HTC released the One M9—its newest flagship smartphone—on April 12 and reviews have been lukewarm, at best. While it’s a beautifully-designed and high-quality phone, the One M9 is only a slight improvement on the M8.
Why We Like It
There’s a lot to like about the M9. It features a number of improvements over the M8, including:
It Has Improved Storage Capacity, Processor and Speakers
One impressive feature of the M9 is its 32 GB of storage that are expandable with a microSD card. Most companies are making expandable storage hard to come by, so the fact that the M9 is capable of increasing its storage capacity is useful. The 64-bit quad-core Snapdragon 810 processor is also backed up by 3GB of RAM, which gives you a much quicker experience. Add to the excellent BoomSound speakers, which are placed brilliantly upon the bezel at the bottom of the screen, and you have an ideal phone for streaming, watching and sharing.
It’s Designed Beautifully
Encased entirely in two-toned gold and silver aluminum, HTC has created one sleek smartphone. Some might find the double-beveled edges on the outside awkward and cumbersome; In terms of design, it almost holds up to its predecessor, the M8.
The M9 comes with a nifty Themes app that lends credence to the idea that the more personalized a smartphone, the better. This particular app allow you to design your own UI—choose your own color pallets, textures and fonts, and even your icons will reflect your unique design choices. There’s even a location-sensing widget that suggests apps for you based on your location, whether you’re at home or on the go.
It Features a Colorful, High-Res Screen
Detractors are sure to find fault with the 5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel LCD screen—but it all depends on what side of the debate you’re on. Given the sharp, high-resolution and sleek UI, five inches works perfectly well for this phone.
Why We Don’t Like It
Unfortunately, despite its improvements, some of the following downfalls make the M9 a decent offering from HTC, but not one we’d rush to purchase:
Unsatisfactory Battery Life
The main qualm we predict that users will have with the HTC One M9 is the sub-par battery life. Even the most basic tasks (checking email, browsing, etc.) will significantly drain the battery within just a couple of hours.
Awkward Button Placement
In this incarnation, HTC moved the power button to the right side of the phone, right next to the volume buttons, which wouldn’t be so unfortunate if the buttons were indistinguishable from each other. This almost detracts from the phone’s overall sleek design, making the phone a little awkward to hold and operate.
Our Verdict: Cool, but not worth the upgrade
We’ve always been fans of HTC’s equipment design, but their software and battery life have left little to be desired. With the M9, HTC has taken a page from Samsung’s past with only minor upgrades from its predecessor. With all of the choices for Android devices, HTC really needs to buckle down and work on making a device that sets them apart from the competition.