We’re less than two months in 2013 and already, we’re seeing signs of the juggernaut smartphones that will likely be tempting consumers over the course of the year. One of those phones is the heavily rumored Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that is said to be replacing the popular Galaxy S3. There are two other big names that have popped up though in the forms of the HTC M7 and the iPhone 5S. We’ve seen how the Galaxy S4 currently fares against iPhone 5S now it’s time to take a look at the HTC M7 against Apple’s rumored iPhone 5 successor.
Last year, both Apple and HTC unleashed some high quality smartphones unto the world in the form of the iPhone 5, which arrived in September, and the HTC One X which was announced in February and hit the U.S. a few months later.
The iPhone 5, which replaced the iPhone 4S as Apple’s current-generation smartphone, was launched a month earlier than the iPhone 4S but still sold out within a few hours after going on sale. Demand remained high in the months after and it wasn’t until the start of the holiday shopping season that Apple was finally able to get its supply under control and meet the demand for its upgraded device.
Despite the iPhone 5 launching only a few months ago, there hasn’t been a shortage of rumors as far as its successor is concerned. In fact, Apple’s rumored next-generation iPhone, thought to be called the iPhone 5S, has already surface in several rumors regarding its features and release date. If the rumors hold up, Apple’s next iPhone could launch in close proximity to the big name Android releases of the year including that of the HTC M7.
While the HTC One X was a fantastic smartphone, complete with a stellar camera and one of the best displays that money could buy, it still wasn’t able to dig HTC out of its financial hole. Furthermore, it couldn’t stop Samsung and the Galaxy S3 from cementing themselves as the iPhones biggest competition.
In 2013, HTC hopes to change its fortune and the first device on tap appears to be one called the HTC M7, a successor to the HTC One X, last year’s flagship.
From the looks of things, the device appears to be a flagship through and through. From a rumored 1080p display, to new camera technology, to a speedy processor, the HTC M7 is shaping up to be one of the biggest names of 2013. That said, how does it stack up against Apple’s rumored iPhone 5S?
Here, we take a look at how the rumored HTC M7 matches up thus far with the rumored iPhone 5S in terms of release date, hardware, software, and more.
Maybe the biggest question that consumers have right now about these rumored phones is about when they might be released to the public. Fortunately, that question will likely remain unanswered for potential iPhone 5S and HTC M7 buyers until their official launch dates.
Apple’s last two iPhone models, the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S, both arrived during the fall of their respective years. Specifically, the iPhone 5 launched in September while the iPhone 4S arrived in October of 2011. And as we pointed out, early iPhone 5 release date rumors accurately predicted the device’s fall arrival.
Early iPhone 5S launch date and release date rumors have suggested that Apple might be doing something different this time around. So far, all signs have pointed to a release at some point during the summer, which could mean a possible return to WWDC. The past two WWDC’s have been centered around iOS and OS X.
However, if Apple decides to launch a new iPhone this summer, it would likely use WWDC as a launching pad.
There are a few things to think about here. One, while a summer release may seem odd, Apple has proven that it’s not above launching devices outside of a presumed cycle. We saw the company unleash an iPad 4 far less than a year after the iPad 3 arrived and recently, we saw the company launch a 128GB iPad.
With the HTC M7 and Galaxy S4 scheduled to arrive in the first half of the year, Apple may be looking to dull their sales with an earlier iPhone release. It’s plausible but at this point, unlikely.
Two, that’s because a majority of these rumors have come from analysts, analysts who are often wrong. The one saving grace is that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been extremely accurate in the past, says that the June or July time frame that has been rumored could happen.
Oddly enough, no one has said that the iPhone 5S will be coming this fall though often, silence speaks louder than words.
Despite a rumored summer launch, HTC will almost assuredly be putting the HTC M7 on shelves to compete with the iPhone 5, rather than with the iPhone 5S. That’s because the HTC M7 is heavily rumored to be launching at two launch events on February 19th, scheduled for New York City and London.
HTC hasn’t specified what it will be announcing, opting to tease consumers instead, but given that HTC CEO Peter Chou showed off an unnamed device on stage while workers were chanting HTC M7 is a good sign that something called the HTC M7 is on the way.
The HTC M7 release date should come shortly after the device’s launch, at least in Europe. March 8th is currently rumored to be the device’s release date across the pond and no U.S. release date has emerged just yet.
Often, U.S. carriers get foreign-made devices much later, and while it’s possible with the HTC M7, it’s not confirmed. Hopefully, HTC is able to push the release dates much closer together.
Past iPhone releases, in addition to rumors, suggest that Apple won’t be changing the design of the iPhone 5S, and will instead will keep the design of the iPhone 5.
Apple typically uses a design twice. We saw it with the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS and we saw it with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. And while that doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed, it means there is a good chance that we could see an iPhone 5S with only minimal changes, a majority of them coming under the hood.
