Now that the all new HTC One (M8) is official and readily available from most US carriers, not to mention already being blasted in TV ads, it should start gaining attention and traction from consumers and potential buyers. Those looking to buy a new smartphone may be considering lots of options, and here we’ll compare it to Google’s own Nexus 5.
The Google Nexus 5, made by LG, has been available since November of last year and comes chalk-full of impressive features and a quality design all for a low price. It offers stock Android, a great camera and more, but there’s tons of differences between it and the new HTC One.
The new HTC One (M8) will have to compete with the Galaxy S5, iPhone 6, and more all year long. However, with the Nexus 5 and HTC One both being available today, here’s a few differences potential buyers should be considering.
With the new HTC One (M8) going on sale this week online and in stores within the next few weeks, consumers are likely looking for more details while considering all of their options. With the phone just being announced we haven’t had enough time for a full review or can compare it to the Nexus 5 as a whole, we can point out five key differences between the two. These are key differences that potential buyers will want to consider and keep in mind when spending the $600+ for the phone, or signing a new 2-year contract.
Starting off with the most obvious difference, is the design, then we’ll move into specs, price, and software to hit a few key aspects. The biggest difference the HTC One (M8) will have from almost every other Android device released this year, will be the impressive and stunning brushed aluminum design.
The brushed aluminum Gunmetal finish is beautiful to look at, and feels excellent in your hands. It isn’t as harsh and hard metal feeling as the original HTC One, if that makes sense, and the curved edges makes it comfortable to hold. Nothing can compare to the design and build quality, except for Apple.
Now as we all know, the Nexus 5 is completely made from plastic. From the shiny plastic sides to the soft-touch matte design on the rear. You won’t find any metal here, but it does feature nice ceramic power and volume up/down buttons for added polish and luxury.
While both devices are about the same thickness, you’ll instantly notice just how much heavier, and bigger the HTC One is. Wrapping the entire device in a piece of aluminum has its advantage, but it also makes the phone quite heavy. This is something users may have to get used to at first, but it shouldn’t be an issue. On the flipside, the lightweight factor could be something users appreciate with the Nexus 5.
Overall the design on both phones is excellent. The Nexus 5 while not feeling as premium, still feels like a solid device you’d expect to pay more for than it actually costs. That being said, nothing holds a candle to the HTC One (M8), just nothing. HTC always has excellent build quality and a certain level of perfection to its phones, and this is no different.
The final design feature we need to mention, because it’s a big feature, is the front facing speakers. The HTC One had some of the best around, and the new HTC One (M8) sounds even better. The boomsound front facing speakers are crisp, loud and clear, and have good bass for a phone. Compare that to the single downward facing speaker on the bottom of the Nexus 5, by the USB charging port, and there’s no comparison. The speaker is one of the weakest links of the Nexus 5.
Next up is software. While both phones are running the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat right from Google, as you all know, the Nexus 5 is stock Android while HTC has Sense UI over the top. HTC Sense 6 changes everything. The colors, design, font, look and feel, and much more. It makes it an entirely different experience, for better or for worse. Some love it, some hate it. That’s for you to decide. And to help you out, here’s a quick glance at the new HTC One (M8) software in action.
Overall our initial impressions are quite favorable, not to mention Sense hasn’t been our favorite in the past. This is a good sign that things are improving and the software is becoming less of an issue. Blinkfeed is amazing and delivers news and content like never before, something stock Android can’t do even if Google Now tries to predict information and hand feed it to the user. HTC Zoe camera options are nice too, but we’ve just started digging in to what’s new so can’t fully comment.
While Sense has never been my favorite, this is the best version yet, and it’s only getting better. Oh, and we can’t forget a stock Android version (Google Play Edition) HTC One M8 is coming in the next few weeks, so that’s another thing to consider if you love the phone, but don’t like Sense.
