Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. HTC One M9: Android Showdown

Samsung and HTC have taken the battle for the definitive next-gen Android smartphone to the next level. Both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 are jam-packed with top-of-the-line hardware and cutting-edge software, but you likely only need one smartphone. Which one should you choose? Here's an at-a-glance comparison of the two new Android giants:

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Samsung Galaxy S6
HTC One M9
Starting PriceNot yet announcedNot yet announced
CPU/GPUSamsung Exynous Octa-core CPU: 2.1-GHz quad-core and 1.5-GHz quad-coreSnapdragon 810 Octa-core CPU: 2-GHz quad-core and 1.5-GHz quad-core
OSAndroid 5.0 (Lollipop) with TouchWizAndroid 5.0 (Lollipop) with HTC Sense
Screen Size /Resolution5.1 inches / 2560 x 14405 inches / 1920 x 1080
32/64/128GB; not expandable
32GB; expandable with microSD
Cameras (Front/Back)
HTC UltraPixel / 20-MP
Ports and Slots
USB 2.0
USB 2.0, HDMI MHL, microSD
5.66 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches
5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 inches
4.87 ounces
5.53 ounces

Based on the specs for the Galaxy S6 and One M9, consumers will have a choice between two similar — and very capable — phones.. The Galaxy S6 boasts a sharper screen and lighter design, while the One M9 has a sharper back camera and higher-capacity battery.

MORE: HTC Vive Headset Will Take VR Mainstream

What makes the Galaxy S6 better?

The Galaxy S6 boasts a slightly more powerful processor than the One M9, and it should be more efficient because it's 14 nm compared to 20 nm for Snapdragon 810 in the One M9. The S6 also has a sharper quad HD display, and consumers can get the device equipped with up to 128GB internal storage. Plus, the Samsung is smaller, lighter and thinner than its HTC counterpart.

Another plus for the Galaxy S6 is that it's camera starts in just 0.7 seconds and that it offers fast auto-tracking. And it will uniquely support Samsung Pay, which will allow you to make mobile payments this summer using magnetic secure transmission (MST) tech or NFC.

What makes the Galaxy S6 worse?

Unlike its predecessor, the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S6 does not feature a microSD slot, meaning you're stuck with whatever storage you buy initially. You also won't be able to swap out the battery, which offers less capacity than the One M9 (2,550 vs 2,840 mAh). Compared to the M9, the S6's camera is not as sharp in terms of megapixels, but we'll have to see if that translates to lesser image quality.

What makes the One M9 better?

The HTC One M9 features the HTC Sense overlay on Android 5.0, which can make navigation and customization a little more intuitive than Samsung's TouchWiz. It has expandable memory via microSD, and very capable front and back camera. You can also hook it up to a TV directly via the MHL to HDMI port. The battery capacity is somewhat higher than the Galaxy S6. The HTC continues to feature front-facing BoomSound speakers, which should trump Samsung's improved bottom-mounted speaker.

What makes the One M9 worse?

The full HD screen resolution is good, but not as sharp as what the Galaxy S6 offers. (HTC says it opted for full HD to save on power.) The device is also larger and heavier than Samsung's new smartphone.


The Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 both like very compelling flagship phones, but there's several notable differences. Some will prefer the glass front and back on the thinner and lighter Samsung, while others will choose the beefier unibody metal chassis of the One M9.

The Galaxy S6 has the sharper screen, but the One M9 might deliver more juice with its higher capacity battery and lower-res display. Want to be able to upgrade your storage? The One M9 is the only way to go. Tom's Guide will give each device a detailed review once they become available, which should make the process of choosing easier.

Marshall Honorof is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at Follow him @marshallhonorof. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi. 

  • Florin Popa
    The first time when htc is winning on paper too... On everyday use it was the better smartphone in the past too... Now I think the gap is even bigger. The only aspect samsung improved is the design... But at the end samsung will sell better... Like always...
  • abbaskip
    Is there confirmation that the S6 doesn't have MHL? I'm getting conflicting reports.
  • abbaskip
    15398326 said:
    The first time when htc is winning on paper too... On everyday use it was the better smartphone in the past too... Now I think the gap is even bigger. The only aspect samsung improved is the design... But at the end samsung will sell better... Like always...

    Winning on paper? No way in the world Exynos is sooo much better than Snapdragon 810. Higher resolution with S6 is good too, and from all reports the camera is better in the S6 too.

    Only advantage the M9 has is the Micro SD and front facing speakers. I plug speakers into my phone, or use headphones, so that's a moot point to me (phone speakers will never replace the real thing) and the 128GB version just about compensates for no Micro SD. On board memory is much faster anyway.
  • Florin Popa
    Yes maybe I hurry up with decision but we have to wait a little bit, I'm curious about the battery life on s6 with this resolution and only 2550. Maybe I have so many bad experience with Samsung in the last time... I wait to see if they really do something with s6
  • Mr_Maz
    what is the point of comapring specs when you don't even known the confirmed specs? and maybe adding some important info regarding specs you do know would help?? i.e. cpu
  • osalt2
    For many the deal-breaker is : No SD Slot & No removal battery. Many Samsing buffs will just upgrade to an S5 or look at HTC!
    HTC M9 has won this round for sure!
  • ePractical
    We'll see if the dropping of two key capabilities that differentiate Android Phone from iPhone and Samsung's move to pretty packaging over more productive capabilities will further erode their leadership and market share.

    If Samsung doesn’t leave the Removable battery and make an even easier SD card swapping ability in the Note 5 version of the S6 phone, then I will be staying with my Note 3. And yes the Note 4 also didn't offer enough for me to upgrade.

    This is a major problem for the "Productivity" focus Samsung is actively promoting.

    Productivity is primarily involved with getting things into Devices. It also requires extended use.

    Also, the most important capability for Productivity is 1) much better Handwriting recognition for far more than just “quick Notes”. Next is great general voice recognition (far beyond quick instructions and voice text authoring like DNSpeaking on computers) for use when in private spaces.

    Apple remains clueless in these capability (unless you look into their patents) as are other competitors, so, Samsung (with a significant lead in the Note Series) NEEDS to accelerate these PRODUCTIVE CAPABILITIES.
  • Mr_Maz
    15402854 said:
    For many the deal-breaker is : No SD Slot & No removal battery. Many Samsing buffs will just upgrade to an S5 or look at HTC!
    HTC M9 has won this round for sure!

    if the inbuilt memory and battery performance is as good as they say it is then adding a standard SD card would reduce performance drastically. And if the battery can be charged for 4hours in 10 minutes then a small back-up power-pack is all you need for when your're running low.

    If the tech in the phone had stayed the same as the S5 then these changes would be a huge issue, but "fingers crossed" that the step up in tech means that worrying about stuff like this is a thing of the past
  • techenthusiast99
    The htc one m9 has a cleaner interface and has a better battery plus, it is slightly more durable due to its full metal design. In the end it would be my pick. Hope this helps!!
  • Sam2can
    I am a Samsung phone user. And I am upset about the removeable battery and sd card being taken away. It is part of the fabric of a Samsung Phone and was one advantage over an Iphone. Even if they do have fast storage why not give us still the option to put in more storage if we need it.