As we’ve pointed out, one of the earliest rumors regarding the iPhone 5S suggested that Apple would be keeping the iPhone 5’s design with the iPhone 5S, and thus far, rumors have backed that claim up.
Of course, this is not a bad thing because the iPhone 5 boasts one of the better smartphone designs in existence. Apple ditched the glass and plastic of the iPhone 4S for a design composed of glass and metal with an anodized aluminum back.
The iPhone 5 also boasts a slender 7.6mm design with a weight of 112 grams, much thinner and much lighter than most flagship smartphones on the market. This all means that if the iPhone 5S design is similar to the iPhone 5’s, it should hold its own in 2013.
Of course, from what we’ve been hearing about the design of the HTC M7, it should be on par with some of the better designs from 2013 as well. So far, we don’t have any specifics about the dimensions of the HTC M7 design but we have seen it up close several times.
The HTC M7, from supposed leaked images, looks a lot like the Droid DNA that hit Verizon’s network back in November of last year. Unlike the HTC One X, it will apparently not be made of aluminum but of soft plastic instead. Not that that should be a huge issue as that will mean it’s both easy to hold and durable, two key features of any smartphone design.
HTC has made it a point to keep its big name devices sleek and slim and we imagine that the M7 won’t be any thicker than the frame of the Droid DNA.
If Apple does indeed keep the iPhone 5 design with the iPhone 5S, it will likely mean that it will keep a 4-inch display with the iPhone 4S as well. Indeed, there is talk of a larger iPhone display, possibly 4.8-inches, but reports suggest that it won’t come with the iPhone 5S. Instead, the size will likely remain the same. (Remember, it took Apple years to bump up the screen size of the iPhone.)
Should that be the case, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be any changes to the display. With screen technology heading into the realm of 1080p and 400+ pixels-per-inch, Apple’s Retina display is looking due for some type of upgrade. Analysts have suggested a better display and it certainly remains a possibility.
One of those possibilities is the inclusion of a Sharp IGZO display, something that has been rumored for both the iPad and iPhone. We were able to check out the technology at CES 2013 which can be seen in the video below.
While Sharp wouldn’t confirm the technology for the iPhone, we know how it might benefit the iPhone. One, it could help to increase the pixel count which would help to fend off the new display tech found in Android smartphones. And two, it could offer iPhone 5S owners better battery life, something that is in high demand amongst smartphone buyers.
Of course, it also could be that Apple makes no changes and opts to keep the similar format with the iPhone 5S.
If that’s the case, the screen on the HTC M7 will likely blow the iPhone 5S’, and the iPhone 5’s, out of the water. Currently, rumors suggest that it will feature a 4.7-inch display with 1080p resolution and a pixel-per-inch count that could exceed 440. The iPhone 5’s display packs a 326 pixel-per-inch display.
That should mean gorgeous looking images, video, web content and more. We saw how good 1080p looked on the Droid DNA and Xperia Z and given HTC’s past success with its displays, we imagine that the M7 could have one of the best displays of 2013.
The iPhone 5 camera remains one of the best rear smartphone cameras but it’s looking like it could be made to be obsolete in the near future. Don’t expect the iPhone 5S to have the same camera as the iPhone 5 though.
Apple typically upgrades the rear camera on its iPhone from version to version and already we’ve heard rumors that Apple might be including a big upgrade to the iPhone 5S’ rear camera, an upgrade that may just wind up being the star of the show.
Rumors suggest that the camera could be Sony’s 13 megapixel sensor, a sensor that would be an upgrade over the company’s 8MP iSight camera in the iPhone 5. Nothing is confirmed yet of course but given the rumors for phones like the HTC M7, we expect Apple to make a move.
The HTC One X had one of the best rear cameras of 2012 and it looks like HTC is going to try and up the ante once again with the camera in the HTC M7.
Early rumors pegged the device as having a 13MP camera though it now appears that it will boast three 4.3MP sensors, which HTC could be calling an Ultrapixel camera. The camera is said to use all three sensors combined to take extremely crisp and clear photos.
We’ve already seen HTC tease new camera technology for 2013 so we expect the HTC M7 camera to be nothing short of stellar and one of its main selling points.
Besides the screen, camera and design, both of these phones will be powered by a number of other specifications including processor, storage space, and more. Here, we take a look at some probable similarities and differences between the specs of the iPhone 5S and HTC M7.
First, the rumored specs of the HTC M7.
- 4.7-inch 1080p Display
- 1.7GHz Quad-core Snapdragon Processor
- 32GB Storage
- 4.3 Ultrapixel Camera/2MP Front-Facing
- 2,300 mAh Battery
- 2GB of RAM
The iPhone 5S unfortunately remains firmly in the shadows though it has been rumored to feature a faster processor. Still, even without rumors we can make some arguments.
