Apr 18 AT 12:06 PM Nick Gray 27 Comments

HTC One (M8) versus the Samsung Galaxy S5: camera shootout

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The great smartphone debate of 2014 isn’t much different than it was in 2013. There are lots of great Android smartphones to choose from, but the HTC One (M8) and the Samsung Galaxy S5 are the two devices you’re most likely considering. Both phones have many of the same specs, but the one most talked about difference between the two is the camera experience. Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S5 with a 16 megapixel monster and HTC has equipped the One (M8) with a new UltraPixel sensor which only manages to capture 4 megapixel images.

So which one is better? If you’re a pixel-peeper, the Samsung Galaxy S5 camera may be the best choice. There’s a lot more detail in Samsung’s images, but we all know that more pixels doesn’t always translate into better pixels. That’s exactly what HTC is trying to prove with the UltraPixel sensor.

Over the past few days, we’ve taken a handful of images with the HTC One (M8) and the Samsung Galaxy S5 to give you an idea of how each smartphone performs in different environments. We’ll let you be the judge and decide which camera performs best.

Samsung Galaxy S5 & HTC One (M8) comparison shots

Samsung-Galaxy-S5-camera-sample-sunset

Samsung Galaxy S5 sunset

HTC One M8 Sunset

HTC One M8 Sunset

Sunset pictures are always fun. You get a lot of color and a lot of contrast to deal with. Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8) handle this scenario quite well.

Samsung-Galaxy-S5-camera-sample-selfie-skyscraper

Samsung Galaxy S5 night-time selfie

HTC One (M8) night-time selfie

HTC One (M8) night-time selfie

The world is obsessed with the selfie, so I thought I’d join in on the fun with a picture of me and the Minneapolis skyline. It’s pretty clear that the HTC one (M8) wins this round. The image produced from the One (M8) is much brighter than the Samsung Galaxy S5 in low light conditions.

Samsung Galaxy S5 desktop robot

Samsung Galaxy S5 desktop robot

HTC One (M8) desktop robot

HTC One (M8) desktop robot

While Samsung has a huge megapixel advantage over the HTC One (M8), Samsung’s phone struggles with exposure in well-lit situations. However, the S5 does get the white balance right while the HTC One (M8)’s image has a slight blue tone to it.

Samsung Galaxy S5 parking garage

Samsung Galaxy S5 parking garage

HTC One (M8) parking garage

HTC One (M8) parking garage

This picture is a great example of why HTC is pushing UltraPixels. The HTC One (M8)’s image of the dark parking garage is much brighter (note the detail in the ceiling and floor) than what the Galaxy S5 could produce. That being said, the image from the One (M8) isn’t perfect. The light portions of the picture are blown out while the S5 manages the contrast quite well (note the defined lines around the windows).

Side note: this parking garage is the Minneapolis Armory which served as the home of the Lakers before the team moved to Los Angeles. It’s also the filming location for the music video for Prince’s “1999″ and Aerosmith’s video for “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”

Samsung Galaxy S5 night-time skyline

Samsung Galaxy S5 night-time skyline

HTC One (M8) night-time skyline

HTC One (M8) night-time skyline

The Samsung Galaxy S5 takes the crown in this night-time skyline view of Minneapolis. the HTC one (M8) and its UltraPixel camera do produce a brighter image, but the lights in the image are blown out (notice you can read the temperature in the S5′s image).

Samsung Galaxy S5 restaurant door

Samsung Galaxy S5 restaurant door

HTC One (M8) restaurant door

HTC One (M8) restaurant door

The same issues come into play in this image as well. The Samsung Galaxy S5′s image isn’t perfect, but the HTC One (M8) can’t handle the contrast in areas that are lit up well.

Samsung Galaxy S5 kitchen storefront

Samsung Galaxy S5 kitchen storefront

HTC One (M8) kitchen storefront

HTC One (M8) kitchen storefront

We’re not exactly sure what happened here, but the Samsung Galaxy S5 managed to produce a brighter image than the HTC One (M8). We like the color tone better in the Samsung image, as well.

Samsung Galaxy S5 skyscraper

Samsung Galaxy S5 skyscraper

HTC One (M8) skyscraper

HTC One (M8) skyscraper

It’s really hard to find any faults with outdoor daytime pictures from the HTC one (M8) and the Samsung Galaxy S5. In this instance the color tone on the Samsung Galaxy S5 was over saturated and the One (M8)’s was under saturated. You’ll also notice that the image from the HTC One (M8) is wider and pulls in another building on the right. A wider angle isn’t necessarily better, but it allows you to frame your pictures in a different way.

Samsung Galaxy S5 skyline

Samsung Galaxy S5 skyline

HTC One (M8) skyline

HTC One (M8) skyline

Again, there’s really not much to complain about in either picture. The sun in the right side of the HTC one (M8)’s image is blown out similar to other pictures we’re seen, but it’s not as noticeable since during the day time.

Conclusion

We don’t want to push our biases on you, so we’re going to let you crown the victor here. Leave us a comment to let us know if you prefer the images taken by the Samsung Galaxy S5 or those form the HTC One (M8).

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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