Mobile Technology

HTC One (M8) vs. iPhone 5s

HTC One (M8) vs. iPhone 5s
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the HTC One (M8) and Apple iPhone 5s
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the HTC One (M8) and Apple iPhone 5s
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The iPhone 5s has solid battery life, but the One's is, according to our tests, 49 percent longer
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The iPhone 5s has solid battery life, but the One's is, according to our tests, 49 percent longer
Both phones have aluminum unibody builds
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Both phones have aluminum unibody builds
The iPhone's camera wins on megapixels, but the One's camera has larger pixels, which help to take better shots in poorly-lit settings
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The iPhone's camera wins on megapixels, but the One's camera has larger pixels, which help to take better shots in poorly-lit settings
Color options are almost identical
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Color options are almost identical
The One's Snapdragon processor looks much better on paper, but the iPhone's A7 SoC is very fast too
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The One's Snapdragon processor looks much better on paper, but the iPhone's A7 SoC is very fast too
The One M8 has a second rear camera devoted to sensing depth
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The One M8 has a second rear camera devoted to sensing depth
The One is 18 percent longer and 20 percent wider
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The One is 18 percent longer and 20 percent wider
The iPhone only gives you 64 percent as much screen real estate as the One M8 does
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The iPhone only gives you 64 percent as much screen real estate as the One M8 does
Both phones have dual-LED flashes
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Both phones have dual-LED flashes
The iPhone 5s' Touch ID fingerprint sensor combines security and convenience
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The iPhone 5s' Touch ID fingerprint sensor combines security and convenience
The One's front-facing BoomSound speakers are the best in the business
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The One's front-facing BoomSound speakers are the best in the business
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the HTC One (M8) and Apple iPhone 5s
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Gizmag compares the features and specs of the HTC One (M8) and Apple iPhone 5s
A future software update will bring a battery life-extending Extreme Power Saving Mode to the One M8
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A future software update will bring a battery life-extending Extreme Power Saving Mode to the One M8
The One's Motion Launch is a handy set of sensor-based shortcuts
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The One's Motion Launch is a handy set of sensor-based shortcuts
Starting off-contract prices are even, at US$650 a pop
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Starting off-contract prices are even, at US$650 a pop
The One M8 doubles the iPhone's 1 GB of RAM
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The One M8 doubles the iPhone's 1 GB of RAM
The One M8 is releasing about halfway through the iPhone 5s' initial lifecycle
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The One M8 is releasing about halfway through the iPhone 5s' initial lifecycle
Both phones let you record video in slow-motion
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Both phones let you record video in slow-motion
The One M8 runs the latest version of Android, with HTC's Sense 6 UI on top
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The One M8 runs the latest version of Android, with HTC's Sense 6 UI on top
Storage options for both phones
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Storage options for both phones
The iPhone is 30 percent lighter
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The iPhone is 30 percent lighter

If there's a company that can challenge, if not top, Apple's standing as the leader in smartphone design, it's HTC. Last year's HTC One and the new HTC One (M8) just might be the two most beautiful mobile devices ever made. What happens when you put the One M8's features and specs next to those of the iPhone 5s? Read on, as Gizmag breaks it down.

Update: We've now published our hands-on look at these two phones.

Size

The One is 18 percent longer and 20 percent wider
The One is 18 percent longer and 20 percent wider

There's nothing close about this category. The HTC One (M8) is 18 percent longer, 20 percent wider, and 24 percent thicker than the iPhone 5s. Android phones have created a new normal for smartphone size, but the iPhone isn't (yet) playing this new game.

But that isn't to say that there aren't also advantages to having a smaller phone. If you have small hands, or simply want something that will disappear in your pocket, then the iPhone's petite build could be just what you're looking for.

Weight

The iPhone is 30 percent lighter
The iPhone is 30 percent lighter

We have another huge discrepancy in the weight department. The One M8 is 43 percent heavier than the feathery iPhone.

Build

Both phones have aluminum unibody builds
Both phones have aluminum unibody builds

You won't find two smartphones with more thoughtful and premium constructions than these two. Both are made of aluminum, and have an attention to detail that most other smartphones can't match.

Colors

Color options are almost identical
Color options are almost identical

Well isn't this awkward? Apart from some slightly different marketing terms, we're looking at the same basic color options with both phones. In fairness to Apple, the 5s launched six months before the One M8.

Display

The iPhone only gives you 64 percent as much screen real estate as the One M8 does
The iPhone only gives you 64 percent as much screen real estate as the One M8 does

Screen size is, as you can see, a huge difference. The One M8 gives you 56 percent more screen real estate than the iPhone gives you. iPhones always sell like hotcakes, but I imagine its smaller screen size has led to more than a few customers defecting to Android.

HTC's phone also has a much sharper screen. The iPhone's Retina Display is supposedly sharp enough that the human eye can't differentiate individual pixels (according to the completely unbiased Apple marketing department). But my eyes always notice a difference when they look at razor-sharp 1080p phones like the One.

Fingerprint sensor

The iPhone 5s' Touch ID fingerprint sensor combines security and convenience
The iPhone 5s' Touch ID fingerprint sensor combines security and convenience

The iPhone 5s' big selling feature is its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. You can use your print to unlock your passcode-protected phone, as well as authorize iTunes and App Store purchases. Unlike the swipe-based scanners on rivals like the Galaxy S5 and HTC One Max, the iPhone's lets you simply rest your finger on the home button.

