This is 2014’s head-to-head Android fight. These two heavyweight devices, the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy s5, have been the two most anticipated Android phones for the last couple of months. The HTC has received far less acclaim or hype, but has recently escalated to the top of the smartphone ranks with this quality device that stands to be HTC’s last “hail-mary” for a premium handset.
Below is a step by step breakdown of the key features that matter the most to myself — running Google Apps, living in Chrome, dabbling in apps ranging from standard social apps – such as IG, G+, SproutSocial – to video heavy apps – HBOGo, Netflix – as well as Spotify, Yelp, and so on.
I do NOT live and die by my apps, and would prefer a smooth experience with the device as a communication tool and internet device. These are important to keep in mind as you read this, as if you read all of your news from your phone, or use your phone as a GPS in your car, you may have different tendencies.
I do consider myself a veteran android power user, thus appreciating the superior battery life that Samsung has provided these past several years. BUT this time the HTC One M8 gives Samsung a run for it’s money.
Samsung Galaxy s5 – more of the same, better screen, but plastic frame with “going to chip” silver paint edgings.
HTC M8 – absolutely nailed it! Aluminum frame is seamless, and other than HTC being splattered on the front, it is far superior.
WINNER? HTC One M8
Samsung Galaxy s5 – Superior battery as usual; with a larger batter 2,800mAh and the new samsung Ultra Power Saving feature it’s a hands down victory for Samsung
HTC One M8 – Improved battery life with a slightly larger 2,600mAh battery than its predecessor, but not as great as Samsung and most likely will not last whole day on single charge with my use without a 3rd party addon (like a mophie pack). However, also sold with stock Android (helping battery life by about 25% and can be bought right from the Google Play Store)
WINNER? Samsung Galaxy s5
Samsung Galaxy s5 – With the exception of the Samsung watch functionality (with the Samsung Gear 2 or the Gear Fit), Samsung is moving completely in the wrong direction. They are openly advertising that the phone comes with $200 dollars of “free apps.” This is as disappointing as it gets and Samsung needs to stick with doing what they do well, hardware manufacturing.
HTC One M8 – My top reason for not wanting an HTC was bloatware on previous devices, they impact battery life and also make navigating around difficult as the default settings were all set to HTC, however, in this instance HTC took a step back and went more in the direction of stock Android integration.
WINNER? HTC One m8 (they sell a stock version right through Google as well)
Samsung Galaxy s5: Touchwhiz is an epic fail. I like the sleek, fresh Android rigid UI, and Touchwhiz’s cartoony “made for everybody and their family” look and feel not only takes away from the experience, but is enough for me to stay away from it. I have had a Note II for a while now, and each update has moved away from the direction I have wanted it to go.
HTC One M8: BlinkFeed looks much better (do not love it yet) and can be deactivated much easier. That being said, HTC is going back to what they know how to do, manufacture hardware, leaving Google to do the expert software work.
WINNER? HTC One M8
Samsung Galaxy s5: Waterproof and dust proof – and even though it is plastic it feels it will last
HTC One M8: Phone feels sturdier, but I think it could be just as susceptible to cracking as before (I did not crack the one I was using…). HTC does offer an industry first “free screen replacement” if you have a cracked screen within the first 6 months of ownership.
WINNER? Waterproof is enough to have Samsung s5 win here, even if it does not feel sturdier.
Could go on for days with this debate; but the bottom line is that for me, (constantly on my device & in the creative field) the look and feel of a phone is important – especially considering we have these phones for about 2 years (price tag is over 600 in both cases otherwise). The Samsung may have the advantage because of the integration with the Gear smartwatches, and an unnoticeably better screen but the HTC One M8 reigns supreme.
Overall Winner: HTC One M8
I will be buying the developers edition to remove the unwanted bloatware but take advantage of anything HTC might have to offer.
Do you think Samsung will have another worldwide hit? Or does HTC take the crown for best Android phone for 2014?