Equally as speedy, pretty much even in the build quality department and each featuring top-shelf audio, imaging, battery or software add-ons such as BoomSound, Dual Camera, Ultra Power Saving Mode or Air gestures, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and HTC’s One M8 are nearly impossible to separate on paper.
Most reviewers say it’s incredibly hard to choose one or the other after getting in contact with them, so at the end of the day the epic battle for high-end Android supremacy this quarter, nay half a year may come down to availability and pricing.
Needless to point out Samsung is far superior advertising-wise, however HTC already managed to roll out the M8 ahead of the GS5, so if the Taiwanese can also position their flagship as the cost-friendly alternative for the odds-on favorite, they might well challenge the throne.
Could they pull it off? Only one way to find out. Scour the interwebs for the best HTC One (M8) and Samsung Galaxy S5 deals available. Here’s what we dug up in US, Canada and UK:
US on-contract prices and release dates
Technically, our two contenders were bound to start things off on equal footing. But HTC sensed the danger almost instantaneously and shaved a cool $50 off M8’s price with select pacts in the blink of an eye. Thus, the 2014 One can now be purchased via Amazon at $150 as long as you don’t mind committing to lengthy 24-month Verizon or Sprint agreements.
A similar promotion is in full swing over at Best Buy, though the retailer offers just the Verizon M8 at $150. The Sprint and AT&T variants cost 50 clams north, as does the AT&T flavor on Amazon and through the carrier’s own retail network, both on and offline.
Searching the ideal Easter present? Why not HTC One M8? Get two from Verizon, and the second is free. Full disclosure: two separate contracts need to be signed.
Beyond the few bucks Amazon and BB allow you to save when boarding the M8 bandwagon, the coolest thing is there are no lines, staggered deliveries or shipping delays, unlike with the GS5. Samsung’s bad boy is technically still on pre-order and the first units will be dispatched beginning Friday, April 11.
Sprint and AT&T’s locked variants are $190 on Amazon, $200 via Best Buy with $10 gift cards, and $200 when purchased directly from the Now Network and Ma Bell, albeit the former can go as low as $0 for upgrading qualifying customers with Framily Plans.
Still, I reckon it’s point HTC here.
Galaxy S5 vs One M8 – US outright, unlocked pricing
Not a fan of contracts? Then it’s straight to T-Mobile for you. The “UnCarrier” has both smartphones at $0 down, or rather, it’s going to have them starting April 11. Yes, the M8 is bizarrely not around at T-Mo.
If coughing up half a dozen Benjamins at once ain’t a problem, Amazon, Best Buy, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and Negri Electronics are at your disposal. Here’s how their offers break down one by one:
Amazon: unlocked 3G-only Galaxy S5 – $775, shipping April 11; no-warranty Latin version – $745, in stock; no-warranty factory unlocked model – $750, in stock; off-contract Sprint version – $700; off-contract AT&T – $700.
Factory unlocked HTC One M8 with US warranty – $700 in grey, $704 in silver; M8 Developer Edition – $700, ships in 2 to 4 weeks; AT&T, Verizon, Sprint versions – $650
Best Buy: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5 outright variants – $750; No-contract MetroPCS with 4G LTE – $650
HTC One M8 for AT&T – $700; Verizon version – $750; for Sprint – $800
AT&T: Samsung Galaxy S5 – $650; HTC M8 – $640
Sprint: Galaxy S5 – $650; One M8 – $650
Verizon: GS5 – $600; All New HTC One – $600
Negri Electronics: Unlocked Latin American Galaxy S5 models in white and black – $720.50 on pre-order
16 GB unlocked HTC One M8 in silver, gold and grey – $812.50 a pop (grey units in stock, silver and gold on pre-order)
Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 – UK prices
So many things to say, so little time to cover them all. Where to start? Let’s take a virtual trip down Amazon UK lane first. The SIM-free One M8 is £529.95 there (already discounted from £549), in both grey and silver. No gold? Bummer.
Meanwhile, the GS5 is listed as coming on April 18 (i.e. next Friday), costing an extra 30 quid or so. Total price: £559.99 in black, blue and white contract-free.
Surprise, surprise, the S5 is cheaper with Clove than the M8, going for £522, including VAT. HTC’s giant? £534. How about Unlocked-Mobiles? Well, they do promise swift deliveries beginning April 10, but folks on tight budgets are likely to pick the in-stock M8. It’s £528.98 vs. £549.98, the GS5.
Alright, let’s do one last British online store. Expansys? Expansys it is. Like most of their competitors, they’re in a position to ship the HTC One M8, but not the GS5. The former is £550 in grey and silver, and the latter £560 in black, white, blue and gold. It looks like Samsung may need to rethink strategy before it’s too late.
Oh, by the by, you can always score the two heavyweight title contenders with pacts on British shores paying nada upfront. Just remember plans might be fairly steep for the obligatory two years.
Canada pricing and availability
O Canada, how I wish I had better news for you vis-à-vis the GS5. Instead, all I can tell you is a bundle of carriers, Rogers, Bell and Telus included, are taking pre-orders, vowing to zippy deliveries around April 10. Pricing is equally as ominous, at $250 with contracts, compared to the One M8, which ships already and costs $230 on a 2-year term, or $700 outright.
It’s official, Samsung is losing this battle. Will the Koreans lose the war too? You tell us. Do you intend to get the M8 or GS5? Will you instead hold out for Sony’s Xperia Z2? Maybe LG’s G3? Google’s Nexus 6? Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4? So many options, huh?