Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9 comparison: MWC's best devices go head-to-head

samsung galaxy s6 vs htc one m9
© Samsung, HTC, NextPit

Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona has seen the official launch of two Android devices we will be undoubtedly discussing for the rest of the year: the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9. But based on what we know so far, which of these devices is going to be better? Find out in our Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9 comparison.

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s6 vs samsung galaxy htc one m9
We face the M9 with the Galaxy S6. / © Samsung, HTC, ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9: Design 

Samsung has gone premium on its Galaxy S6 with the metal sides and a glass rear. The result is an impressive and sleek device, even if the glass is something of a fingerprint magnet. 

The influence that Apple's super-popular iPhone 6 has had on the Galaxy S6 is unmistakable, and it's not the "re-imagining" of the Galaxy S series that many expected, but it's a big leap in quality compared to the Galaxy S5.

In contrast, the HTC One M9 has almost no differences compared to its One M8 predecessor. The metal unibody remains and aside from the square camera lens, there aren't many immediately visible changes.

Which design is better? The Galaxy S6 will certainly show more fingerprints, but it's also thinner and lighter. And HTC's logo still takes up a frustrating amount of space on the bottom of the display, as is the tradition.

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There have been few changes in the new HTC since the One M8. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9: Display

HTC has opted for a 5-inch Full-HD display on the One M9, just like on the HTC One M8. It's not as sharp as its QHD competitors, but it's still high-quality and produces strong colors and contrast.  

The Galaxy S6 has a 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, and it's the clear winner between the two handsets. Samsung always impresses with its flagship displays, and Galaxy S6 even beats the previous Galaxy Note 4's pin-sharp screen. It's a real beauty and a makes doing even simple smartphone tasks a pleasure.

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The Galaxy S6 camera has to be seen to be believed. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9: Software and performance

The HTC One M9 is running Android 5.0.2 and Sense 7 UI, while the Galaxy S6 has Android 5.0 Lollipop with the infamous TouchWiz UI over the top. Both interfaces have seen reasonably big changes for the new devices. HTC's Sense can now be fully-customized, changing the icons, keyboard, wallpapers and launcher with a selection of HTC branded, and eventually user-made, themes. 

TouchWiz has been refined, with less preinstalled apps then ever before, and Samsung has improved its app code in general, increasing the overall performance of the device as well as saving on internal storage space (it's worth noting that the One M9 will come with a MicroSD card slot, whereas the S6 won't). 

The One M9 features a latest edition octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, and the Galaxy S6 features an octa-core equivalent. It's too early to tell which device will be the faster, but we doubt there will be much between them. 

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The HTC One M9 app drawer. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9: Camera

HTC has made a change from its traditional UltraPixel rear camera setup, placing a 20 MP snapper on the rear of the HTC One M9. An UltraPixel camera is now being used as the front-facing snapper, which makes perfect sense. UltraPixel technology produces great pictures in low-light conditions, and most pictures taken with the front-camera are selfies in dimly-lit bars, right?

HTC's Eye experience software features a wealth of customization options for pictures, and the 20 MP camera has proven to be an excellent performer in our short test at MWC.

Samsung brings a 16 MP sensor to the Galaxy S6 (the same raw pixel number as on the Galaxy S5) with optical image stabilization and superior low-light capabilities. Whether or not the Galaxy S6 camera is the most detailed, we aren't sure, but it's good in all kinds of light, and it has clearly been a focus for Samsung. We'll wait until the full reviews to decide which device has the best camera setup.

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Making a great camera has clearly been a focus for Samsung. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9: battery

The Galaxy S6 will come with 2,550 mAh battery, and the HTC One M9 with a 2,840 mAh battery. At this point, we'd speculate that the HTC One M9 will have better battery life: not only is its capacity higher, but it's screen has a far smaller resolution (and is likely less bright). That being said, the Galaxy S6 comes with some neat charging features, like Qi wireless charging with a number of compatible chargers, and ultra-fast wired charging (supposedly adding four hours standby time in a 10-minute charge). 

