Phone Comparisons: HTC One M9 vs Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML)



Do we have a good one for you today – the HTC One M9 goes up against the new ASUS ZenFone 2 (the ZE551ML model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of memory).  The ZenFone 2 is spec'd out at a price that is one-half of its competition, but what do we lose with that great pricing…are you giving up quality?  Can the display, an Intel processor, 4GB of RAM and camera compete with the HTC's flagship One M9?  Can this new device from China keep up with its Taiwanese brother in specifications and build quality…let us take a look.

This will be a tough decision in the end as these comparisons are all about specifications, but value and availability must also factored into choosing the winner.  These two devices do have a few similarities that begin with their LCD display technology, and even though the ZenFone 2 has a half-inch larger display, the device is only slightly larger physically.  They both offer a microSD card slot to expand the internal memory – the HTC One M9 by 128GB and the ZenFone 2 by 64GB.  Both devices have good cameras onboard and large front-facing cameras (FFC).  They both have the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 on the ZenFone 2 and 4.1 on the One M9), GPS, NFC capabilities, FM radio, a microUSB port for charging and data transfer, fast battery charging and non-removable batteries.


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.

Specification Details | SpecOut

HTC One M9

AH HTC One M9 2015 Chris --56There is no mistaking the new HTC One M9 for anything else…unless it would be for the One M7 or One M8.  It has HTC One's all-metal body and a nicely curved backing making it a joy to hold…especially with a subtle redesign around the sides of the body with a small lip for better gripping.  The back of the device looks more like the older One M7 as HTC did away with the duo camera setup found on the One M8.  This year, if anything, HTC is being criticized for not doing enough changes…but why change one of the nicest looking smartphones on the market?

The HTC One M9 sports a 5-inch Full HD Super LCD3 display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – the same type of display found on the ZenFone 2 with the 403 PPI (due to the larger display).  HTC selected the 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm CPU – the Snapdragon 810 with four cores clocked at 1.5GHZ and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz.  The ZenFone 2 is using the new 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 clocked at 2.3GHz.  The One M9 is packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, while the ZenFone 2 is packing 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and both a microSD card for additional storage up to 128GB on the One M9 and 64GB on the ZenFone 2.


HTC did a complete makeover in the camera area and they succeeded in making it better, although it still does not include OIS.  The main 4MP UltraPixel camera is gone and moved to the front, which should provide great selfies and video chatting and allow it take good low-light pictures.  HTC replaced the main camera with a 20MP sensor with autofocus and dual-tone LED flash.  This compares to the 13MP main camera on the ZenFone 2, along with a 5MP FFC.  The One M9 uses a non-removable 2840mAh battery…smaller than the 3000mAh non-removable battery in the ZenFone 2.  The One M9 does support Quick Charge 2.0 thanks to its Qualcomm processor, while ASUS and Intel have included Fast Charging.

The HTC One M9 retains the dual front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound, a built-in IR Blaster and comes in Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose Gold and Gold/Pink.  It is running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and pricing is around $199 on a two-year contract and $600 off contract.

Asus ZenFone 2

AH Zenfone 2 Red May 3rd Batch 1-17When you first glance at the ASUS ZenFone 2, it looks deceptively high-end with its apparent brushed metal look.  However, ASUS has pulled an LG trick here with a plastic body and brushed metallic-like finish.  This not to say it feels cheap – it does not – but it is nowhere near the feel of the HTC One M9's all-metal structure.  Also stolen from LG is the rocker switch for the volume is on the back of the device, but the on/off button is awkwardly placed on the top of the device.  It is just not quite as refined as it is on the LG G.  The nicely rounded sides make the ZenFone 2 easy to hold and also explains its 10.9mm thickness.


The ASUS ZenFone 2 features a 5.5-inch IPS LCD Full HD (FHD) display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 403 PPI and holds it own against the 441 PPI on the One M9.  The top-of-the-line model we are looking at uses a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz and coupled to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory, although, like the One M9, it does offer expansion by way of a microSD card.  This compares to the One M9's 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage.

The main camera on the ZenFone 2 is packing a 13MP sensor, autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash and no OIS, just like the One M9.  This will certainly supply some decent photo shots that should stack up nicely with the 20MP camera on the One M9.  The ZenFone 2 comes with a large 5MP FFC for social selfies and video chatting…this competes nicely with the 4MP FFC found on the One M9.  Power for both devices is in the form of a non-removable battery even though the back easily comes off.  The ZenFone 2 has the larger 3000mAh battery, while the One M9 uses a smaller 2840mAh battery.

This Dual-SIM device will arrive running Android 5.0 Lollipop along with its ZenUI Skin overlay that has followed the Google Material Design look.  It will eventually be available in Osmium Black, Sheer Gold, Glacier Gray, Glamor Red, Ceramic White.  You can also find the ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML) with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of memory on Amazon for only $299 and comes in black, silver, gold, or red.


…And The Winner Is…

AH ASUS Zenfone 2 Batch 3-22


I too was surprised, but the high-end specs – Intel processor, 4GB of RAM, the ability to expand memory and the price, just make it too hard not to declare the ASUS ZenFone 2 the winner of this comparison.

The HTC One M9 is a great device, and if you demand an all-metal exterior and BoomSound, then by all means, pick yourself up a One M9 and you should be very happy.  It takes good photos and even though the Snapdragon 810 may warm up your metal enclosure, it is a solid buy…maybe if it had the QHD display, things could be different.


When you look at the display size, the design – which looks great – and then add in a very competent Intel Atom processor, 4GB or RAM, a good camera and 64GB of storage for only $299, how can you pass that up…I know that I could not, and picked the ASUS ZenFone 2 as the winner of this comparison.

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Senior Writer

Cory has written for Androidheadlines since 2013 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Cory has a background in Accounting and Finance and worked for the FBI in the past. From there he pursued his Masters in English Literature. Cory loves Android and Google related technology and specializes in Smartphone Comparisons on our site. Contact him at [email protected]

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