HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S

HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S
Who's going to win this beauty contest?

The new HTC One (M8) is official and it's one of the best looking smartphones we've laid eyes on, so naturally we've put it up against the equally glamorous iPhone 5S to see how the two style icons compare.

Will the Touch ID toting, smaller screened iPhone 5S take your fancy, or will HTC's last mobile marvel win you over with its larger display, dual cameras and booming Boomsound? Read on as we put the two head to head.

Headline Features

As we've already mentioned the key feature which makes the new HTC One (M8) and iPhone 5S stand out from the rest of the mobile crowd is their design.

The quality isn't just surface deep however, with both handsets packing powerful processors, the latest operating systems and a wealth of additional features.

You'll find Apple's clever Touch ID fingerprint scanner hidden up the home button on the iPhone 5S, providing an easier and more secure way to unlock the phone and pay for purchases in iTunes and the App Store.

The 8MP iSight camera on the rear of the device has been given a spruce up over the snapper which featured in the iPhone 5, and under the hood sits Apple's punchy A7 processor.

HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S

While the HTC One (M8) negates any fancy fingerprint or retina scanning tech, it does keep the dual front facing BoomSound speakers which have been overhauled from the original One for even better audio quality.

Round the back you get not one, but two camera lenses - more on those in a bit - and on the right side of the One (M8) you'll find a microSD slot. This allows you to build on the 16GB/32GB of internal storage - something you can't do on iPhone.


If design is a core aspect of your smartphone buying process then you'll be fully satisfied with either handsets on show here.

Apple has always been known for its premium build quality and the iPhone 5S is no different with its compact metal and glass frame looking as good as it feels.

In an age where the size of smartphones is rapidly getting out of hand, the iPhone 5S comes as welcome relieve to your palm as its manageable dimensions make it easy to hold and slip into a pocket.

HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S

The angular edges aren't the most comfortable though, and if you find yourself with 5S in hand for an extended period of time it may start to dig in a bit.

We were thoroughly impressed with the design of the HTC One last year, but somehow the Taiwanese firm has managed to go one better with the One (M8).

Its gently curving back means that even for a big phone (the new HTC One has a 5-inch display versus the 4-inch offering on the 5S) it rests nicely in the palm and the rounded edges are kinder on your hands during extending periods of holding.

HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S

Of course the HTC One (M8) is considerably heavier than the 112g iPhone 5S, weighing in at 160g. That might be a bit of a deal breaker for some, but those of you who have already experienced phones such as the Xperia Z1, Lumia 925 or Galaxy S4 you won't have any issues.

We prefer the unibody design of the HTC One (M8) overall as it ties the handset into one neat package, although the iPhone 5S looks and feels just a premium.

OS and UI

In this head to head we have the two biggest mobile operating systems (OS) up against each other - Android and iOS.

No prizes for guessing which platform each phone runs, but the HTC One (M8) comes with the freshest flavour of Google's OS - Android 4.4 KitKat. To be more exact the version is 4.4.2, but it doesn't stop there.

HTC has also slapped its brand new Sense 6.0 user interface (UI) over the top to provide that familiar HTC on-screen look and feel.

HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S

Sense 6.0 isn't a huge departure from Sense 5.5 which can be found on the HTC One Max, with a few new features such as gesture controls to wake the handset and automatically launch you into an app.

HTC's Sense overlay is one of the most comprehensive on the market and while Android purists may be put off, it's a well honed interface which provides a welcome amount of control.

If having control is your thing you won't be such a big fan of the locked down iOS 7 which is running on the iPhone 5S - it prefers to control you instead.

HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S

Now that's not a bad thing as iOS 7 does make many tasks easier than Android and anyone who has bought into Apple previously will feel at home here - it's also super easy to transfer yourself from an old iPhone to the 5S.

iOS 7 saw the biggest shake up in Apple's mobile platform since its conception with a new design and colour, but beneath the layer of gloss it's business as usually with a powerful OS providing you with an excellent user experience.


The HTC One (M8) is the daddy here with its 5-inch, full HD display boasting a 441ppi, while the iPhone 5S is left with a 640 x 1136 Retina resolution clocking in at 326ppi.

Apple has stuck with its Retina display for a few years now and it's been surpassed by pretty much every mobile manufacturer out there. That's not to say it's a poor quality offering, as it still manages to render text and video well, but that's aided by the small 4-inch display.

HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S

That 4-inch screen size is fast becoming the default for the entry-level mobile market, and with high-end rivals topping 5 inches and full HD displays you can't help but feel a little short changed when presented with the offering on the iPhone 5S.

The low cost Moto G has a bigger screen than the iPhone 5S, yet the same pixel density - it just doesn't add up.

Especially if you then go straight over to the HTC One (M8) and lay eyes on its full HD resolution which is more defined than the 5S.

HTC One (M8) vs iPhone 5S

The larger screen also makes watching movies and playing games a lot easier, not to mention more enjoyable.

Of course the size may prove too big for some, but the HTC One (M8) is still manageable - it's certainly not as unruly in the hand as the likes of the One Max or Sony Xperia Z Ultra.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.