Head to Head: iPhone 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. HTC One M9

by Dan Forster - , Last Updated on June 4, 2015, Buying Guides

The iPhone 6 vs. The Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. The HTC One M9

One of the most difficult things about getting a new mobile is deciding which model it is that you want to go for. And that’s where we come in. In our new Head to Head series, we’re taking a look at some of the front runners in various categories and doing a direct comparison. Today we’re looking at high end mobiles, some of the most expensive and highly featured of all hand sets. For the last couple of years the same three companies have been vying for the top spot, and that’s why we’re checking out Apple’s iPhone 6, Samsung’s Galaxy S6, and HTC’s One M9. If you’re in the market for a serious top of the line device, then read on to find out how these three best-selling models compare…

Power it Up

Performance is, of course, going to be key, so first, let’s look under the hood. When it comes to CPU power the Samsung Galaxy S6 just squeaks ahead, it’s running an octo core processor (one quad core 2.1 GHz and one quad core 1.5 GHz). The HTC One M9 isn’t far behind though, since it’s also octo core (one quad core 2.0 GHz and one quad core 1.5 GHz). The iPhone 6 runs only a dual core 1.4 GHz processor, however that might be a bit misleading. The Apple A8 chipset on the iPhone actually means that performance is very fast indeed, despite what the numbers say. However, the S6 and M9 are both indisputably faster.

When it comes to RAM, both the S6 and the M9 are running 3 GB of RAM, whilst the iPhone is running only 1 GB. That means that the Samsung and HTC models are better at multi tasking and running multiple processes, though again the Apple A8 chipset makes the iPhone faster than the numbers might lead you to believe.

Bottom line? Overall performance on the Galaxy and One models is likely to be better and faster. However, unless you’re running real CPU intensive programmes such as editing software you’re unlikely to notice a real performance difference, even with the iPhone.


Again, in screen size the Samsung just beats the competition, measuring in at 5.1 inches, while the M9 has a five inch screen, and the iPhone a 4.7 inch display (though you could opt for the larger screened 6 Plus model if this is an issue for you).

Display quality? Well, the S6 gets 1440 x 2560 resolution (around 577 PPI) and comes out on top. The M9 has a very respectable 1080 x 1920 (about 441 PPI), and the iPhone gets just 750 x 1334 (326 PPI). Looking for serious high definition pictures? It’s got to be the Galaxy S6, especially considering it has a Super AMOLED display for more natural and better colour reproduction…

Taking Pictures…

We’re seeing huge differences on the camera front, so if picture taking is your priority then listen up. Front facing video cameras again put Samsung at the top of the list: the S6 gets 5 MP, the M9 gets 4 MP, and the iPhone 6 1.2 MP.

Rear facing cams is where it’s at though. The HTC has a 20.7 MP camera with massive 5376 x 3752 resolution and dual LED flash. The Samsung gets a 16 MP camera with 2988 x 5312 resolution, only LED flash, but does have optical image stabilisation. The iPhone has a mere 8 MP with 3264 x 2448 resolution and dual LED flash. However, MP aren’t everything, and the iPhone features a 1/3” sensor, giving it excellent picture quality.

So, who comes out on top for picture taking? It’s actually a really tough choice and there’s not much in it. The HTC camera is the best on paper, however the iPhone takes far better low light pictures. Looks like you might need to take a few snaps with a demo model and decide which suits you best on this one…


With top end mobiles getting bigger and bigger screens, portability is really becoming an issue. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to carry around with you and will fit in the pocket of your jeans, then a huge screen might not be the way to go. There’s a fair difference in the portability of these three top end models.

Here the iPhone 6 comes out on top, though it does have a smaller display. Measuring around 139 x 67 x 7 mm, and weighing only 129 grams, the iPhone is a whole lot easier to carry than our other contenders. Despite having a slightly larger screen than the M9, the S6 comes second, measuring around 143 x 70 x 7 mm and weighing 138 grams. Finally, the HTC One M9 measures about 145 x 70 x 10 mm and weighs a whopping 157 grams.

Operating Systems

Operating system is really a question of taste. However, both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9 are Android devices, running the most recent Lollipop versions, and as you probably expect, the iPhone is an iOS device, running the most recent iOS8 version. Which you prefer is up to you.

Special Features

With performance and display specs generally running pretty close in top end models, special features can make a big difference in your buying decision. For that reason, here’s a list of the top features being marketed on each of our contenders.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is sporting a fingerprint sensor and a built in heart rate monitor, and it also supports both wireless charging protocols, meaning you don’t need to plug in to charge if you have a wireless charging pad.

The HTC One M9 doesn’t get a lot in terms of special features, though it does support fast charging, which should give you a 60% charge in just thirty minutes. The iPhone 6 gets a fingerprint sensor for added security.

It’s worth noting that all three of these models have a non-removable battery!

Internal Memory

Finally, let’s look at how much stuff you can store on your phone. The HTC One M9 has 32 GB of internal memory, and is the only model that has a Micro SD Card slot so that you can add up to 128 GB of extra memory. The Samsung Galaxy S9 comes in three versions: 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB. The iPhone 6 also comes in three versions: 16 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB.

Obviously, in the case of the S6 and the iPhone, you’re going to be paying more for the models with more internal memory.

And there we have it, hopefully this comparison has helped you decide which of these three awesome models are for you. Happy shopping!

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