Apple iPhone 6 vs HTC One M8: the weigh in

OS: The classic battle

iOS or Android? It’s a question we’ve ben dealing with for the better part of a decade now. 

The HTC One M8 uses Android 4.4 with HTC Sense on top while the iPhone 6 has iOS 8. The big news for iOS 8 is that it massively increases support for mobile payments, now that NFC is included in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (and eventually the Apple Watch).

What's more, if you also have a Mac running the new OS X Yosemite (still in beta right now, but due to be released next month), you'll get access to extra tricks via Yosemite's new Continuity feature, such as being able to start an email on your laptop and seamlessly finish it on your iPhone.

Other features new to iOS 8 include the Health app, which will integrate the data from all of your fitness-tracking gadgets, the ability to run 3rd-party keyboards, improved notifications, extra gaming potential and improvements to iCloud. Frankly, there's too much new stuff to really go into it all here, so check out our iOS 8 preview for the full deal. 

The HTC One M8 runs a customised version of Android 4.4, called HTC Sense. And as the One M8 already has NFC, it has the same mobile payments potential as the iPhone 6. Android just hasn’t got its act together in the same way as Apple. 

There’s one key added feature in HTC Sense, and it’s called BlinkFeed. This is a neat home screen page that gives you a stream of updates from your favourite online sources – including websites and social networks.

Which is better? This is a very tough one to call. iOS 8 is a bit more streamlined, and iOS still offers a better selection of games, and apps for creative types. However, HTC Sense is one of our favourite custom Android interfaces and Android on the whole is still a far more open, customisable platform. 

It’s close, but Google needs to release Android L to really pull ahead of Apple at this point. 

Winner: iPhone 6

Initial verdict

The iPhone 6 looks like being Apple's best iPhone yet, having had the size upgrade it so desperately needed while also gaining more power, a few new camera skills and a feature-packed new OS. It's still one of the best looking of all phones, it has more storage than before (if you have deep pockets) and the choice on the App Store remains unrivalled.

On the other hand, the HTC One M8 has been one of our favourite phones for half a year now, and with good reason. Physically it's a thing of beauty, performance-wise it purrs along like a high-end sportscar and its battery is one of the best. The microSD memory slot and cheaper price will appeal to some too, and on spec alone its full HD screen also beats that on the iPhone.

Can we choose between them at this stage? Not really. It's just too close to call.

What we can say is that we'll be reviewing the iPhone 6 very soon, and as soon as we've done so we'll give you a definitve judgement.

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