HTC One A9 Review

HTC One A9
The HTC One A9 features a super-thin metal frame with an elegant finish, expandable SD card memory and edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass.
$448 $569

HTC One A9 – Introduction

When HTC first introduced the One A9, the reaction was chiefly one-dimensional. The talk around this device has focused on its resemblance to Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6s, which is both fair and not. There is no denying the HTC A9 looks like an iPhone. Save for subtle differences; the rectangular fingerprint scanner and centered back camera, the phone screams Cupertino.

HTC One A9 – Design

HTC One A9 design

The HTC One A9 looks like an iPhone. There’s not a lot more you need to know about it, plus there will be a lot of other analyst getting rather annoyed about the fact it’s so similar. The again of the device looks and feels equal, the front bezel design is scarily close and the edges are rounded in the same way. In fact, it’s simple to say what’s not the same: the power button is jagged and much nicer to hit), the volume key is on the right-hand side of the phone and the headphone jack / mono speaker is swapped around compared to the iPhone 6S. HTC came up with the cut-out strips of plastic to enable a metal frame that can still get some connectivity.

The HTC One A9 is so, very well build, though. It feels like a dream in the hand and certainly won’t be subject to claims of bending anytime soon – this thing is amazingly rigid and feels premium.

HTC One A9 – Display

HTC One A9 display

The HTC One A9 comes with a 5-inch Full HD AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels resolution and 441 PPI pixel density. This is the first time that HTC is using an AMOLED display on one of its phones and let’s just say we’re glad that it did. The One A9 has a bright and punchy display with deep blacks, characteristic of AMOLED panels. At the same time, there will be occasions when colours tend to go slightly overboard with saturation which is also fairly common for such screens.

HTC One A9 – Camera

HTC One A9 camera

The 13MP sensor on the new HTC One A9 gives great photos, though, with loads of sharpness and clarity, plus loads of different modes to increase the way things can be shot if you feel like getting a bit more professional. For instance, there’s an RAW mode on there – this takes a few longer to take pictures, but really does give you the full experience – and can even automatically clarify such snaps without you needing to drag the snaps of the phone to a PC.

HTC One A9 – Software & Performance

HTC One A9 Software and performance

This is the first android smartphone to ship with Android Marshmallow, which is great news. It’s one of the best Android updates ever published. Features such as Google Now on Tap and Doze, which significantly reduces battery drain on standby, are just two of the brilliant new additions.

Overall, it’s an incremental update from Lollipop, with one exception: microSD cards can be connected as internal storage. This is probably why HTC added 3 GB of RAM to the 32 GB version. Without it, there’s no mind to use more for internal storage capacity. The phone doesn’t feature much crapware, which is a good thing.

The Sense UI isn’t that intrusive, and it features an interesting option for changing the home screen based on the user’s place. For instance, when at work, the One A9 home screen may feature productivity apps and work email, though at home it moves to entertainment apps and private messaging.

HTC One A9 – Battery

HTC One A9 battery

The HTC One A9 uses a 2,150 mAh non-removable battery. It’s one of the smallest batteries for a phone in this price range, but having such a skills in a 5-inch phone with AMOLED display and a mid-range processor (along with Marshmallow’s Doze) should seem sufficient on paper.

Most users will be able to squeeze out one whole day out of the phone, but it won’t be easy. Combined usage which included an hour of video playback, half an hour of GPU-intensive gaming, 45 minutes of basic games, phone calls (to the tune of 1 hour), some music streaming and YouTube playback along with some web browsing gave us close to 9 hours on the device.

HTC One A9 – Specification

  • Screen: 5in 1080p AMOLED (441ppi)
  • Processor: octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617
  • RAM: 2GB of RAM
  • Storage: 16GB + microSD
  • Operating system: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Camera: 13MP rear camera, 4MP front-facing camera
  • Connectivity: LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and GPS
  • Dimensions: 145.8 x 70.8 x 7.3mm
  • Weight: 143g

HTC One A9 – Verdict

HTC One A9 verdict

The HTC One A9 is like an iPhone 6 (or is that the iPhone 6S) running Android’s latest and greatest OS. The One A9 is easy among the best phones – at its price – to hold in your hand right now, it just feels so good. The display here is top-notch and performance is also fairly adequate. The One A9 is HTC’s best phone yet. It won’t kill the iPhone but it’s definitely a game changer for the company in question.

Note: The Price was given while reviewed this product.

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