This week the brand new HTC One M9 smartphone was announced after months of rumors and speculation, and now that it’s official and coming soon buyers are likely weighing all of their options here in 2015. We’ve already compared it to many options here in 2015, and below we’ll go over a few key details that makes it different from the Nexus 6, for potential buyers.
Google’s Nexus 6 was announced in October and eventually arrived on almost all carriers in the United States in November, and while it still isn’t available from Verizon, all other carriers offer it. In the coming weeks the HTC One M9 will start hitting US carriers, and buyers will want to know everything about both options before making a purchase.
Here we take a look at how the flagship Nexus 6 compares to the all aluminum and stunning HTC One M9 that was just revealed, a device many consider the best-looking Android smartphone. We’ll go over what they both have to offer, how they differ, and explain everything buyers will need to know ahead of making a purchase in 2015.
We can’t say which device is actually “better” between the Nexus 6 or the HTC One M9 simply because we haven’t used the HTC One M9 yet. Not to mention each user has different needs, wants, budgets, and preferences. Especially when it comes to the screen size. While we don’t have all the answers, nor know what every user needs, below are a few key features or differences that separate the two and may help consumers make the right choice.
Over the course of the next few weeks and the coming months we’ll see the HTC One M9 be released, followed by the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, a new LG G4, something from Motorola, and much more. However, if you need a phone now, or in the next few weeks, the HTC One M9 and Nexus 6 are two solid choices.
While both of these phones have great designs and some aluminum on the body, one is significantly different from the other. The HTC One M9, like the other One phones, is an all aluminum smartphone made of premium materials. Google’s Nexus 6 however, has a plastic body with an aluminum ring on the outer edge for durability and protection.
Read: Nexus 6 Review
HTC has continued to deliver some of the best looking and most premium feeling smartphones on the market. The original HTC One was wrapped in a single aluminum shell, and that’s continued for two years and is the same essential design in the new One M9. While it barely looks different than its predecessors, it’s a big upgrade and one of the most powerful devices around.
No one will argue which looks better. The HTC One M9 has brushed aluminum in a few different colors, the best speakers of any smartphone, ones that happen to be front facing (and we’re not sure why others haven’t offered the same) and overall just feel like a premium device. And with the new One M9 they have a two-tone color option, still in aluminum, that looks wonderful. Below is an image of the upcoming Verizon HTC One M9 in aluminum gold and silver.
At the same time, the Nexus 6 is one of the best Nexus phones to date, and looks much more stylish than other plastic devices like the LG G3 or Galaxy S5. Looks aren’t everything, but it plays a role in many users purchase decision.
While we were huge fans of the HTC One M8 and it received an Editors’ Choice award, the new HTC One M9 is even better. The biggest thing about the design though, is our next topic, which is the display and sheer size of these two devices.
Google and Motorola’s Nexus 6 has a beautiful 5.97-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD (or 2k) display. Compared to a 5-inch 1080p screen from the HTC One M9, that is a major difference for buyers, and possibly the biggest deciding factor. Many hoped the One M9 would have a bigger screen or higher resolution, but HTC kept the device size in check, and kept the resolution at 1080p to preserve battery life.
Google offers small bezels and a slim design around its Quad-HD display, and this makes the device quite small even though the screen is massive. Nearing “phablet” size. However, it isn’t all good. That said, the HTC One M9 is still a smaller device, easier to hold or pocket, and is just easier to use unless you have large hands. A big 6-inch device isn’t for everyone.
Either device will make buyers happy, but the Nexus 6 display could be better simply for the vivid colors, bigger screen, and impressive 2560 x 1440 quad-hd resolution. The 1080p screen is still wonderful on the One M9, but we’ll need them side-by-side to fully compare.
There’s no clear winner here. If you want a huge screen to view content, watch videos, play games, and more the Nexus 6 is great, but those seeking a good experience in a smaller package the One M9 will be a great option once it arrives.
These days the cameras on our phones are one of the most used apps, and an extremely important aspect of any purchase. As we all know, the HTC One M8 camera was lacking, but that was fixed here in 2015 with the new HTC One M9. They’ve increased it to a 20.7 megapixel camera, and put the rear 4 Ultrapixel from the One M8 on the front. It should technically have one of the best cameras on the market.
That said, Google’s Nexus 6 has a good 13 megapixel with optical image stabilization too. It’s only a 13 megapixel camera, but megapixels aren’t everything. The Nexus 6 camera didn’t do extremely well in tests when compared to the Note 4 or iPhone 6, but is still a good option. Both are great, but until we try the One M9 ourselves we can’t comment, but it technically should offer a better smartphone camera experience.
While specs aren’t as important as having a device that’s fast, fluid, and will work for years to come, it’s still something many consider while making a purchase. Below are the hard numbers for those interested, but it all boils down to these devices being nearly the same under the hood with a few small changes. That, and software will play the biggest role in how each device performs.
HTC One M9 Specs
- 5-inch 1920 x 1080p HD display
- 2.0 GHz 8-Core Snapdragon 810 with 3GB of RAM (4×4)
- 32GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion)
- 20.7 Megapixel rear camera, and 4 Ultrapixel front shooter
- Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and HTC Sense 7
- WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G LTE, FM Radio Antenna, and Infrared laser for remote
- Brushed Aluminum design, new two-tone color options
- Dual front facing HTC Boomsound Speakers
- Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 Technology
- 2,900 mAh battery
Nexus 6 Specs
- 5.96-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD Display
- 2.3 GHz Quad-core Processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 32/64 GB storage and no micro-SD slot.
- 13 Megapixel rear and 2MP front cameras
- Android 5.0.1 Lollipop (stock)
- Plastic design with aluminum ring for durability
- Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0
- 3,220 mAh battery
The HTC One M9 is rather similar to the model last year, but they changed a few key things. Aside from the internals we now have the power button on the right side, under the volume buttons for ease of use, and the camera has been completely revamped. Without looking at the camera you’d barely be able to tell the two apart.
Both of these phones are excellent choices, but have a lot of differences. The HTC One M9 is slightly newer with the latest technology, but the Nexus 6 isn’t too far behind, and being a Google device will likely see updates and support for as long as the new One M9, if not longer. What this mainly comes down to is the screen size and possibly whether the buyer wants stock Android vs HTC’s Sense experience.
Price & Release Date
Finally, our last point is the price. The HTC One M9 is a brand new flagship phone, and will cost you a pretty penny, but so will the Nexus 6. No official details have been released on the One M9 price, but Best Buy leaked the AT&T off-contract price will be $649. We’re expecting $599-$649 from most, and $199 with a new 2-year contract.
The Nexus 6 certainly isn’t cheap either, and is the first Nexus phone with a big price tag. It costs users $649 for the 32GB model, and $699 for the 64GB option. Yes, it’s an expensive phone and has a fixed storage amount vs the addition of a micro-SD slot on the HTC One M9. Both in 32GB options should cost roughly the same, but the One M9 can be expanded to offer more storage.
If you need a phone now the Nexus 6 is available around the globe and from all major US carriers, except Verizon, which is rumored to release it in the next few weeks. The HTC One M9 though, has a soft release date of Mid-March, but no US carriers have confirmed a day. Meaning if you need a phone right now the Nexus 6 is available, while the wait for the One M9 could be another month or so.
As we said earlier, everyone has different needs, wants, and budget, so the choice is yours. The release date for the HTC One M9 is mid-March, with most US carriers saying “this spring” so it may not actually be available until late March or early April. Take this into consideration when deciding on your next smartphone.