What is the HTC ONE A9?
A plethora of websites will tell you that the HTC One A9 is probably one of the best iPhone imitators out there, and I can’t help but agree. Don’t get me wrong, this phone is a delight to use but the similarities it shares to Apple’s creation are too hard to ignore. Nevertheless, the A9 is made for someone who wants a mid-range smartphone that looks high-end but still has impressive specs.
SIZE: 145.75 x 70.8. x 7.26 mm
DISPLAY: 5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4
PLATFORM: Android™ 6.0 with HTC Sense™
PROCESSOR: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 617
13MP with sapphire cover lens
f/2.0 aperture, auto focus, BSI sensor
1080p video recording
INTERNAL MEMORY: 32 GB
EXTERNAL MEMORY: microSD up to 2 TB
First things first: I absolutely love the design of this phone (even though it’s so reminiscent of the iPhone). The aluminium body gives it a welcome luxurious feel while its size is perfect for anyone without abnormally large hands. After using a phablet for the past year and a half, I’ve grown tired of not being able to fit my brick of a smartphone into my pocket. The subtle curves on the back of the phone also ensure the A9 fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. However, one design aspect I find unappealing is the capacitive touch home button. While it may be faster than most fingerprint scanners around, tactile people like me miss the satisfying click of a mechanical button.
Performance and Software
The performance on this phone is great thanks to the Android 6.0, or Marshmallow (check out the features of this OS here). Also, with a 3GB RAM and a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 617, this phone is pretty fast. Not the fastest out there, but smooth enough. The interface is rather basic, but that’s what I like about it. HTC has opted to use most of Google’s apps rather than force their own on users.
Now this is what most people are concerned about these days, what with the need for great Instagram and Snapchat captures. At 13 MP with an f/2.0 aperture, relatively quick auto focus, and OIS (which the iPhone 6s lacks), it makes for a pretty decent camera. The pictures below are taken from the A9 and the iPhone 6s respectively. As you can see, while the A9 takes pictures with decent exposure and punchy colours, the iPhone has edge when it comes to detail and contrast. Yet again, this comes down to the user’s preference, but keep in mind the iPhone costs a significant amount more.
Taken with an HTC One A9
Taken with an iPhone 6s
The front camera is not bad either, if you prefer the beauty mode look.
Those of you who’ve owned HTC phones before will know that battery life tends to be a bit of a problem. With the A9, this issue is a little more concerning because the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer has swapped the 2850 mAh battery for a 2150 mAh one. This probably has to do with the phone’s super slim body. However, with the improved efficiency of the Android Marshmallow, this may be a smaller issue than anticipated. We’d still suggest having a portable charger ready if you’re anticipating a full day out.
The HTC One A9 is a sleek smartphone with impressive specs and a price tag that won’t make your jaw drop. However, with the A9 costing more than the Samsung Galaxy S6 (and the S7 on the horizon), it begs the question of whether this smartphone is worth the buy.