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Sony Xperia Z2 vs. HTC One (M8)

We are in full Sony Xperia Z2 review preparation mode after having the phone in hand through the weekend. For the moment, that means one thing – comparisons. In our first of two comparisons, we have put the HTC One (M8) up against Sony’s newest flagship, giving our own thoughts on the specs, hardware design, display quality, camera UIs, and more.

Both the Xperia Z2 and One (M8) carry very similar specs, but that is about the only similarity here. On a camera front, we all know that HTC went with a somewhat-risky 4MP sensor (plus a secondary depth sensor), whereas Sony is using a large 20.7MP shooter. The hardware couldn’t be more different, either. HTC has gone with an all-metal unibody exterior that is rounded to perfection to create smartphone luxury, while Sony went with a combo of glass, metal, and plastic to form a body that is quite square for a modern smartphone. If you look at their two takes on an Android skin, you will again see how different the design philosophies are. Finally, I have to say that battery life on the Xperia Z2 has been out-of-this-world good. I only had to charge the device once over the weekend, while working extra hard on day two to try and kill it.

After watching the comparison clip below, be sure to let us know what else you would like to see from the Xperia Z2. Finally, be on the lookout for a similar video featuring the Galaxy S5. 

  • Varun P.

    Okay, here’s what I think! I want to get either one of the 2 within a couple of days.
    Xperia Z2 in my country doesn’t ship with the noise-cancelling earphones but with the smartband. Can someone tell me if that’s useful?
    Also, to use features and modes in the Z2, you need to lower the resolution. So technically you wont be shooting in 20.7MP(who needs that anyway?)
    The UI is so-so.
    The M8, well, its the critics’ favorite choice! I’ve heard stuff about the camera, but I am coming from a SGS2 so anything will be awesome. But I’d love to have some input from you guys. Sense 6 is amazing! I don’t think 3 Gb RAM matters at all!
    I’ll be the phone a lot for Social media, messaging, music and watching Tv episodes.BTW I hardly use speakers..
    I’ve checked out both of them in the store. Both feel nice, but the M8 is nicer! They’re available at the same price.
    Could you suggest me one considering my preferences? Please! Thanks a lot!

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  • JoshHenry

    I was expecting more. But thank you for doing this DL!

  • emts

    how’s the overheating problem with z2? does it occur with your review device?

  • Hariharan

    Just got myself the m8 4 weeks ago. I have to say that after using a galaxy s2 for 2 and a half years, i do feel that this was worth the buy to replace it.
    Bad points.
    1. It’s abit to big for my liking
    2.hate the positioning of the lock button and volume button(probably just me since I’m used to Samsungs side lock)
    3. Not a huge fan of their keyboard… But that could be because I already got swift key and my fingers are chubby so I still tend to stick to that… Not a huge problem at all.
    Good points.
    1. Blink Feed is just amazing: I don’t miss having to log onto Facebook and check what’s new with people. Or checking the news… Blink feed brings everything to you. And with Twitter you could get a couple of free subscriptions(I follow new scientists and the economists.)
    2. Speakers are clear… I take this with me into the shower and it’s almost like I have a stereo to take wherever I go… The ear phones that came with it are probably the best I’ve seen come stock with a phone in my entire life..No exaggeration.
    3 calls are clear.. I’ve had calls in pretty loud areas and it’s still so clear.
    4 camera really isn’t so bad.. I’ve had so many shots where I just took my phone out and took a photo for that moment… It fills the purpose of having a camera phone.. To capture th really special moments. Probably not the best for scenic shots but to me that really isn’t much of an issue.
    Summary :
    This phone is probably for those who prioritise quality built to features. The phone in my eyes is the walking definition of :value for money if you want a functional device and not a toy

  • Phillip Pugh

    The whole phone camera thing is such a lame excuse not to buy a phone if you like everything else about it here’s a thought if you really need to take pictures other some stuff to post on Facebook buy a real camera any good $200 point and shoot will have way more zoom a picture quality it’s not even close

    • TR3Y

      The correct thing to say here is “You don’t ever buy a phone for its camera.” Plus if you really wanted to you could sharpen the photo in photoshop or something like that. M8 takes good enough pictures that I’ve seen.

