Last month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung launched its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5. Moments after the launch, HTC tweeted that the show wasn’t over, and advised people to wait a bit to see what it has in the works. Today, the Taiwanese mobile giant has finally launched its flagship phone named HTC One (M8). The phone is really beautiful, but how does it stand in front of its rivals, the Galaxy S5 and Sony’s Xperia Z2? Let’s take a look.


Design and Build

Samsung took a rather different route when iterating Galaxy S5. While the front side of the phone looks pretty similar to its predecessor, Galaxy S4, the back has got a rubbery, perforated design. On the other hand, HTC One M8 is nothing short of a work of art. With a high quality metallic body all around, the phone rules the appearance segment. Sony upped the screen size in its latest flagship, Xperia Z2, and the phone looks slimmer and sharper, thanks to its advanced screen resolution. The back remains glass which looks stunning but is prone to fingerprints.

HTC One M8 also looks thinner, while a bit more curvy, and not to forget that it has two dual-camera lenses on the rear. The entire industrial design has gotten a revamp.




From the technical specifications standpoint, all three smartphones are almost identical, so it all comes down to what exclusive features these phones are providing.

While Sony Xperia Z2 has again touted its water resistant capability, Samsung has added dust and waterproof features to Galaxy S5’s repertoire. The handset also features a finger scanner which will not only make the transaction more convenient, but more secure as well. HTC One (M8) lacks both these features.

In addition, Galaxy S5 also has an Ultra Power Saving Mode, which turns the phone’s display black and white and shuts all the not-so-important phone features to make the device function longer. Similarly, the HTC One M8 comes with an ‘Extreme Power Saving Mode’ which as the company claims can run the phone for a whopping 15 hours even after it has touched the 5 percent mark.

Sony Xperia Z2 comes with a rather impressive 20.7 MP rear camera, whereas Galaxy S5 has a 16 MP camera on it. HTC One on the other hand, has a completely different take when it comes to the camera. HTC has retained the old UltraPixel camera, but now comes with an additional Duo Camera at the back, which supposedly lets you change the focus of your images later. Pretty much what Nokia Lumia smartphones let you do with their Nokia Refocus app.

Then there’s the Zoe application which, although hasn’t arrived yet, will possibly let you and your friends make highlight reels together. HTC One M8’s camera is fast, provides quicker switching between images, videos and the Zoey mode, in addition, also just takes 0.3 seconds to change focus.

Both Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2 however, seem a few steps behind when it comes to HTC’s Boom Sound technology, which is reportedly 25% louder than the HTC One, and comes with a new software to balance bass among other audio effects.

All the three phones have updated their user interface. They all claim to have improved the features, but only time will tell how consumers response to them. In addition, HTC One M8 has the new version of Blinkfeed, whereas Samsung also updated its Magazine app which caters content in a Metro-esque fashion. To its advantage, HTC One (M8) is the only flagship phone to come in Google Play Edition


As far as the design of the phones go, HTC One M8 is the clear winner. But if you’re a shutterbug, maybe Sony’s Xperia Z2 is the most lucrative offering. Samsung scores heavily in the gimmick stuff with fingerprint scanner at its disposal. For now, HTC One (M8)’s Achilles heel is its Ultrapixel camera which hasn’t got an update since 2013. What’s your choice among the three? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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Manish is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.