I have to admit I was skeptical when HTC announced it was going to release two new versions of the already underwhelming M9. This move comes as a gamble considering the successor to the phenomenal M8 proved to be such a negligible upgrade. The Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer has since released the M9+ (main flagship) and the E9+ (secondary flagship). After messing about with the E9+ for a while, I’m glad to say the gamble paid off. Albeit, barely.
The HTC One E9+’s first noticeable upgrade is the Quad HD display. This was an absolutely necessary step up from the M9’s Full HD display. For those who are wondering, this means that the E9 has a higher pixel measurement (1440×2560) and pixel density (538 ppi). In English? Your daily dose of TV shows while commuting to work will now be enhanced with incredibly sharp images.
We’ve all been in that situation where we find ourselves cupping the bottom of our phones in futile efforts of hearing the audio. Diagnosis: downward facing speakers. The E9+ has the edge over rivals such as the iPhone 6S and the Samsung Galaxy S6 here because of its dual front-facing speaker, the HTC BoomSound™. Paired with high fidelity sound, we are amazed that such a minor detail can prove to be such a major convenience.
In a highly aggressive market, smartphone cameras have to prove themselves or risk fading into the night. The 20-megapixel rear camera on the E9+ is satisfactory at best. Although it manages very sharp captures, it struggles to focus in low light conditions. The front-facing HTC UltraPixel™ camera on the other hand, seems to be more adept at taking brighter pictures. It also comes with a beauty mode called Live Makeup which can assist in making you resemble a porcelain doll- if that’s your thing (no judgement).
The HTC One E9+ is definitely a welcome step away from the M9. Although there is much room for improvement, it delivers on the promises it makes as an inexpensive phone with relatively high-end specs. That being said, the E9+ may even be a more worthwhile buy than its flagship sibling, the M9+. Apart from the Nexus 6, the E9+ remains to be the contender to beat in its weight class of inexpensive yet effective phablets.
The HTC One E9+ dual sim is available in Gold Sepia and Rose Gold at M1 and all major retailers at a recommended retail price of $698 (without contract).
More information on the HTC One E9+ dual sim, including a full list of accessories, can be found at www.htc.com