It’s tough to talk about an HTC One phone without recounting how the 1st iteration of the device set the benchmark for build quality and design amongst Android flagships. HTC has safely decided to stay to the formula with the 2nd and now, the 3rd gen One.
HTC has up to date the line and launched new models, however has not fairly managed to replicate the appeal of the unique. Each time, something has held us back from wholeheartedly liking HTC efforts. Final year’s HTC One M8 was hobbled by the unsatisfactory Duo Camera function, and different variants have been plastic, ugly and weak.
HTC has now introduced the HTC One M9+, ahead of the HTC One M9. It has a a different processor, bigger display screen, a fingerprint sensor and the Duo Camera feature that was dropped from the HTC One M9. In that sense, it is not essentially better or worse than the HTC One M9. We are curious to see how this phone stacks up.
Remember that HTC has additionally used a new MediaTek processor instead of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 which powers the HTC One M9. MediaTek processors are majorly associated with budget phones however the HTC One M9+ is run by a high-end chip, the new Helio X10 processor. Another reason for this choice might be the major heating issues being reported with the Snapdragon 810. So the HTC One M9+ essentially addresses the HTC One M9 shortcomings and provides extra options. So can the new HTC One M9+ compete with the newest flagship phones be a worthy successor to the HTC One M8? We spent a few weeks with the HTC One M9+ to find out.
The HTC One M9+ follows the legacy of the unique One and sports nearly the identical design which won accolades for its premium, all metal body and unique design. However, this additionally implies that HTC has chosen to remain in its comfort zone and has not taken the risk to experiment with the design language of its flagship phone. It is true that previously, even the likes of Samsung and Apple have chosen to stay with the identical tested form issue and design for their flagships however beyond 2 iterations it actually turns into boring as folks anticipate some novelty.
The one main change that you will see within the HTC One M9+ is the dual-tone color scheme with the edges sporting a different shade. Our review unit featured a gold edges and silver body. The distinction in color will not be actually stark and you could even ignore it at 1st glance. Moreover the 2-tone colors, if you observe carefully, you will notice that the phone’s back is much less curved close to the edges unlike the HTC One M8 back. Since the HTC One M9+ sports a bigger 5.2-inch display screen, the phone is wider (151mm) and taller (72mm) than the One M8 and weighs slightly extra(168gram).
One other difference is the addition of a new Home button that additionally integrates a finger print sensor. Whereas the phone retains the dual-front stereo speakers, the bottom one is now split into 2. Interestingly, the HTC One M9 (the international version of the phone) does not feature this button.
The power button has been moved to the right edge, at the middle, while the volume rocker has been split into 2 different buttons, positioned above it. On the top of the right edge you will find a tray for the microSD card while the nano-sim tray is at the left edge and towards the top.
The phone features on screen navigation buttons, so there is no hardware capacitive keys at the front. The QHD IPS LCD display screen of the phone is flanked by a speaker grill, 4MP front camera lens at the top and the other speaker grill and Home button on the bottom.
The front panel that houses the display screen, feels like it is stacked on the back panel and isn’t flush with it, with a really minor difference within the width.
The all-aluminium chasis has white polycarbonate inserts at the back. The back of HTC One M9+ includes not one, however 2 camera lenses, a part of the phone’s Duo Camera set-up. The camera lens is accompanied by a dual-colour LED flash similar to Apple iPhone 6.
The Infrared blaster covers the whole top edge while the bottom edge features the micro USB port and the 3.5mm headset jack.
HTC has made some modifications to optimise the phone for one hand use however you will find it slightly cumbersome to achieve the top edge of the display when you have small hands due to the tall design.
The HTC One M9+ remains to be among the best looking Android phones around however we anticipated a fresh design which it fails to deliver.
HTC has famously stuck to 1080p panels on their handsets for a very long time and for good purpose. The benefits are minimal with bumping up the resolution and there is a fair bit of battery drain as well. However competition dictates the market and HTC has additionally advanced to a 2K panel on the HTC One M9+. The 5.2 inch display is of the Super LCD3 variety in contrast to the AMOLED panels widely utilized by Samsung.
While the resolution may be high sufficient to compete with the competition, the quality of the panel is not. The whites are not overtly white and pink hues may be spotted at certain angles. Aside from that though, the contrast ratio is good and the viewing angles are decent. This’s a perfectly serviceable display however it would not wow you like the panels on the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge or for that matter even the LG G4.
With the HTC One M7, the corporate pioneered UltraPixels. Lower resolution however larger pixel dimension implies that you get brighter and better images, at least on paper. The end outcomes were a mixed bag. With M8, you got a gimmick within the type of a dual camera that combined the UltraPixel camera of the HTC One M7 with a secondary camera that could capture depth information and let you manipulate the depth of field. Show here too was middling.
