In a few days on March 1st the new HTC One M9 smartphone will be announced in Spain, and possibly a bigger HTC One Max to take on the iPhone 6 Plus. HTC’s latest phones will need to compete with many top-tier devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S6, the LG G3, and even Apple’s best from last year, the iPhone 6. Here we compare the iPhone 6 Plus released late last year to the new HTC One M9 based on rumors and what we know so far.
Back in March of 2014 HTC announced its best phone yet, the HTC One M8. It had plenty to offer along with dual cameras on the back, dual front facing speakers, and a crisp 5-inch 1080p HD display. The phone was one of the best in 2014, but so was the iPhone 6 and the bigger 6 Plus. Here we take a look at how HTC’s newest phone may stack up against Apple’s phablet.
The iPhone 6 delivered major changes for Apple. With a new and improved iOS 8, and the first major redesign of the iPhone in two years. Not to mention bigger screens. The iPhone 6 Plus comes in with a huge 5.5-inch display, they rounded the edges, and changed up the design while keeping the aluminum frame. At the same time, the HTC One M9 will offer a very similar experience wrapped in a familiar unibody aluminum shell. Read on for everything you’ll need to know about both of these impressive smartphones.
As 2015 moves forward buyers will have a lot of different options. From the iPhone 6 to the Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9, a new LG G4, and even devices from last year that are still excellent smartphones. One on many buyers radar is HTC’s new One M9, so lets compare it to Apple’s biggest phone to date.
While we can’t make a decision for you, as everyone has different needs, wants, preferences, or budgets, we can provide you with details that could help you make a better decision before buying a phone and signing a new 2-year contract.
Design & Size
When you pick a new smartphone it is important to find one that fits your hand, your pockets and your needs. Size is a very important part of this decision and even though the iPhone 6 Plus features a half-inch larger display there isn’t as big if a difference as you might expect. At least if the new HTC One M9 is the same size as last years One M8, and rumors suggest it will be.
As you can see the iPhone 6 Plus is taller and wider, but it is thinner than the HTC One M8. The thicker HTC One M8 features a curved back, vs the flat design from Apple. So far all the leaked images of the new HTC One M9 show a nearly identical device to the One M8, but with a few changes to the rear camera and the buttons on the side. So this comparison may be very similar to the M8 last year.
The HTC One M9 has a zero-gap unibody aluminum frame, similar plastic pieces around back for the radios, WiFi, and cell signals to be of good quality, and is a great looking phone. In 2015 the One M9 is rumored to have a two-toned design. Offering colors like silver with gold trim, like we’ve seen in leaks.
Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus has aluminum on the entire back of the device, only being split with gaps of plastic for the radios and antenna’s, and it all nicely curves with a new round shape to the front 5.5-inch display. It’s the biggest iPhone ever, and has a sleek new design to go with it.
Both HTC and Apple have made some of the best hardware in recent years when compared to LG, Samsung, and some of the other competition, so you really can’t go wrong with either of these phones in terms of design. They are both aluminum, built extremely well, and look like premium smartphones rather than plastic slapped on a big display.
If there’s one or two major thing that separates these two phones, it’s the front facing speakers of the HTC One M9, and the cameras. While all Apple devices have great sound, as many use them as their iPods, the HTC One front facing speakers just can’t be matched, and this year the new HTC One M9 is rumored to have even better sound than previous versions. That and of course the iPhone 6 Plus has a bigger screen, which brings us to the next point.
The size of the screen is one of the more important factors many buyers will take into consideration. And this is one of the few instances where Apple has the advantage. The iPhone 6 Plus has a large 5.5-inch screen, while rumors of the One M9 suggest it will stay at a 5-inch display size.
While many have argued the iPhone 6 Plus display is the best of any 5.5-inch device, it’s only a 1920 x 1080p HD display. Others like the LG G3 have a 2560 x 1440 quad-hd resolution, but they weren’t as good of quality as Apple’s. The HTC One M9 will have a smaller screen with the same resolution. Technically images and video should be more crisp and vibrant, but realistically you can’t go wrong with either one.
With more pixels per inch you should see more detail on the HTC One M9 display, but the iPhone 6 Plus screen is simply stunning.
Comparing specs doesn’t mean one is better than the other, especially considering one is Android and the other runs iOS. While we won’t go into the discussion of quad-core vs dual core (or iOS vs Android for that matter) below is the detailed breakdown of what both have to offer in terms of specs, and size.
