Today HTC is announcing a new smartphone that sits somewhere between their mid-range smartphones and their flagship ones. This new phone is the One M8s, and even with a quick glance you will notice that it looks very similar to HTC's previous flagship smartphones, the HTC One M8. In fact, the two devices are essentially identical in terms of their appearance and construction, with HTC's official specifications showing only a 0.2mm difference in maximum thickness between the two. Despite being nearly visually identical, the specifications of the M8 and the M8s differ in several ways, and I've compared them in the chart below.

HTC One M8s HTC One (M8)
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, 4 x Cortex A53 at 1.7GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 at 1.0GHz MSM8974ABv3 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 801
RAM/NAND 2 GB LPDDR3, 16GB NAND + microSD 2GB LPDDR3, 16/32GB NAND + microSD
Display 5” 1080p LCD
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE)
Dimensions 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.55mm max, 160 grams 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35mm max, 160 grams
Camera 13 MP F/2.0 Rear Facing, 28mm (35mm equiv) and rear depth camera, 5MP
F/2.8 Front Facing
4.0 MP Rear Facing with 2.0 µm pixels, 1/3" CMOS size, F/2.0, 28mm (35mm equiv) and rear depth camera, 5MP F/2.0 FFC
Battery 2840 mAh (10.79Wh) 2600 mAh (9.88Wh)
OS Android 5.0 with HTC Sense Android 5.0 with HTC Sense
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.1, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, NFC 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, NFC
SIM Size NanoSIM

At least on paper the M8s shares its chassis, cellular connectivity, and display with the M8, although it remains to be seen if it indeed uses the exact same LCD panel. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity is also similar, although the M8s ships with Bluetooth 4.1 capable firmware out of the box. Beyond these specifications is where the differences between the two devices begin to arise.

The first major difference is obviously the SoC. While the One M8 used Qualcomm's Snapdragon 801 with four Krait cores at 2.26GHz, the M8s opts for Qualcomm's Snapdragon 615 which has two clusters of four Cortex A53 cores at 1.7GHz and 1.0GHz respectively. It will be interesting to see how Snapdragon 615 compares to 801 with regards to performance as well as power consumption. On that note, the M8s is also able to fit a higher capacity battery in the same chassis as the original M8.

The last major difference between the two are the cameras. While the One M8 used HTC's 4MP "UltraPixel" sensor, the M8s opts for a 13MP sensor. Despite this, it retains the secondary depth camera which enables HTC's duocam post processing effects like depth of field and refocusing photos.

The comparison to the original One M8 is really just to show how the two devices differ inside since they share the same appearance. While the M8 was HTC's flagship smartphone, the M8s is not quite at that level. It seems to sit somewhere between the HTC Desire 826 and the HTC One M9, with a more premium design than the 826 but very similar specifications. As far as availability is concerned, the HTC One M8s will be launching in several parts of Europe. Pricing will vary from region to region, but the cost in the United Kingdom has been confirmed at £379.99 outright which gives some idea as to how much the HTC One M8s will cost compared to the One M9 and Desire 826 that sit above and below it respectively.

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  • mavrikd - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - link

    Where is the overall Product design differentiation between the premium and not-so-premium products?? I buy a M9 which looks and feels very much similar to M8s. Its more like saying don't buy the M9 since for most purposes M8s will just plain suffice.
  • Gich - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - link

    But M9, as the flagship, will receive "premium" update tratament.
  • mmrezaie - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - link

    for a limited time.
  • Gich - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - link

    more time than this M8S...
  • rubyonrails3 - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - link

    Yes for limited time of 2 years and also will be the first to get update. then will come M8(not s version).
  • rubyonrails3 - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - link

    I do agree with you on this, for all years we been saying Samsung phones have no differences but now HTC doing same, mid range and flaghsip both looks same. Bad move HTC.
  • djc208 - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - link

    But that's not a bad thing for HTC. For the people who don't read sites like this the M8s will get them a phone that looks as good as the M9, but cheaper, and most will never really care much about what type of cores it has or what memory interface it's running, or the fact that it's 2 ms slower in some benchmark or another.
    HTC gets to keep building the cases and components it probably spent a ton of money to tool up for building the M8 with a year ago, it hopefully gets to sell more phones, and at the same time expands it's product lineup.
    If you care mostly about appearance then it's still not the newest flagship phone as is easily distinguished by the dual cameras and other tweaks, regardless of if it's an M8 or M8s, it's not an M9.
  • mavrikd - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - link

    Does that now make it sounds more like a excuse to buy a cheaper phone?? :P
    I guess sales people HTC thinks wants more number of devices sold to capture market share.
    So basically HTC marketing idea is:
    1. make a good looking phone with high specs
    2. make a copy of the same phone - but price is cheaper hoping more people buys that

    Smart move HTC! :)
  • DanNeely - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - link

    If the upgrade process is screwed up it won't matter. I've got a VZW M8; and last night started looking to see why, although it had been announced a few weeks ago, I hadn't gotten any notice on my phone about the Lollipop OTA update. When I found the check for updates option, conveniently buried deeply enough in settings that the odds of a normal user finding it by accident are near zero, I discovered I'd also missed a few earlier software updates. *facepalm*

    After installing two 4.4.x updates and something that called itself the first of two pre-Lollipop updates (there wasn't a second) last night, I was able to install Lollipop this morning. After doing that, when I tried to do another update check to see if there was a point update available, the settings-check for update app displayed an error saying I needed to use settings-check for update instead. *facepalm* *facepalm*
  • mavrikd - Friday, April 3, 2015 - link

    C'mon - looks does matter! and matters more so for "flagships" even for people who are not buying flagships.
    That's why S6 is being praised all over the press and so does the IPhone gets praised so much.

    For a closed eco system like Apples where you have no choice but to choice between a Iphone 5c and a Iphone 6 (and plus) for a upgrade path it makes more sense - since you know you get a very good looking and fine phone or a relatively bad-one. So the choice is clear!

    But here HTC is telling/compelling it customers that "don't buy the M9" when you can have a exactly same gorgeous looking, maybe with a little less speed, with the almost latest Android 5 - which would suffice most users for the next 2 years well!!!
    So this does make a bad use case for people spending money on buying their flagships which cost same as a S6!
    Make no doubt this gamble is of course better for HTC's survival!! :)

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