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HTC One A9 review: Is an iPhone clone that runs Android any good?

HTC One A9 review: Is an iPhone clone that runs Android any good?

Since I began reviewing smartphones (amongst different devices, tech toys, and, err, pups) years in the past, I’ve Been carrying two telephones on me. For the remaining yr It Can Be been my private iPhone 6 and a 2nd Android Telephone I Am reviewing. I’ve never puzzled an Android Telephone with my iPhone the way in which I did whereas checking out the brand new HTC One A9.

The One A9 is such an unabashed replica of the the iPhone 6 that I puzzled the 2 over and over again. I wasn’t by myself in seeing the resemblance; everyone I confirmed the Phone to stated it gave the look of an iPhone. The useless giveaways that It Can Be No Longer, after all, are the outstanding HTC emblems on the front and back.

HTC’s protection on the cloning accusations is that the One A9’s metallic design is the natural evolution of the design language that it presented with the One M7 in 2013. Even Though the iPhone 6 arrived a yr after the One M7, and has a metal physique and the big showy antenna bands that the One M7 had first, they do not appear and feel that Similar. For Example, HTC’s One M7/M8/M9 all have front-facing BoomSound stereo audio system and the iPhone would not, and the iPhone has a tumbler entrance that curves on the perimeters and HTC’s are flat.

Identical design apart, The Only motive you’re reading that is to seek out out if the One A9 is any good. After testing it out over the past week, I Would say, yes, It Is excellent, but No Longer flagship-stomping great.

HTC One A9

HTC One A9 (left) and iPhone 6 (right).

Image: Jhila Farzaneh/Mashable

There Is No hating on the One A9’s design. I Love my iPhone 6 and the One A9 is virtually as gorgeous. The One A9 has the identical stable steel unibody frame, similar palm-hugging curves and comparable curved glass Display. The Power button is thoughtfully textured so that you just won’t confuse it with the volume buttons which might be put above it. I Am keen on the home button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. I like it greater than the iPhone 6’s TouchID sensor because you do not want to wake up the Phone’s Display first, just position your finger on the sensor and the Telephone unlocks and authenticates in one go.

So what do I Not like? It Is unlikely to hassle the general public, but I dislike how the Micro USB port, speaker holes and headphone jack on the bottom of the Cellphone all skew to the appropriate aspect. It’s Going To sound like I Am nitpicking (and maybe I Am), but these are the little small print that bother you while you start Using a product as non-public as a Phone all day, everyday.

HTC One A9

HTC One A9 (top) and iPhone 6 (bottom).

Image: Jhila Farzaneh/Mashable

It presentations a scarcity of attention to detail. I say this, to not assault HTC, however as a result of Katherine Kim, the One A9’s lead designer, informed me her staff spent an inordinate quantity of engineering effort to get the camera on the back perfectly middle-aligned with the HTC emblem.

Looks Like iPhone, runs Android Marshmallow

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The One A9 runs Android 6.Zero Marshmallow with HTC’s Sense skin.

Picture: Jhila Farzaneh/Mashable

Right Through my preliminary impressions of the One A9, I said the 5-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) show was once Quite dim. My assessment unit was totally different. Although it used to be nonetheless in point of fact difficult to view the Screen outdoor, the Screen is bright and sharp indoors. Harsher critics and enthusiasts will bemoan the entire HD decision and beauty why HTC hasn’t moved as much as a better decision QuadHD display, but I’m a realist and entire HD is more than ample on a Telephone.

In The U.S., the One A9 is HTC’s new flagship Android Phone and replaces the poorly-got One M9, despite Not having flagship specs. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor is not going to beat out any flagship phones with sooner 808 or 810 chips on benchmarks and even examine with regards to 3D gaming, nevertheless it’s powerful sufficient for normal smartphone utilization — and it would not overheat (a tremendous issue the One M9 suffered from).

HTC One A9

At The Least which you could amplify the storage with a microSD card.

Image: Jhila Farzaneh/Mashable

The One A9 comes with 32GB of internal storage with 3GB of RAM (there may be also a model for different areas with 16GB of inside storage and 2GB of RAM). I Can’t discuss for the 2GB of RAM adaptation, however the 3GB of RAM One A9 I examined treated tons of apps very smartly. Storage growth is but an affordable microSD card away and supports as much as 2TB, Even Supposing that capacity isn’t one thing that you can actually buy.

HTC’s beforehand of the game on the instrument front. The One A9 is likely one of the first smartphones, out of doors of the new Nexus telephones, that runs Android 6.Zero Marshmallow, the most recent version of Google’s cellular working device. As always, HTC’s sugarcoated Android with its own Feel pores and skin. If You’re conversant in Feel at all, you’ll really feel in an instant at Dwelling. The Feel Dwelling widget that makes use of your place to show completely different apps for when you are at Home, work and out, is similar because it used to be on the One M9. And HTC’s subject matters app is existing, too.

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HTC Experience’s theming app.

