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 5 years and covering mobile for the last 6. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • dog99

    Samsung removed that little cheating software. It’s amazing that after all the hype that htc continued to do this. So I guess there’s know way to get a real reading from the m8.

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      Nope, some of the benchmark tools have tried to work around it, but if this gets people to stop worrying about benchmarks so much that’d be a net positive in my mind.

    • Chris

      Htc allows the work around in developer settings at the cost of battery life

  • SGB101

    These device are so powerful now, the theoretical power of a phone is irrelevant.

    When a $99 moto g and run evey game out there who cares how quick a $700 is, when the perceived speed difference is zero.

    Exactly the same as today’s pc’s, only reason for an upgrade is breakage and W/T. It’s a good job we drop phones otherwise the current lot would be good for 5 years plus

    • David Sanders

      Today’s pc’s are being upgraded to be able to handle a 4k resolution. Very demanding when it comes to gaming.

      • Ishan Aditya

        That’s actually irrelevant. Today’s televisions also have 1080p res but most games on the Xbox 360 and ps3 render 720p which is upscaled to 1080p. That’s exactly what the new Xbox 1 and ps4 will also do on 4k tvs. Upscale 1080p to 4k.

        • thePromoter

          He was talking about PCs, not consoles. The best PCs today are three or more times better than consoles (also more expensive), so actually consoles have to catch up with PC gaming, not the other way around

      • SGB101

        David, you correct, but thst is a niche audience of enthusiasts, gamers and video editors, the other 95% can get by on a c2d and integrated gfx, and half of them could (and are) moving to tablets, and are unlikely to by a pc again.

        The phone market is the same, except atm, no one NEEDS a 2.5quad core phone, over the years the smart phones was underpowered for almost everyone’s needs, now a $200 device is all we need, and their is a minority, most of us here, the have a WANT for a top end device, but each year that group is shrinking fast.

        Concentrate on camera and battery, the rest is more than good enough atm. Lower the clock to extend battery life, and buy preview and we’re finished :o)

  • How Funny

    This is one hilarious article.

    To sum it up:

    “Here are the benchmarks:

    M8 is better because it takes 1 ns faster to open an app.

    In conclusion, M8 is a great phone, but others are coming. The end.”

    • William J Ross

      It’s amazing how people with little intellect respond to articles. Nowhere in this article does the author digest that the M8 is the best phone out! His admission was that the M8 is CURRENTLY FASTEST phone for just a little while until the other new releases hit the ground!

    • illregal

      The M8 has a 46ms touch response time. Faster then any other smartphone. So it’s not all about opening an app. Everything you do is snappy.

  • HT Cone

    dats amazin

  • Tma

    “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.”

    You are misleading cause HTC one Asian version is also 2.5 GHz

    • Chris

      This is something Sean needs to be educated in.

    • Gooner

      I don’t know about the HTC ONE being 2.5GHz in Asian countries but the S5 is 2.5GHz dye to the fact that they are launching the phone with the Exynos octa core chip set and not the Qualcomm 801…

      • ddroid45

        Yep, it is 2.5 in Asia

    • ddroid45

      Even with the 2.3 version the M8 may still top the S5, you have to consider how heavy and optimized the skin is. Real world the M8 MAY STILL DOMINATE

      • Atakan Polat

        Dude how about nexus 5 ? Pure snappy android vs the new sense 6 ? In my opinion, fast experiance is not samsungs job. We should compare M8 with Nexus 5. HTC did a good job because even with lots of UI features, It has even the same snappy and fast experiance as the Featureless Nexus 5 has.

    • David Sanders

      Htc’s software optimization is much better than Samsungs. So i doubt that the higher clocked s5 will be faster. I’m sure it will be like every other samsung device i have ever been on. Lag for no reason whatsoever.

  • redraider133

    These phones have such high end hardware now, that it all comes down to software. They all can easily handle pretty much everything thrown at it, and will be that way for the foreseeable future.

    • Chris

      Htc sense is by far the best interface out there.

      I’m talking about the new one. Much cleaner and smoother then the past

      • Aaron

        Absolutely spot on. Sense is the best Android ui by some margin.

  • donger

    Awesome.

  • Edward

    Well I like all the specs of M8 like 5 inch screen with 1080p full HD display and latest android 4.4 Kitkat versions along with HTC owns Sense 6.0. But still the main feature which I am looking for that is not mentioned here- is it compatible with qi charger ?

  • Alex Gomes

    ok ok ok so HTC ONE M8 vs GALAXY S5, who’s the winner?

    • abel1015

      M8 for me…. S5 is not an option for me this year when I decided to upgrade. S5 is a disappointment for me.. Its not worth the money. The only premium I see with this s5 is its price…

      • Tommy

        Its amazing how everyone knows how much this s5 sucks that no one has yet.

    • redraider133

      Depends what you’re looking for:

      S5:
      Camera
      Waterproof
      Smaller overall size
      Larger battery

      M8:
      Sense compared to touchwiz
      Speakers
      Metal(?)
      On screen vs physical buttons

  • Alex Gomes

    ok ok ok so HTC ONE M8 vs GALAXY
    S5, who’s the winner?

  • raj patil

    I AM INDIAN , pls tell me HTC one m8 phone is available in Indian market?

  • rexford

    As long as its got 4mp, even if its faster than the best supercomper on the world, I don’t like it. How can I use I 4mp phone today? What for? I don’t care the ultra whatever. I’m going the Sony z2 way. I’ll just perhaps clear the stock os and replace with CyanogenMod. I can’t afford to carry around a 4mp today.

    I’m surprised everyone these days is to some extent biased towards the m8. This article is biased, even because on my Samsung tab 2012 10.1″ running cyanogen, it runs blazingly fast. So if you’re talking about instant response, its already available.

    I look for quality display, quality camera (both still and recording) and long battery life for phone calls and data. Sonyz2 has all these features at the highest peak possible.

    You guys know how much a 4k video camera costs? However, you get that in the z2 for almost the same price as HTC which has 4mp.

  • Alex Gomes

    M8 for me too, its the Best smartphone in the market as of now.

  • gumbura

    HTC has a great phone here. They spoilt a great device with the poor camera. The camera is the only problem with this great device and the only reason other devices will receive better reviews. HTC were traditionally second to Nokia in making great cameras when they were still making high pixel cameras. If they wanted a dual camera it would have been wise to make the 2nd camera 16 or 20MP.

  • etheljcolligan

    hi

  • funkymonkey

    The delay you notice in moto x and note 3 is not due to the processor or hardware. That perceivable delay is there purposefully. That is part of smooth transition animation. Disable animations from developer option and both moto x and note 3 open apps instantly.
    HTC has just opted for no animation.
    M8 is great phone but it is not for everyone. Specially those who don’t want that big of a device. And I regret buying last year’s HTC one thanks to quality issues I faced and then later when I have it to my sister, the phone got ugly quickly by nicks and dents on sift aluminum body. She refuses to use phone any different than her previous S2 which stood test of time much better.

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  • hauptman

    Say what you say, once u have an M8 between ur hands u Will see why This smartphone puts in shame any other smartphone, this is not a camera, proccessor, or appareance issue this is just about the fucking name, the materials, the class, personality, the love and care which this smartphone is made of, not in vain is the most hated, loved and compared out there, ill give u the most stupid but real example, if the M8 were a person, would be like fedor emelianenko, u cant say why its the best, u just fucking know it and u can not even explain why, once u get one guys, u will get ur brains restarted, and u will never want to hear about any other smartphone, u will fucking LOVE it, trust me