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

One-M8-vs-Galaxy-S5-1

We’ve already given you five reasons to choose the Galaxy S5 over the One M8 when buying your next smartphone — but of course, HTC’s latest flagship comes with its own advantages, too. So in this piece, we’ll list five reasons why the One M8 is better than the Galaxy S5.

By comparing the two lists, you should be able to decide which handset better suits your wants and needs based on things like design and key features — and therefore which is most worthy of a new two-year contract.

BoomSound

HTC’s BoomSound speakers were one of the biggest selling points of the original, and this time around they’re even better, with the Taiwanese company promises 25% more volume and greater sound.

25% more volume and greater sound.

They’re hands-down the best built-in speakers you’ll find on a smartphone, and they make movies, games, and music on the go all the more enjoyable. In many cases, they negate the need for those small external Bluetooth speakers. While they certainly won’t waking up the neighbors, they’re ideal for sharing your favorite tracks with a few friends.

Design

The HTC One M8 really is the finest, most elegant Android-powered smartphone money can buy. If you care about design and you want a device that feels like it is worthy of its premium price tag, then the M8 should probably be the only smartphone on your wish-list.

The M8 looks a lot like its predecessor at first glance, but HTC has improved upon its award-winning form factor in a number of ways. While last year’s flagship was 70% aluminum, the M8 is 90% aluminum. The polycarbonate shell that held the M7 together makes way for a gorgeous unibody design with seamless curves that couldn’t be more comfortable in the palm of your hand.

It’s so nice you’ll worry about spoiling it.

The only downside of the M8′s design — though you can’t really call it a downside — is that it’s so nice you’ll worry about spoiling it. Each one comes with a free case, and mine’s been tucked up inside it almost all of the time — I’ve only taken it out to take photos of it — and I really don’t like using cases.

Gestures

HTC’s decision to put the M8′s infrared blaster in the sleep/wake button means it has to be placed on top of the phone — no one wants to point the side of their handset at the TV when using it as a remote. But this means the sleep button is hard to reach, particularly with the M8 being as tall as it is.

One-M8-lock-screen-gestures

The M8′s lock screen gestures.

Thankfully, HTC has countered that with some nifty lock screen gestures that allow you to unlock the phone and access different things with simple taps and swipes.

Pick the M8 up and double-tap the screen, for example, and it’ll wake up — while double-tapping again puts it back to sleep. Swipe to the right and you’ll be taken to the app you were using when you locked the device, and a swipe to the left takes you straight into BlinkFeed. Swiping up takes you to the home screen.

This is a simple addition that makes such a big difference. Once you’re used to using these gestures —it’ll take you about 30 seconds to master them — you’ll wonder how you ever managed without then. When I use other smartphones now, I’m constantly double-tapping the screen when I want to wake them up.

One-M8-vs-Galaxy-S5-2

Sense 6

Given the choice between pure Android and a third-party interface, I’d almost always take the former — but Sense 6 changes that.

It’s beautiful and well thought-out, and the features HTC has added are features you’ll actually want to use. The camera options I talk about below, HTC Zoe, BlinkFeed, and even HTC’s little design changes — like the way the accents change color based on your theme — are excellent additions that are worthy of a place on your smartphone.

Sense-6

Sense 6 isn’t filled with dozens of apps and features you don’t want just for the sake of it. It almost feels like an extension of pure Android rather than a third-party skin applied over the top of it.

Spend some time with Sense 6 and you’ll love it.

I appreciate that some may have a negative opinion of Sense based on previous versions, but I’m confident that if you spend time with Sense 6, you’ll grow to love it.

Camera Features

While the M8′s 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera could certainly use some improvement, the features that come with it are excellent. The second camera sensor — HTC calls it the Duo Camera — captures depth information and allows for some really nifty editing features that you won’t find on other smartphones.

The camera features offered by the M8 are fantastic.

Using the “Ufocus” feature, you can alter the focus of your images after they’ve been taken. See the example below: I use exactly the same image in both, but in one I focus on the foreground, and in the other I focus on the background.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 15.55.14

Having this ability means that if you accidentally focus on the wrong subject when taking a photo, you can fix it later. Ufocus also lets you add a shallow depth of field effect, like that you get with high-end camera photos. The Galaxy S5 can do this, too, but I’ve found it to be less impressive — presumably because it doesn’t have that second sensor that the M8 takes advantage of.

I’m aware of the fact that the Galaxy S5 has lots of other features, too — including things like Sound & Shot and Beauty Face — but I’ve found the M8′s to be more impressive and much more useful. The Galaxy S5 does have the better camera overall, mostly because it’s more detailed and more consistent, but the M8′s is nowhere near as poor as some claim it is.

Personally, the M8′s other features — its BoomSound speakers, Sense 6 software, and exceptional build quality — make its camera a worthy sacrifice. But of course, you should think about what’s more important to you when choosing your next smartphone.

There’s another M8 bonus I didn’t mention above, and that’s the option to buy it as a Google Play Edition device. If you don’t like Sense 6 as much as I do, you can combine the M8′s wonderful design with pure Android by buying the device unlocked from Google Play.

I didn’t mention the M8′s display for the same reason I didn’t mention the Galaxy S5′s in my other piece; both are fantastic and each have their strengths — you’ll be pleased with either no matter which smartphone you decide is right for you.

If you haven’t already, check out my “5 Reasons To Choose The Galaxy S5 Over The HTC One M8” piece. Hopefully, they’ll help you decide which device is best for you when it’s time to upgrade.

Related