The One M9 had to endure many jokes on the subject, still we un-ironically ask – HTC One M9, Hot or Not? HTC has polished its acclaimed design and leaped forward in the camera department with a 20MP/2160p shooter, while keeping what we love most about the One family – metal unibody and stereo speakers.
It took us a while to form an opinion on the new flagship, it’s a mix of excitement and let downs. We wanted to hear what you think about it, especially now that we gauged your opinion of its rival, the Samsung Galaxy S6.
HTC One M9 design
HTC calls the design “iconic” others call it “the same.” The thing is, it is a good design and we quite like the new dual-tone look, Silver/Gold mostly. Does the Gunmetal Grey look too similar to the previous generation? Is the Gold/Pink color combo a hit or a miss?
The lip that runs around the side of the HTC One M9 improves grip. That’s an improvement over the slippery One (M8), though we can’t help but think the M9 would have looked better without the black bars around (especially above and below) the screen.
HTC One M9 screen
Even if you feel the design has been updated enough, the screen has barely moved an inch. And it’s not an inch up either, our tests showed basically the same numbers as the One (M8) display. The size and resolution are exactly the same though.
Considering that 5″ 1080p screens were the hot stuff in 2013, does the HTC One M9 screen still hold up in 2015?
HTC One M9 performance
The source of the jokes we mentioned in the first paragraph – the Snapdragon 810 runs hot. It’s a fast chip, the Cortex-A57 and A53 cores make short work of difficult apps and the GPU is having a walk in the park with a 1080p screen.
As for heat, the chipset definitely warms up the phone during a gaming session (charging also heats things up). Still, metal is conductive and it transfers more heat from the internals to your hand than plastic would, making the problem seem worse than it actually is.
HTC One M9 camera
What does it say about the HTC One cameras from 2013 and 2014 when it is now relegated to selfie duties? The UltraPixel sensor does snap some fine selfies, while the main camera now packs a 1/2.3″ 20MP sensor to rival Sony’s top dogs, at least on paper.
Also, it’s HTC’s first camera capable of 2160p video capture. You can take a gander at the camera samples in our review to see how the camera performs in the real world.
HTC One M9 interface
Sense has reached version 7 and it’s celebrating with themes. Yep, you’re no longer locked in to what HTC designers though was the best look, you can change everything from icons to on-screen buttons either by downloading ready-made themes or by using a photo you took.
Sense is quite close to vanilla Android in many areas (say the notification area or app switcher), but there are still recognizable HTC customizations (like the lockscreen). We’re fond of the Motion Launch Gestures, once you learn them getting the phone from sleep to work is very fast.
HTC One M9 audio
The One family is synonymous with front-facing stereo and they are back. They haven’t changed, but they were very good to begin with. Less visible is the audio hardware hooked up to the 3.5mm audio jack – it’s perfect. You need a really good pair of headphones to hear the difference, but the One M9 will make it worth your while.
You have the week to cast your votes, we’ll tally them next weekend.