Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. HTC One (M8)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. HTC ...
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and HTC One (M8) are both high-end handsets, but there are some significant differences between them
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and HTC One (M8) are both high-end handsets, but there are some significant differences between them
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The Note 4 packs a bigger battery than its rival
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The Note 4 packs a bigger battery than its rival
The HTC handset features a premium metal construction
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The HTC handset features a premium metal construction
Both devices are offered in a range of colors
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Both devices are offered in a range of colors
The HTC handset features Motion Launch gestures
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The HTC handset features Motion Launch gestures
The Galaxy Note 4 has a higher resolution display
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The Galaxy Note 4 has a higher resolution display
The Note 4's display is larger than the One's
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The Note 4's display is larger than the One's
The Note 4 offers an integrated stylus
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The Note 4 offers an integrated stylus
The Samsung handset features a fingerprint sensor integrated into its home button
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The Samsung handset features a fingerprint sensor integrated into its home button
The HTC device is fitted with stereo front-facing speakers
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The HTC device is fitted with stereo front-facing speakers
There'a a heart rate monitor on the rear of the Galaxy Note 4
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There'a a heart rate monitor on the rear of the Galaxy Note 4
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and HTC One (M8) are both high-end handsets, but there are some significant differences between them
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The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and HTC One (M8) are both high-end handsets, but there are some significant differences between them
Both devices pack power sipping modes
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Both devices pack power sipping modes
There are two camera lenses on the rear of the HTC One (M8)
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There are two camera lenses on the rear of the HTC One (M8)
Samsung's handset can reportedly go from 0 to 50 precent charge in around 30 minutes
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Samsung's handset can reportedly go from 0 to 50 precent charge in around 30 minutes
Both devices offer IR blasters
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Both devices offer IR blasters
The Samsung handset packs the more recent CPU
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The Samsung handset packs the more recent CPU
The Note 4 is fitted with more RAM than the One (M8)
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The Note 4 is fitted with more RAM than the One (M8)
The Samsung handset is set to hit shelves in October
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The Samsung handset is set to hit shelves in October
The Samsung handset is larger than the HTC, but it's also thinner
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The Samsung handset is larger than the HTC, but it's also thinner
Both devices run on the latest 4.4 KitKat flavor of Android
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Both devices run on the latest 4.4 KitKat flavor of Android
The Samsung devices features a useful one-handed mode
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The Samsung devices features a useful one-handed mode
Samsung is yet to announce pricing for the Galaxy Note 4
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Samsung is yet to announce pricing for the Galaxy Note 4
Both handsets feature microSD card slots
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Both handsets feature microSD card slots
The Galaxy Note 4 is design to work with the Gear VR headset
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The Galaxy Note 4 is design to work with the Gear VR headset
The Note 4 offers split-screen multitasking
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The Note 4 offers split-screen multitasking
Neither device offers water resistance technology
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Neither device offers water resistance technology
The Note 4 is little heavier than the One (M8)
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The Note 4 is little heavier than the One (M8)
The Note 4's camera packs significantly more megapixels than the One's
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The Note 4's camera packs significantly more megapixels than the One's

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and HTC One (M8) are both high-end devices, and both pack a lot of great features. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Note 4’s phablet nature is the only significant difference between the two smartphones, but there’s plenty besides to distinguish them. Read on as we delve into all the key differences between the two mobile heavyweights.

Size

The Samsung handset is larger than the HTC, but it's also thinner
The Samsung handset is larger than the HTC, but it's also thinner

While the Galaxy Note 4 is 5.5 percent longer and 11 percent wider than the One, Samsung’s new device is almost 10 percent thinner than its rival.

Weight

The Note 4 is little heavier than the One (M8)
The Note 4 is little heavier than the One (M8)

The Note 4 is 6 percent heavier than the One.

Build

The HTC handset features a premium metal construction
The HTC handset features a premium metal construction

While HTC’s device features a full metal build, Samsung’s new handset opts for a plastic back with a metal band around its edges, similar to the company’s smaller Galaxy Alpha smartphone. Both devices feel solid and premium in the hand.

Colors

Both devices are offered in a range of colors
Both devices are offered in a range of colors

The two handsets are available in a range of colors.

Display (size)

The Note 4's display is larger than the One's
The Note 4's display is larger than the One's

The size of the Note 4’s display places it firmly in the phablet category, and while the size difference here doesn’t look that significant on paper, it amounts to 30 percent more screen real estate on the Samsung device.

Display (resolution)

The Galaxy Note 4 has a higher resolution display
The Galaxy Note 4 has a higher resolution display

The Note 4’s screen isn’t just bigger than its rivals – it’s also significantly sharper, offering a quad HD resolution, equating to 25 percent more pixels per inch (PPI).

Stylus

The Note 4 offers an integrated stylus
The Note 4 offers an integrated stylus

Samsung’s Note line is famous for its stylus integration, and that emphasis hasn’t shifted with this fourth gen handset. The revamped S Pen features twice the pressure sensitivity of the previous version.

Motion Launch

The HTC handset features Motion Launch gestures
The HTC handset features Motion Launch gestures

HTC’s device packs a tap-to-unlock feature known as Motion Launch. Users can either double tap the handset’s display to wake it, or slide up, down, left or right to performance different functions. You can also click the volume keys when the device is in landscape orientation to quickly launch the camera.

