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HTC One M9 vs Galaxy S4: What We Know So Far



In 2015 two of the most highly anticipated and sought after Android smartphones will be Samsung’s new Galaxy S6, and of course the upcoming HTC One M9. Both devices have been rumored for months, but here we want to look at how HTC’s upcoming phone compares to Samsung’s Galaxy S4 from two years ago for owners looking to upgrade now that they’re eligible.

Last year the Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced at the end of February and released in April for those in the United States, and the HTC One M8 arrived on March 27th for some and eventually in April for most carriers stateside. And while we don’t know exactly what each company has planned for its devices in 2015, we know they’re coming soon and will both be on top of their game. Battling for customers leaving older devices like the Galaxy S4 or HTC One (M7).

Read: HTC One M9 vs HTC One M8: What We Know So Far

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Lately all the HTC One M9 rumors have been turned upside down after reports of them all being fake decoys, but now we have a pretty good idea of what to expect, buyers are likely starting to weight their options. Especially if you bought the Galaxy S4 nearly two years ago and are about to be up for an upgrade from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or your carrier of choice in the US.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Flip Cover Review - 006

In 2014, the HTC One M8 was rumored for months leaked enough times that we knew exactly what to expect come the March 27th announcement date. There were no surprises. We heard HTC had plans to keep the new HTC One M9 under wraps, but that isn’t working out so well. Even though they had some decoy units out, we’re hearing these photos are the real HTC One M9.

We’ve already seen leaks of the specs as well as some potential confirmations of those, images surfaced recently, and Bloomberg has already learned a few small details about the One M9 and are sharing them with the public. We all know plenty about the Galaxy S4 from 2013 already, but below are a few details and comparisons for potential buyers, or those seeking an upgrade.


First up is the display, since that is an extremely important aspect of both these devices and something all buyers look at. As for the HTC One M9, we’re hearing it could come with a larger 5.5-inch Quad-HD display to battle the competition, but we’re also hearing it will be a 5-inch screen like last year. The latest photos though, show an edge-to-edge glass display on the front that could better showcase a 5.5-inch screen without making the device bigger than last year. So we’re leaning towards this being a 5.5-inch or 5.3-inch device.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has a 5-inch 1920 x 1080p HD display, which could match the One M9 screen size if they don’t make it bigger this year. If the HTC One M9 is still 1080p it may not be much better, but all rumors are pointing to an improved 2k 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD display for the One M9. That will top last years Galaxy S5 and certainly the aging Galaxy S4.


Of course these are all only rumors for now, but with strong evidence based on photos of the HTC One M9, it looks like they’ll keep the screen at a decent size for portability and not to alienate current HTC One fans.

All said and done we’ll just have to wait and see what HTC delivers when they announce the HTC One M9, but in the end the new smartphone will be leaps and bounds better than the impressive Galaxy S4. Obviously no one would buy the Galaxy S4 from 2013 over a brand new 2015 flagship device, so this is mainly geared at those seeking an upgrade. That said, the Galaxy S4 on a budget is still a great device.


In 2013 the Galaxy S4 was one of the best devices released, and the most popular Samsung device to date. It wasn’t too much different from the Galaxy S3, but enough to make it a worthy upgrade. It’s made almost entirely of plastic though. Some love the aluminum of the HTC One M8, while others argue the lightweight and durable plastics used by Samsung are the best route. Everyone has a different preference, and this is key for some.

The HTC One M9 will reportedly look quite different from last year, which is both a good and bad thing. It’s one of the most elegant devices, but the render below shows something completely different. The big bezels have all been removed, the dual front speakers are smaller and pushed to the edges, and it just looks sharp. This will be a better looking device than the older Galaxy S4, and much more powerful. It’s certainly worthy of spending your upgrade on too.

HTC One M9 (left) vs HTC One Max/Plus (right)

If the above image is accurate HTC had addressed almost every major complaint buyers have had about the original. Many of which caused them to get a Galaxy S5 instead, so this year could finally be a year where HTC steals more of the Samsung and LG competition. Especially if those with a Galaxy S4 aren’t too impressed by the Galaxy S6.


Again, everything here is based on rumors and hearsay, so we’re taking everything with a grain of salt. That being said, many of these leaks and details come from rather reliable and accurate sources. Things are subject to chance, but below are the raw hard numbers and spec sheets based on what we’ve heard thus far of the HTC One M9.

Either way it will be more powerful than the older Galaxy S4, but that’s to be expected. The info below could all be deadly accurate, or things could change by the time these phones arrive. Take them as you will, and we’ll know for sure soon enough. In the end though, if you’re looking for a powerful device, it’s time to upgrade from the S4 to the new HTC One M9.

HTC One M9 Specs (Rumored)

  • 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD screen (Could be 5-inch 1080p)
  • 2.3 GHz 8-core Snapdragon 810 processor (64-bit)
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage and a micro-SD slot for expansion
  • 20.7 MP rear facing camera and 4 Ultrapixel front shooter
  • Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and HTC Sense UI 7.0
  • Dual HTC Boomsound Speakers with Dolby 5.1 Audio Technology
  • 2,880 or 3,000 mAh battery
  • more

Galaxy S4 Specs

  • 5-inch 1920 x 1080p HD AMOLED display
  • 1.9 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 600 with 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion)
  • 13 Megapixel camera and 2MP front shooter
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with a new TouchWiz (Getting Android 5.0 Lollipop soon)
  • Removable 2,600 mAh battery
  • Infrared Sensor for remote

As you can see these two devices are somewhat close in certain areas, but miles apart in others. Thanks to the ever increasing changes in technology the new HTC One M9 has a laptop class 2.3 GHz 8-core processor and 3GB of RAM, enough to power just about anything a phone would want. And while the Galaxy S4 is still no slouch, it’s showing its age in multiple categories.

If you were looking for a good reason to upgrade, the details above should be enough for most.

Release Date

In 2015 both the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 will be revealed in March in an attempt to beat the others. HTC has already sent out invitations for a March 1st launch date, but we’re not sure if that will be the release date too. It makes sense given they did it the same day last year, so we’ll have to wait and see. The problem with this is Galaxy S4 owners may like what the Galaxy S6 has to offer, and stick with what they know vs trying out the HTC One M9.


If this year is anything like last year the Galaxy S6 will be released in late March or early April and take on the HTC One M9, but it’s looking like HTC may actually beat them to the market. This will be key if they want to steal potential upgraders from taking the Samsung route in 2015.

Final Thoughts

In closing, we’re not really sure what to expect here. It looks and sounds like HTC is being rather sneaky with what they reveal, in hopes to shock the market and really shake things up with an impressive smartphone. If so, this could cause many to pass on the Galaxy S6, and get a new HTC One M9 instead. Right in time for those Galaxy S4 owners to be eligible for an upgrade from carriers. The same can be said about the Galaxy S5 for those on Verizon Edge, AT&T Next, or other early upgrade programs.

One thing is clear though, and that is that both of these smartphones will be great devices for years to come, but with one advantage going to the HTC One M9 for simply being two years newer, and getting support and updates that much longer. The Android 5.0 Lollipop update might be the last major software update the Galaxy S4 will receive, so it’ll be showing its age soon enough.

Are you sold on the rumors for the HTC One M9, or do you think something radically different will arrive? Drop a comment below with what you’re expecting, and if you think the HTC One M9 is worth upgrading from an old Galaxy S4 to, vs something like the Galaxy S6 or LG G4.

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