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Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8: Which Should I Buy? (Video)



The Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8 are the newest Android smartphone to arrive on the market an in this Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 comparison we’ll show you the main differences and features in order to help answer the popular question, “which one should I buy?”.

Samsung is a bigger player in smartphones than HTC with eyes set on taking on the iPhone 5s, but for smartphone shoppers the HTC One M8 is a phone that cannot be forgotten when searching for the best smartphone in 2014.

On paper the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 deliver a very similar set of features, but there are key differences that will ultimately help you decide which smartphone to buy, based on what’s most important to you. In this buyer’s guide we’ll walk through our favorite features and help you find your perfect smartphone — for the next year or two at least.

Read: HTC One M8 Tips & Tricks

Check out how the Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 smartphones stack up.

Check out how the Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 smartphones stack up.

After you check out this Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 comparison it’s still a good idea to head to a local store and check out the feel of each smartphone. The metal design is a little more slippery for some users than the plastic on the Galaxy S5 and nothing can compare to personal hands on time before buying a new phone.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 Video

Watch this Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 video for a fast look at the design, major features and important differences in software that buyers need to know about. Then, read on below to see how the phones compare in photos and with more detailed descriptions.

Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 Price & Carriers

The Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 are both available online and in stores on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint. The Galaxy S5 is also available on US Cellular and Metro PCS, and will arrive on Virgin Mobile in May.

Expect to pay $199 on a two year contract for both of these phones, but keep in mind that the HTC One M8 features 32GB of storage compared to 16GB on the Galaxy S5.

The Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 are both on major carriers at similar prices.

The Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 are both on major carriers at similar prices.

Verizon sells the Galaxy S5 for $249, but a mail in rebate or online price drop will bring it down to $99 on contract. The carrier also offers a Buy-One-Get-One deal for the HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S5. Other carriers offer deals that offer both phones for $0 down with monthly payments from $25 to $32.50.

WE are already seeing many HTC One M8 as low as $149 on Amazon and there is a $99 Galaxy S5 at Amazon as well. Savvy shoppers will look at Amazon and Walmart before going to a carrier and buying a Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8.

Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 Display

Samsung and HTC both deliver large and sharp displays, but they are not equals. The Galaxy S5 features a 5.1-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and the HTC One M8 features a 5-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Both displays pack a lot of pixels into a small screen and that means videos, photos and text all look nice.

The Galaxy S5 display is better, but not by much.

The Galaxy S5 display is better, but not by much.

While Samsung and HTC both offer a good display and viewing experience, after using both phones the Galaxy S5 display is brighter and delivers more vivid colors. Samsung includes features that can boost the brightness and contrast to deliver a better looking display outdoors and a dimmer display when you are in a dark room.

The HTC One M8 display looks very nice, and can get bright enough to use outdoors and dim enough to use in a dark room, but overall the Galaxy S5 display simply looks better.

Samsung also includes the ability to change to various modes and an adapt display option to change it based on your environment. There is also an Ultra Power Saving mode that turns the display black and white and limits certain services to let the battery last 24 hours on just 5% battery life. There is also an option to use Air View which detects when your finger hovers over the display, but this is a feature that many users won’t care about.

Neither of these displays will disappoint, but if you want the best looking display, you’ll want to buy the Galaxy S5.

Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 Design

Plastic or Metal? If you immediately have a preference for what your next smartphone is made from then you can stop now and pick your new phone for 2014.

Plastic or metal, that's the biggest difference.

Plastic or metal, that’s the biggest difference.

The HTC One M8 is made with metal, 20% more metal than the HTC One from 2013 to be exact. This metal design feels great in most hands thanks to a curved back that fits into the curve of your palm. Unfortunately the back is a little slip[per for some users and trying to reach the power button that is on the top may be a stretch for smaller hands. HTC built-in sensors to turn the display on with a tap or a swipe so that this is less of an issue.

For 2014 HTC adds in a Micro SD card slot for adding more memory, but there is no way to swap out a battery. HTC sells a silver, gunmetal and gold HTC One M8 and the gold model is a Best Buy Exclusive.

The Galaxy S5 is water-resistant.

The Galaxy S5 is water-resistant.

One major difference in the Galaxy S5 and HTC One design is that the HTC One M8 features front-facing BoomSound speakers that direct loud, clear audio right at the user. These beat the Galaxy S5’s rear-facing speaker easily.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a plastic smartphone, but it is not the same cheap plastic from the Galaxy S5. Samsung chose a soft touch plastic material for the back of the Galaxy S5 that makes it easy to grip. The shimmer white color is actually an off white that doesn’t match the front of the phone. There is a black option at carriers, but the blue and gold Galaxy S5 models are not on sale yet in the U.S.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a water-resistant and dust-resistant design that will keep the phone safe from dirt, dust and sand and in up to 1 meter (3 feet) of water for up to 30 minutes. There are some videos showing the HTC One survive water torture, but it is not a feature HTC advertises so if water protection is big on your wish list the Galaxy S5 is a better option unless you plan to add a case.

The Galaxy S5 features a fingerprint reader and capacitive buttons while the HTC One M8 features on screen buttons.

The Galaxy S5 features a fingerprint reader and capacitive buttons while the HTC One M8 features on screen buttons.

Users can add a Micro SD card to the Galaxy S5 to expand storage and can remove the battery to swap in a fresh one for longer battery life.

Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 Cameras

HTC chose to use the same 4 UltraPixel camera from 2013, but add a second camera to the back to take photos that users can select the point of focus in later. The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a 16MP rear facing camera with a plethora of software modes. The HTC One M8 features a 5MP front facing camera that blows the 2MP Galaxy S5 front facing camera out of the water and HTC includes a Selfie mode.

Read our full Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 camera comparison to see how these two cameras compare, and check out the photos and videos below to decide for yourself. According to our in-depth look the Galaxy S5 is the clear winner.

Watch these videos to see the software features on the HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S5.

Both of these phones let users pick various modes to take a basic photo or to remove unwanted objects, show motion and more.

The HTC One M8 Zoe feature is a big plus as it lets users capture photos and videos at the same time and then share them using the HTC Zoe Highlight feature. This is a very nice feature that we used on the original HTC One and on the new model, but ultimately the Galaxy S5 camera is better in our tests.

Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8 both use a Snapdragon 801 processor, which deliver fast performance on both of these devices.

The HTC One M8 and Galaxy S5 performance and battery life are similar.

The HTC One M8 and Galaxy S5 performance and battery life are similar.

In our day to day use of both of these smartphones we have not found an area where one outperforms the other. Some benchmark apps will sow one phone or another with a small lead, but for tasks that users actually do on a daily basis there is not a noticeable difference.

The HTC One M8 battery life is very good lasting a full day of moderate to heavy use and Galaxy S5 battery life is also very good easily lasting a full day of heavy use.

Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 Software & Features

Both of these smartphones run Android 4.4.2, but there is different software on top of each that adds features and changes the looks of Android.

There are some similar features across both phones like the ability to customize the quick settings and both offer a screen to the left of the home screen dedicated to news and other updates. The HTC One BlinkFeed is easier to customize and get up and running, but the My Magazine app on the Galaxy S5 offers options for more magazines through FlipBoard.

Both of these phones include and IR port and a remote control app that lets users control a HDTV, home theater and cable box without reaching for a physical remote.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a Multi-Window mode that lets users put two apps on screen at the same time. There is no option to do this on the HTC One M8.

Watch the video below to see what the HTC Sense 6 software looks like on the HTC One M8.

The playlist below runs through many of the Galaxy S5 software features that are a part of TouchWiz.

Depending on the software features that matter most to you, this may help you pick a new smartphone, but these two devices are very close in this area.

Which Should I Buy?

Picking the best smartphone is a personal choice, but when it comes down to choosing between the HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S5 there are a few things to consider.

The screen sizes are about the same, but the overall design of the two phones is different. If you want a metal smartphone with great speakers, a nice looking display and the HTC Senses 6 software for BlinkFeed, Zoe and Highlights pick up the new HTC One.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S5 Tips & Tricks

If you don’t mind or prefer a plastic smartphone with a beautiful display, a better camera with many camera modes and the ability to run two apps on screen at the same time, and want to connect to the Gear Fit, the Galaxy S5 is your new phone.

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  1. jay

    04/18/2014 at 7:26 pm

    Obviously a samsung fanboy. Garbage

  2. Edward

    04/18/2014 at 11:43 pm

    I definitely choose Galaxy S5 over HTC M8. It is clear that in most of the specs Galaxy S5 is much better then HTC M8 whether I talk about water resistant body, wireless flip cover to make it qi charger compatible or Touch Wiz feature and above all 2800mAh battery. The Golden days of HTC in the world of Smartphones are over now!

  3. MadJoe

    04/21/2014 at 4:47 am

    Edward, you are mistaken, but not about the GS5 being a better device, just that HTC will cling to life the same way Chrysler clings to life (although HTC does have a slightly better track record, and seems to be listening so there’s more hope there). Basically both brands had their hay-day, and then took that modicum of success to mean “time to switch on autopilot and coast”. Chrysler has needed to pull out of bankruptcy twice now because of that mentality (once at the expense of the American taxpayer, once by sheer luck of the minivan). HTC had a great following, and was more successful than Samsung in the beginning of Android. Then they slapped that autopilot button so hard you could almost hear it here in the US, and coasted to mediocrity. And like Chrysler, who polishes a turd on occasion to shore up loses (PT Cruiser, 300, Charger and Sebring being the most egregious), the One and One M8 are just that. This works in the short term because people are like crows and grab at “shiny” things they think will make them stand out but ignore that, even though the other choice (car, phone, what have you) isn’t as pretty, it will do more, and retain value longer. The iPhone is also a perfect example of this mentality, and just how strong it can be, except it strangely retains value (kind of like a Camry, but worse, since the Camry has actual value, just not as much as people place on it). It’s amazing the premium people will pay for a bauble, or status symbol…HTC just needs to find traction in that space, and eat away at Apple’s herd to return to viability and with this new push for advertising, they just may get it.

  4. Dennis

    04/21/2014 at 7:17 am

    I think the onboard ROM memory will play a huge roll in the choice of phone individuals will make.

  5. Dennis

    04/21/2014 at 7:24 am

    Specifically in this day and age of huge games and app downloads and in conjuction with KitKat’s limiting control on microSD cards. The day of the 16gb phone is over.

  6. Joseph

    04/21/2014 at 4:18 pm

    VerizonWireless had these on sale buy one get one, then pulled the offer with no advance notice to the public… I called April 20 to get details, then called back April 21 to buy and the salesperson tried to enter the deal and couldn’t because the deal was pulled.. she didn’t even know! Shame on you VerizonWireless!

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