The problem with getting totally hyped for new phones and religiously following every minor development is that we often end up knowing exactly what to expect.
The HTC One M9 launch didn’t deliver much – or indeed anything – in the way of surprises, but let’s not forget that this is still one of the best handsets – Android or otherwise – that money can buy.
HTC One M9 design
Design-wise, the HTC One M9 doesn’t stray too far from what we’re used to with the One M7 and One M8, but that’s because those handsets were – and still are – almost unanimously praised as fantastically sexy beasts.
As such, the HTC One M9 comes in a premium metal unibody, with colours including gunmetal grey, amber gold, and – the one we like best – gold front with silver rear. Fascinating.
Unsurprisingly, the popular front Stereo BoomSound speakers remain present, this time with Dolby Audio 3 surround sound, though we’re slightly disappointed that the HTC logo hasn’t buggered off, contrary to recent rumours. One particular source claimed it’d sit atop one of the front speakers, but clearly he was on crack and/or PCP. Still; good looking piece of kit.
HTC One M9 display
The HTC One M9 display will likely be the sole point of controversy here, coming in at 5in 1080p (1920 x 1080). To be honest, we were completely braced for this, and there’s a strong argument to be made that a 5in phone doesn’t need a higher resolution.
However, there’s no getting past the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S6 launch is now just minutes away (EDIT: Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge launch news here), and it’s expected to be QHD (2560 x 1440) – that’s almost twice as many pixels (2 million vs. 3.7 million).
We’d hoped the QHD HTC One M9 Plus (codename Hima Ultra) might soften the blow, alas there’s no sign. Question: does the One M9 Plus exist, and if so, when is it launching?
Anyway! Back to the matter at hand, the HTC One M9. Again, personally, we’re not too bothered about the 1080p display. It’s worth mentioning that One M9 battery life will benefit from the relatively modest pixel count, and it still has a significantly higher resolution than, say, the iPhone 6 at a comparatively laughable 750 x 1334. Indeed, the late Steve Jobs would’ve inevitably rolled his eyes at the One M9’s monstrous 441 PPI pixel density.
HTC One M9 processor and RAM
Moving under the hood, HTC One M9 processor duties are assigned – as expected – to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, making the One M9 one of the world’s first handsets with said processor. Paired with a generous 3GB of DDR4 RAM, we have no concerns whatsoever about One M9 performance.
HTC One M9 cameras
One of the biggest changes here, compared to the One M8, is the One M9’s rear camera. It’s goodbye to UltraPixels (introduced in 2013 with the One M7) and Duo Lens technology (debuted last year on the One M8), hello Toshiba-made 20MP sensor. It’ll be interesting to see how that compares to Sony’s 20MP rear camera magic; in the meantime camera aficionados can chew on the promise of an f/2.2 aperture, 26.8mm lens equivalent, and 4K video recording capabilities.
As for the HTC One M9’s front camera, that’s where you’ll find UltraPixels this time around, specifically on the 4MP shooter. It should be more than adequate for selfie silliness and video calling.
HTC One M9 battery
The HTC One M9 battery comes in at a generous 2,840mAh, which marks a step up from the One M8’s 2,600mAh juice unit. Again, with the resolution being “just” 1080p, you should be able to last a good while on a single charge. Specifically, HTC reckons you’ll get 21 hours of 3G talk time and 17 days on standby.
Incidentally, the larger battery possibly explains why the HTC One M9 is slightly thicker than the One M8 (9.6mm vs. 9.4mm), but that’s something we’re more than willing to accept. Arguably more importantly, the One M9 is ultimately lighter than the One M8 (157g vs. 160g).
HTC One M9 software
Needless to say, the HTC One M9 will ship with Android Lollipop 5.0 out of the box, with a slather of Sense 7.0, the headline feature there seemingly being a ship-ton of options for customisation.
HTC One M9 price and release date
The HTC One M9 release date is vaguely pencilled in for this month at some point, while One M9 price remains a mystery for now.
We’ll inevitably have more on HTC One M9 price and availability in due course, not to mention more on the elusive One M9 Plus.
For now, that’s the HTC One M9, finally a reality, and a rather glorious one at that. Is this the phone you’ve been waiting for, or will the Samsung Galaxy S6 knock it out of the park before the dust has had a chance to settle? By all means sound off below.