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htc one m8 vs iphone 5s large

At seven months old, Apple’s iPhone 5S might look a little long in the tooth, but so far very little has challenged it in the design stakes. Until, that is, HTC lifted the lid on the HTC One (M8).

As well as boasting range-topping specs, the One (M8) has a luscious design that turned plenty of heads when it was unveiled at the end of March.

But is it all surface and no substance? Or can it dethrone the iPhone 5S as the best smartie around right now? Time to find out.

First impressions

htc one m8 vs iphone 5s design

The One (M8) has plenty of skills to go with its plush new looks.

HTC has given it an ‘ultrapixel’ camera that promises great low-light shots, and the ability to change the focus after you’ve taken a photograph.

BoomSound speakers do away with the need for a standalone Bluetooth speaker, and it has a nice big, bright screen. Top marks all round.

The iPhone 5S looks tiny by comparison. Its 4-inch screen is dwarfed by the competition nowadays, so it’s hardly surprising Apple is rumoured to be testing bigger screens for the iPhone 6.

iOS 7 still looks fresh though, and you can’t deny it’s very easy to use.

The camera is also among the best on a smartphone, with pin-sharp pictures and a burst mode that snaps 10 shots a second.

HTC One M8: 10/10

iPhone 5S: 8/10

Design

htc one m8 vs iphone 5s back

HTC has opted for more metal in the One (M8) compared to last year’s HTC One (M7).

It’s ditched the M7’s harsh angles and plastic sides, opting for an aluminium unibody design which is 90% metal, compared to 70% on its predecessor.

All this metal means it’s heavier than a lot of rival handsets, however. It tips the scales at 160g – that’s noticeably weightier than the 5S, but still perfectly usable.

HTC has given the One (M8) a fancy new case too. The Dot View case is a flip case made of rubber.

As the name suggests, it’s covered with holes that you can read the time through on the phone screen, and see the weather.

htc one m8 joe review 6 case

You can also perform gesture controls with it on. Swipe left and the phone will jump to the BlinkFeed news feed, for example. Just double tap to wake the phone up from sleep.

The iPhone 5S is carved from a single block of aluminium, so it’s all metal.

It’s a couple of millimetres slimmer than the HTC One (M8), but then the screen is a full inch smaller.

It’s a lot more pocketable too, as the One (M8)’s BoomSound speakers really add some bulk at the top and bottom of the screen.

Both handsets come in grey, gold, and silver.

HTC One M8: 10/10

iPhone 5S: 9/10

Features

htc one m8 camera ufocus 21

The One (M8) is bursting with features. The camera’s Ufocus feature lets you change the focal point of the photo, for example.

You don’t need any extra software, and – unlike the Samsung Galaxy S5’s equivalent feature – you don’t have to enable it before you shoot.

The ‘ultrapixel’ camera has bigger pixels that let in more light, which results in very good shots in poor lighting conditions.

You can jump to the camera straight from sleep by turning the phone to landscape mode and holding the volume up or volume down button.

The BoomSound speakers are very impressive, and are the loudest we’ve ever tested on a phone.

So how does the iPhone 5S answer this? It has a fingerprint scanner built into the home button.

iphone 5s fingerprint touch id

It was the first handset to have one, and while others have imitated since (we’re looking at you, Samsung Galaxy S5), Apple’s is still the quickest we’ve tried.

iOS 7 brings a ton of new features, but more on that in a second.

HTC One M8: 9/10

iPhone 5S: 9/10

Software

htc one m8 screen blinkfeed

Android 4.4.2 is the order of the day for the HTC One (M8). It’s the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, and as such it comes with a few natty features.

You can search for local businesses in your phone book without having to look them up online.

Just start typing the name, and a list of suggestions will appear, as if you had them on file all along.

To launch voice search, just say “OK Google” in Google Now.

And if you want to avoid adverts online, launch the new immersive mode, which hides everything except the article you’re reading.

HTC has added its own Sense UI over the top of Android. It’s less intrusive than previous versions, but the downside is it’ll delay the Android updates.

Devices running pure Android will get the latest version sooner, which is a bit of a bummer if you own the HTC One (M8).

iOS 7 for iPhone (official)

iOS 7 is clean and colourful, and gives you quick access to options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc by dragging up from the bottom of the screen.

There’s a boatload of other features, but they’ve been covered many times before, so we won’t go into them here.

Because of Apple’s standardisation – iOS isn’t fragmented like Android – you won’t have to wait to get the latest software update either.

HTC One M8: 8/10

iPhone 5S: 9/10

Ease of use

htc one m8 rob front 18 real

The One (M8) is one of the most powerful phones around right now. Along with the Samsung Galaxy S5, it’s the first phone to use the Snapdragon 801 processor.

The One (M8)’s is clocked at 2.3GHz, and it absolutely flies through menus. Rest assured, it’ll handle all the games, films and apps you can throw at it.

On paper, Apple’s flagship is a lot slower – its chipset is reportedly only 1.3GHz – but in practice, you won’t notice much difference.

iphone 5s gold

It zips along, and there’s no slowdown in apps, games or films. Its A7 chip and M7 motion coprocessor also mean it’s future-proofed.

iOS 7 is easier to use than Android, too.

But if you’re already familiar with Android’s workings, or don’t mind getting to grips with a new OS, the One (M8)’s bigger screen makes it better for browsing and watching films.

HTC One M8: 9/10

iPhone 5S: 9/10

Specifications

HTC One (M8)

  • 5-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel, 441ppi screen
  • HTC Sense running on Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB storage
  • microSD card slot
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0
  • 4-megapixel ‘ultrapixel’ rear camera, 5-megapixel front-facer
  • 2.3GHz quad-core processor

Apple iPhone 5S

  • 4-inch, 1,136x640-pixel, 326ppi screen
  • iOS 7
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16/32/64GB storage
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
  • 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel front-facer
  • 1.3GHz dual-core processor

HTC One (M8) overall mark: 9/10

iPhone 5S overall mark: 8/10

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