I couldn't decide if the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge or HTC One M9 was the better choice for my next smartphone so about 10 days ago I pre-ordered both. After spending a week with both T-Mobile versions, I returned one and kept the other.
My HTC One M9 review was based on the international model and after using the T-Mobile model for a week, my rating should have been an 8.5 out of 9.5, primarily because the camera is not as good as what I found in the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
I posted my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review yesterday and if the battery life was better I would likely have given it a near perfect 10. Most consumers don't use their smartphones as heavily as I do so consumers may find the battery perfectly acceptable.
Both the HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge are excellent choices and the one we purchase is a personal decision. The One M9 may be the one for you, but these are a few of the reasons I chose the S6 Edge over the M9:
- Camera: The awesome camera on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is easily the killer feature that propelled it over the M9. I don't carry a dedicated camera so need a good smartphone camera with me all the time.
- Design: I agree with HTC's strategy to stick with its iconic design and it did a great job improving on the M9 to make it easier to hold than the M8. However, the S6 Edge is new and unique. The navy blue (sapphire) color is gorgeous and I am a fan of the design.
- Physical home button and fingerprint scanner: The improvement over the previous fingerprint scanner is remarkable. I find physical home buttons extremley useful for turning on a device and Samsung made it even better with the camera quick launch. I rarely used lock screen security, but I do all the time on the iPhone 6 Plus and S6 Edge thanks to fingerprint technology.
- Wireless charging: This is more of a convenience thing and with the glass back of the Galaxy S6 Edge you do have to be careful which wireless charger you use.
- Quick charger in the box: I know it's just a $35 accessory and the Galaxy S6 Edge is $200 more than the HTC One M9, but Samsung included it in the box and it's little things like this that help the consumer.
Regular readers know I like HTC Sense and have purchased HTC One devices in the past. I honestly expected the HTC One M9 to beat out the Galaxy S6 Edge, but should not have counted out Samsung so quickly.
HTC's One M8 was a nearly perfect device last year and most reviewers believed HTC just needed to improve the camera to knock it out of the park this year. While I hoped to see an 8 megapixel+ UltraPixel, HTC went with a more standard 20 megapixel camera. That could have been a good strategy as well, but my camera tests show HTC still has work to do on the image processing software.
You can get good pictures using the HTC One M9, but may have to tweak the ISO and exposure value settings and take time setting up the shot just right. I still see HTC's camera blowing out background light and the lack of optical image stabilization (OIS) on a flagship 2015 smartphone is frustrating.
I think my perfect smartphone would be a combination of the two; the HTC One M9 design and HTC Sense UI with Samsung's camera. HTC really had one major feature to focus on and it seems more like the camera selection was an afterthought.