Will you buy the Galaxy S6 or HTC One M9? This is common question playing out on social media as buyers try to figure out if Samsung or HTC built the best smartphone so far in 2015. This Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9 comparison outlines nine key difference and some similarities that will help you decide which smartphone you should buy.
With major upgrades on both devices many users will want to wait until closer to the release to go hands on with the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 at a carrier store or retailer to make the final decision.
If you are looking for the best new Android phone to buy in 2015, you need to consider these two devices and the comparison is not as easy as the last time you chose an Android phone. HTC and Samsung delivered major advancements over phones from one and two years ago and there are three big features missing from the Galaxy S6 that Galaxy S5 owners need to pay attention to.
Here are how the best Android smartphones of early 2015 compare on paper, in photos and in videos — in areas that actually matter to the user.
HTC One M9 vs Galaxy S6 Release Dates
Announced on the same day in March, we are looking at fast and close HTC One M9 and Galaxy S6 release dates. Overall HTC may arrive on store shelves first, but some carriers are already pushing back the HTC One M9 release until at least April.
The HTC One M9 release date arrives in mis March, but that is as much information as we have for the early release. AT&T confirmed that it will sell the HTC One M9, Sprint says the HTC One M9 release is in early Spring, T-Mobile says, “later this Spring and Verizon says Q2, which puts the Verizon HTC One M9 release into April at the earliest.
Odds are that the mid-March timing is for the AT&T HTC One M9 release date, but that is unconfirmed for now.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 release date is April 10th. This is the global release date, so some regions will get it on this date and others will have to wait.
The AT&T Galaxy S6 release is in spring 2015, with no specific date yet. A T-Mobile Galaxy S6 release could come soon after a contest ends, and the Sprint Galaxy S6 release date is wide-open at this time. U.S. Cellular did not share details, but plans a Galaxy S6 release. The Verizon Galaxy S6 release date is listed in the second quarter, which means it could come near the HTC One M9 release date.
You won’t need to wait a long time for these devices to arrive, and while they might not hit carriers on the same date we don’t expect major gaps between the HTC One M9 release date and the Galaxy S6 release date.
Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9 Displays
The first major difference between the Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 is the display. There isn’t a big difference in size, but Samsung packs in a higher-resolution than HTC.
The HTC One M9 features a 5-inch 1,920 x 1,080 resolution display with 441 pixels per inch. The Samsung Galaxy S6 features a 5.1-inch 2,560 x 1,440 resolution display with 577 pixels per inch.
The other difference is that Samsung includes the Galaxy S6 Edge, a model that offers a dual-curved display on both sides of the device. The Galaxy S6 Edge display can glow to show who is calling when the phone is face down.
A higher pixel density allows a display to show more detail, and we enjoy the 2,560 x 1,440 resolution displays on the Galaxy Note 4 and LG G3, but that’s not to say that a 1080p display like the HTC One M9 offers can’t deliver impressive results.
Ultimately this will come down to personal preference, and buyers should’t buy based on display specs alone.
Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9 Design
Samsung jumps into the big leagues with a metal and glass design that compares well to the HTC One M9 and the iPhone 6 Plus. The back of the Galaxy S6 is covered in Gorilla Glass 4 that should help prevent breaking like on earlier glass back phones. The HTC One M9 back is made of metal like the two previous models.
HTC offers three color options; gold on gold, gold on silver and gunmetal grey. Samsung offers five color options; white pearl, black sapphire, gold platinum, blue topaz and green emerald.
The HTC One M9 is slightly taller thanks to the Boom Sound speakers that sit on the front of the device and it is heavier, but overall these are in the same range as you would expect on devices with 5-inch and 5.1-inch screens.
- Galaxy S6 – 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm – 138g
- Galaxy S6 Edge – 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm – 132g
- HTC One M9 – 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm – 157g
You can explore the HTC One M9 design below to see how the new two-tone design looks and the small refinements that HTC made. Overall the design is similar in style to the HTC One M8.
Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9 Storage
Samsung and HTC took different approaches to storage this year with the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9. Samsung does not offer a Micro SD card slot on the Galaxy S6. Instead the company plans to sell 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models, similar to Apple’s iPhone 6 strategy.
The HTC One M9 features 32GB of internal storage and a Micro SD card slot that supports adding more storage to the phone at any time with an affordable Micro SD card. There is a new 200GB Micro SD card that should work and deliver a big boost in memory if you need that much storage.
