Back in July 2014, IT News Africa reviewed the HTC One M8. The device scored rather high during the review process. Fast forward to 2015, and we have now set our sights the latest smartphone offering from HTC – the HTC One M9.
Much like the HTC One M8, the HTC One M9 offers up a superior build quality as well as an elegant design. When looking at the device, you can clearly see that it has been crafted with precision. The device features a full metal casing that is not only durable, but also extremely attractive.
To add to the elegant design, HTC has moved the power and volume buttons to the right hand side of the device. While this may not make much of a difference to most smartphone users, the repositioning of these buttons feels more natural, whether using the device with your right or left hand. The HTC One M9 also fits quite neatly into the palm of your hand and does not come across as bulky or uncomfortable to handle.
A lot of device manufacturers have decided to go with a glass back cover on their device’s; however, if these devices are dropped the glass shatters or splinters, which can often lead to hefty replacement cost if the device is not covered by any warranty or damage protection policies. By having the full metal casing, not only has HTC protected the internal components of the device, but also alleviated the stress and strain of having to replace or repair a glass back cover. Granted, if the device is dropped from a fairly high distance it will dent or scratch, but due to the superior build quality it can take a hefty knock in order to damage the full metal cover.
While the full metal cover protects the internal components, it does not seem to offer too much protection to the rear camera. Granted the rear camera features a sapphire coating for protection and durability; however, it also protrudes slightly – which makes it the first point of contact if the device is indeed dropped and impact is received on the back of the device. Apart from this, the actual rear camera is one of the best smartphone cameras on the market at the moment. HTC has moved away from the confusing specs that the HTC One M8 featured, and have gone with a straight forward 20.7 Megapixel rear-facing camera. The front-facing camera comes in at 4 Megapixels and performs extremely well in low light conditions. To add to the high spec rear-facing camera, it can also record 4K video (3840×2160)… while the front facing camera can record in full HD (1920×1080).
HTC has once again proved that front-facing speakers are the way to go. The HTC One M9 comes with a 5-inch display as well as dual front-facing stereo speakers, which direct the sound towards you… rather than away from you. Additionally, HTC has teamed up with Dolby to create a rather immersive surround sound experience, which can be heard with or without headphones while playing music, games, or while watching YouTube videos.
Powering the HTC One M9 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, which consists of 4 x 2.0GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz cores – according to HTC. The device also comes with Android Lollipop, and has a on-board storage capacity of 32GB – which can be expanded upon upon with a microSD card. The device also features 3GB of RAM in order to run things smoothly.
The HTC One M9 also features a great user interface, which is easy to manage and runs rather smoothly. One notable feature is the Sense Home widget, which adapts to your location, as well as places your most used apps on your home screen. This makes it a little less taxing when searching for apps that you use regularly. Additionally, the phone tends to work out your location. So, if you are home it will display the apps you use the most at home… or if you are at work it will display the essential day-to-day productivity apps that you may use whilst on the job.
When it comes to battery life, the HTC One M9 falls short slightly. During the review process, we found that with quite a fair amount of use the device needed to be charged at least once a day. Additionally, the device would heat up rather quickly if too many apps were used at once, which meant that the battery was taking strain.
HTC has once again proved that it can produce a high quality device that comes with all the bells and whistles. Not only is the HTC One M9 a beautifully designed device, but it is a device that is solid a willing to take a knock. While the HTC One M9 looks great… it also performs well too; it is just unfortunate that it tends to heat up fairly quickly while multitasking.
The device also features great call quality while making and receiving calls. During use, calls were clear. This may vary depending on the network; however, during the review process we found no fault with call quality and sound.
Overall, HTC has once again produced a smartphone that is essentially near perfect. The HTC One M9 is set to launch in South Africa in June 2015.
The HTC One M9 was reviewed by Darryl Linington