  • romy

    Battery life on my M8 is garbage.
    I had a good M8, but after dropp it and the screen was broken and HTC kept sending me garbage phone replacement, I miss Apple or Samsung services.

  • Wall Breaker

    I just wish the G3 would hurry up and be unveiled already.

  • Wall Breaker

    sorry but the m8 kills the Z2 imo,

    • ForeverSol

      Sense 6 and design of the phone the M8 is better. However as i like to listen to my music a lot, the walkman app, the headphones you get with the phone (which is noise cancelling), water and dust resistant and definitely the camera, the Z2 just beats the M8. What disappoints me is that there is no removable battery for both of them as i don’t switch phones every year.

      • John

        those BoomSound speakers tho….

        • well

          But because the z2 is water proof, the speakers are craps compared to the BoomSound

    • TR3Y

      Nothing to be sorry about.

  • Eikast

    First let me take a selfie..
    Jk. I switched from the iPhone 5s to the m8 and I love it. I’m not that big into pictures. I mean most of my pictures were screen shots or pictures of things that I remember to do. I just wish that HTC made better glass for their camera (scared to get a scratch, one thing that Apple spoiled me with was using sapphire glass) Also I wish that the back of the phone didn’t have these stickers for warranty purposes (darn you Verizon)

  • sincityjohn44

    I don’t need to read this article.
    All I read is blah blah blah these phones are too big blah blah blah these phones are too big

  • Al-Burrit0

    Both phones are pretty beasty, but overall the m8 has too many downfalls to say it “shines” over the Z2 imo.

    • TR3Y

      Are you so sure about this? Think about it. HTC One series of phones are unique in their own way. First phone to feature front facing speakers was a huge feature for the HTC One as well as the Zoe and Ultrapixel Camera. If you are calling the Camera a downfall then that wouldn’t be right for HTC is giving people what they ask for: A phone. A camera alone does not make a phone. So, which downfalls would you be referring to?

  • Eddy Edd

    what type of glass is on Z2?

    • ForeverSol

      Most likely Gorilla Glass 3.

      • Eddy Edd

        wow and Sony didn’t brag about it how can this be true?

        • TR3Y

          I think it is Dragontrail glass. I could be wrong though.

          • Guest

            it is Dragontrail. I wonder how well it holds up compare to Gorilla Glass 3

      • TR3Y

        I thought it was Dragontail. I could be wrong.

  • The HTC One M8 is better in many ways over the Z2, and some might just argue the Z2 has a better camera. But that’s all, nothing else is better. I personally like the camera on the M8, it does what it’s supposed to do. It’s a phone, some people actually forget that lol.

    Anyway, the HTC One has they best build quality, and tops every phone out right now like it did last year with the previous model.

    • calculatorwatch

      Keep in mind the Z2 also has stamina mode which doesn’t disable a bunch of features like ultra/extreme power saving modes but greatly improves standby time. So the battery life which is already better than the M8 can be made even better without sacrificing any real usability. I’m sorry but that’s definitely one area where Sony has HTC beat.

      • I can agree with you on that, but I still the M8 is a much better device overall.

  • Chris King

    Thanks DL for reviewing this phone. I am really going to look hard at this phone if n when it comes to big red

  • Chris King

    This phone looks pretty good. My only worry is it looks really square,not sure how comfortable it would be to hold for any length of time.

    • Mark Mann

      Coming from the motto razr family of phones, I currently have the xperia z and couldn’t be happier with in hand

  • i like this phone a lot honestly…lil to big though…what id do for a moto x size version

    • calculatorwatch

      If only the Z2 Compact had any hope of coming to Verizon, I’m sure it will be awesome.

  • MikeD675

    How is the screen when viewed outside? Heard it is nearly impossible to see bright light.

  • andy

    Which one has better one-handed operation?

    • The Narrator

      Probably HTC M8 but that would be a dumb reason to pass up on the obviously better features. “My opinion”

      • paktu

        Not if any of those “better” features don’t matter for the user. It’s all subjective. For some, one-handed use can trump a lot of other things. Of course, one-handed use can only be judged at the store and actually holding the device.