Android Marshmallow could also be a big number liberate, however lots of the modifications are ones that work in the back of the scenes. The Primary new features similar to revamped apps permissions and Google Now On Faucet (long press on the house button to look within an app) are, as I stated in my Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P assessment, nice, but Not precisely groundbreaking (As A Minimum, Not but for Now On Faucet). Doze, any other below the hood feature that turns off historical past tactics when the Phone’s idle to increase battery life did not seem to give the Telephone’s puny (for an Android Telephone) 2,A Hundred And Fifty milliamp-hour battery an enormous boost.

HTC One A9

Google Now on Tap is not somewhat highly effective enough but.

Picture: Jhila Farzaneh/Mashable

Battery life was weaker than I had expected. The Use Of the One A9 normally as I Might my iPhone 6, I used to be all the time worried and looking for a charger Round 6 p.m. On most days, I take my iPhone 6 off the charger at Eight:00 a.m. and it might probably go unless Round 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. before dipping under 10%. That stated, the One A9 does have one useful trick: Fast Charging Three.Zero, which permits you to quick juice it up from 0 to 80% in 35 minutes, which is a pleasant plus.

So-so cameras

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Image: Jhila Farzaneh/Mashable

By Way Of now, you might be most definitely studying this and thinking The One A9 Looks As If a good bundle, but how are its cameras? As we all know, HTC’s ex-flagship One M9 had a pair of completely cruddy cameras compared to the stepped up competition. Quite than toughen the lowlight efficiency and Image high quality, HTC just upped the megapixels.

Better, but Not incredible. That Is how I Might describe the photographs that got here out of the One A9. On the entrance is a Four-megapixel UltraPixel digital camera, the person who was once on the back of the One M7 and One M8. Silly selfies look excellent, but They Give The Impression Of Being Higher from the iPhone 6S, Galaxy S6, and Nexus 5X, all of which have 5-megapixel entrance-going through cameras. Even the iPhone 6’s 2-megapixel camera selfie digital camera regarded a hair sharper. The Only factor I in reality appreciated concerning the One A9’s selfie digicam is its wider container of view — excellent for squeezing in more pals right into a selfie and getting in more historical past surroundings.


Round back is the 13-megapixel camera with optical Picture stabilization and a twin LED flash. The camera module is larger than the iPhone 6’s, however it even protrudes out of the back in the same manner. The One difference is the digicam is situated Within The center and No Longer In The nook like on iPhone.

Photographs appear good, Despite The Fact That the colours are a bit too muted for my liking. They looked nice on the Cellphone’s full HD Reveal, however No Longer in point of fact so sizzling after I checked out them on a computer Screen; the Photos weren’t nearly as sharp and had been blurrier around the edges. However, how many individuals Look At their smartphone Images in full decision anymore?

HTC One A9 outdoors

Full 13-megapixel Images are cropped to 4:Three side ratio. By Means Of default, the digital camera is set at 10-megapixels in 16:9 facet ratio.

Image: Raymond Wong/Mashable

HTC One A9

Photographs seem to be sharp on the One A9’s full HD Display, but zoom in A Hundred% and you start seeing how unsharp they’re. Look At the dust on these toys, Though!

Image: Raymond Wong/Mashable

Lowlight Pictures had been a lost lead to and I Discovered the autofocus struggled onerous to lock on, inflicting many % to come back out blurry and smooth.


Lowlight Photographs with the One A9 are not too sizzling.

Picture: Raymond Wong/Mashable

The Most unexpected camera feature is the “Pro” mode. Just Like The LG G4, that you may shoot UNCOOKED recordsdata and tweak all handbook settings from ISO to shutter pace to white steadiness to exposure. For Picture geeks like me, It Can Be awesome.

HTC One A9

The HTC One A9’s Pro mode is principally manual mode.

Not relatively a flagship

HTC has balls — actual balls to promote a Telephone that so closely resembles the iPhone 6. The Corporate is right in that it was the first with the unibody design/again antenna design, but as I stated in my fingers-on, being first does not matter. From the customer’s point of view, the One A9 is a replica of the iPhone 6. The similarities are too glaring.

HTC One A9

Picture: Jhila Farzaneh/Mashable

That Doesn’t make the One A9 a bad Telephone — It’s a just right Telephone, but Now Not a perfect one. Certainly No Longer a flagship contender Within The digital camera and efficiency department.

The One A9 has a premium-type design and a very good fingerprint sensor, but at $499.Ninety Nine, it’s also possible to spend somewhat additional and get a flagship Telephone. Or use that $499 and get the larger and faster Nexus 6P, which has Better cameras and runs a stock model of Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

HTC’s timing appears to at all times be off. If You Are lucky sufficient to pick it up for $399.99 (sale lasts until Oct. 30 Within The U.S.), I Might say the Phone is an effective deal, as long as you realize you are No Longer getting a flagship-performing tool.

HTC One A9

the nice

Sleek metal design Quick and responsive fingerprint sensor Runs Android 6.Zero Marshmallow easily with 3GB of RAM Professional digital camera mode that shoots UNCOOKED recordsdata

The Dangerous

Average cameras with poor lowlight HTC’s Experience 7 pores and skin needs to move Vulnerable battery existence Screen is tough to see outdoors Nexus 6P is a better purchase for $500

the underside Line

HTC’s One A9 has a flagship-helpful design, but the remainder is only so-so.

Bonus: HTC One A9: A Snappy tour

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