At a Glance
Come back after the Sony Xperia Z4’s release for our verdict.
Price When Reviewed
HTC One M9: $549
Only one of these two
smartphones made an appearance at MWC 2015, with the
HTC One M9 going on sale at the end of the March and the
Sony Xperia Z4 now delayed until September. So, should you buy the HTC One M9 or wait for the Sony Xperia Z4? We find out in our HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z4 comparison. Also see
Best smartphones 2015 and
Best Android phones 2015.
It’s worth pointing out that while we now know the full spec of the HTC One M9 (and, in fact, have one sitting on the table in front of us), the Sony Xperia Z4 specs mentioned in this comparison are based on leaks and rumours. These usually turn out to be mostly reliable, but we cannot guarantee their veracity.
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HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z4: UK release date
At MWC 2015 HTC unveiled its One M9, which will go on sale in the UK on 31 March, though you can pre-order it now.
Sony is now sticking to just the one flagship smartphone launch per year, and at MWC in March it became apparent that the show it would pick for its official launch was not that one. We’ve since had word from a trusted source (via a mobile accessories supplier) that the Sony Xperia Z4 will launch at IFA in September.
HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z4: Hardware
For the Xperia Z4, rumours suggest an increase in screen size from 5.2in to 5.5in matching the LG G3 and iPhone 6 Plus. The resolution is also supposedly going to jump from Full HD to Quad HD (1440 x 2560), also matching the LG G3.
Meanwhile, HTC has stuck with its 5in full HD for the M9 but going by leaked photos, a larger, Quad HD version may later be available as the HTC One E9.
Processor and memory
Rumours suggest that the Sony Xperia Z4 will follow the HTC One M9’s lead and use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor which is octa-core and 64-bit. Apparently, though, Sony will offer more RAM at 4GB compared to 3GB on the HTC.
The Geekbench 3 database suggests very similar scores of 3576 for the Xperia Z4 and 3587 for the HTC One M9. We’re testing the HTC One M9 as we write; in the meantime you can check out our
HTC One M9 hands-on review.
Sony tends to stick with one storage capacity and the Xperia Z4 will reportedly come with 32GB plus a microSD card slot, which we expect to support up to 128GB cards.
HTC’s One M8 is also available with 32GB of storage and a 128GB-capable microSD slot.
HTC has dropped its Duo Camera setup in favour of a more traditional single rear camera: 20Mp to be exact with support for 4K video recording. The front camera is the rear camera from the HTC One M8, which means it is a 4Mp UltraPixel type.
Sony looks as though it will stick with the same 20.7Mp camera with Exmor RS CMOS sensor which has appeared on previous Xperia Z handsets. You can hardly blame the firm with the pixel count and we expect improvements and features. A curved sensor is rumoured. There’s no word on the front camera but this could jump to something like 5 Mp for higher quality selfies.
There’s little information about other specs for the Xperia Z4, but Sony will build on the High-Res audio support of the Z3 with a dedicated amp. The design will remain dust- and waterproof and we expect top end wireless such as 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and Cat 6 4G LTE. Sony doesn’t normally offer things like a fingerprint scanner, heart-rate monitor and IR blaster and, although this looks like it won’t change with the Z4, don’t rule it out.
Sticking with the BoomSound stereo speakers, the M9 now has Dolby Audio which HTC says can produce a 5.1-esque effect. A new feature called HTC Connect will allow users to send audio to wireless speakers and support multi-room. The new Harmon/Kardon One will be exclusively bundled with the M9.
HTC One M9 vs Sony Xperia Z4: Software
The HTC One M9 comes preinstalled with
Android 5.0 Lollipop, and HTC runs its own Sense 7.0 UI over the top. With the Sony Xperia Z4 expected to make an appearance in September it will also be an Android Lollipop smartphone, with
Android M not expected until later in the year (although both will be upgraded).