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HTC One (M8) vs. iPhone 5s

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April 2, 2014

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the HTC One (M8) and Apple iPhone 5s

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the HTC One (M8) and Apple iPhone 5s

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If there's a company that can challenge, if not top, Apple's standing as the leader in smartphone design, it's HTC. Last year's HTC One and the new HTC One (M8) just might be the two most beautiful mobile devices ever made. What happens when you put the One M8's features and specs next to those of the iPhone 5s? Read on, as Gizmag breaks it down.

Update: We've now published our hands-on look at these two phones.

Size

The One is 18 percent longer and 20 percent wider

There's nothing close about this category. The HTC One (M8) is 18 percent longer, 20 percent wider, and 24 percent thicker than the iPhone 5s. Android phones have created a new normal for smartphone size, but the iPhone isn't (yet) playing this new game.

But that isn't to say that there aren't also advantages to having a smaller phone. If you have small hands, or simply want something that will disappear in your pocket, then the iPhone's petite build could be just what you're looking for.

Weight

The iPhone is 30 percent lighter

We have another huge discrepancy in the weight department. The One M8 is 43 percent heavier than the feathery iPhone.

Build

Both phones have aluminum unibody builds

You won't find two smartphones with more thoughtful and premium constructions than these two. Both are made of aluminum, and have an attention to detail that most other smartphones can't match.

Colors

Color options are almost identical

Well isn't this awkward? Apart from some slightly different marketing terms, we're looking at the same basic color options with both phones. In fairness to Apple, the 5s launched six months before the One M8.

Display

The iPhone only gives you 64 percent as much screen real estate as the One M8 does

Screen size is, as you can see, a huge difference. The One M8 gives you 56 percent more screen real estate than the iPhone gives you. iPhones always sell like hotcakes, but I imagine its smaller screen size has led to more than a few customers defecting to Android.

HTC's phone also has a much sharper screen. The iPhone's Retina Display is supposedly sharp enough that the human eye can't differentiate individual pixels (according to the completely unbiased Apple marketing department). But my eyes always notice a difference when they look at razor-sharp 1080p phones like the One.

Fingerprint sensor

The iPhone 5s' Touch ID fingerprint sensor combines security and convenience

The iPhone 5s' big selling feature is its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. You can use your print to unlock your passcode-protected phone, as well as authorize iTunes and App Store purchases. Unlike the swipe-based scanners on rivals like the Galaxy S5 and HTC One Max, the iPhone's lets you simply rest your finger on the home button.

Motion Launch

The One's Motion Launch is a handy set of sensor-based shortcuts

The One's Motion Launch is a handy set of sensor-based shortcuts offering such time-savers as swiping or tapping on your sleeping One's screen to jump to your lock screen or home screen, or pressing a volume button while you're holding the phone in landscape to launch its camera. You can even answer a phone call just by lifting the M8 to your ear.

Battery

The iPhone 5s has solid battery life, but the One's is, according to our tests, 49 percent...

The iPhone has solid battery life, but, in our video streaming test, the One M8 lasted 49 percent longer. It's another big strength for HTC's gorgeous powerhouse of a phone.

Extreme Power Saving Mode

A future software update will bring a battery life-extending Extreme Power Saving Mode to ...

A future software update is going to give the One M8 a feature similar to the one Samsung packed into the Galaxy S5. If your battery dips down too low, you can jump into Extreme Power Saving Mode, which desaturates the screen and limits background processes. You'll supposedly be able to squeeze hours of extra uptime out of just a small amount of juice.

Front-facing speakers

The One's front-facing BoomSound speakers are the best in the business

The One's front-facing BoomSound speakers are the best in the business. Unless you like to throw dance parties with your smartphone pumping out tunes, this probably isn't something you'll want to base your decision on. But it is a nice bonus, if you're already leaning toward the One.

Cameras

The iPhone's camera wins on megapixels, but the One's camera has larger pixels, which help...

The iPhone's camera wins on megapixels, but the One's "UltraPixels" (larger pixels) help it to take brighter and more colorful shots under low lighting.

Depth sensor

The One M8 has a second rear camera devoted to sensing depth

The One's second rear camera senses depth, so you can add a bokeh (blurred background) effect to portraits and other shots. The effect is a little hit-or-miss in the One, but when you get it just right, it can add an extra spark to your smartphone photography.

Dual LED flash

Both phones have dual-LED flashes

Both phones have dual-LED flashes, to help make your flash photography look a little bit less like ... well, flash photography. Expect more even lighting and richer colors than typical smartphone flashes will give you.

Slow-motion video

Both phones let you record video in slow-motion

Both phones also let you capture videos in slow-motion, which is always a fun feature if you're filming children, pets, or other fast-moving creatures.

Storage

Storage options for both phones

The iPhone caps out at a 64 GB option that HTC doesn't offer this year, but the One M8 also supplements that with a micro SD card slot.

Processor

The One's Snapdragon processor looks much better on paper, but the iPhone's A7 SoC is very...

On paper, the One's Snapdragon 801 looks to dominate. But the iPhone's 64-bit A7 system-on-a-chip is zippier than its dual core processor and 1.3 GHz clock speed might suggest. The bottom line is that both phones are very fast, and performance shouldn't be a concern in either case.

RAM

The One M8 doubles the iPhone's 1 GB of RAM

The One M8 does double the iPhone's 1 GB of RAM.

Software

The One M8 runs the latest version of Android, with HTC's Sense 6 UI on top

We won't go into the played-out iOS vs. Android debate here, but both phones do give you the latest versions of their respective operating systems. The One's Android 4.4 KitKat has HTC's custom UI, Sense 6, sitting on top of Google's core OS.

Release

The One M8 is releasing about halfway through the iPhone 5s' initial lifecycle

If Apple releases its next iPhone at about the same time this year, then we're now halfway towards the 5s' follow-up. The One just launched last week.

Starting prices

Starting off-contract prices are even, at US$650 a pop

Typical off-contract pricing is tied up at US$650. If you live in the US and are buying with a new two-year contract, then you'll probably be throwing down $200 for either handset.

For more on these two flagships, you can hit up our full reviews of the iPhone 5s and HTC One (M8).

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About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. 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
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2 Comments

Its not so much that comparing these devices is fair since the 5s is a much older model compared to something just released. But is striking is that you are getting so much more phone with the HTC then the iPhone for the same price.

Rann Xeroxx
4th April, 2014 @ 03:07 pm PDT

very imformative and awesome review. Didn't feel biased at all. Thanks, I am still trying to decide between the HTC and an Iphone, I've had the 5 and my 2 year contract will be up in September, Will be interesting to see what Apple comes out with then.

Daniel Shipley
7th May, 2014 @ 01:20 pm PDT
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