By Rich W Woods
The HTC One M9 and the LG G Flex 2 were the first two phones announced to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor. This made both devices very exciting to me.
I’ve had the HTC One M8 since it came out last year. I still have it and love it. It does have its shortcomings, mainly in the camera. The HTC One M9 was a complete overhaul from the HTC One M8. They replaced the 4 MP ultrapixel camera with a 20 MP camera and moved the ultrapixels to the front, which is just brilliant. The battery is bigger and it uses a much more powerful 64 bit processor. Unfortunately, they didn’t physically redesign the body so people think it’s a minor upgrade.
When the LG G Flex 2 was announced, my first impression was “They’re still doing this?” The curved screen always felt like a gimmick to me, until I used it. Now that I’ve had a few days to spend with it, the curved AMOLED is not only beautiful, but the more you use the LG G Flex 2, the more you realize that the device is very practical.
It’s a very exciting time to be interested in smart phones, because we’re seeing great innovation from both companies.
HTC One M9 vs LG G Flex 2: Specs
|HTC One M9||LG G Flex 2|
|Processor||Snapdragon 810, 1.5 GHz Quad Core, 2 GHz Quad Core||Snapdragon 810, 1.5 GHz Quad Core, 2 GHz Quad Core|
|GPU||Adreno 430||Adreno 430|
|Display||5″, 1080p, 441 ppi, LCD||5.5″, 1080p, 401 ppi, AMOLED|
|Body||144.6×69.7×9.6 mm, 157 g||149.1×75.3×7.1-9.4 mm, 152 g|
|Camera||20 MP, 5376×3752, 4 MP Front||13 MP, 4128×3096, 2.1 MP Front|
|Video||4K UHD – 30 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps||4K UHD – 30 fps, 1080p – 60 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps|
|Storage||32 GB, Expandable to 128 GB||32 GB, Expandable to 128 GB|
|RAM||3 GB||3 GB|
|Battery||2840 mAh||3000 mAh|
The specs on these two devices are very similar. They use the same processor and therefore the same GPU. They have the same storage and RAM, although if you can get your hands on the 16 GB model of the G Flex 2, it comes with 2 GB RAM, much like the G3 did. I didn’t list it, as since I have the 32 GB model, I can’t speak with any authority on it.
The big difference here is the camera. The LG G Flex 2 has LG’s famous laser focus and can record video at 1080p at 60 fps, while the HTC One M9 has a higher resolution and larger aperture.
HTC One M9 vs LG G Flex 2: Rear Camera
As I said, the HTC One M9 has the higher resolution camera. I should point out that this does not matter, as even a 4K display uses 8.3 MP, so any photo larger than that would have to be scaled down. That’s at 16:9. If the photo is at a 4:3 aspect ratio, it’s around 6 MP.
A higher resolution has pros and cons. On one hand, a higher resolution gives the user the ability to crop an image without losing quality. On the other hand, a lower resolution gives larger pixels and less noise, along with a faster camera.
The LG G Flex 2 Camera app provides many more manual features than the HTC Camera app; however, HTC provides one key feature that LG does not, which is Camera RAW. Think of a RAW file as the digital equivalent of a negative. It provides all of the uncompressed data that the camera sees, but since it’s unprocessed, it needs to be edited by the user in Light Room or other third party software before it can be used.
Also, unlike most phones, the HTC One M9 does not record 4:3. Oddly enough, it records 10:7, which is close enough.
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|HTC One M9||LG G Flex 2|
The LG G Flex 2 clearly does better at night. The shots are much less noisy. It also seems to focus better, which was to be expected.
Then there’s things like color balance. The colors are more balanced coming from the LG G Flex 2; however, balanced colors has never been HTC’s game. HTC has always shot for a more saturated look, as it’s more pleasing to the eye and presents a better looking, albeit less natural image.
HTC One M9 vs LG G Flex 2: Front Camera
I’m going to go ahead and guess that the HTC One M9 has the better front camera. They took the rear camera from the HTC One M8 and put it on the front. That ultrapixel camera had a lot going for it. The larger pixels made it great in low light. It’s much better than the 5 MP front camera they had on the One M8.
The LG G Flex 2 uses a 2.1 MP front camera, which is right around the 1080p mark. Let’s take a look.
I think we can say that the HTC One M9 handles lighting better. It also shows my face more at night; however, the LG G Flex 2 is less noisy at night.
HTC One M9 vs LG G Flex 2: Benchmarks
I’m not a fan of benchmarks. They so rarely reflect the real world usage of a device. Unfortunately, they are the best tool we have for writing down the performance of a device. So here it goes.
The first two tests are battery tests. They follow a trend I’m seeing more and more these days, where the device manages to perform better when the screen is brighter. Again, this is why I take benchmarks with a grain of salt.
|HTC One M9||LG G Flex 2|
So we can see that the LG G Flex 2 outperforms the HTC One M9 when it comes to battery. This is not surprising, as the LG G Flex 2 and the HTC One M9 have the same processor, GPU, and display resolution, making the only real difference battery size, when it comes to hardware.
The scores here are close, although a bit more surprising, mainly the single core score of the HTC One M9, since they have the same processor. Could it be that HTC throttles the Snapdragon 810 because of overheating problems? Possibly.
Next up is graphics benchmarks. I started doing these during my rounds of Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge comparisons. I realized that its processor was commanding high benchmark scores, but when I would play graphics intensive games on the device, they would stutter.
Despite the better all around better benchmark scores, the HTC One M9 seems to perform better when it comes to graphics benchmarks.
I think it’s clear that these devices are roughly even, depending on what is important to the user. I’ve been super impressed with each of them. The HTC One M9 has HTC’s stunning build quality and design, a brilliant front camera, and RAW support in the rear camera. The LG G Flex 2 impresses me a little more every day, as it becomes more and more apparent just how practical the curved screen is.