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9: Specifications

  HTC One M9 Samsung Galaxy S6
System Android 5.0.2 HTC Sense Lollipop + 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop 
Screen 5-inch, LCD, Full-HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 441 ppi 5.1-inch Quad-HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) Super AMOLED, 577 ppi
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-Core, 2.0 GHz + 4 x 4 x 1.5 GHz Samsung 64-bit Octa-core processor (Quad 1.5 Ghz + Quad 2.1 GHz)
Internal memory 32 GB + microSD 32 / 64 / 128 GB
Battery 2,840 mAh 2,550 mAh + wireless charging + wired supercharging.
Camera 20 MP (rear), HTC UltraPixel (front) 16 MP (rear), 5 MP (front)
Connectivity USB 2.0, WLAN, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, CIR, HDMI MHL 3.0 Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP, LE, apt-X, ANT +, USB 2.0, NFC, IR Remote, WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
Dimensions 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
Weight 157 grams 138 grams

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9: Price

The Galaxy S6 price will be set at 699, 799 and 899 euros for the 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB versions respectively. We predict that the US price structure will be 649, 749 and 849 USD, though this has not been confirmed by Samsung. 

The HTC One M9 will launch in one version, 32 GB, and will cost 749 euros, which we think will be around 700 USD. 

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9: Conclusion

There's no doubt that these devices are going to be the kings of premium smartphone bracket for the foreseeable future. But if I had to decide on a winner based on what we know so far, I'd have to hand it to the Galaxy S6. It's thinner, lighter, with a nicer display and better charging features. The One M9 might win out with raw megapixel count of its camera, and it does have a microSD card slot, but it's also more expensive than the Galaxy S6 base model for the same amount of internal storage. The S6 is clinching it so far. 

Which device would you prefer? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  • Fred Brown Mar 10, 2015 Link to comment

    Ok I must say the person writing this doesn't know anything about phones! There is a reason HTC stuck with the 1080 hd screen ! It's because it's much better on battery life and doesn't slow down the phone as much as the super amoled screens. Also I have had the galaxy s5, the LG g3, and the HTC one M8 and the HTC is my favorite by far ! When looking at 4k pictures on the phones the Samsung does have a more vibrant color contrast but the HTC is more detailed ! also even something as simple as plugging your phone into your computer to upload pictures or videos the HTC automatically has an app pop up on your computer with all your contents organized you won't find that on the LG or Samsung. the camera on the HTC is awesome ! It doesn't have as great of a zoom as the galaxy due to the lower pixel camera but the camera is better than the galaxys as long as your not zooming in to far ! After buying the HTC one m8 I'm a fan for life ! I sold both of the other phones and haven't looked back ! Everything HTC does if for a reason And to get the most out of your phone . Just like in there 2014 models the HTC was faster than both the Samsung and the LG which both had more ghz and ram because HTC didn't try to cram a bunch of unneccessary apps, there screen is HD and good quality without making the phone run to hard which then slows it down, and they keep everything nice, And practical and give you quality ! They don't try to glamorize their phones with nonsense ! They take the things people use most and make them user friendly and well designed ! If you want the other bullshit on your phone you have the option of downloading it yourself rather than them automatically putting it on there ! Also Samsung, LG and Apple have copied HTC this time around ! Apple copied the HTC's body design, LG mocked the HTC's metal finish look but using plastic rather than the real deal like HTC did and Samsung has now thrown a 5 mp selfie camera on the front of their new phone WHICH THE M8 HAD LAST YEAR ! I like HTC because they do their own thing and in the process the other competitors take notes and try to copy ! Apple is infamous for this ! galaxy is a good phone BUT they just overload their phone with a bunch of shit you'll never use ! HTC has an HDMI plug this time around . the highest mp camera, great camera features and great audio, and the m9 is faster than the s6 as well ! What more could you ask for ? But I don't see the writer listing any of this up top ! also for any iPhone lovers lol iPhone is in a race they will never win... it takes Apple years to Develop a new phone and by the time it comes out its 2 yrs behind any android phone as far as specs go... Also Apple is mostly made from Samsung parts .. and most of the things "ideas" Apple has are ideas stolen from android phones and then they try to make it their own and then patent the idea so android phones can no longer use it . Just like they did with the finger print ID. HTC all the way !!! My girlfriend bought the s5 and is sooo jealous of my phone ! HTC just has a way of looking at every aspect and considering all the upsides and downsides and making everything in their phones come together and running smooth, fast, and giving you your money's worth. I broke my screen dropping it off a balcony and HTC replaced The phone no charge because they have a free screen repair if it cracks no matter the reason. Other phones such as the LG will have one or two great features and they will advertise the hell out of it making it the selling point of their phone but how do these features affect the phones performance ? How much battery does that 4k picture use up ? And how does the phone itself perform as a whole ?? All I can say is I have checked out the LG g3, the HTC one m8, Samsung s5, and the iPhone 6. The iPhone is junk and is no more than a glamorized iPhone 5, the LG g3 has maybe 2 strong points but sacrifices performance and battery life for them. The smsung just gets over loaded with junk you'll never use which leaves you with 6 gigabytes remaining from your 16 gigabytes internal memory. but apparently Samsung is doing away with the expandable memory do they can charge you twice as much for a phone with more built in internal memory, but even so with HTC having expandable memory you can have as many as cards as you want loaded with movies and songs .

