The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 were hailed by many, including IBTimes UK, as the two best smartphones of 2013. With the launch of Samsung's followup flagship, the Galaxy S5, expected less than three weeks after today's launch of the all new HTC One M8, we take a look at which handset you should go for.
HTC One M8 vs Galaxy S5: Screen
HTC has opted to go for a Full HD 5in screen for the HTC One M8, 0.3in larger than its previous incarnation, while the Galaxy S5 will feature a slightly larger 5.1in screen.
Both screens have a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, meaning each device should offer excellent viewing. The discrepancies come down to the type of display technology used by each manufacturer, which in this instance really comes down to personal preference for the user.
HTC One M8 vs Galaxy S5: Design
The design of the HTC One M8 looks as impeccable as the original, with the same sleek aluminium design and symmetrical BoomSound speakers at the top and bottom of the screen. Quite possibly the best-looking smartphone out there, the latest handset has increased its colour options from two to three, available now in grey, silver and gold.
The Galaxy S5, on the other hand, has a lot to improve upon. Rather than aluminium, the South Korean manufacturer went for plastic throughout for the Galaxy S4. While this made the smartphone both thinner and lighter than the HTC model, it gave the phone a cheap feel. The Galaxy S5 still looks the same but it comes with a perforated pattern on the back and will be dust and water resistant.
HTC One M8 vs Galaxy S5: Hardware
The M8 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC which features a quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz and an Adreno 330 GPU, all paired with 2GB of RAM. Early benchmarks show this should be a powerhouse of a phone. The M8 also continues to feature the front-facing BoomSound speakers, which should mean it remains as the best-sound smartphone on the market, but failed to include the fingerprint sensor features on the HTC One Max.
In terms of storage, the phone comes in 16GB or 32GB models, with that all-important microSD card slot for expansion.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 will have an identical set-up in terms of hardware, though it will likely ship in other parts of the world with Samsung's own octa-core Ecynos chip which could give it some more power. Samsung has also included a fingerprint scanner and heartrate monitor on the Galaxy S5, focusing on fitness.
In terms of storage, the Galaxy S5 will also come with 16GB or 32GB along with the chance to boost this by 128GB via microSD.
HTC One M8 vs Galaxy S5: Software
The all new HTC One M8 skinned Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) with the latest version of its software, Sense 6.0 which keeps Blinkfeed as the default homescreen - the image-heavy feed of news, social media updates and messages.
It has however added new gesture features like tapping twice to wake the phone, however, none of what HTC has put on the table is altogether game-changing.
Samsung's Galaxy S5 is also running Android 4.4.2 skinned with its proprietary softwarecalled TouchWiz. which like Sense is a significant overlay on top of the traditional Android interface. However Samsung has given their interface a polish, making it more like iOS 7 in some respects.
HTC One M8 vs Galaxy S5: Camera
This is where HTC has made the most noticeable changes, on the surface at least. The all-new HTC One has kept with its much praised "Ultrapixel" camera sensor, increasing slightly from a 4-megapixel rating to 5-megapixel, however it has added a dual-lens and dual-flash setup to improve the camera's capabilities in low light settings and allow the user to adjust the focus point after a picture is taken.
The Galaxy S5 has boosted its 13-megapixel arrangement from the Galaxy S4 to a 16-megapixel sensor, while introducing the world's fastest autofocus speed of 0.3 seconds. Such changes look to be much more substantial than HTC's.
HTC One M8 vs Galaxy S5: Which Should I Buy?
Neither the all-new HTC One nor the Galaxy S5 seems to be a very significant departure from its predecessor but that may be due to the success achieved by the original handsets.The new features, like the all new HTC One's dual-lens camera and the Galaxy S5's fingerprint sensor, seem more gimmicky than anything really substantial.
Which one will dominate 2014 - if either - remains to be seen, though with neither one really offering anything major to tempt users to upgrade from the older models, their success may be reliant on how many new customers they can attract. If that's the case, I'd choose the all new HTC One, which developed has from stronger foundations.