IntroHTC is back in 2015 with yet another flagship device. Last month the company pulled the veil back on the HTC One M9 at Mobile World Congress, and a lot of people had a lot to say about it. This the basically the successor to the HTC One M8, the next iteration of HTC’s “One” design isn’t necessarily a breath of fresh air, and being an HTC One M8 user I can confidently say that it still remains one of the best smartphones on the market. So in order for us to tell you more about the HTC One M9, we were given a short hands-on review to give you everything you’d ever want to know. This is what we think about the new HTC One M9.
Same ol’ Design
It’s called playing it safe, and since last year’s design didn’t suck in any way, HTC made a wise decision to polish up some flaws that made the One M8 a less attractive offer for some people. Just like it’s predecessor, the One M9 comes standard with a brushed-metal rear design which some would urge is better than the iPhone 6. Last year’s M8 was very slippery in the hands and HTC has fixed this with the M9, in that it now feels better in the hand but also cheaper and much more plasticky than the M8.
Body design aside, the One M9’s gorgeous 1080p screen makes it a beauty to look at and operate, in that you won’t feel the need of missing a Quad-HD screen found on the Galaxy s6. The One M9’s volume control is now split into two buttons and placed on the same side with the repositioned Power button. These two advancements make it easier for users to adjust the volume, or lock the phone, without having to change grip which means decreasing the chances of a dropped phone. It should be noted that the phone lacks a fingerprint sensor, a feature that is now standard on all flagship smartphones on 2015.
The company did say the phone comes standard in the following color options; Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose Gold, or Gold/Pink. But for this review we played with the Gunmetal Gray version.
Great Specs and Performance
When it comes to raw horsepower, and specifications, HTC’s One M9 stands toe-to-toe with the latest flagship phones. It has to be noted however, that it’s not a huge upgrade in specs over 2014’s HTC One M8. As expected, the M9 comes with Android’s gorgeous Lollipop 5.0 operating system, as well as HTC’s fluid “Sense” user interface. When it comes to storage space, HTC has increased the phone’s internal storage from 16/24GB to 32GB and as a bonus included a Micro SD Card slot for users to add up to 128GB.
In terms of performance, HTC’s One M9 is at the top of its class, boasting many of the industry’s latest and greatest features. With an upgraded Android operating system, the latest 64-bit quad-core Snapdragon chipset, and 3GB of RAM, it’s clear the M9 packs some serious performance adrenaline. The phone comes with a 2,840mAh battery which should last users up to 25 hours of talk time and a whopping 391 hours of standby time. Depending on region, the M9 packs 4G LTE connectivity there is also Wi-Fi and sports GPS, Accelerometer, Digital Compass, and Gyroscope sensors.
‘Ultrapixel’ camera swapped
We all agree that the M7 and M8 had the one of the ‘meh’ rear cameras on the market, so one of the biggest upgrade to grace HTC’s One M9 is no doubt the phone’s new and improved camera. HTC has abandoned the 4-megapixel “Ultrapixel” camera on the back and has now fitted it in the front, making it one of the best selfie phones so far. So now on the back is graced with an all new 20-megapixel camera covered with scratch-resistant sapphire glass.
Here comes the downside, the quality of pictures from the camera are nothing to talk home about and HTC reps have been quick to inform us that the software is not yet final. Some of the pictures came out noisy and grainy which means a lot of software tweaking has to be done with the One M9 so that it can compete with the likes of the Galaxy s6 or the iPhone 6.
Audiophile worthy drooling speakers
Since the One M7, HTC has set it’s self-apart when it comes to audio with their front facing speakers. So Music lovers and audiophiles prepare to drool. The revamped speakers are the absolute best sound you’ll hear on any phone in 2015. Whereas most phone companies outfit their devices with a single speaker (in a poor location, no less), HTC packed two speakers into the M9 which pipe stereo sound right at the user and they didn’t stop there, they also included Dolby filtering technology. So this combination makes the M9 the clearest sounding audio of any smartphone on the market.
Buy or Not buy
HTC’s One M9 is no doubt a great phone. With top of the range specs, like well speced camera, and the best speakers you’ll find on any phone, period. So the question to ask is whether there’s a good reason for HTC One M8 owners to ditch their current phone and opt for an upgrade to the M9. My answer is a definite NO. HTC One M7 owners, can definitely upgrade with confidence.
1. Great design
2. High resolution camera
3. Fast and Fluid UI
4. Good button placement
5. Boom sound is even better
1. Camera quality is mediocre
2. 1080p screen is not a spec for 2015
3. Same design as M8
4. No fingerprint sensor