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

The detail

Design: 10/10Some 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: 9/10The 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: 8/10More 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: 10/10Still 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)