HTC One M9 Specs (Rumored)
- 5-inch 1920 x 1080p HD display
- 2.3 GHz 8-core Snapdragon 810 with 3GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion support)
- 20.7 Megapixel front camera & 4 Ultrapixel front camera for selfies
- Android 5.0.1 Lollipop with HTC Sense 7
- Front facing speakers, infrared port for remote
- Brushed aluminum design
- 2,900 mAh battery
iPhone 6 Specs
- 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS Retina Display
- 1.4 GHz Dual-core Apple A8 processor with 1GB of RAM
- 16/64/128GB storage, no micro-SD
- 8 Megapixel rear and 1.2 front facing cameras
- Meal design all around
- Apple iOS 8
- Fingerprint scanner with TouchID
- 2,915 mAh battery
- 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm and 129 grams
The new HTC One M9 has beefed up many key areas to make it one of the most powerful smartphones of 2015. The 8-core processor is actually two quad-core chips. One powerful processor for heavy tasks, and an efficient quad-core chip for average tasks. This should improve battery life. Speaking of which, the battery is bigger this year too. HTC finally beefed that up to 2,900 mAh. Meaning it should have better battery life than the iPhone 6 Plus.
One big thing buyers should be aware of is internal storage. Apple never offers micro-SD cards for expandable storage, and HTC finally added a micro-SD card to the M8, and that should continue with the One M9. Meaning storage expansion is easy and affordable. You get 16/64/128GB iPhone 6 options, vs a 32GB HTC One M9 with endless storage options thanks to a micro-SD slot.
Apple’s phones have always had excellent cameras, and the iPhone 6 Plus delivers the best experience yet. It’s still 8 megapixels, like previous years, but has been overhauled to deliver the best camera on any iPhone. It’s even better than the iPhone 6 by offering optical image stabilization. That being said, HTC’s One M9 has been beefed up to a 20.7 megapixel Sony lens with OIS. They ditched the duo camera setup on back this year, and moved the 4 Ultrapixel camera to the front for better selfies and video chat.
The HTC One M9 camera should be excellent, but we’ll have to try it before we comment further. In our iPhone 6 Plus Review the camera received a shining report, but they always do.
Apple’s TrueTone flash and 240 FPS slow-motion video capture could put it over the edge, but the One M9 is expected to have some slo-mo features, 4k video recording, and tons of HTC Eye features for a better camera experience.
Our next and very important topic is the price. The iPhone 6 Plus is super expensive, just like all versions before it. Users will be paying a premium for more storage too, something that isn’t an issue with the HTC One M9. Without getting into it too much, here’s the breakdown.
- iPhone 6 Plus 16GB – $299
- iPhone 6 Plus 64GB – $399
- iPhone 6 Plus 128GB – $499 (all on contract)
- HTC One M9 32GB – $199 on contract (Rumored)
Those are the important factors, but there’s also off-contract pricing for those interested.
- iPhone 6 Plus 16GB – $749
- iPhone 6 Plus 64GB – $849
- iPhone 6 Plus 128GB – $949
- HTC One M9 32GB – $599-$649 (Rumored)
The HTC One M9 offers more storage for a cheaper price on contract, as well as bought outright, and by a pretty large margin. Adding a 64GB micro-SD card is rather cheap, and even a 128GB micro-SD card is cheaper than spending a ridiculous $949 for the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus. If you need storage space but are on a budget, consider the HTC One M9 over the Plus.
The biggest problem for potential buyers looking for a phone today, or in the near future, is the release date. The iPhone 6 Plus has been available for months and is readily available from all carriers, multiple stores, and more. The HTC One M9 though, is only a rumor for now (a solid rumor) and is set to be announced on March 1st.
Last year the HTC One M8 was announced and released the same day at the end of March, and many are expecting the same from HTC this year. The new HTC One M9 could be released the same day, which is Sunday March 1st, but we’ll have to wait and see. Either way, it will likely be available from all carriers in the United States within the next month or so.
Choosing between these two phones isn’t easy. They both have plenty to offer, great build materials, impressive cameras, and much more. Well, if rumors are accurate. The choice will likely come down to you being an Android vs iOS user, the price or size, and if you’re ready for an upgrade. We’ll update once the HTC One M9 is officially announced, as well as if they release an HTC One Max with a bigger screen that can directly compete with the iPhone 6 Plus.