With the HTC One M9+, you get the entire host of gimmicks subsequent to a high resolution camera and HTC’s software powering the show. Over on the back is a 20MP camera with a dual tone LED flash next to it. There is another 2.1MP depth sensing camera above it. The UltraPixel camera is on the front and has a resolution of 4MP and a 1/3″ sensor size.
To cut the lengthy story short, the camera is not particularly special and certainly does not compete with the Samsung or LG competition. It takes passable photographs in good lighting. 1:1 inspection implies that the greens are principally smudged out in foliage. Noise control is quite aggressive as nicely.
Aside from the gimmicky method of changing the depth of field, you may also use it to add a variety of software based effects and cut aways that truthfully speaking, you will never use. The white balance is prone to being off as may be seen within the central picture. The camera also tends to overblow highlights drastically. The actual shocker however is low light photography where the phone is practically unusable. The camera is much from the selling point of the HTC One M9+ in our opinion.
The HTC One M9+ comes with Android 5.0 together with HTC Sense 7 user interface skin on top. Visually, Sense 7 is similar to Sense 6 however contains some new options including themes that change the entire look and feel of the smartphone. Another feature that the new software contains in Sense Home, a behaviour observe home screen widget that senses your location and provides applications based on where you’re, as well as utilization preferences.
For those who love customizing your phone, you will adore the Themes application. It let you edit all elements of the current theme, fonts, download more themes, wallpapers, ringtones and icon packs . It even enables you to create your personal theme. Sense Home is essentially stays as a widget housing a smart application folder that detects your location and shows applications according to your location. There is some room for enchancment when it comes to suggestions and the ability to learn your location. This functionality can be offered by some Android launchers so it is nothing out of the world.
Whereas the interface seems different from stock Android with only a few visual elements from Lollipop, we quite just like the Sense 7 interface. It does not look very different from that of the earlier model of Sense except for material design.
HTC One M9+ Review: Performance
The HTC One M9+ is a top of the line flagship device powered by a MediaTek chipset. Let that sink in for some time. A MediaTek chipset in a flagship product is exceptional and signifies a landmark change within the processor producer’s standing as well. MediaTek has thus far been recognized only as a provider of efficient, low price chipsets for entry level and mid vary products. The particular chipset being used within the HTC One M9+ is the MediaTek 6795T also called the Helio X10. It is a Full 64-bit octa-core CPU with clock speeds up to 2.2GHz & has been paired with 3GB of RAM. Free RAM hovers around 1300MB after an hour or so of idling, at fresh boot there is around 1500MB of free RAM. In real world utilization, the phone stays slick and smooth throughout the interface and even while playing resource intensive games. Indeed the smartphone is unremarkable in the truth that there is nothing negative to report regarding the efficiency of the handset. Benchmark numbers do disappoint a bit however they are not the be all & end all. The numbers put performance of the Helio X10 chipset somewhere below the Snapdragon 810 and the Exynos 7 Octa however suffice it to say that we never found the HTC One M9+ making an attempt to catch it is breath.
AnTuTu is an all encompassing benchmark wherein the handset scores 50089 factors. This locations it significantly behind the likes of the Sansung Galaxy S6 Edge and the Samsung Galaxy S6 which have 67533 and 69528 points respectively.
Within the GPU centric GFXBench test, the HTC One M9+ scores just 1078 points. This exhibits the underlying drawback with the PowerVR G6200 graphic cores and highlights how it lags behind the Snapdragon 810 toting competition. While it was not quite apparent during gaming or daily usage, we feel it could prove to be a hassle over time.
Battery life is quite a downer on the HTC One M9+. The 2840mAh unit is much from sufficient for a full day of active utilization. Active utilization of social media or simply media playback results in a steady loss of cost but it’s gaming that really depletes battery life in a hurry. In the perfect case scenario we managed to get a little over ten hours of utilization from the handset. We didn’t use the Ultra Power Saving mode which might cut off most connectivity and effectively turn the device into a feature phone.
HTC One M9+ Review: Specification
- OS: Android 5.0
- Body: 151 x 72 x 9.6 mm
- Weight: 168 g
- Display: 1440 x 2560 pixels, 5.2 inch
- Memory: 32 GB internal, 128 expandable, 3 GB RAM
- Processor: Mediatek MT6795T
- Camera: 20MP + 2.1MP, 4 MP secondary
- Battery: 2,840 mAh
The HTC One M9+ goes up towards tough competition, mostly within the form of Chinese phones that sell for half as a lot however supply similar capabilities. Its appears will turn heads and it feels really solid and hefty, however unfortunately it is not outstandingly good at anything. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Apple iPhone 6, for example, outclass it in just about every department and are both selling for quite a bit less. Contemporaries such as the Motorola Nexus 6 and Motorola Moto Turbo are additionally viable alternatives, as is the lower-priced Oneplus One.
The HTC One M9+ is sweet at looking good, however that is about where its appeal ends for us. We were hoping for HTC to emerge from its experimental phase with a winner, however that was not to be. Unless appears are your top priority, chances are you would be happier with one of the many out there alternatives.