HTC is turning innovative in a weird way. Why, because they have recently released a smartphone which is the latest successor to their flagship device, HTC One M9.
HTC One A9 is that device, an iPhone look-a-like device with a pretty great design. On paper, the One A9 feels like a device between the mid-range and the high-end smartphones, yet it has a very solid build quality and fits nicely in hands.
It also comes with a lot more enhancements than seen on many other devices, it’s being rumored to retail for a price of around 30K INR and one of the disappointments on this flagship is that it doesn’t come with HTC BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers.
Another of the quirks about this device is that it comes with a relatively small battery capacity, and only time and prolonged tests can tell how long will the device last in day-to-day extreme usage conditions. So let’s have a closer look at what the One A9 has in store for you.
Table of Contents
HTC One A9 hands-on review, details:
The overall design of HTC is like iPhone, which is a little annoying in a cute way. The back of the phone has a separate strip at the top which consists of a camera and LED Flash, just like the iPhone has and the edges are rounded the same way.
Apart from that, the power button is pretty smooth now, the volume key is on the right-hand side and the jack is at the bottom.
Even the home screen key is somewhat placed similarly to iPhone only. Though we would have loved something originally created, cutting edge too, when it comes to design, we are a little disappointed.
But the device feels great in the hands, rigid and sturdy. The dimensions are 145.8 x 70.8 x 7.3 mm (5.74 x 2.79 x 0.29 in) and it weighs about 143 g which is pretty light.
HTC One A9 comes with an AMOLED 5.0-inch display. The resolution is 1080 x 1920 pixels (~441 PPI pixel density) and protection is there with Corning Gorilla Glass 4.
One of the best things about the display now is HTC Sense UI which has been upgraded into a more Google-based UI. The new notification shade is now almost identical to shades available with Nexus phones, making it another plus point for this device.
There is Google Now on Tap, which is supported through the home button and is a great addition to this device. Though it will be a little slow in the beginning but will soon start understanding your needs and will become more intelligent with time.
Overall, the display and interface are average but not great because some of the important things are missing. The Android design is leaning towards more of a stock Android experience, Mail and Music have been dropped from the system and there is a limit to customization as well.
There is still a lot of improvement needed to compete with existing devices in the market but Blink Feed and other customizations still make it an overall pretty good phone!
Performance & Software:
The One A9 is packed with Qualcomm MSM8952 Snapdragon 617 with Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 and Adreno 405. That said, the performance is pretty great.
Multitasking is smooth and the phone hardly lags at any place. It also comes with Android Marshmallow out of the box making it the first non-Google smartphone to come with Android Marshmallow out of the box apart from the Nexus line.
The experience was pretty smooth and Doze is expected to significantly improve standby times on this phone.
The HTC One A9 comes with a 13 MP main camera power packed with optical image stabilization, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, and a 4MP front UltraPixel selfie camera which has 1080p@30fps, HDR, 1/3′ sensor size, 2µm pixel size.
We loved the improvement in performance after much criticism of the previous device.
Here’s a full HD video sample taken from the front camera:
Also, picture quality has also improved significantly. We like the RAW mode where you can sharpen the images taken in RAW format without transferring them to some other app or device.
Though it will be a little slow in the beginning, but works smoothly once you start using it frequently. The camera focuses well and clicks good pictures in low light as well.
Here’s a full HD video sample taken from the primary camera of the One A9:
A 2150mAh battery can scare users! That too fitted in a very small area. We would have really liked some improvement in the battery segment as HTC is considered one of the worst battery management devices.
With judicious usage, the phone may work for a day, but with normal to heavy, the battery will drain in 4-6 hours. The only savior here seems like HTC’s built-in optimizations and Android 6’s battery-saving features.
But true long-duration tests will reveal how long can it actually last in real-world conditions and we will update that information as soon as we do our full review of this device!
Here’s a full hands-on review of the HTC One A9:
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