Do we have a good one for you today - the highly rated OnePlus One goes up against the new HTC One M9. The new One M9 has been criticized for not going far enough with its updates...has HTC gone far enough and is it up to the challenge of the acclaimed OnePlus One? Both devices have a solid build, they look premium and are comfortable to hold, so what differentiates them from one another?
These two devices do have a few things in common - they both use an FHD display and a Qualcomm processor. They both have 3GB of RAM, similar front-facing cameras (FFC), dual speakers, active noise cancellation with dedicated mic, non-removable batteries, and all of the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC capable and microUSB port for charging and data transfer.
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.
The OnePlus is another Chinese startup company that has taken off faster than even they could have imagined, based on the notion of building a higher spec'd product and to sell it at a lower profit margin. This tends to undercut the main smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, LG and so forth. OnePlus created such a demand that they were initially unable to keep up with demand. Small profit margins dictate that a smaller inventory is a necessity and parts were running out on a 'build it as we get orders' policy that OnePlus seemed to be following. Though not sold directly in the US, the OnePlus One can be ordered online and shipped anywhere in the world.
The OnePlus One is a great looking device and it feels very comfortable in your hand. It sports a beautiful 5.5-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI), which is not up to the 441 PPI of the HTC One M9's FHD display...due to the smaller display size. The OnePlus One uses a Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz - a tried and true processor, but the HTC One M9 has a two-generation jump up to the newest 64-bit Snapdragon 810. The OnePlus One uses a full 3GB of RAM like the One M9, and offers either a 16GB or 64GB storage option and no room for expansion. The HTC One M9 only offers a 32GB option in memory, but offers the ability to expand that memory by 128GB via a microSD Card.
The camera on the OnePlus will give you some pretty decent photos - it has a 13MP sensor, autofocus, and a dual-LED flash - neither device has OIS, although the HTC One M9 does have a dual-tone flash. It offers up a great 5MP FFC for those social media selfies and video chats versus the 4MP on the One M9. The OnePlus One does have a 3100mAh battery, slightly larger than the 2840mAh in the One M9, but either battery should get you through a full day of usage.
The OnePlus One has dual-mono, bottom mounted Bose speakers and while it uses Android 4.4 KitKat as a base operating system, it runs CyanogenMod 11S UI. It works on the GSM Bands on AT&T and T-Mobile, including 4G LTE. It will cost you $299 for a white 16GB version or $349 for a black 64GB model.
HTC One M9
There is no mistaking that the new HTC One M9 belongs to the HTC One series. It retains its all-metal body, is well-built, beautiful to look at and a joy to hold. There is a subtle redesign around the sides of the body with a small lip for better gripping. Slipping out of the hand was a problem with the One M7 and One M8. The back of the device is a sure give away this is not a One M8, as the camera area looks more like the older M7 since HTC did away with the duo camera.
The HTC One M9 sports a 5-inch Full HD Super LCD3 display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 PPI - the same display type found on the OnePlus One with 401 PPI because of its larger 5.5-inch display. The processor is a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 with four cores clocked at 1.5GHZ and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz - two generations ahead of the 32-bit Snapdragon 801 in the OnePlus One. It is packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, although it also has a microSD card for additional storage up to 128GB. The OnePlus One packs the same 3GB of RAM but is only offered in either a 16GB or 64GB model with no expansion possible.
HTC did a much-needed upgrade in the camera area and for the most part they succeeded, but it still has no OIS. The main 4MP UltraPixel camera is gone and replaced with a Sony 20.7MP sensor with autofocus and dual-tone LED flash...compared to the 13MP main camera on the OnePlus One. HTC moved the 4MP UltraPixel camera to the front, which should provide great selfies and video chatting and allow it take better low-light pictures - it also competes quite nicely with the 5MP on the OnePlus One. It uses a non-removable 2840mAh battery...slightly smaller than the 3100mAh non-removable battery in the OnePlus One. Both devices also support Quick Charge thanks to their Qualcomm processors.
The HTC One M9 retains the dual front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound compared to dual bottom-facing mono speakers on the OnePlus One. The One M9 also includes an IR Blaster, stereo FM radio and comes in Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose Gold and Gold/Pink. It should be available in March/April (depending on your location) running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and pricing is around $199 on a two-year contract and $690 off contract.
...And The Winner Is...
OnePlus is doing amazing things in China with its combination of high quality and moderate pricing...they are putting out a great device with the One. However, I have to go with the HTC One M9 as the winner of this comparison if for nothing else, its newer 64-bit octa-core processor.
But the HTC One M9 is more than just a 'newer processor.' With Android 5.0.2 Lollipop out as a full 64-bit OS, the HTC can tap into all of its advantages and eventually the advantages of the 64-bit apps. When it comes to memory, the 32GB of internal memory coupled with the expansion availability trump the 16GB or 64GB models of the OnePlus One. The all-metal design has some merit (more so to others), but what about the front-facing dual stereo BoomSound speakers delivering the best sound you can find on a smartphone. The One M9 has a better overall camera area with 20.7MP along with autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash - glaringly absent on a 2015 smartphone is OIS...but the OnePlus One also does not have that feature. Placing the 4MP UltraPixel camera on the front is pure genius...and a nice way to utilize leftover lenses. Throw in the IR Blaster, FM stereo radio, the ability to use LTE on all US networks at a very competitive two-contract price of $199 and you have yourself the winner of this comparison.