+ Tuesday March 19th, 2019


All too often, Android news sites talk about the latest greatest thing. We get caught up with Samsung’s latest flagship, followed by Sony’s, HTC’s and LG’s, in no particular order. Talking about the budget end of the market is also the done thing, but not too much time gets spent on what’s in between.

The HTC One M8S is that in-between in the case of HTC, and it caught us kind of by surprise. It arrived for a review a couple of weeks ago, but sadly it hasn’t had the full Ausdroid workthrough yet. In reality, it might not get a full review, because it shares so many similarities with the HTC One M8 from last year, and the HTC One M9 from this. Before jumping into a photographic comparison, which we’ll be working up in the next week or two, we wanted to run down the specs for you.

HTC One M8 HTC One M9 HTC One M8S
Released March 2014 March 2015 May 2015
Screen 5.0″ Full HD 5.0″ Full HD 5.0″ Full HD
Resolution 1920 x 1080 (1080P) 1920 x 1080 (1080p) 1920 x 1080 (1080P)
Display Super LCD 3 Super LCD 3 Super LCD 3
PPI 441 PPI 441 PPI 441 PPI
Processor Qualcomm
Snapdragon 801Quad-Core
Snapdragon 810
64-bit Octa-Core
Qualcomm Snapdragon 615Octa-core
Cores 4 x 2.3 GHz Krait 400 4 x 2.0 GHz +
4 x 1.5GHz
4 x 1.7 GHz Cortex A574 x 1.0 GHz Cortex A53
Storage 16/32GB 32GB 16/32 GB
MicroSD Yes, up to 128GB Yes, up to 2 TB Yes, up to 128GB
Rear Camera 4MP Ultra Pixel 20MP 13MP
Aperture f/2.0 28mm lens f/2.2 f/2.0 28mm lens
OIS Software Software Software
Flash Dual LED Dual LED Dual LED
HDR Yes Yes Yes
RAW No No No
Auto-focus Yes Yes Yes
Sensor size 1/3″ 1/2.4″ 1/3.06″
Front Camera 5MP 4MP
HTC UltraPixel™
Aperture f/2.0 f/2.0 f/2.8 33.7mm lens
Features BSI sensor
1080p video recording
BSI sensor
1080p video recording
BSI sensor
1080p video recording
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0 BLE 4.1 BLE 4.1 BLE
NFC Yes Yes Yes
Video Output HDMI MHL 3.0 HDMI MHL 3.0 HDMI MHL 3.0
USB 2.0 2.0 2.0
Infra Red Yes Yes Yes
Location GPS, A-GPS, Glonass GPS, A-GPS, Glonass GPS, A-GPS, Glonass
4G LTE FDD Bands 700/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28 3,5,7,8,20 (TBC)
4G LTE TDD Bands 2300 MHz 38, 40, 41
3G UMTS 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps 850/900/1900/2100 850/900/1900/2100
2G GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz 850/900/1800/1900 850/900/1800/1900
Sensors Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
Gyro sensor
Barometer sensor
Ambient light sensor
Proximity sensor
Compass sensor
Gyro sensor
Magnetic sensor
Sensor Hub
Ambient light sensor
Proximity sensor
Compass sensor
Gyro sensor
Magnetic sensor
Sensor Hub
Android Android 4.4.2 upgradable to Android 5.0 Android 5.0 with Sense 7.0 Android 5.0.2 with Sense 6
Battery 2600 mAh sealed 2,840 mAh
2,840 mAh
Dimensions 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm 146.41 x 70.61 x 9.55 mm
Weight 160g 157 grams 160 grams

If you were to pick through the comparisons, you’d find that there’s not an awful lot between these three handsets, despite there being twelve months between the first iteration (M8) and the latest (M8S). Probably the most noticeable differences are in the processors; the HTC One (M9) is easily the most powerful, but the One (M8S) isn’t far behind, both running octa-core powerhouses with significant power behind them. Last year’s HTC One M8 has fallen a bit behind here.

Besides the processor, the only other real difference is the cameras. HTC’s One M8 featured the Ultra Pixel rear camera, which performed well in low-light, but not all that well otherwise. HTC all but dispensed with the Ultra Pixel camera in 2015, thought the One (M9) does have an ultra-pixel front-facing camera. In terms of rear cameras, both the 2015 models have gone for a more traditional setup. The One (M9) looks the goods on paper, with a 20MP camera and a reasonable aperture, though the One (M8S) isn’t far behind with a 13MP camera, and better f/2.0 aperture.

It is here that we will leave our comparison for the time being; clearly the deciding factor between the One (M9) and One (M8S) will be the camera and CPU performance, and we plan to perform a photographic comparison across the two handsets in coming weeks.

Why are we comparing these two? Simple; HTC’s One (M9) was not particularly well received — it had a high cost and lacked some of the pizazz of other 2015 flagship handsets. This is where the One M8S comes in; it does have slightly lesser specs, but it also comes in at a more affordable price-point.  When it comes to recommending handsets, we want to offer the best ‘bang for buck’ recommendation, and by comparing the two available HTC handsets, we hope to do just that for you!

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Mark Smith
Ausdroid Reader

What price point are they aiming it at though, it’s interesting if it is significantly cheaper but would have to be cheaper than the year old model is now going for to be interesting.

Daniel Tyson

It’s available now as a Vodafone exclusive from $40 per month – http://ausdroid.net/2015/05/08/htc-quietly-releases-htc-one-m8s-exclusive-to-vodafone/

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