Boy, do we have a good one for you today – the new HTC One M9 goes up against the new LG G4. Here we have the full-metal body of the One M9 going up against the faux metal back of the LG G4…or optional, extra cost genuine leather backing. Either way, both devices are beautiful, solidly built, and premium in every sense of the word. Which one of these two devices will walk away as the winner of this specification comparison?
Both of these devices are new, use the LCD display technology and utilize a Qualcomm processor, but there are not too many specifications that match up. The One M9 and G4 both pack 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage and both allow that memory to be expanded via a microSD card. Both devices have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, are NFC compatible, come with a built-in FM stereo Radio with RDS, and have a microUSB port for charging and data transfer, and both have a built-in IR blaster.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
HTC One M9
There is no mistaking the HTC One M9 as a member of the HTC One ‘family,’ but there are a few subtle changes if you look closely. Of course there is its all-metal body which is well-built, beautiful to look at and a joy to hold. However, HTC did a slight redesign of the sides of the body so now there is a small lip to help give the user a better grip. If you compare the One M8 to the One M9, the back is also a sure giveaway, as the camera area now looks more like the older M7 because the duo camera is gone.
The One M9 has a 5-inch Full HD (FHD) Super LCD3 display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – however, this goes up against the 5.5-inch Quad HD (QHD) display on the LG G4 with 538 PPI. The One M9 uses a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, whereas the LG G4 uses a 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor. Both are packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, although they also have a microSD card for additional storage up to 128GB.
HTC completely revamped the camera area, but in the process they forgot to add OIS. They did away with the misunderstood 4MP UltraPixel main camera and replaced it with a more traditional 20MP sensor with autofocus and dual-tone LED flash…compared to the 16MP sensor on the G4. HTC moved their 4MP UltraPixel camera to the front for great selfies and video chatting, but still does not compare to the new 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) on the G4. It uses a non-removable 2840mAh battery…slightly smaller than the 3000mAh removable battery in the LG G4. Thanks to its Qualcomm processor it also supports Quick Charge 2.0, while the LG G4 supports Qi wireless charging.
The HTC One M9 has a couple features over the LG G4 – the dual front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound and all-metal case. The One M9 comes in Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose Gold and Gold/Pink. It is running Android 5.0 Lollipop and pricing is $200 on a two-year contract and about $600 off contract.
The LG G4 is an evolutionary update of last year’s popular LG G3. The G3 already had a QHD display, but LG improved the display greatly by switching to a new IPS Quantum display technology. LG claims this allows for a 25-percent brighter display with a 50-percent increase in the contrast and 56-percent improvement to the color accuracy…and you can really tell the difference over the LG G3’s rather dull looking display. The device is slightly larger and they added a slight curve too, but not near the curve of the LG G Flex 2. Along with the improved metallic plastic backing, you can special order a real leather one in several colors. While it does look much the same as last year’s model, at the same time, it does look even more premium.
The LG G4 sports a 5.5-inch QHD LCD Quantum display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 538 PPI…a vast improvement over the HTC One M9’s FHD and 441 PPI. With the improvements I mentioned above, the G4’s display is brighter than last year’s and the colors really pop out – it is covered by Gorilla Glass 4. LG decided to bypass the Snapdragon 810 (found in the One M9 and LG’s own G Flex 2) and instead opted to use the 64-bit 808 hexa-core processor…slightly below the 810, but it is optimized for the LG G4 and should be kinder to its battery. It is packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage as well as having room for expansion via a microUSB card – identical specs of the One M9.
LG does a great job on their cameras and the LG G4 is no exception. It is first rate with a 16MP sensor, laser autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash, a wide f/1.8 aperture and OIS along with an 8MP FFC that should take excellent selfies and provide great video chatting. The One M9 does have a slightly larger sensor for the main camera – 20.7MP – and a much smaller FFC – 4MP, but the excellent features on the LG G4 should yield better results all around. It uses a 3000mAh battery, compared to the 2840mAh on the One M9, and the LG G4’s battery is removable.
The LG G4 does offer optional wireless charging and its controls are easily accessible on the back of the device. It also incorporates some great software features in the camera app and uses knock-knock and split screen multitasking. The LG G4 comes in a variety of colors, is running the latest Lollipop and will cost you about $200 on a two-year contract.
…And The Winner Is…
This was a tougher decision for me than I expected – the LG G4 has the better display, but the One M9 uses the Snapdragon 810 octa-core while the LG G4 uses the Snapdragon 808 hexa-core. The LG G4 has a better camera and the One M9 has better sound…see what I mean…there are trade-offs everywhere.
I decided to pick the LG G4 as the winner of this comparison because it does have a killer display…and it is a little larger. It also has the better camera area all around, including the 8MP FFC, which is becoming increasingly important with today’s young people. It also has a slightly larger battery and is removable, as well as being capable for Qi wireless charging with the right back. Speaking of backs, you can special order a genuine leather backing in a multitude of colors with cool looking stitching up the back.
Now let’s talk about processors – yes, the One M9 does have what is considered the ‘higher-end’ processor of the two. However, there have been persistent rumors and denials from Qualcomm about problems with their 810 – enough to keep Samsung from using it on their new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, and now LG bypassing it for the 808…even though they used the 810 in their less popular LG G Flex 2 earlier this year. From all of the reviews and tests so far, the Snapdragon 808 is performing quite admirably in the LG G4.
The HTC One M9 is a great smartphone and is loved by many, but in this comparison, it seems like you are getting more for your money with the LG G4’s display and cameras – yes, the sound quality will certainly not equal the BoomSound of the HTC One M9, but a smartphone is a whole lot more than sound.