Not long after HTC unveiled its new flagship, the One M9, it updated last year’s One M8 with the One M8s. That’s given us a slightly confusing range of attractive HTC phones, with the One M9, One M8s and One M8 all available. So to help you decide which one’s right for you, we’ve compared all three and found their differences.
Look and feel
The HTC One series has got a reputation for being good-looking, but there aren’t any big differences in the look and feel of the three phones. Last year’s M8 and the new M8s look exactly the same, although the new phone is about two millimetres fatter. The M9 is as thick as the M8s, but it has a slightly more refined design with squarer edges that have a mirror finish.
Design is pretty subjective, so whether the small differences between the M9 and the other two are important is going to be down to your personal preferences.
You’re not going to find much of a difference between the three phones’ screens as they all pack the same 5-inch Full HD Super LCD3 panel. It’s big, bright and colourful, making movies and games look really good, so you should be perfectly happy with the view on any of the phones.
This is where you’ll start noticing big differences between the three phones. The old M8 uses HTC’s exclusive UltraPixel technology, where each pixel is three times bigger than normal to let in more light, and a Duo Camera setup to give photos a better depth of field. The M8s, meanwhile, has ditched UltraPixels for a regular 13MP sensor, but it does still have the Duo Camera. Finally, the M9 has a single 20MP camera.
What all this means is that you’ll get the sharpest photos with the M9 and the fuzziest photos from the M8 due to its relatively low resolution. But the M8’s UltraPixels mean it’ll take better photos in low light, like on a night out. And the Duo Cameras on the M8 and M8+ will let you create 3D effects and really strong background blur (or bokeh) for a better depth of field.
If you like to take lots of photos, you’ll have to think carefully about how you’ll use your phone. But for most shots, the M9 will come out on top.
Both the One M9 and One M8s have bigger batteries than the One M8 – 2,840mAh compare to 2,600mAh – which could explain why they’re slightly fatter. That 10% boost in battery size should translate to more time playing with apps and less time charging, which is always a good thing.
There’s another big difference between the phones when you look at the processors that keep them ticking over.
The octa-core Snapdragon 810 in the One M9 is the biggest and best processor from Qualcomm, meaning it’s much faster and more efficient than the other two. Like the M9, the M8s uses a new octa core processor from Qualcomm, but it’s the Snapdragon 615, which is a little bit slower. The M8 uses last year’s top processor, the Snapdragon 801. It’s only a quad core, which makes it less efficient, but it is very fast, so apps and games will run really smoothly.
In a nut shell
What HTC has done is actually quite clever. The One M9 is undoubtedly the company’s flagship phone, packed with the best technology that it could create. The One M8 is sticking around as a slightly cheaper flagship alternative, its specs are only 12 months old so still stand up well against other top phones but it all costs less.
The One M8s is HTC’s way of becoming king of the mid-range phones. The new processor, battery and camera are all really competitive with other phones at the same price. But by using the same design as the One M8, HTC has created the best-looking mid-range phone without investing millions in a new look.