Fingerprint sensor

The Samsung handset features a fingerprint sensor integrated into its home button
The Samsung handset features a fingerprint sensor integrated into its home button

Like the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Alpha smartphones (and Galaxy Tab S tablet), the Note 4 sports a fingerprint scanner. It allows users to bypass other security features by swiping a finger across the home button.

Heart rate monitor

There'a a heart rate monitor on the rear of the Galaxy Note 4
There'a a heart rate monitor on the rear of the Galaxy Note 4

Only the Samsung device packs heart rate monitoring tech. It sits on the phablet's backside, just below its camera.

Battery

The Note 4 packs a bigger battery than its rival
The Note 4 packs a bigger battery than its rival

The Note 4’s battery holds more juice than the One’s, and Samsung says that the Note 4 will last longer than the Note 3 did. In our testing, though, we found HTC’s device to offer great battery life.

Ultra/Extreme Power Saving Modes

Both devices pack power sipping modes
Both devices pack power sipping modes

Both devices offer similar power sipping modes that cut down on available functions to extend battery life when charge is low.

Water resistance

Neither device offers water resistance technology
Neither device offers water resistance technology

Neither handset features water resistance tech.

Fast charging

Samsung's handset can reportedly go from 0 to 50 precent charge in around 30 minutes
Samsung's handset can reportedly go from 0 to 50 precent charge in around 30 minutes

According to Samsung, if you use the supplied charger with the Note 4, then the battery will jump from 0 to 50 percent charge in around 30 minutes.

Cameras

The Note 4's camera packs significantly more megapixels than the One's
The Note 4's camera packs significantly more megapixels than the One's

The Note 4’s rear camera packs significantly more megapixels than the One’s. However, according to HTC, the One’s “Ultrapixel” tech means that each pixel is bigger and takes in more light. Regardless of the specs, we liked the One’s camera in our review.

The One’s front-facing shooter is great for selfie lovers, packing great picture quality and a range of touch-up tools.

We’ll have to wait until we get some extended hands-on time with the Note 4’s camera to make a judgement on its potency.

Depth sensor

There are two camera lenses on the rear of the HTC One (M8)
There are two camera lenses on the rear of the HTC One (M8)

There are actually two camera lenses on the back of the HTC handset, allowing for a number of post-shot depth effects, including the ability to refocus images.

Front-facing speakers

The HTC device is fitted with stereo front-facing speakers
The HTC device is fitted with stereo front-facing speakers

The One packs stereo front-facing speakers that pump out the best audio we’ve heard from a smartphone.

Infrared

Both devices offer IR blasters
Both devices offer IR blasters

Both devices pack IR blasters, meaning they can be used as TV remotes.

Split-screen multitasking

The Note 4 offers split-screen multitasking
The Note 4 offers split-screen multitasking

Like other Samsung smartphones, you can split the Note 4's screen to simultaneously run two applications. On the Note 4, Samsung tied its Multi Window to the recent apps button, and is also emphasizing the seamless switching among single window, dual window and pop-up windows.

One-handed mode

The Samsung devices features a useful one-handed mode
The Samsung devices features a useful one-handed mode

Given that the Note 4 is a pretty sizeable device, Samsung has included a gesture that quickly shrinks the useable display down to a more manageable size for one handed use.

Virtual reality

The Galaxy Note 4 is design to work with the Gear VR headset
The Galaxy Note 4 is design to work with the Gear VR headset

While Samsung’s handset doesn’t pack any virtual reality credentials on its own, it’s designed to be the beating heart of the company’s new, Oculus-powered Gear VR headset, providing both the display and processing power for the accessory.

The One M8 should work with Google Cardboard, but right now it's a developer kit and not aimed at consumers.

Storage

Both handsets feature microSD card slots
Both handsets feature microSD card slots

Both handsets are available in different storage configurations. Luckily, they also both offer microSD card slots for easy expansion.

Processor

The Samsung handset packs the more recent CPU
The Samsung handset packs the more recent CPU

The processors powering both these handsets are more than up to the task of providing smooth and zippy performance, but the Note 4’s chip packs a slightly higher clock speed than its rivals.

You’ll want to note that we’re listing the chip that you’ll find in the LTE version of Samsung's device, with the HSPA/international version packing an eight core Exynos CPU.

RAM

The Note 4 is fitted with more RAM than the One (M8)
The Note 4 is fitted with more RAM than the One (M8)

The Note 4 packs an extra gigabyte of memory over the One (M8).

Software

Both devices run on the latest 4.4 KitKat flavor of Android
Both devices run on the latest 4.4 KitKat flavor of Android

Both devices run the latest 4.4 KitKat flavor of Android, each with their respective company’s UI overlay.

Release

The Samsung handset is set to hit shelves in October
The Samsung handset is set to hit shelves in October

The Note 4 is set to launch next month (October 17, to be exact), while the HTC One (M8) has been on shelves for almost six months.

Starting price (off-contract)

Samsung is yet to announce pricing for the Galaxy Note 4
Samsung is yet to announce pricing for the Galaxy Note 4

HTC’s handset comes in at the now fairly standard US$650, while the Note 4’s price tag remains unknown. If previous versions of the handset are anything to go by, then we’d expect the new version to retail for around $700 off-contract or $300 with a two-year agreement.

For more on the two devices you can check out our full review of the HTC One (M8), and our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 hands-on.

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