HTC One M9 – Same Look, More Power [Review]

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HTC One M9
  • Display
  • Processor
  • Storage
  • Battery
  • Camera
4.5

HTC released a spectacular phone with the HTC M8 last year. It had solid processors, a beautiful display, crisp speakers, and a polished and premium design. Besides an unimpressive camera, the M8 crushed the competition in virtually every aspect. However, such a stellar phone did not improve HTC’s sales in any significant way. But, after a recent shake-up in the company structure, HTC is aiming to greatly improve its performance in the market. And so the HTC One M9 was born. It rocks the same beautiful design and has a noticeable improvement in performance, but will a weak battery and stiff competition keep the HTC One M9 from rising to the top?

HTC ONE M9 – DESIGN

The HTC One M9 still has the absolute best design on the market. It has the same solid metal unibody design as last year’s model, as well as the same curved feel and front facing speakers. In fact, the only real noticeable difference on the M9’s design is the power button location. Rather than on top, like on the M8, it is now on the side beside the volume keys. This feels a lot more natural in the hand, but it may take some current M8 users some time to adjust to the difference.

The display is also just as good. It still runs in 1080p Full HD, so Netflix is going to look just as good as before. The M9 also has expandable storage up to 128 GB, but now it also includes an internal storage of 32 GB: a huge jump from 16 GB on the M8.

SPECS, CAMERA, AND BATTERY

The HTC One M9 has a noticeably improved processor. It carries the latest Snapdragon 810 and 3GB of RAM. This means it is going to be especially snappy and responsive even during the most demanding tasks. Graphics-intensive games run smoothly, and multi-tasking is quick and simple.

HTC One M9 The M9’s cameras has also been significantly increased, though it hasn’t really helped HTC’s case in making a powerful camera. In standard daylight or other optimal settings, the camera does fine. Colors are bold and vibrant, and the images contrast well. But, in low-lit or back lit images, there is noticeable noise and glare respectively. It won’t be a problem for casual users (or people like me who virtually never use their cameras), but for die hard photo fiends, it is going to be a major issue. The Galaxy S6 and even the lower resolution iPhone 6 Plus blow the M9’s camera out of the water.

The same can be said of the battery life. CNET’s video test revealed the M9 lasted about 8.5 hours, which is “…almost 80 minutes less than the results we got on the HTC M8 last year…” With such heavy battery competitors out there like LG G Flex 2, users will be hard pressed to purchase a phone with weaker battery power than before.

THE VERDICT

HTC has had a rough go of it. They created a stellar phone with the M8, and they didn’t need to do a whole lot to improve the M9. However, the few things they did change may not be enough. The improved speed on an already powerful phone is great, but the still weak camera and reduced battery life may be a deal breaker for HTC One M9. However, if you are looking for a powerful phone with an amazing design (and don’t care much about the camera or battery), you can get the HTC One M9 anywhere for the standard $650.

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