that the prize for premium, high-end design goes to HTC. The One M8 has a unibody aluminum finish that looks stunning. This is the BMW of smartphones.


We have three color options for the One M8 and four for the GS5.


The Galaxy S5 gives you four percent more screen real estate than the One M8. And in most apps, the actual difference will be a little bigger than that. That's because the One M8 uses onscreen navigation buttons, while the GS5 has physical and capacitive buttons below the screen. You will, however, get the One's full 5-in landscape in areas like your image gallery, videos, and Google Play Books – thanks to Android's Immersive Mode.

Both handsets have 1080p screens and look plenty sharp.

Motion Launch

The HTC One M8's Motion Launch is a set of sensor-based shortcuts. When you're holding the One in portrait mode, you can jump straight to your lock screen, home screen, or widgets by swiping or tapping the screen while it's off. You can also do things like activate the camera by pressing the volume button (while holding it in landscape mode) or answer a call by lifting the phone to your ear.

Heart rate sensor

Samsung is trying to get a jump on mobile fitness tech with a pulse sensor in the GS5. It sits below the phone's rear camera.

Fingerprint scanner

Never one to let the iPhone hog the spotlight, the Galaxy S5 has its own fingerprint scanner. Unlike the one in the 5s, though, you have to swipe your finger down from the bottom of the screen, rather than just rest it on the home button.


Internal storage options are the same, and this year HTC also threw in a micro SD card slot. Those are nothing new for Galaxy flagships.


It's too early to jump to conclusions about the GS5's battery life, but the One M8 is going to be hard to beat. In our standard test, where we stream video with brightness set at 75 percent, it lasted an insane nine hours and 20 minutes.

Ultra/Extreme Power Saving Mode

Both phones have similar features that let you squeeze out some extra battery life at the end of the day. Their displays will shift to black & white and the phones will limit which apps and processes can use resources. When these modes kick in, you'll be able to get hours out of just a very small amount of juice.

There is one catch though: the Galaxy S5 ships with this feature, but the One M8 will be getting its version in a future software update.


Looking just at megapixels, this looks like a blowout for the Galaxy S5. But the One's camera has bigger pixels ("UltraPixels"), which help it take brighter and more colorful shots under poorly-lit conditions. Consider this one an incomplete until we test the GS5's camera.

Depth sensor

The One M8 also has a second camera devoted to sensing depth. This lets you create blurred-background shots (Bokeh), where you can choose the point of focus after you've already snapped the picture. The GS5 has a similar (software-based) version of that same feature, even though the phone doesn't have any depth-sensing hardware.

Slow-motion video

Both phones will let you capture Junior's Little League home run or Fido's frisbee trick in slow-motion.

Water resistance

Last year Samsung marketed a separate version of the Galaxy S4, the GS4 Active, that had some water and dust resistance on board. This year the Galaxy S5 has the same protection built-in.

Front-facing speakers

Speakers might not be the first thing you're looking for in a new phone, but good luck finding one with better audio than the One M8's front-facing BoomSound speakers. It produces the best sound I've heard from any smartphone speakers.


Both phones ship with the blazing-fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. Performance isn't an issue with the One, and it shouldn't be with the GS5 either.

As is usually the case with Samsung flagships, non-LTE markets will see an octa-core Samsung Exynos chip in place of the Snapdragon.


2 GB of RAM in each handset.


Both devices are shipping with the latest version of Android. You also have a custom UI, either HTC's Sense 6 or Samsung's TouchWiz, sitting on top.


HTC dropped a bomb on us by releasing the One M8 just an hour after its launch presentation ended. The Galaxy S5 launches on April 11, though you might want to double-check whether your country and carrier are getting it on that day.

Starting price (off-contract)

The price we're seeing most often is US$650 without a contract for either phone. And US carriers are typically pricing them each at $200 with a new two-year blood oath.

This is, of course, just a quick features and specs-based look at these two flagships. We'll have much more on both of them later on, including a hands-on comparison. In the meantime, you can hit up our HTC One (M8) review for more on what might just be the best smartphone around.

Buy this on Amazon About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin

Heh, you missed a couple important points: 1) removable battery - Not a brick when the battery dies. 2) wireless charging - No messing with fiddly and fragile micro-usb.

Of what you compared I'd say the s5 has a decent lead. Physically smaller, larger screen, and a larger (not to mention replaceable) battery. Recent articles from displaymate make a good case for a better screen.

Here's hoping samsung releases a GPE (google play edition).


I noticed that the following information are not found, and some are lacking.

The Samsung GALAXY S5 has a removable battery. Note: Samsung offers a removable and an extra battery pack.

The Samsung GALAXY S5 also has wireless charging. Note: Samsung offers too a wide range of ACCESSORIES, including the wireless charge.

The Samsung GALAXY S5 has an ISOCELL + PDAF Sensor. Note: The Samsung ISOCELL may have a smaller pixel size but because of it's light angle absorption, it can capture 30% more light than BSI sensors. Also, the Phase Detection Auto-Focus (PDAF) is a HIGH QUALITY SENSOR used in DSLR Cameras. The Phase Detection Auto-Focus Sensor is the Depth Sensor of the Samsung GALAXY S5.

The Samsung GALAXY S5 has lots of sensors. Comment: Gimmicky but compared to the price, it's much more reasonable to pay a ton of sensors than to pay the same amount just for a body.

The Samsung GALAXY S5 supports High Speed USB 3.0 for data transfer and fast charge. Note: USB 3.0 offers 900milliAmperes of charge.


Fil Aldrin Carbonell

Because of at&t's policy of letting you try different phones within 14 days of purchase I was able to try out both of these phones. I tried the S5 first, since my last phone was a samsung captivate glide with ice cream sandwich so there wouldn't be much of a learning curve. I didn't think the design would matter to me much compared with functionality but the S5 really does feel cheap and rather flimsy. It is very lightweight but too much so and it doesn't feel solid at all. The 5.1" display on the S5 is really crisp and sharp, and the colors definitely pop more than on the M8. But the .1 in the 5.1" display make the S5 just a hair too big, and that combined with the flat shape of the phone make it awkward to hold and text with one hand. I used it for 10 days before swapping it out for the M8. It took about one day before I knew I would keep the M8. It's slightly slimmer than the S5 and the curved aluminum body fit a lot more naturally in the hand. And it has a weighty, premium feel. Also htc's Sense user interface is a lot more intuitive to use and straightforward to figure out than samsung's Touchwiz. And htc's stock keyboard and predictive text messaging blow the S5's out of the water. Much more accurate and quicker to use than the infuriatingly tedious predictive text of the S5. The M8 is just a better phone. It's really not even that close.

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