Motion Launch

The One's Motion Launch is a handy set of sensor-based shortcuts
The One's Motion Launch is a handy set of sensor-based shortcuts

The One's Motion Launch is a handy set of sensor-based shortcuts offering such time-savers as swiping or tapping on your sleeping One's screen to jump to your lock screen or home screen, or pressing a volume button while you're holding the phone in landscape to launch its camera. You can even answer a phone call just by lifting the M8 to your ear.

Battery

The iPhone 5s has solid battery life, but the One's is, according to our tests, 49 percent longer
The iPhone 5s has solid battery life, but the One's is, according to our tests, 49 percent longer

The iPhone has solid battery life, but, in our video streaming test, the One M8 lasted 49 percent longer. It's another big strength for HTC's gorgeous powerhouse of a phone.

Extreme Power Saving Mode

A future software update will bring a battery life-extending Extreme Power Saving Mode to the One M8
A future software update will bring a battery life-extending Extreme Power Saving Mode to the One M8

A future software update is going to give the One M8 a feature similar to the one Samsung packed into the Galaxy S5. If your battery dips down too low, you can jump into Extreme Power Saving Mode, which desaturates the screen and limits background processes. You'll supposedly be able to squeeze hours of extra uptime out of just a small amount of juice.

Front-facing speakers

The One's front-facing BoomSound speakers are the best in the business
The One's front-facing BoomSound speakers are the best in the business

The One's front-facing BoomSound speakers are the best in the business. Unless you like to throw dance parties with your smartphone pumping out tunes, this probably isn't something you'll want to base your decision on. But it is a nice bonus, if you're already leaning toward the One.

Cameras

The iPhone's camera wins on megapixels, but the One's camera has larger pixels, which help to take better shots in poorly-lit settings
The iPhone's camera wins on megapixels, but the One's camera has larger pixels, which help to take better shots in poorly-lit settings

The iPhone's camera wins on megapixels, but the One's "UltraPixels" (larger pixels) help it to take brighter and more colorful shots under low lighting.

Depth sensor

The One M8 has a second rear camera devoted to sensing depth
The One M8 has a second rear camera devoted to sensing depth

The One's second rear camera senses depth, so you can add a bokeh (blurred background) effect to portraits and other shots. The effect is a little hit-or-miss in the One, but when you get it just right, it can add an extra spark to your smartphone photography.

Dual LED flash

Both phones have dual-LED flashes
Both phones have dual-LED flashes

Both phones have dual-LED flashes, to help make your flash photography look a little bit less like ... well, flash photography. Expect more even lighting and richer colors than typical smartphone flashes will give you.

Slow-motion video

Both phones let you record video in slow-motion
Both phones let you record video in slow-motion

Both phones also let you capture videos in slow-motion, which is always a fun feature if you're filming children, pets, or other fast-moving creatures.

Storage

Storage options for both phones
Storage options for both phones

The iPhone caps out at a 64 GB option that HTC doesn't offer this year, but the One M8 also supplements that with a micro SD card slot.

Processor

The One's Snapdragon processor looks much better on paper, but the iPhone's A7 SoC is very fast too
The One's Snapdragon processor looks much better on paper, but the iPhone's A7 SoC is very fast too

On paper, the One's Snapdragon 801 looks to dominate. But the iPhone's 64-bit A7 system-on-a-chip is zippier than its dual core processor and 1.3 GHz clock speed might suggest. The bottom line is that both phones are very fast, and performance shouldn't be a concern in either case.

RAM

The One M8 doubles the iPhone's 1 GB of RAM
The One M8 doubles the iPhone's 1 GB of RAM

The One M8 does double the iPhone's 1 GB of RAM.

Software

The One M8 runs the latest version of Android, with HTC's Sense 6 UI on top
The One M8 runs the latest version of Android, with HTC's Sense 6 UI on top

We won't go into the played-out iOS vs. Android debate here, but both phones do give you the latest versions of their respective operating systems. The One's Android 4.4 KitKat has HTC's custom UI, Sense 6, sitting on top of Google's core OS.

Release

The One M8 is releasing about halfway through the iPhone 5s' initial lifecycle
The One M8 is releasing about halfway through the iPhone 5s' initial lifecycle

If Apple releases its next iPhone at about the same time this year, then we're now halfway towards the 5s' follow-up. The One just launched last week.

Starting prices

Starting off-contract prices are even, at US$650 a pop
Starting off-contract prices are even, at US$650 a pop

Typical off-contract pricing is tied up at US$650. If you live in the US and are buying with a new two-year contract, then you'll probably be throwing down $200 for either handset.

For more on these two flagships, you can hit up our full reviews of the iPhone 5s and HTC One (M8).

2 comments
Rann Xeroxx
Its not so much that comparing these devices is fair since the 5s is a much older model compared to something just released. But is striking is that you are getting so much more phone with the HTC then the iPhone for the same price.
Daniel Shipley
very imformative and awesome review. Didn't feel biased at all. Thanks, I am still trying to decide between the HTC and an Iphone, I've had the 5 and my 2 year contract will be up in September, Will be interesting to see what Apple comes out with then.