Above is a look at stock Android (a few minor updates back) running on the Nexus 5. Android 4.4 KitKat debuted with the phone, and is now on Android 4.4.2 KitKat just like the HTC One. There’s tons you’ll notice right away. These are two very different looking and acting operating systems. While most commands, options, and settings are the same, you’ll certainly notice the difference.
There’s a lot to like from both, but in the end this is a preference thing, and you’ll have to decide if Sense is worth it over stock Android and timely updates. Which brings us to our last statement on software. Buying a Nexus 5 ensures the latest version of Android, and it will always get it faster than the HTC One. Google delivers new versions of Android to Nexus users first, not to mention HTC will have to go through carriers and more. Expect a 2-3 month delay in software updates if you take the HTC route.
The specs and hardware inside these phones are a lot closer than you’d actually think. Since they are both extremely powerful, this isn’t too big of a concern, but something users need to know. The Nexus 5 was released late enough that it has quality internals, and only minor improvements made it inside the HTC One given the technology available.
HTC One (M8)
- 5-inch 1920 x 1080p HD display
- 2.3 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 801 with 2GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion support)
- 4 Ultrapixel camera (new second Duo Camera) and 5MP front
- Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sense 6
- Front facing speakers, infrared port
- 2,600 mAh battery
- 5-inch 1920 1080p HD display
- 2.3 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 800 with 2GB RAM
- 16GB internal storage (32GB available, no expansion available)
- 8 Megapixel optical image stabilization camera, 1.2MP front
- Stock Android 4.4.2 KitKat (getting 4.3 now)
- 2,300 mAh battery
- Wireless Charging
The new Snapdragon 801 is slightly faster, more efficient, sips battery, and employs a much faster and more powerful graphics card. Meaning games and graphic intensive apps will be better on the HTC One (M8) but overall the specs are very similar.
The camera could go each way, as the Nexus 5 has a pretty great camera. That said, HTC has tons of software features in the new Duo Camera we’ve never seen before in a mobile device. Things like selecting the focus point after you take the photo. We’ll dig more into this in our full review.
Aside from the obvious design differences and software, the biggest and number one factor will likely be the price. Reason being is the Nexus 5 is technically what we’d consider a budget friendly device, simply because it’s $349 outright. No contracts required. It is sold directly through the Google Play Store for $349, or $399 for the 32GB model.
On the other hand, the HTC One (M8) is $199 and that’s with a 2-year contract. Users can get it outright for $649 from carriers, or $699 from the Google Play Store with stock Android, but that’s a big difference. You could almost buy two Nexus 5’s for the price of one unlocked no contract HTC One (M8) phone.
The only other option is carriers in the U.S. offering pay as you go plans. Make a down payment, and pay $25-27 per month for 2-years until the phone is paid in full. This comes out to well over $600 again, which takes us back to the $349 price of the Nexus 5. You get what you pay for, and the HTC One is probably the better device, but is the nearly double cost worth it to you? That’s something buyers will have to decide.
Finally, and another aspect worth talking about is the carriers. Reason being is the Nexus 5 isn’t sold and offered through carriers. There’s no 2-year contracts or agreements, it’s all Google from the Play Store. The Nexus 5 doesn’t work with Verizon either. Those in the U.S. are stuck with the other options available. AT&T and T-Mobile have fast 4G LTE, so that isn’t a concern, but it could be a deal breaker to some.
The HTC One (M8) is available from Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, with T-Mobile and US Cellular set to offer the new phone on April 10th. Verizon is one of the biggest carriers in the United States, so this will automatically toss the Nexus 5 out for some, and is a key difference between these two phones.
Deep down it’s tough to compare these two phones, let alone tell a consumer which to buy. They are each in a different league. The HTC One is aiming to be a flagship phone that takes over the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6, while Google’s Nexus 5 is a perfect blend of price and performance, all while catering to Android developers and enthusiasts.
You can’t go wrong with either phone, and the five key differences mentioned above will be the decided factor for most prospective buyers.