5 Reasons To Choose The Galaxy S5 Over The HTC One M8

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It’s time to upgrade your smartphone — but which Android should you choose? Samsung and HTC just launched their latest flagships, and both are excellent devices. Deciding which would be best for you isn’t easy, but taking a close look at key features can help.

In this piece, we’ll outline five reasons why you should choose Samsung’s Galaxy S5 over the HTC One M8. In a parallel post, we’ll list five reasons to go with HTC’s latest model. Comparing the two should help you decide which handset is more worthy your hard-earned cash.

Water Resistance

One of the best things about the Galaxy S5 — and one of the main reasons to buy one — is its water-resistant design. It’s rated IP67 and is completely waterproof in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

Cooling off in a bowl of water.

Cooling off in a bowl of water.

You’ll find dozens of videos on YouTube that prove the S5 will last a lot longer than that underwater, but these are the guidelines Samsung gives and it’s best to follow them to be safe. Even with those limitations, having a waterproof smartphone is a blessing the vast majority of people won’t be used to.

Since my Galaxy S5 arrived on launch day, I’ve been getting it wet at every opportunity — partly to test Samsung’s claims, but mostly just because I can. It’s been in the bath, in a hot tub and even went for a quick dip in my fish tank — and it still works perfectly fine.


It’s not all about the fun factor, though. Many people have lost a smartphone to liquid damage, and it’s terrific to see manufacturers start to address this problem. It’s a shame HTC didn’t do the same with its latest flagship phone.

Finger Scanner

After the iPhone 5s introduced Touch ID last September, we thought rival smartphone manufacturers would adding fingerprint scanners to their latest flagship offerings as quickly as possible. Surprisingly, few have.

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The Galaxy S5’s Finger Scanner requires a swipe rather than a tap.

Even more surprisingly, HTC introduced one with its HTC One max phablet last year, but left it out of the One M8. So that’s another point to the Galaxy S5, which has a fingerprint scanner (or just “Finger Scanner,” as Samsung calls it) built into its home button.

Unlike the iPhone’s sensor, the GalaxyS5 fingerprint scanner requires a swipe rather than just a tap. Other than it works in much the same way, although the Galaxy S5 allows third parties to access your fingerprint so you can use it to log into other apps and authorize all kinds of things.

Right now, it can be used to unlock your device, purchase items from the Samsung Apps marketplace and authorize PayPal payments. But now that the Galaxy S5 is on sale, you can be sure many more services will add fingerprint authentication to their apps in the near future.

Camera

While the HTC One M8 arguably boasts better camera features than the S5 — mostly thanks to its second camera sensor, which allows for all kinds of nifty focus effects — Samsung’s device has the better camera overall. Its 16-megapixel rear-facing sensor takes terrific shots in just about every situation.

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The M8’s camera is better than most would lead you to believe. It’s a decent shooter — especially for a smartphone camera — but the Galaxy S5 camera is much more consistent. When you expect a good photo, that’s exactly what you get.

The S5’s images look more colorful and vibrant, and they’re much more detailed, too. Even when you’re zoomed in, shots taken on the Galaxy S5 still look crisp, while those taken on the One M8’s 4-megapixel UltraPixel shooter become very blurry very quickly.

The Galaxy S5 also boasts 4K video recording, while the One M8 maxes out at 1080p. Of course, if you don’t have a 4K TV that’s probably not going to matter to you all that much, but it means the Galaxy S5 is somewhat future-proof — and that’s important if you plan to keep your new phone for at least two years.

Galaxy Gear Compatibility

If you’ve never used a Galaxy Gear, you might assume you don’t want or need one. I did — until I starting using an original Gear a few months ago. Now I’m in love with it. There’s certainly plenty of room for improvement, but there’s a lot to like about Samsung’s wearables.

Only Samsung's smartphones are officially compatible with the Galaxy Gear.

Only Samsung’s smartphones are officially compatible with the Galaxy Gear.

Especially if you get one of the newer models, which are even better. Thinner and lighter than before, and with better battery life and new features, the new Galaxy Gear 2 is a huge improvement over the original. There’s also a Galaxy Gear 2 Neo, which does away with the camera to be more affordable, and a Galaxy Gear Fit, which is ideal for fitness fanatics who want workout stats alongside their notifications.

The only problem with the Galaxy Gear lineup is that it’s only compatible with certain smartphones — namely Samsung’s own Galaxy smartphones. If you want one, you’ll need to choose the Galaxy S5 over the One M8.

Removable Battery

Believe it or not, a removable battery is still a must for some smartphone users. If you’re on the go all day and your handset frequently runs out of juice before you have a chance to charge it up, the ability to pull out its battery and stick in a fresh one in 30 seconds flat is indispensable.

Unfortunately, removable batteries are becoming a rarity with modern smartphones. But Samsung is still championing them — even with its waterproof devices. The One M8’s battery, on the other hand, is sealed firmly inside its aluminum unibody, and there’s no way you’re getting that out in a hurry.

You might be wondering why I didn’t include the Galaxy S5’s heart rate monitor in this list, and that’s simply because it’s not all that special. Tests have found it is no more accurate than apps that use a camera and LED flash to read your heart rate, while others have concluded it’s far too inconsistent.

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You might also ask why I didn’t include the Galaxy S5’s awesome SAMOLED display in the list. The reason for that is, the One M8’s is just as good. Both have incredible 1080p screens, so no matter which one you decide to go for, you’ll be happy.

One other thing to bear in mind when choosing your next smartphone is software. The Galaxy S5 runs TouchWiz while the One M8 runs Sense 6 — and both are very different. If you’re already used to one of them, you might wish to stick with it.

Personally, I prefer Sense 6. I find it to be significantly less intrusive, and the features HTC bakes in are nice additions to Android that most people will enjoy using. TouchWiz has some nice features, too — there’s no denying that — but you’ll never use many of them. Samsung’s UI is also much more prominent throughout; its Settings menu, for example, looks nothing like the stock Android screen anymore.

If you haven’t already, check out our “5 Reasons To Choose The HTC One M8 Over The Galaxy S5″ piece. We hope these articles will help you decide which handset is best for you when it’s time to upgrade.