The Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 have finally been unveiled to an expected public at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. These are two critical releases for both companies, as Samsung is trying to replenish the image of its flagship Galaxy S series after a disappointing Galaxy S5 release. Although HTC’s One M8 received an outstanding critical reception, the Taiwanese company’s Devices have yet to really reach the mass market, particularly in the West.
So how do these two premium smartphones match up against one another, and how do they compare to the market-leading iPhone 6? Here is a rundown of all of the specifications related to the three devices.
As predicted, Samsung has ensured that this Galaxy S6 is a quad HD device. The super AMOLED display which has been so praised in previous Samsung handsets is naturally retained. But the resolution of the screen in the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge has been increased up to 1,440 x 2,560. And those analysts who predicted a 5.1-inch display in this premium Samsung smartphone turned out to be absolutely correct.
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It certainly seems that Samsung will have a market-leading device in terms of display quality. Neither the HTC or Apple device can match the quality of the Galaxy S6 display. The HTC One M9 is marginally smaller than its Galaxy S6 rival, featuring a 5-inch screen, but the display in this smartphone will be only full HD.
In a sense, it is difficult to compare either the Galaxy S6 or HTC One M9 to the two iPhone 6 devices currently on the market, as the smartphone-sized iPhone 6 is smaller than its two rivals, and the tablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus is significantly larger. But even the premium iPhone 6 Plus has a lower screen resolution than the Galaxy S6, while the smaller iPhone model features a screen resolution which is less than full HD.
Certainly those mobile users which want the best possible screen quality will be considering the Galaxy S6 very seriously.
As predicted by ValueWalk, the Galaxy S6 is based around its own proprietary Exynos technology. The Galaxy S6 features an Exynos 7 octa-core processor, with four cores running at 1.5GHz and four at 2.1GHz.
This is an extremely similar setup to the brand new HTC One M9, except that the Taiwanese smartphone is driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor. The HTC One M9 also splits the cores into two separate bundles, and these will run at 2GHz and 1.5GHz respectively.
Apple’s iPhone 6 is based around a dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone, although it does deliver quad-core graphics through a PowerVR GX6450 GPU. Although this would suggest that the Apple iPhone 6 is significantly less powerful than the other two smartphones, but it is worth mentioning that Apple’s combination of proprietary software and hardware affords its flagship range excellent processing power.
Memory and storage
The three devices are extremely similar in terms of storage capacity, with the maximum available for each of the iPhone 6, Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 being 128GB. The latter two devices also deliver 3GB of internal RAM. This is where the Apple handset differs significantly, as the consumer electronics giant has chosen to arm the iPhone series with only 1 GB up until now.
Efficiency savings with the iOS operating system, and the combination of Apple-designed hardware and software ensures that the iPhone 6 does not underperform in terms of speed. But Apple will be assessing the possibility of significantly increasing the memory quotient in the iPhone 7, and it is already reported that it will indeed double this figure to 2GB.
Surprisingly, predictions about the Galaxy S6 camera have turned out to be wide of the mark. Samsung was widely expected to improve the megapixel rating of the snapper in the Galaxy S6 handset, but this has turned out to be incorrect. The Galaxy S6 features a 16-megapixel camera such as its Galaxy S5 cousin, and Samsung has worked hard to improve the quality of low-light photography.
According to the Korean Corporation, the Galaxy S6 camera enables 34 percent more light to reach the sensor than with the previous iteration of the series. Optical image stabilization has also been upgraded to be smarter, and the autofocus feature has also received tweaks and improvements.
While the camera in the HTC One M9 sounds superior, being a 20-megapixel lens, early testing of the device suggests that it doesn’t perform particularly well in low-light conditions. This is something that the iPhone 6 was praised for, despite the relatively puny sounding 8-megapixel camera which Apple fitted the device with. But photography quality in the iPhone 6 is far better than this suggests, and there are already rumors that Apple will produce a professional standard dual-lens device for the iPhone 7.
Samsung has always been praised for the battery life in Galaxy devices, and it now has a serious edge over Apple in this department. The Galaxy S6 is fitted with a 2550mAh, while the S6 Edge has a 2600mAh cell. But the HTC One M9 is looking to rival this by putting a larger battery in its handset. The 2840 mAh device provides talk time up to 25.4 hours for 2G and 21.7 hours for 3G, and standby time of up to 391 hours for 2G and 402 hours for 3G.
Apple will be under pressure to increase the 1810 mAh battery in the iPhone 6 and deliver improved battery life, as the iPhone series has been criticised for its disappointingly poor battery performance.
The most obvious new feature in the Galaxy S6 is the curved screen which is part of the Galaxy S6 Edge package. Samsung also strongly promoted Samsung Pay at the Mobile World Congress; a collaboration with MasterCard which will attempt to rival existing mobile payment systems such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay.
HTC placed an emphasis on virtual reality, by providing a preview of its HTC Vive headset which is being developed in collaboration with Valve. The company also announced a top-end smartband called the HTC Grip meant primarily for the US market. Both devices collarorate with the HTC One M9.