Sunday Debate: Galaxy S6 vs. HTC One M9

Sunday Debate: Galaxy S6 vs. HTC One M9

Join us in a fun Sunday Debate on the M9 and S6. Come with your opinions and feel free to read some of our thoughts, then pick your side or play devil’s advocate to get your voice heard and engage in friendly discussion. You can read our food-for-thought or jump straight into the fray below!



Two of the biggest flagship phones this year will offer were made available for purchase in these past couple of weeks, and both have met polarizing degrees of praise and criticism. The M9 and the S6 represent the latest and greatest technology from Samsung and HTC, which for years now have been competing in the Q1 unveiling space and fighting neck to neck at the Mobile World Congress. Both manufacturers put out solid phones, but they are quite different.

The S6 and the M9 also have had their fair share of controversies: from the M9’s severe overheating that lead to throttling to the S6’s scratched screens that caused fury in early adopters. Almost no smartphone release is met without its faults, and for this reason we should try to limit this debate (especially in the comments) to the real-world user experience that these devices can offer.

Which device do you think would make for a better daily phone? Which do you think is the superior phone as far as software and hardware goes? Here are some of our arguments in favor and against both, but feel free to jump straight to the comments and discuss if you already made up your mind!

The M9

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 9.32.55 AMDespite many of the initial complaints about the design, the device features a very solid construction that addressed some of the issues of the M8 such as the slippery curves and the power button location. The dual-tone metal finish process in the M9 is an industry first and it gives the device a very machined industrial look that no other phone has. As far as the UX goes, the internals are still great despite the performance cap put forth to prevent heat, and in real-world usage the device performs about as well as any other flagship. The camera in the M9 used to be terrible, but a recent software update turned things around for the better. One of the best parts is still the Sense UI, and Sense 7 offers one of the most fluid and sleek custom interfaces out there with useful features.

The M9 does, however, suffer in regards to technological progress: most of its components have had no significant improvements, as the battery life hasn’t improved like expected, the screen regressed on many calibrations and, in its current configuration, the Snapdragon 810 is much weaker than we all wanted it to be. The camera is much better now (after the update), but it is still not quite up to par with the best of the competition – making it another disappointing year of pictures on HTC phones. If you expected a huge redesign from last year’s M8, you also won’t get one here, and the predecessor remains too good of a value to pass.

The S6 & Edge

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 9.26.06 AMAs far as hardware goes, the S6 packs the very best internals you can find. From the fastest RAM to the fastest storage, going straight through the powerful Exynos 7420, this phone is a monster that tops benchmarks and maxes out games like nobody’s business. Its camera experience is also one of the best out there because of both hardware and software, and the screen is considered the best panel out there by many critics from both casual and technical websites. The new design for both the S6 and the Edge is a looker with good build quality & materials and plenty of colors to choose from, some with their own little reflective quirks to spice them up. The software is also revamped, and the TouchWiz of old is almost gone, giving way to a faster, more optimized and now themable ROM that should address many of people’s concerns with Samsung phones.

The S6 is not perfect, however. It has a sub-par battery life that regressed from last year’s Samsung phones. Despite many claims about debloating and performance improvements, TouchWiz remains TouchWiz, and the bundled Microsoft apps can annoy many. There are early reports of some stuttering still, despite the insane processing power the phone packs, and the interface remains a little too convoluted for many’s taste. Finally, the regression of Kies, the advancing of KNOX and the infamous Exynos name inside might turn off custom software developers from the phone, leading to a smaller variety of ROMs than we are used to.


On one hand, the M9 offers an exquisite design with great software and good hardware. On the other hand, the S6’s design is futuristic and sleek, but the software is still not the best despite the impressive hardware. Both devices are bound to satisfy any average consumer, and for daily things they should perform similarly. The user experience, regardless, is very different on both devices which leads us to the question:

Which device did or will you pick, and what do you think about the one you didn’t choose?

About author

Mario Tomás Serrafero
Mario Tomás Serrafero

Mario developed his love for technology in Argentina, where a flagship smartphone costs a few months of salary. Forced to maximize whatever device he could get, he came to know and love XDA. Quantifying smartphone metrics and creating benchmarks are his favorite hobbies. Mario holds a Bachelor's in Mathematics and currently spends most of his time classifying cat and dog pictures as a Data Science graduate student.