    • Eddy Jones Mar 11, 2015 Link to comment

      I'm only going to point out one thing in you're comment because you're entitled to you're opinion.

      But the M9 is not faster than the S6 the Exynos 7420 64bit octa-core processor has been tested along side the snapdragon 810 and they have found that Samsung's processor is indeed faster than the 810

      Obviously they wrote this before they did the test

  • Dustin Mar 5, 2015 Link to comment

    Could the favoritism in this article be more blatantly obvious? Anything the One should win out on the reviewer takes a wait and see approach. Anything the Samsung should win, he's already conceded it.

    Pretty shoddy journalism.

  • Gillman Mar 4, 2015 Link to comment

    I would go for the One. The speakers (which the author didn't even mention), the better headphone amp, the micro sd slot, plus better battery life make it the clear winner. I would not want the higher resolution of the S6, anything over 1080p is overkill on a 5 inch screen IMHO. I also prefer Sense to Touchwiz any day and I should mention features like the FM tuner and the IR blaster which the One has.

  • Bobby Pressman Mar 4, 2015 Link to comment

    Based on pure specs it seems the Samsung is the choice. If you do any kind of business, power or media use you will need the 64 gb model as a minimum. 128 gb would be recommended for power use. It would be interesting to see a comparison of phones after 6 months or even a year of average or above average use. When they do these comparisons they are fresh phones based on specs. I have a Galaxy s4 and ready for an upgrade. Samsung over the year as been an okay performer. The electronics as far as wifi, network connectivity, phone, Bluetooth are sub standard. The phone is still relatively fast even though I am running out of internal space. Even with the ability to move some programs and all media to the sd card. Constant problems in the connectivity areas though. Not sure if Samsung addressed those problems or not. My wife uses an s5 and it seems better. HTC in my opinion makes a better piece of hardware. I will definitely be checking back over the next 2 months before the phones are actually available to see any concerns.

    • Mark Haworth Mar 5, 2015 Link to comment

      Tho, with the HTC having a microSD slot, the size of the memory isn't an issue. it has 32Gb internally, and 32Gb microSD cards costing a tenner, or 64Gb for £20, is it really an issue?

  • sam pack Mar 4, 2015 Link to comment

    Upset with the final design. Own a M8 no point upgrading for a camera & a few specs.. Might get the s6! Aqua color looks niiiccceee 😉

  • An Droid Mar 4, 2015 Link to comment

    The S6 is a stunner and brimming with innovation. I have owned HTC before, but my last two phones have been Samsung, as they are forever pushing the boundaries.

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