This is the HTC One M9, the sequel to the incredible HTC One M8; pretty much the phone that every Android lover praised last year. I bought this guy off-contract when it was first announced and I actually pre-ordered it right around the same time that the S6 edge was announced. But I never really used it much more than the initial first couple weeks I owned it. So I just wanted to revisit it and just see what went wrong and what needs to change for the next version of the HTC One M9.
For the HTC One M9, HTC went with the approach “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And in a lot of ways, that was not a bad idea at all since the HTC One M8 sold pretty darn well and it did get so much praise. But the M8 wasn’t a totally perfect device. There’s no such thing as a totally perfect device and there were some areas that should have been fixed and enhanced in the next version, that being the HTC One M9.
There are a few pretty big problems that I don’t like about the M9 that have been mentioned by others and not just myself. For starters, the hardware is essentially the same as the M8, which is not a bad thing at all. You have an amazing build quality that still rivals some of the best smartphones to this day as it has that beautiful aluminum body which just looks darn good in that gunmetal gray color. It’s so sleek and polished so much so that it’s actually very sleek and very easy to fall out of your hand.
On the front, we also still have that HTC black banner underneath the display and above the bottom BoomSound stereo speaker grille, which in my opinion just needs to go. I totally get the advertising aspect but it’s very unnecessary and it takes up a lot of precious space.
On the right hand side of the device, we also do have something funky going on. We have the Volume Up/Down buttons and the Power/Sleep On/Off button right next to each other, making it very confusing and almost impossible to distinguish them from one another unless you go off strictly memory. There is a tad bit of texture on the sleep button but not really enough to notice it. But with that said, it’s still much better to have the Power/Sleep button on the side than up top like it was on the HTC One M8 so it’s not all bad.
The biggest disappointment, in my opinion, has to do with the rear-facing camera. On paper, it sounds great. It’s a 20.7MP camera sensor with an F2.0 aperture and dual LED flash but no Optical Image Stabilization, which is a bummer. It’s also not a Sony sensor. It’s one of Toshiba’s most recent camera sensors. And to be honest, it’s not terrible but it is pretty bad compared to Sony sensors. Sony just makes better smartphone camera sensors and when you compare this sensor to the Galaxy S6 or even the new LG G4, it really does look bad. So my advice to HTC, let’s get a Sony sensor in the M10. That would be much appreciated.
On the software side of things, nothing really needs to be changed too much here. The personalized home widget, which gave you apps based on your location is kind of neat but it doesn’t work that well. You either use it or you don’t. The software, as a whole, is pretty elegant and it’s still one of the better skins on top of Android in my opinion. Of course, I prefer stock Android but the Google Play Launcher really does keep me satisfied and honestly, the HTC Sense UI isn’t bad at all.
The only issue that does relate a little bit to the software is the battery life. The HTC One M9 features a 2840mAh battery but it merely gets me through a full day of use. I’d like to see a larger battery and/or more battery saving improvements so I don’t have to worry about having to charge my device throughout the day.
So to sum it up, the HTC One M9 basically needs its camera refreshed. That’s basically the number one on my list, if you ask me. Hardware-wise, it’s still built like a take. It’s built very well and it doesn’t really need to change a whole lot. I would just say, HTC, please get rid of that black HTC bar and thin up some of the bezels a little bit and I’ll be a happy camper. Keep on rocking those BoomSound stereo speakers and that underrated microSD card slot.
With that said guys, those were my thoughts on the HTC One M9. Now that it’s been out in the market for several months now, it’s a good device. But with such strong competition, it really needs to be a great device. with that said, I want to hear from you guys, what do you like about the HTC One M9 and what would you change about it?