Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. HTC One M9 – Flagship shootout

By April Taylor , Mar 03, 2015 07:51 AM EST

Both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 made their official debut on the same day, and are expected to go head-to-head.

Both smartphones come with impressive specs and features all around, and both sport notable improvements compared to their predecessors. It may ultimately come down to personal choice and preference, but each of them is better than the other in some aspects. Here's how they stack up against each other:


The HTC One M9 comes with an identical screen as its predecessor, meaning a 5-inch display with a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The Samsung Galaxy S6, meanwhile, boasts a sharper 5.1-inch display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels.


The Samsung Galaxy S6 packs an in-house Exynos octa-core processor, with four 2.1GHz cores and four 1.5GHz cores. The HTC One M9 packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core SoC, with four 2GHz cores and four 1.5GHz ones. Both processors are powerful, but the 14nm Exynos may prove more efficient than the 20nm Snapdragon. It also remains to be seen whether Qualcomm's chip indeed has some overheating issues as rumored. In the RAM department, both handsets come with a hefty 3GB of RAM that should ensure a fast and fluid performance.


The HTC One M9 comes with 32GB of internal storage capacity, expandable up to 128GB via microSD. The Samsung Galaxy S6, meanwhile, comes in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB configurations, but has no microSD card slot for additional memory.


The HTC One M9 features a 20-megapixel rear camera and an UltraPixel front shooter that will offer the same features as the UltraPixel rear camera of the HTC One M8. The Galaxy S6 comes with a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front shooter. Both handsets offer a nunmber of neat camera features, so it remains to be seen whether the megapixel count will result in a big difference in image quality.


In the battery department, the Samsung Galaxy S5 packs a 2,550 mAh unit and comes with wireless charging capabilities, as well as fast-charging technology. The HTC One M9, meanwhile, has a larger 2,840 mAh battery that should last for longer on a single charge.


In terms of design, Samsung's new-generation Galaxy S6 definitely boasts notable improvements over its predecessor. Instead of the band aid-like plastic body of the Galaxy S5, the new Galaxy S6 now sports a metal frame and a glass back, which makes it look and feel more premium. The HTC One M9, meanwhile, sports no big changes in design compared to its predecessor. Considering that the aluminum unibody design already received high praise, however, a big change was not as necessary as it was for Samsung. The One M9 looks very similar to the One M8, and for many that's not a bad thing. Nevertheless, the new flagship does come with a square camera module to accommodate a bigger lens, ditches the Duo depth setup, and also moves the power button to the right side instead of the top as found on the One M8.


When it comes to software, both new flagships come with Android 5.0 Lollipop on board out of the box, as well as the OEM's own UI on top. The Samsung Galaxy S6 features a less bloated TouchWiz, while the HTC One M9 rocks an improved HTC Sense 7.0. Both smartphones boast a slew of neat features to improve the user experience, but HTC Sense 7.0 may be more intuitive.


Samsung equipped its new Galaxy S6 with an improved fingerprint reader, and has also announced a new mobile payments service called Samsung Pay. Working with both MST and NFC, Samsung Pay promises to be compatible with any existing POS that accepts mag-strip credit cards. At least at first, Samsung Pay will be available only on the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, starting this summer in the U.S.

The HTC One M9, meanwhile, should provide superior audio quality with its dual BoomSound front speakers, now paired with Dolby Audio for an immersive 5.1 channel surround sound simulation.

Size and weight

The Samsung Galaxy S6 measures 5.66 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches and weighs in at 4.87 ounces, while the HTC One M9 measures 5.69 x 2.64 x 0.38 inches and tips the scale at 5.53 ounces. Consequently, the Galaxy S6 has a thinner and lighter design compared to the One M9.

Bottom line

In conclusion, both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 come with impressive specs and features all around, and both are real powerhouses able to handle virtually any task you throw at them. The Galaxy S6 has a sharper display, a lighter design, more internal storage options, and Samsung Pay, which may appeal more to some users. The HTC One M9 has a better rear camera, a larger battery, Dolby Audio with BoomSound, and expandable storage via microSD.

It ultimately comes down to personal needs and preferences, as each of these two flagships has its own strengths over the other. Which one seems more appealing to you, the Samsung Galaxy S6 or the HTC One M9?

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