        • The Narrator

          Then I usually suggest flip phones to those customers 😛

          • Scott

            anyone that doesn’t have the same needs you do should just buy a flip phone?
            alright, then. I guess you should be the only one allowed to say what phone everyone in the whole world should get, so we can all use it exactly like you do, because you run the whole world!
            …wait, no. You don’t.

      • Dana Euromaydan Ionescu

        better features?! what better features? tell me again how you are an expert on what better features the xperia has without ever touching one. Do you have any ideas how grainy the photos are under poor lighting? do you have any idea that the bad technology from the screen drains the battery? do you have any idea that the phone isnt actually made from glass but from cheap plexiglass? do you have any idea that the sound is horrible in the headphones compared to the htc?! and many more. U just find yourself talking.

        • Ankit kumar

          U know what Dana u shld just go n suck cock of htc users. Coz u r dumb. U bought n Sony phn u were so dumb dat u don’t know how to use it so u r calling it as nt worthy….get a lyf gal.

    • My vote would be for HTC – phone just feels better in hand.

  • David Foggia

    Battery on my m8 has been pretty weak. Don’t think its a rogue app so hopefully an update fixes it

    • Has been weak for me as well. Xperia Z2 kills it.

      • jksong83

        How weak? Mine has been relatively strong, and gets me through a full day. No other phone I’ve had has managed to do that aside from the Galaxy Note 3 (past few phones: Nexus 4 –> HTC One M7 –> Note 3 –> Nexus 5 –> One M8)

        • David Foggia

          I expected this phone of mine to get me well through a day. It does but barely (1 day, 6 hours on full charge) and I get about 4 hours of screen on time

          Not to mention, and I have NO idea how anymore, but this phone wastes 20% in standby!! 20%! I take it off the charger before I go to bed so its good to go in the morning and it has 80%! I’m just stunned. I checked and checked again for possible rogue appa but nothing (according to GSam) is running except a few built in apps.

        • ForeverSol

          When using it light, i’ve gotten about 3 days of usage on a single charge. I’m pretty sure the Z2 kills the M8 in terms of heavy usage with the 3200 mah battery and its battery saving capabilities.

      • MicroNix

        Well when your display is about as bright as the inside of a haunted house on Halloween, you really don’t eat up the battery that much.

    • The Narrator

      It’s a rather small battery, so no surprise

    • T4rd

      Mine has been just as good, if not better than the Note 2 it replaced, which had a 3,100 mAh battery. I definitely can’t complain, as it gets me though a day pretty easily, even while playing some games sporadically throughout the day. I wish it showed screen-on time though, as it’s hard to compare without that number.

    • Joshua Hoffman

      This is weak?? Maybe this is because I’m coming from a Nexus 4 and RAZR. This is pretty good in my opinion?

  • SteveTheMan

    All out of rocks to set your phone on?

    • Let me go find one for the next post. 😛

      • aQuickBit

        Don’t worry Kellen, I got you covered!
        (disclaimer: is a One, but not THE One)

        • El_Big_CHRIS

          Egad! *cringes*

  • howitzerr

    The z2 is the only one available unlocked from the manufacturer, in Canada


  • gintoddic

    Not a fan of the square. If the M8 was waterproof/removable battery it would be the best phone out there. Problem is all the phones out there have some kind of negative aspect.

    • The Narrator

      If the M8 had a bigger screen, bigger battery, more ram, waterproof, better camera, I mean, theres a long list of things

      • gintoddic

        bigger screen? give me a break, if I wanted to carry around a tablet I’d buy that. More ram? Really, have you ever run out of ram on a phone? I haven’t even with 1GB. And finally, the camera is a stupid argument, if you seriously need a “better” camera than buy a DSLR. If you can explain why you think more megapixels is so much better please try.

        • The Narrator

          Sounds like you’re better off with a flip phone if you seriously think that.

        • hoosiercub88

          Some people like bigger screens, that’s obvious with the popularity of the Note series of Galaxy phones. Deal with it.

          As for the camera, it has nothing to do with megapixels, it’s actually the quality of the images it produces at a 100% crop and how it deals with things like low-light. The Z2 is quite a beasty in this regard, the One has it’s strengths but ultimately in a punch for punch situation the faster shutter isn’t enough to make it a better camera. Any good photographer will tell you, the most important camera you have, is the one you have on you. I don’t always feel like lugging my DSLR around *although I’m looking at a Canon SL1 because they’re so tiny* but I ALWAYS have my phone on me. My Moto X has a decent camera, especially since Moto put forth effort in making it better, but it definitely has it’s downfalls and there were moments I wished I’d had a better camera phone.

