HTC One M9 First Impressions

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Expected price:52000
Launch: 01 March 2015

The HTC One M9, launched in Barcelona on Sunday, the company is carrying the One series forward, while addressing some of the problems of its predecessors, and we are not just talking about the dropped parentheses.

The HTC One (M8) had great ergonomics, but in day-to-day usage people often complained that the phone was too slippery. The M9 design acknowledges these problems, with the back and edges now featuring a coating that offers a little bit more friction than the M8, while still retaining its smoothness.

Specifications:
The HTC One M9 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64-bit SoC that’s been the subject of plenty of speculation due to the alleged heating issues. It comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage, which is expandable by up to 128GB via microSD card. HTC says 21GB of the storage will be user accessible, though our test unit showed 18GB of free storage when plugged in as a drive to our computer. The M9 features a 5.0-inch full-HD display and is powered by a 2840mAh battery, rated to give up to 21.7 hours of talk time on 3G networks.

Like the HTC One (M8), the M9 also comes with NFC, which was surprisingly missing from the HTC One (M8 Eye) (Review | Pictures). Other specifications are in line with what you’d expect from a modern flagship, including Cat 6 LTE support with speeds up to 300Mbps and Cat 9 LTE (450Mbps) in some regions. The phone also supports TDD LTE Band 40 used by Indian operators to provide 4G services.

Software:
HTC One (M9) comes with Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with the brand new Sense 7.0 UI on top. Custom user interfaces like Sense are always a touchy subject wThe M9 acknowledges this feedback from the get-go and bumps the rear camera to a 20-megapixel shooter that comes with a sapphire lens. The phone also drops the dual rear camera setup seen in the HTC One (M8) and HTC One (M8 Eye), so does that mean it’s the end of the road for the experiment? Definitely not, a company executive told NDTV Gadgets that the bigger 20-megapixel sensor left no room in the chassis for the second rear camera, hinting the depth-sensing feature will make an appearance on a non-flagship HTC smartphone in the future.

Camera:
HTC-One-M9-Camera-leak (2)
The M9 acknowledges this feedback from the get-go and bumps the rear camera to a 20-megapixel shooter that comes with a sapphire lens. The phone also drops the dual rear camera setup seen in the HTC One (M8) and HTC One (M8 Eye), so does that mean it’s the end of the road for the experiment? Definitely not, a company executive told NDTV Gadgets that the bigger 20-megapixel sensor left no room in the chassis for the second rear camera, hinting the depth-sensing feature will make an appearance on a non-flagship HTC smartphone in the future.

The UltraPixel camera hasn’t disappeared either; in fact it’s closer to you than ever before, quite literally. The One M9 comes with a 4-UltraPixel front camera that HTC hopes will translate into better selfies due to its low-light photography capabilities.

Verdict:
The HTC One M9 is all about refinements. The phone has been given an obligatory power boost, improvements to BoomSound, a larger battery and a change of focus on the camera.

The design is similar to the One M8, but tweaked enough to help it stand out and the screen has been kept the same size and resolution.

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