Samsung and HTC deliver customized versions of Android Lollipop on the HTC One M9 and Galaxy S6. Both devices offer the new features that come with Android 5.0 and special features that each company adds on to the top of Android.
The HTC One M9 runs Android 5.0.1 with Sense 7. HTC Sense is the overlay or skin that HTC includes to add new features and options. The video above walks through the HTC Sense 7 software. HTC delivers a new Home widget that changes the apps on your HTC One M9 screen based on your location so you see different apps at work, at home and on the go. There is an option to set a theme for your HTC One M9 with a photo that you take and there is a new photo editor and fast access to collections of photos on the M9. The HTC One M9 lets you add a screen off button to the standard Android buttons and can wake the display with a double tap on the glass.
Samsung delivers a slimmed down version of the Galaxy S6 software this year. “We have fewer preloaded apps and removed about 40% of the features and steps.” according to Lee Hyunyeul, VP, UX Innovation Group, explaining the change in Samsung’s approach to software this year.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 software walkthrough below shows the new look for Samsung Android devices, Samsung still includes multi-window mode and pop up window modes so that you can use tow apps at the same time. On the Galaxy S6 Edge the device can glow when you get a call so you know who is calling.
This is another area of personal preference that you will need to
HTC stands out again with the Boom Sound speakers that face the front of the device and direct sound right at users. This is a feature that we love on the HTC One M8 and one that we expect will help HTC stand out again this year. The HTC One M9 BoomSound speakers include Dolby 5.1 Audio technology.
The Galaxy S6 features a down facing speaker like the iPhone 6. Samsung claims the speaker is 1.5X louder than the Galaxy S5. The video above shows just how much louder the Galaxy S6 is compared to the Galaxy S5. Whether that is enough to beat out the front-facing HTC One M9 Boom Sound speakers is something we’ll need to test after we go hands on.
On paper both the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 offer new and improved cameras and camera apps. The rear and front-facing cameras are both improved on each model.
The Galaxy S6 cameras feature a f/1.9 aperture that lets in more light for better looking photos. Both front and rear support Auto-Live HDR to show you what an HDR photo will look like and you can double press the home button to launch the Galaxy S6 camera in 0.7 seconds. The Galaxy S6 uses IR to measure white balance and can track the focus of an object even as it moves through the camera’s view. There is a 16MP sensor on the back with optical image stabilization and a 5MP front facing sensor. Check out the Galaxy S6 camera features below and Galaxy S6 camera samples to see how it performs.
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) March 3, 2015
The HTC One M9 camera receives a major upgrade to a 20MP rear facing camera at f/1.0 aperture and a 4MP Ultrapixel camera on the back of the device. There is a Sapphire lens cover to prevent a scratched lens and software options include a new dual exposure option, digital makeup and other effects.
You can see some of the new HTC One M9 camera features in action in the video below and you can see a number of HTC One m9 photo samples on Flickr.
Both the Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 use a sealed design that means you cannot swap out the battery. This was a hallmark feature for Samsung smartphones, and a major part of advertising, but it is no longer an option.
- Galaxy S6 – 2,550mAh
- Galaxy S6 Edge – 2,600mAh
- HTC One M9 – 2,900mAh
The HTC One M9 offers a bigger battery than the Galaxy S6, with a substantial 300mAh of added power. The efficiency of the phone will influence if this translates into longer battery life.
Both phones offer fast charging when using a wireless charger that can charge the HTC One M9 60% faster than the previous generation and the Galaxy S6 can charge fast as well. One spec Samsung shared was that 10 minutes of charging will give you four hours of Galaxy S6 battery life.
The Galaxy S6 includes wireless charging built-in with support for the two major standards. The HTC One M9 does not feature wireless charging.
Payments & Fingerprint
Samsung adds in two features that the HTC One M9 is missing. There is a fingerprint sensor on the front of the device that lets users log in, open apps and use for mobile payments.
Samsung announced Samsung Pay, a new payment service that includes the option to pay with a wireless card swipe. Unlike the Google Wallet payments that use NFC, which is something the HTC One M9 includes, Samsung Pay sends a magnetic swipe to a regular card reader wirelessly.
The result is that you can pay with the Galaxy S6 in more places than you can with Google Wallet or with Apple Pay. This payment service doesn’t arrive until the summer and it will only work with banks who partner with Samsung Pay.