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Up until recently, Apple and Samsung were the names that mobile buyers shopped for. HTC is somewhat of the new kid on the block, but given the huge success of last year’s One M8 model, we were expecting big things from the new M9. And we weren’t disappointed. The M9 is stylish and powerful too, everything that a real top end mobile should be.
What do you have to look forward to? So much! A way better camera, some serious power, incredible sound quality, and, of course, beautiful, sleek, HTC design. If you’re in the market for something special, then the HTC One M9 could be just what you’re looking for. This is an awesome top of the line device, and well worth the investment.
Essentially, the HTC One M9 is a refined version of the M8 model. It’s still slim lined, with a gently curved back, making it sit snug and firm in the hand. But the edges have been sharpened a little, giving them better definition and making the phone seem less slippery. Then there’s the addition of a scratch resistant coating, that both protects the M9 from damage and also makes it feel a little more robust.
Underneath that stylish casing there are some very nice internals indeed. Octo core processing power gives the M9 plenty of oomph, and the rear facing camera is a huge improvement over that on the M8. Add in awesome sound quality thanks to Boomsound speakers and you’re looking at a truly stellar piece of tech.
HTC have really become a name to watch, and the One M9 is everything that it should be and more. This is a real HTC device, with great design and tons of power, and yet it lacks many of the flaws of earlier incarnations. If you want a great, top end phone, and you’re willing to make an investment, then the HTC One M9 is a real must have.
We’ve already mentioned the M9’s octo core processing power, and this is a seriously powerful phone. Under the hood are two quad core processors, a 1.5 GHz unit and a 2.0 GHz one. There’s also a full 3 GB of RAM. All that adds up to a speedy, responsive device that’s amazing at multi tasking and running multiple processes.
The M9 is an Android hand set, as we’d expect from HTC. In this case you’ll be running the new Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. That means the familiar customisation options and intuitiveness that we all know and love. But it also means a few new features, including improved graphics, stability and security.
Performance on the HTC One M9 is really second to none. It’s simply excellent, no matter what you’re doing, even if that’s CPU intensive high end gaming. If you want something that’s lightening fast and instantly responsive, then the One M9 is going to suit you down to the ground.
The older One M8 model had an excellent screen, and that’s probably why HTC have really done nothing to change things on the M9. It is a five inch display, so there’s a lot of space to play around in, and on screen typing is comfortable and easy. Reading full web pages is a breeze too, with little scrolling or zooming.
Resolution numbers aren’t amazing, we have to be honest. It’s a 1080 x 1920 pixel display, giving you about 441 PPI. But even compared to high HD screens, the picture quality on the M9 is sharp and clear. Plus, it’s an LCD3 screen, so colour reproduction is great and viewing angles are wide as well.
If you’re looking for a good picture, then the M9 definitely has one. It’s not a 4K screen, nor is it as high resolution as phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6. However, we found it tough to tell the difference when we put these phones head to head. Picture quality on the M9 is great, and more than good enough for most users.
We’ve complained a lot about HTC cameras in the past, but this time we have to hand it to them. The cameras on the M9 are a huge improvement over past HTC models. At the front you’re getting a decent 4 MP camera. For internet worthy selfies and Skype or video calling that’s more than enough resolution.
At the rear the M9 sports a full 20.7 MP camera, so you’ll get plenty of detail in your pics. There’s also a dual LED flash, which results in better and more natural colours during low light conditions. And then, of course, there are the usual features: panorama, face recognition, auto focus and HDR. One nice tweak is that the rear video cam can snap pictures at the same time as it’s recording video.
This is maybe the first time that serious mobile photographers have had the opportunity to grab an HTC phone, and the M9 simply takes great pics. Whether that’s selfies or full on nature panorama shots, you’re going to be thrilled with the picture quality from the M9.
Yes, the One M9 is loaded down with special features, and we can’t mention all of them. But there are a few special mentions that we really have to make. The M9 does have NFC, which is a good thing as digital payment systems are growing in popularity in the UK.
Sound quality is as amazing as we’ve begun to expect from HTC. Not only are you getting their signature Boomsound speakers, but you’re also getting Dolby sound as well. That means clear treble and solid bass, both through the speakers and through headphones. The M9 is a great hand set for music lovers!
Lastly, we’ll admit that the M9 doesn’t support wireless charging. However, it does have fast charge tech, which will give you 60% battery power in just thirty minutes. Plus, a larger battery upgrade means that the M9 gets over twenty hours of talk time per battery charge, so frequent charging shouldn’t really be an issue here.
|Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|Dimensions||144.6 x 69.7 x 9.6 mm (5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 in)|
|Weight||157 g (5.54 oz)|
|Type||Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||5.0 inches (~68.4% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 1920 pixels (~441 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 4|
|- HTC Sense UI 7.0|
|OS||Android OS, v5.0.x (Lollipop)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810|
|CPU||Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57|
|Card slot||microSD, up to 128 GB|
|Internal||32 GB, 3 GB RAM|
|Primary Camera||20.7 MP, 5376 x 3752 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash|
|Features||Automatic simultaneous video and image recording, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, HDR, panorama|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps, HDR, stereo sound rec.|
|Secondary Camera||4 MP, 1080p@30fps, HDR|
|Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||v4.1, A2DP, apt-X|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS|
|Radio||Stereo FM radio with RDS|
|USB||microUSB v2.0 (MHL 3.0 TV-out), USB Host|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Messaging||SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email|
|Java||Yes, via Java MIDP emulator|
|- Fast battery charging: 60% in 30 min (Quick Charge 2.0)|
|- Google Drive (100 GB cloud storage)|
|- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|- DivX/XviD/MP4/H.264/WMV player|
|- MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/FLAC player|
|- Document editor|
|- Photo/video editor|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 2840 mAh battery|
|Stand-by||Up to 391 h (2G) / Up to 402 h (3G)|
|Talk time||Up to 25 h 20 min (2G) / Up to 21 h 50 min (3G)|
HTC might be a relative newcomer on the high end phone market, but they definitely know how to make a splash. The HTC One M9 is everything that a flagship phone should be: fast, powerful, loaded with features, and good looking to boot. And it helps that HTC have learnt from their mistakes, many of the flaws we noticed on the M8 model have been fixed on the M9.
Connectivity wise you’ll get the usual: WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G and 4G. In terms of internal memory you’re looking at 32 GB built in. But there is an SD card slot, and you can add up to 128 GB of extra external storage, which should be enough for most users.
Bottom line time. Any complaints? Only niggly little things. We don’t like non removable batteries, but we can deal. A little more screen resolution would be nice, but the M9 actually stood up pretty well against higher resolution devices. There’s little we’d change about this device, it’s a brilliant mobile. If you want a high end phone, then the HTC One M9 is a killer choice. All the power you could want in a beautifully designed body.
by Dan Forster, Mobile Phone Expert
Dan is our mobile phone review expert helping customers make better buying decisions. With a passion for technology and taking things apart Dan single-handedly reviews all the phones listed on the TigerMobiles.com website.