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  5. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs HTC One M9 head to head review

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs HTC One M9 head to head review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs HTC One M9 head to head review

Right now is a great time of year to be eligible for an upgrade.

At the end of March, the HTC One M9 went on sale, boasting upgraded specs and a similar natty design as its predecessor.

Just a week or so later, Samsung launched not one, but two new flagships: the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

Here we’re pitting the S6 Edge – with its fancy curved screen – against the One M9 to see which should be crowned smartphone king.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.

First impressions

samsung galaxy s6 edge

The Galaxy S6 Edge is made of metal, which is a departure from the usual plastic build of the Galaxy S range.

The back also doesn’t come off, which means you can’t replace the battery.

We applaud the move to metal. It feels a lot more premium than its predecessors, which felt cheap and plasticky.

When you’re spending north of £500 on a smartphone, you want it to feel like an expensive piece of kit.

The other thing you’ll notice is the screen, which curves on each side to wrap around the device.

It might not sound like a big change, but it looks really futuristic, like it goes on forever. Two thumbs-up from us.

htc one m9 front rob

The HTC One M9 builds on the excellent design of its predecessor, but doesn’t do anything drastically different.

Not that that’s a bad thing – the One (M8) was one of the most dapper devices of last year.

It feels tall and narrow in the hand, and reassuringly weighty. Which makes sense – it is 25g heavier than the S6 Edge.

For the dazzling display, though, this round goes to the S6 Edge.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: 9/10

HTC One M9: 8/10

Design

samsung galaxy s6 edge rear angled

In the face of the iPhone and improved build quality from HTC, Samsung couldn’t justify sticking with plastic.

It’s used metal for a number of handsets recently, including the Galaxy A7 and Galaxy Alpha. And it makes perfect sense on the S6 Edge.

The back is coated with glass, which, like the Xperia Z3, will soon be covered in fingerprints.

The back edges are a bit sharp too, but that’s not a deal-breaker.

Overall, it’s a huge improvement on the previous Galaxy S iterations.

Purists might decry the lack of a removable back and swappable battery, but we’ll happily sacrifice that for better build quality.

htc one m9 back review

At first glance, the One M9 might look just like the One (M8), but there are some subtle differences.

A ridge connects the front and back of the phone, making it look as if the back is a tray that the handset sits in.

It also has a new dual-tone finish, is easier to grip, and the power button is now on the side instead of the top, making it easier to reach.

The power button is also ridged, so you can discern it from the volume buttons by touch alone.

It’s a close one, but for the leaps and bounds it’s come since its predecessor, we have to give it to the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: 9/10

HTC One M9: 8/10

Features

samsung galaxy s6 edge contacts

There’s plenty to enjoy with the S6 Edge.

It has the best camera Samsung has ever put into a phone, it doubles as a universal remote control and there are plenty of software add-ons, as we’ll see in the next section.

But the screen is the real standout feature.

Its 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution is the joint sharpest around, and looks amazing with its wraparound design.

The edges also open up a whole host of new features.

You can set tiles on them to light up different colours for your closest contacts.

When one calls, it will flash that colour, so if the phone is face down on the desk you know who’s calling without picking it up.

They can also show other information such as notifications and a trending news story.

htc one m9 camera rob

The HTC One M9 boasts a much better camera than its predecessor.

Its 20-megapixel sensor captures bags more detail than the 4-megapixel ‘UltraPixel’ shooter on the One (M8).

HTC hasn’t shunned the UltraPixel tech completely though.

Rather, it has incorporated it in the front-facer, which makes much more sense, as it’s better suited to dimly-lit conditions, such as bars, where you’re more likely to take selfies.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: 9/10

HTC One M9: 9/10

Software

samsung galaxy s6 edge

Both handsets run Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, so it comes down to their skins.

Samsung’s TouchWiz is a lot less intrusive than previous incarnations, and for the first time you can delete some of the pre-loaded apps.

Not going to use Microsoft OneDrive? Uninstall it and free up some space.

It still looks a bit cheap and inconsistent though. It’s badly in need of a refresh.

htc one m9 front rob

HTC’s Sense 7 UI looks a lot slicker and has a neat way of serving up apps relevant to where you are and what you’re doing.

You can also customise the look of the phone right down to the navigation bar. Which is something we haven’t seen before.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: 7/10

HTC One M9: 8/10

Ease of use

htc one m9 vs samsung galaxy s6 head

This one’s a dead heat. Both handsets use different processors, but both have 3GB of RAM, which is plenty.

And really, there’s not much to choose between them in terms of day-to-day use.

While the One M9’s camera is much better than its predecessor’s, we’d say the Galaxy S6 Edge’s just pips it.

It snaps as soon as you press the shutter button, and you’ll need a magnifying glass to spot any noise on snaps.

The S6 Edge’s screen is also a bit sharper.

But you can fit more films, songs and photos on the HTC One M9 using a microSD card (the Galaxy S6 Edge doesn’t have a microSD card slot, though the lowest-capacity model of the handset you can buy is 64GB).

The best option is to go to the shops and try each for yourself.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: 9/10

HTC One M9: 9/10

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

  • 5.1-inch, 2,560x1,440-pixel, 576ppi screen
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop, TouchWiz UI
  • 3GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • No microSD card slot
  • 16-megapixel camera, 5-megapixel front-facer
  • 64-bit, octa-core Exynos 7420 chipset

HTC One M9

  • 5-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel, 440ppi screen
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop, Sense 7 UI
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • microSD card up to 2TB
  • 20-megapixel camera, 4-megapixel ‘UltraPixel’ front-facer
  • 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge overall mark: 9/10

HTC One M9 overall mark: 8/10

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