        • calculatorwatch

          Considering they’re pretty much the same size, the M8 might as well have a bigger screen and bigger battery. I mean HTC sacrificed those for what? An extra camera and better speakers, not worth it in my opinion. I like the style of the M8 design a lot better too, but Sony definitely managed to pack better stuff into theirs.

        • ajcarroll9

          I an a professional photographer/filmmaker that has deep knowledge on cameras and what exactly makes a good camera. I have thousands odds dollars of camera equipment…. but that’s nothing to me when I’m out with friends and just want to take a quick snap. So while I will not say which is better, as I have not tested the Z2, I can indefinitely say your comment is at best, embarrassingly ignorant. And since many of our generation consider having an instagram as being a “professional”, my track record most recently includes a VH1 Music Video for an iTunes number 1.

          • gintoddic

            I think you just need to get off your high horse if you think a opinion about a phone could be called embarrassing in general.

          • Dana Euromaydan Ionescu

            You are such a professional and yet i had the Z2 and M8 and the Z2 makes hella grainy photos in poor lighting. So tell me how this guy who was able to anticipate this problem is ignorant and how you are the expert.

      • TR3Y

        Bigger screen… You are joking right? The battery life is wonderful on the One M8! 2GB isn’t enough ram? It is water resistant! You don’t buy a phone for the camera…

        • gintoddic

          No it’s not enough ram because “other” phones are 3gb, and it’s a bigger number ya know??

      • Dana Euromaydan Ionescu

        You are such a stupid person. More ram?! the xperia and m8 have no difference in operation. Bigger battery? Did you know the xperia uses a more inefficient screen that drains the battery faster than the screen on the HTC or Samsung? and that it gets similar battery life to them? Did you know the xperia is not glass but cheap plexiglass? u need it to be waterproof why? u wanna swim with it?! the m8 is waterproof if u drop it a few seconds and that’s enough -youtube that-. You just talk garbage without knowing anything.

    • TR3Y

      The HTC One M8 is water resistant. Look it up on YouTube.

      • Dana Euromaydan Ionescu

        it’s ironic because the camera on the sony is worse.

        • TR3Y

          I have heard this a lot. I cannot confirm that it is true or not. Though I am still happy with my good ol’ M7

  • ki11ak3nn

    The Z2 is a beast of a phone. Just wish it was coming to carriers (other than Verizon if the rumors are true). I’d love to check this phone out on T-Mobile.

    • thunderbird32

      If you buy it outright direct from Sony it should have the proper radios for T-Mobile.

      • greyhulk

        And none of the bloat!

    • The Narrator

      It should work on it. Just have to spend $800 lol

      • ki11ak3nn

        Well I guess I should start saving my drug money now!! kidding. I make an honest living. Just not honest enough for an $800 phone.

        • howitzerr

          an unlocked phone with an MVNO’s plan can save you way more than you think over the phones lifetime

          Its even more noticable with a Nexus

          • ki11ak3nn

            Do you know any MVNO’s that offer truly unlimited data?? No throttling after a certain amount of GB’s?? I don’t, but I also haven’t gone very deep in MVNO territory.

          • guest


          • ki11ak3nn

            Already on T-Mobile. I was thinking more like SIMple Mobile, Straight Talk, AIO. But none of them offer unlimited data without throttling.

          • Dana Euromaydan Ionescu

            the xperia is a horrible phone check it out in the store before being stupid enough to buy it. the camera is horrible under poor lighting

          • Dana Euromaydan Ionescu

            the screen uses an old technology and drains that battery as fast as an S5 or LG G2 or HTC M8. The phone isn’t glass, it’s plexiglass on the back and feels extremely cheap. The sound in the headphones is bad too. Just compare it by yourselves before you get it.

        • JoshHenry

          whats not honest about drugs?

    • chupacabras

      It’s coming to tmobile also,but we have to wait until summer.

  • Maxim∑

    Not a huge fan of the Xperia UI