The Galaxy S6 was launched in India recently, and boy is it ready to sweep the competition. The Koreans have struck fast and with intent as they look to get some of that market share that they lost due to the doomed S5. There is only one phone that can stand up to the S6, and try and stall its projected Booming success. Say hello to the HTC One M9.Touched-up and brushed-down, the HTC One M9 arrives spot on time third year in a row, looking like a celebrity and acting like a pro. There’s an engine boost and upgrades in both the camera and sound department to go with the latest Sense over Lollipop, packed in a gorgeous glass and aluminum case. HTC had played it safe so far with their ‘ One ‘ range of Flagships, but it looks like the Taiwanese have decided to go Full Throttle this time. If it wasn’t for the large square glass lens on the back, the casual observer would’ve been hard-pressed to recognize the new model. A minor, but welcome, tweak helps reveal the smartphone’s true identity. As for the haters out there who had slammed the M8 for its ridiculous power button placement, HTC wants you to know, that this problem has been rectified, and the power button now lies on the side. However, its not just the outside that is all Glitz and Glamour, HTC had made sure that the inside of this device roars like a Dragon as well. Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line chipset is backed by a bump in operating memory. The questionable UltraPixel camera has been moved up front, to make room for a proper 20MP sensor at the rear. It can even do 4K videos, a feature the One (M8) didn’t offer last year. I would have loved a bump up in screen resolution, it was not to be. Lets take a look at the M9 in a bit more detail –
Design – The HTC One M9 measures 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.6mm, which makes it marginally smaller than the previous onem9444.0generation’s 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4mm. There is a miniscule increase in thickness, but don’t worry, it goes unnoticed, while the new frame makes the phone seem slimmer and as a result, much sleeker in the hand. The device is a bit on the heavier side for a 5 incher at 157 g. HTC claims that they have actually shaved off 3g off the predecessor, all the while fitting a higher-capacity battery. The overall design may not be a complete facelift, but that doesn’t mean the M9 is not a looker. Rather, this new flagship , according to me , looks and even performs a million times better than its predecessors.The aluminum unibody remains unmatched for a third generation in a row in terms of both looks and feel in hand.
Display – The M9 features the same 5 inch screen as its predecessor, the M8. This display size has been called ‘ ideal by majority of the crowd, and HTC seems to have gone their way. Some of you who might be skeptical about this display, let me tell you what the 5 inch packs. It’s a high-quality IPS panel of 1080p resolution, which delivers 441ppi. While these are not record-breaking numbers, individual pixels are nonetheless indistinguishable to the naked eye, and HTC maintains QHD would be an overkill at this diagonal.The display is covered with the latest Gorilla Glass 4 for scratch and shatter protection. A dedicated glove mode can be enabled to improve touch sensitivity, but as always, that comes at the expense of battery life.
Performance – The M9 packs the new Snapdragon 810 Chipset, which utilizes an octa-core processor with four Courtex-A57 cores ticking at 2.0GHz and four Cortex-A53 clocked at 1.5GHz. The GPU in charge of graphics is the Adreno 430 and there is 3GB of DDR4 RAM to ease multi-tasking.The 810 chipset has been accused of quickly heating up, and Unfortunately, the M9 gives you a demonstration as well. The all metal body quickly became unusually hot when running a game or a benchmark, or even when browsing for a while. Whats more, the even phone even suffered a performance dip due to the overheating. HTC was quick to resolve this issue by streaming an OTA update which contained certain fixes to check the heating issue. The update does indeed work, and the phone takes longer to heat up, but heat up it does.I wouldn’t be surprised to see this device receive a change in chipset when the relatively ‘cooler ‘ performer Snapdragon 815 chipset hits the market.
Camera – HTC finally got its camera recipe right with a powerful 20 MP BSI sensor. The Dual camera has been shelved, while the OIS feature has been shown the exit as well. The absence of OIS will have a major impact, as all major flagships now ship with OIS on board. Lets leave aside the OIS for a moment, and look at what this new camera package is all about. We have a 27.8 mm wide angle lens with an aperture of f/2.2 and a sapphire lens cover. The sensor size is 1/2.3″ and the maximum resolution is 5376 x 3752 pixels.The camera does produce good quality pictures, but there is a niggling problem of background noise. This noise however, is not as bad as it seems. HTC have intentionally kept the setting that way in order to capture as much detail as possible.The Ultrapixel camera has been given its rightful place at the front of the device, and it produces some amazing selfies.As far as Video recording goes, HTC One M9 is capable of capturing 4K videos at 30 fps, as well as taking 1080p clips with 30 of 60 fps (Fast FHD).
Battery – The HTC One M9 comes with a 2840 mAh battery , which should last you around two and a half days if you do an hour each of voice calls, web browsing and video playback per day. The battery is almost 10% more than Samsung’s S6 flagship , but the numbers don’t really justify the accolade.
The HTC One M9 looks the part as always, and is a competent overall package. It simply doesn’t bring anything particularly new and exciting to the table. Latest firmware installed, benchmarks show performance on par with the best of last year. All in all, the HTC One M9, is a Rockstar, which looks to redeem its lost pride. HTC has gone out of its way to make this phone as future proof as possible , but there are still some glaring errors that they will have to address, in order to actually stand up to the big boys and show them that HTC is not down and out just yet.