Smartphone supertest: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One (M8) vs Sony Xperia Z2 vs LG G3

2. HTC One (M8)

We may go on about smartphone design a bit, but with the HTC it’s justified. This is one of the best-looking and best-built phones ever, with 20% more metal than its predecessor the HTC One and microSD storage now included. M8 owners will find themselves checking emails too much, just to show it off.

The 5in, 441ppi screen is super-sharp and considerably bigger than the One’s 4.7in display – it’s not a clear winner but colours look natural, text is smooth and viewing angles are fantastic.

Has HTC fixed the One’s niggles? Battery life is slightly better, bringing it on a par with its rivals – you shouldn’t need the Ultra Power Saving Mode to last the day. But the UltraPixel camera stays. 

This might disappoint those looking to shoot serious images and footage, but for most, the low-light prowess and focusing tricks are good enough. Nothing else needed tweaking – in use, it’s as fluid as we expect from an HTC and the feature set gets new tricks here and there, such as the ability to swipe straight into BlinkFeed even when the phone is off.

It might not have the bragging rights of a 20.7MP camera, a removable battery or a heart-rate sensor, but for us, the extras on the S5 and Z2 simply don’t compare to the pure gadget joy you get with the HTC One M8. 

READ MORE: HTC One (M8) - the full review

More after the break...

The detail

Design: 10/10
Some will prefer the old One’s iconic design but this is just as tasty. The bevelled edges catch the light where the S5’s metal-look edges look cheap. While the G3 looks as metal as the M8, it can’t match its premium weighty feel in the hands.If you want those machined lines, choose the Metal Grey variant.

Screen: 9/10
The HTC might have the smallest screen here at 5in but it beats the mighty Sony on contrast and off-axis viewing. Compared to the original One, the palette leans to the green side… but only nerds will notice that.

Camera: 8/10
More than a gimmick, the Duo camera lets you change the focus of pics after you’ve taken them; and unlike on the Samsung and Sony, you don’t need to select a mode before taking the shot. You can 3D-ify pics with Dimension Plus.

OS and apps: 10/10
Still our Android skin of choice, Sense 6 will win over even fans of stock Android. BlinkFeed now keeps tabs on your interests and you can track steps, distance and calories automatically without a tracker.

READ MORE: 10 of the best apps for the HTC One (M8)

READ MORE: The best cases, headphones and accessories for the HTC One (M8)

Comments

 One of the things that's being overlooked about the M8 is it's camera. While in stock form I must admit  it's a mess for outdoor landscapes but If you're willing to root you're phone & install Jishnu Sur's HTC One Cam V3.zip mod it corrects most of it's  shortcomings.  it however doesn't stop there. For even more camra awsomeness, a trip over to Google play to pick up a litle app called  Camera FV-5 will have you churning out 4.5 MB Raw .PNG files that will bitch slap every one of it's rivals in their stock form.  The ultra pixel Camra HTC hyped up  is actualy there. You just have to do a little digging to bring it out. And lets also not forget the sound. as is it's awsome. By simply rooting the phone and flashing the rom you get  a choice of either Beats audio (which I prefer) or the Htc one Harman Kardon presets. 

Most will likely go for the Harman Kardon presets but as a true audiofile I can tell you first hand that while not as spacious sounding (I feel Harman Kardon over did it with the brightness) Beats audio introduces a warm, rich, ampli spacious quality sound with Bass the likes I have never heard coming from such a small device.

Another one of the HTC's strong points are it's actual data thruput speeds. whether it be with wi-fi or 4G LTE.  The phone is one of the fastest out there.

So the bottom line is, If you like to root your device you may want to go for the M8 & if done right your images won't be pixelated and you also wont have a problem with its dynamic range.

The M8  Rooted  is just beautifully awesome.

I've personally gone for the LG G3 after reading this review, listening to some advice off friends and then finally being recommended it when i went into a store. personally i love it does everything i want it to, having been an iPhone user since the originals launch i'm loving the freedom the android OS is giving me and the Luxurys of a removable battery and a huge amount of screen space!

That being said i've found the screen to be a bit of a curse. the battery on the phone seems to last a lot longer than that of my old iPhone 5 when it's sitting in my pocket but the minute you turn on that screen it's one huge power drain, so you really need that option of removable batteries.

I also found today when i was out on a sunny walk and was wanting to turn up the brightness on the screen so i could see it in the bright light i was told that i couldn't turn it up any higher because of the temerature of the screen.

...All this being said, still love the phone and would recommend it to people, but that screens a bit of a double edged sword.

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