Apr 05 AT 10:10 AM Sean Riley 37 Comments

HTC One (M8) Performance: Benchmarks vs. Reality

HTC-m8-benchmarks

The performance of the HTC One (M8) might be a bit contentious given HTC’s own admission that the device kicks itself into High Performance Mode when most benchmarking tools are used. But the reality is that the Snapdragon 801 is perhaps the most powerful smartphone processor currently on the market (by a hair over the Snapdragon 800 used in the Galaxy Note 3) and regardless of HTC’s tweaking it should be outperforming the competition.

So now that you’ve enjoyed your grain of salt we’ll provide you with the benchmark scores for those of you that like that kind of thing, but then we’ll move on to real world performance, which is the far more important metric for most users.

Benchmarks

Benchmark Test Score
AnTuTU 35900
Quadrant 23418
Geekbench 3 555 (single-thread) 1490 (multi-thread)
AndEBench 16686
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited 20048
SunSpider 1.0.2 702.6ms

Happy? To quickly break down the results they are in all cases a fairly significant step up from the original HTC One and therefore anything else running a Snapdragon 600 processor.

It’s a bit less clear cut when you get into a Snapdragon 800 device like the Galaxy Note 3. The Note 3 manages to edge out the One (M8) in a couple tests including AnTuTu X and SunSpider.

As always we encourage you not to worry about these results though as they often do not translate over to real world usage. It’s also important to remember that the Snapdragon 801 carries with it not just gains in power, but also in power management. We’ll cover battery life in a later section of our review, but should fair better than its Snapdragon 800 bearing predecessors.

Reality

Alright so benchmarks out of the way the question is how does the HTC One (M8) handle normal tasks that you do throughout the day?

The answer is that it is the fastest device I have used to date.

The first area where I noticed this was the simple act of tapping an icon and watching an app open. It’s nearly instantaneous with the HTC One (M8) whereas with my Galaxy Note 3 and Moto X there is (by comparison) a perceptible delay. Is this a huge deal? No, honestly I had never really considered the delay on either of my devices until I was doing the side-by-side comparison. But it does make for a smoother and more enjoyable user experience and the effects of that slight boost can be felt throughout the operating system.

Once you are inside an app I think the difference is less noticeable and certainly with games I was unable to find anything that seemed appreciably improved on the One (M8).

One of the few exceptions I came across was the Gallery app. I can scroll through the One (M8) gallery app as fast as I like without ever being forced to wait for the images to populate. Scrolling through at high speeds on either of my other devices would lead to a couple seconds of waiting for my pictures to show up.

Conclusion

So if you skipped through the rest of that to get to my conclusions the short version is that the HTC One (M8) excels at both benchmarks and real world usage. If you pick up the HTC One (M8) I think you’ll be thrilled with the performance of the device and at least for the foreseeable future won’t run into anything in the Play Store that your phone can’t handle.

Now for those of you that are determined to have the fastest device on the block you’ll need to consider that while HTC is first out of the gate with a phone running the Snapdragon 801 the Sony Xperia Z2, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and of course the OnePlus One are all coming hot on its heels. The Galaxy S5 in particular is actually clocked at 2.5GHz vs. 2.3GHz for the HTC One (M8) so there’s a good chance the One (M8) won’t be able to defend the title of fastest phone for long.

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 4 years and covering mobile for the last 5. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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