If you ask HTC “Who pioneered this metallic with poly-carbonate antenna band look?”, they’ll say it was them. The HTC One A9 is proof that they are not afraid to show Apple who really pushed smartphone design in that direction. A lot of comments on this video will mostly likely say “why did they copy Apple”. Perhaps, they should say “why did Apple copy HTC in the first place?” Let’s take a quick look and mini review of HTC’s latest One device, the HTC One A9; a phone that isn’t afraid to show its origins.
The HTC One A9 is an interesting collection of design queues. For one, yes, it does look like an iPhone 6. But it also has some slight hints of say the Samsung Galaxy S6 on the front. And the somewhat odd placement of the camera right dead in the middle of the phone, gives the HTC One A9 a strange appearance. But it’s also one that speaks of quality. But it definitely raises some questions of design choices. People often mistake this phone for an iPhone. But HTC tries to cure that with two HTC logos—one on the back and one on the front. This is not brilliant in my opinion.
Up front, the A9 features a really gorgeous 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display. All the other HTC Ones have had LCD panels so it’s really nice to see an AMOLED panel join the party. And they’ve really done a fantastic job. You can instantly tell it’s an AMOLED panel by the color saturation, deep blacks and very bright colors. Though I do feel the display is somewhat dim when compared to Samsung’s finest panels.
Internally, the A9 is packed with a Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and thankfully, HTC has a microSD card slot right next to the Nano SIM slot for expansion. Battery-wise, it packs a 2150mAh battery with Quick Charge 2 technology and they also support Quick Charge 3. While the battery does sound small in size, the display being AMOLED and only 5 inches in size with a 1080p resolution, it should be able to get you through an entire day and that’s been the case every day so far.
Around the back, HTC has placed a 13MP camera and non-UltraPixel camera with OIS. It’s a backside illuminated sensor too, which should provide some really good, decent low light performance. And with the first few photos I’ve taken so far, the results are really good.
Software-wise, the HTC One A9 is the first official non-Nexus device to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Though it’s underneath the skin of HTC Sense, which hides its identity fairly well. Compared to your slew of Lollipop HTC devices from Sense, it’s almost impossible to tell. But you do get the benefits of those and other features from Android Marshmallow. Plus you do get something very important called Android Imprint, something HTC phones have messed around a bit in the past but it’s finally mainstream with this OnePlus 2-esque fingerprint reader that doubles as a home pad.
Overall, the experience of the HTC One A9 (so far) has been really good. It’s definitely not the fastest or the most powerful device around but it’s enough to call it a high-end mid-tier smartphone. But it definitely has stiff competition, like the Moto X Pure, the newly announced OnePlus X, and a whole lot more.