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Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Edge vs HTC One M9 vs iPhone 6

By S21, 1 Apr 2015

It's 2015, and the smartphone world has shifted seismically again. With new flagship phones from Samsung and HTC, who's the boss now? Here at S21, we're rolling up our sleeves and cutting through the hype to answer possibly the most vital question of all time:

Which is the best smartphone of 2015?

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Introduction

Let's start with a quick overview of the 4 contenders:

 
Apple iPhone 6
The iPhone 6 is easily the best iPhone so far. Shockingly thin, with an all-metal premium design, and Apple's sought-after logo on the back, the iPhone 6 is the smartphone of choice for millions.
 

HTC One M9
The HTC One M9 shares the iconic design of its predecessor. It's not a superslim phone, but has solid metal masculine appeal. The M9 brings a new 8-core processor, 20 megapixel camera and Android Lollipop to the party.

     
 

Samsung Galaxy S6
The S6 has unmistakable Samsung looks, but it's crafted from glass and metal and is slimmer than ever. With a jaw-dropping quad-HD display, an 8-core processor and upgraded cameras front and back, this is the most powerful Galaxy phone ever.

  Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
The S6 Edge is the same as the S6 but with dual curved edges to the display with enhanced functionality. It's the most futuristic of the four phones on trial.

Hardware, looks & design

iPhone 6 Crafted from anodized aluminium, stainless steel and glass, the iPhone 6 is a drop-dead gorgeous, seamless phone that just oozes class and sophistication. It's shockingly thin at just 6.9mm and weighs only 129g. 100%
HTC One M9

The aluminium unibody of the One M9 looks almost the same as the One M8, but it now has a dual-tone design with mirrored edges. It's the chunkiest of the four phones, weighing 157g and measuring 9.6mm at its thickest part, but tapering at the edges. The twin speaker grilles give it a purposeful, masculine look, and also deliver full-flavoured surround sound.

95%
Galaxy S6 The S6 is the slimmest of the four phones, measuring just 6.8mm thick, although the camera juts out slightly at the back. It's lightweight too, at 138g. With a seamless glass and metal body, it's a stunningly beautiful phone, but not quite up to Apple standards, in our opinion. 90%
S6 Edge The S6 Edge is the most interesting of the four when it comes to looks. It's the same as the S6, but the glass screen curves at the left and right edges and wraps around the sides of the phone. It's very futuristic, and Samsung has added special edge functionality to make the most of the curved screen. 95%

Screen size & quality

iPhone 6 The iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch Retina HD display. It's a very bright IPS display with good contrast and readability, but with just 1334 x 750 pixel resolution, or 326ppi (points per inch). 80%
HTC One M9 The One M9 has a large 5 inch display. Like the iPhone, it uses IPS technology and is bold and bright. It has the benefit of full HD resolution with 1080 x 1920 pixels and a much higher 441ppi.
90%
Galaxy S6

The S6 features a 5.1 inch Super AMOLED screen with a mind-blowing quad-HD resolution. The 1440 x 2560 resolution produces an incredibly high pixel density of 577ppi. It's an unbelievably sharp display that's also richly saturated and with effectively infinite dynamic range.

100%
S6 Edge The S6 Edge shares the same screen as the S6, but the curved edges add yet more depth to the display. 100%

Operating system

iPhone 6 iOS remains the easiest mobile OS to use, with the widest choice of apps, the Siri intelligent assistant and the new health & fitness features of iOS 8. However, it lacks the customisation options of Android. 95%
HTC One M9 The One M9 runs Android Lollipop, the most refined version of Android so far, and with the benefits of HTC Sense and BlinkFeed. 90%
Galaxy S6 The S6 also runs Android Lollipop plus Samsung's TouchWiz user interface mods, including the S-Voice personal assistant. 90%
S6 Edge The Edge is the same as the S6, but the curved edges of the screen can also display the date & time and a weather report, and flash alerts for emails, texts and calls. 90%

Hardware specs

iPhone 6 The iPhone is very fast, with a 64-bit A8 processor and M8 motion coprocessor. Memory options are 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. There's only 1GB of RAM, but it still manages to crunch through all benchmark tests. 90%
HTC One M9 The M9 is equipped with the latest 8-core 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor, which is extremely fast. The onboard memory is 32GB, and there's also a microSD card slot, allowing for an additional 128GB. RAM is an enormous 3GB. 95%
Galaxy S6 The S6 has an 8-core Exynos processor with similar performance to the HTC's Snapdragon. RAM is again 3GB. The phone comes with a choice of 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of memory but there's no microSD card slot.  90%
S6 Edge The S6 Edge is the same as the S6, but the memory options are 64GB and 128GB. 95%

Camera

iPhone 6 The iPhone has an 8 megapixel camera with touch autofocus, LED flash and low light capability, plus a HD 720p front-facing camera. High quality optics make for great shots, especially outdoors. The rear camera can record full 1080p HD video. 90%
HTC One M9

The One M9 has a 20 megapixel rear camera with a sapphire cover lens and a BSI sensor, which allows for good low-light performance, and with no loss of detail when zooming. The front camera is an UltraPixel camera with excellent low-light performance. The rear camera supports 4K video recording and the front camera handles full HD 1080p video.

90%
Galaxy S6

The S6 has an impressive 16 megapixel camera with auto HDR, optical image stabilisation and a very large f/1.9 aperture for exceptionally good low light and indoor photography. It can also record 4K ultra HD video. The front camera has 5 megapixel resolution with 1080p HD video recording.

95%
S6 Edge The Edge is the same as the S6 for photography. 95%

Price

iPhone 6 The iPhone has been out for a while now, and the price has dropped to "only" £36/month for the 16GB version, or £539 sim free. But we'd recommend the 64GB version, which will set you back £45/month or £619 sim free. 80%
HTC One M9 Available for £38/month, or around £580 sim free at launch. 85%
Galaxy S6 The 32GB version will cost you £40/month or around £600 sim free, but we'd recommend the 64GB model which costs more like £45/month, or £660 sim free. 80%
S6 Edge The S6 Edge is the most expensive of all these phones, costing close to £50/month for the 64GB version. 75%

 

The final scores are very similar, and all of these phones are outstandingly good:

The Galaxy S6 Edge "edges" into top position, by a hair's breadth.

But let's be clear. All of these phone received 5 stars in our reviews. They score nearly 100% for everything except price, so we're splitting hairs, and many of the scores are opinions rather than facts. All four phones cost silly money, but they are all amazing, incredible devices. 2015 is a good year for smartphones.

Do write your comments below. We'd love to hear what you think.

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User questions

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User comments

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Comment by Susan from UK on 12th Jun 2015
I have the S6 edge and it's a fabulous phone and i do love it. the only thing that bugs me about the s6 edge is that it is not the most comfortable phone to make phone calls on!!! There is a small part of the phone that sticks out slightly and it can rub on your ear when making a phone call.

Comment by robbie from uk on 3rd Jun 2015
Iphone lovers obviously, the guy who wrote this review.
Which mean I won't thrust this review.

Comment by Dan Clark from England on 1st Apr 2015
Agree that the Edge should win but bit confused that you rated it the same as the S6 in a couple of categories despite saying that is the same


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