This year at MWC 2015, HTC reiterated the same tag line as last year – “We have made the best phone even Better”. While last year, this was achieved by pumping in more metal and faster innards, this year it’s the subtle changes and improved camera which make a difference. Will consumers cherish these minor design upgrade for the third time?
HTC One M9 Quick Specs
- Display Size: 5 Inch Full HD IPS LCD, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441 PPI, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- Processor: 2.0 GHz Octa Core Snapdragon 810 (2.0 GHz X 4 Cortex A57 + 1.5 GHz X 4 Cortex A53) processor with Adreno 430 GPU
- RAM: 3 GB
- Software Version: Android 5.0 Lollipop with HTC Sense 7.0 on top
- Camera: 20 MP rear camera, 4K video recording
- Secondary Camera: 4 MP Ultra pixel
- Internal Storage: 32 GB
- External Storage: MicroSD support up to 128 GB
- Battery: 2840 mAh
- Connectivity: 4G LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, aGPS, GLONASS, NFC, IR Blaster
HTC One M9 Hands on Review, Features, Camera, Price and Overview HD
Design, Build and Display
The HTC One M9 looks the same as HTC One M8, but the moment you hold it in hand, you can instantly appreciate design improvements and much better grip. All that aluminum used imparts a decent heft to it, and it’s far from being the slimmest phone, but it’s hard to deny that HTC One M9 looks good (though unambitious) – even for the third time.
The rear side is where you can differentiate it from its predecessor. The square camera module with scratch resistant sapphire glass on top is the predominantly noticeable change. There is no depth sensor either, but we doubt it will be missed much. The side edges are rounder and offer a better grip. The textured power button is now better placed on the right edge along with split volume rocker. We didn’t like the side edges much on One M9.
The front side remains same as HTC One M8, with the same 5 Inch Full HD panel, protected by Gorilla Glass 4. Screen to body ratio has been improved, but the changes aren’t as noticeable. We liked the display on HTC One M8 and this one too is equally dazzling.
Processor and RAM
Samsung 801 is in no way a slouch, but yeah to keep up with the modern times, HTC One M9 jumps to Qualcomm’s top of the line Snapdragon 810 with 4 2.0 GHz cortex A57 cores and 4 1.5 GHz Cortex A53 cores, aided by ample 3 GB RAM and powerful Adreno 430 GPU.
Samsung opted to go with its own Exynos 7420 citing heating issues, which is something we would like to test in M9. It remains to be seen how well the metal chassis handles the heat. In our time with the device, we didn’t observe any heating or stuttering. UI transitions were very smooth.
Camera and Internal Storage
HTC takes a U Turn with its camera philosophy and offers more pixels in its One M9 camera. With design ethos remaining constant, this is the single major improvement HTC can Bank upon to please fans and it would be disastrous to screw this up.
The rear 20 MP camera can capture more details, allowing you to zoom in on clicked images. We are particularly happy with the 4 MP ultra pixel shooter pushed to the front side, as large pixels will improve low light performance and perhaps, solve the eternal problem of poorly lit selfies. There is a dual LED flash to assist rear camera.
In our initial testing, low light performance didn’t seem outright impressive. We couldn’t test it in full day light at the event. Also missing is Optical image stabilization, which is bound to create some resentment.
Internal storage is 32 GB and this can further be expanded by another 128 GB to keep everyone happy. Since Samsung Galaxy S6 won’t have a MicroSD card, this will be another big advantage for HTC One M9.
User Interface, Battery and Other Feature
The new HTC Sense 7 based on Android 5.0 Lollipop is something we liked. It shares several similarities with sense 6 but makes rooms for popular lollipop features like notification shades, card notifications, etc. HTC has highlighted Sense Home Widget which intuitively shows app shortcuts according to time and location. Another feature is support for personal themes. You can simply click an image and HTC will be offer a theme centred on it using the right colors.
Battery capacity is 2840 mAh and since pixel resolution remains same, you can expect some improvement in backup. We will test how much difference 20 nm process based Snapdragon 810 makes after our full review. Rapid charging is supported. HTC one M9 has dual frontal Boomsound speakers which HTC claims, have been improved and support 5.1 Dolby surround sound.
HTC One M9 Photo Gallery
HTC One M9 makes some improvements over its predecessor, but doesn’t make a compelling case for upgrade for One M8 owners. HTC Sense 7 with Lollipop will be transferred to One M8 and One M7 as well. If HTC One M9 camera is at par with other flagships, HTC should be able to score well this time as well.