One, we’ve heard that the HTC M7 won’t have a microSD card slot and may just come in 32GB form. This is what HTC did with the Droid DNA and the HTC One X as well. Apple also does not offer expandable storage space on the iPhone so we expect the HTC M7 and iPhone 5S to be similar in the that regard.
Two, neither the Droid DNA nor the HTC One had a removable battery which would make it easy for consumers to install an extended battery or replace it. Don’t expect one on the HTC M7 and furthermore, on the iPhone 5S either. Apple’s iPhone 5 doesn’t have one and we doubt the iPhone 5S either.
Three, the battery life on the HTC One X and HTC One X+ was a major weakness. Rumors suggest that the HTC M7 will have a bigger battery which could bring it closer to the great battery life found on the iPhone 5. Expect the iPhone 5S to either have the same battery life, or perhaps better battery life than the iPhone 5.
Lastly, four, while it hasn’t been rumored, the HTC M7 will likely boast NFC at the very least and may also have built-in wireless charging like the Droid DNA. NFC would allow customers to use their phone like a mobile wallet and wireless charging would allow them to charge the phone without wires.
The iPhone 5 has neither and there are early signs that NFC will be absent on the iPhone 5S. No word on wireless charging.
Typically, when Apple releases a new iPhone, it also releases a new version of iOS to power it. Already, we’ve seen signs that iOS 7 is currently in the works so it if and when Apple does release the iPhone 5S, it’s almost assuredly going to be running a new version of Apple’s iOS software.
We aren’t exactly sure what iOS 7 will entail as leaks have been non-existent, though from past releases we know that Apple tends to incorporate hundreds of new features into its new software. Some of those features are extremely small while others, like Apple Maps and Passbook, have been big ones.
Something else to keep in mind is the fact that the iPhone 4S came with something called Siri, the personal assistant that was unique to it until the arrival of the iPhone 5. It could be that we see some unique software arrive with the iPhone 5S to help offset minimal hardware changes.
As for the HTC M7, it too should be coming with the most current version of its software, Android, as it’s expected to be announced with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It’s certainly possible that Android 4.1 could be its OS, but given that Android 4.2 has been out since November, it’d be extremely odd.
The HTC M7 will also likely boast HTC’s latest UI, HTC Sense 5, which is said to be far less intrusive than past releases. Sense 5 is rumored to feature, at the very least, a new lock screen and new toggles in the settings, and we imagine that HTC will also be tweaking other major elements of the software as well.
Look for it to be a big part of the HTC M7’s DNA.
Apple usually, but not always, follows a trend with its names. With the iPad we saw Apple get rid of its numerical name after the iPad 2, with the product simply called iPad. It could be that Apple does the same with iPhone, but there is still no sign of it heading that route.
More likely is that Apple calls the next iPhone, iPhone 5S instead of the iPhone or iPhone 6. In the past, the iPhone 3GS followed the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 4S followed the iPhone 4.
‘S’ has in the past stood for one of the devices features. With the iPhone 3GS, it stood for speed. With the iPhone 4S, it stood for Siri. If the iPhone 5S is indeed called the iPhone 5S, it’s S could also have a name. One possibility is ‘Security’ as Apple has long been rumored to be including a fingerprint scanner with its iPhone and it’s possible that the iPhone 5S will include such software technology.
As for the HTC M7, the M7 name was rumored at first to be a codename but as we get closer to launch, it’s looking more and more like it could be the actual name of the smartphone.
Backing that up is the fact that HTC CEO Peter Chou had his company chanting ‘M7’ at a company party.
A perk of the iPhone is that it is generally available for a host of carriers. The iPhone 5 is a prime example of this. When it launched, it launched for the 4G LTE networks of AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. Soon after though, it came to several regional carriers and some smaller carriers like Cricket Wireless.
This gives consumers options when it comes to what network they want to sign up for, something that is not available for some high-end smartphones.
T-Mobile will also be joining the party this year which should mean that the iPhone 5S will launch on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon right off the bat. Even better, it will likely be available on their 4G LTE networks.
The HTC One X was one of those devices with a limited carrier launch. The device only called AT&T home, leaving customers on carriers out in the cold. It appears that HTC has learned its lesson and the HTC M7 is now rumored for AT&T Sprint, and T-Mobile.
Verizon is also said to have a model though given the Droid DNA’s launch in November, it looks like the device will be heading for a later release.
Look for the HTC M7 to run on the carriers 4G LTE networks like the iPhone 5S.
No rumors about pricing for either the iPhone 5S or HTC M7 have leaked out but we expect the pricing to be similar to the $199.99 on-contract pricing that arrived with the HTC One X and the iPhone 5.
Should the companies release different storage options, expect pricing to be more expensive, just as it has been in the past.
One thing to keep in mind is that T-Mobile will be shifting to unsubsidized pricing later this year which means that its pricing for both of these phones, should it get them, will be much more expensive up front, possibly to the tune of $500+.