HTC One A9 Review

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HTC One A9 Review


Back in October, HTC debuted their latest flagship mobile device, the HTC One A9. It’s a smart phone that thrives to be sleeker and lighter while being able to take better photos than its HTC One M Series predecessors. This one is not just another step up from the M7, M8 or M9. HTC has taken a different direction with the A9, adding a fingerprint sensor, removing the BoomSound speakers, and changing how they handle usage with headphones. We had the chance to tinker around with it back when it was announced, but now we had the chance to hang on to one for the long haul – all for the sake of another in-depth phone review! Let’s dive into the HTC One A9.

Build and Specs

HTC One A9 Specs:

Dimensions 145.75 x 70.8. x 7.26 mm
Weight 143g
Display 5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p, Corning® Gorilla® Glass
Sound Dolby Audio™ with Hi-Res Audio
Platform Android™ 6.0 with HTC Sense™
CPU Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 617, Octa-core; 64-bit, 4 x 1.5GHz + 4 x 1.2GHz
Camera Rear: 13MP with sapphire cover lens, auto-focus , BSI sensor, OIS, ƒ/2.0
Front: Front camera: HTC UltraPixel™, fixed focuse
Memory / Storage 3GB RAM / 32GB Storage; MicroSD™ card up to 2TB
Sensors Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Motion G sensor, Compass sensor, Gyro sensor, Magnetic sensor, Sensor Hub, Fingerprint sensor
Battery Capacity: 2150 mAh with Quick Charge 2.0 support (forward compatible with Quick Charge 3.0 with future software upgrade)

The HTC One A9‘s external make is an obvious deviation from the HTC One M’ series of devices. Here, the A9’s metal frame is much more continuous throughout the phone, with plastics only existing on the top and on two thin strips that wrap around near the top and bottom of the phone. This metal casing, if you will, terminates where it meets the Corning Gorilla Glass screen. I give points here for the frame wrapping the screen as closely as it does, which almost completely eliminated that ridge seen in the HTC One M9. The phone feels more graspable and the drop in weight (from the M9) only helps in overall handling.

Much more than before, the (right) side buttons are easier to finagle with and discern from one another. The power button is well-separated from the volume controls and its ridges are quite profound. On the left side of the frame, you have slots for the SIM Card and the expandable SD memory card. The bottom houses your now-monaural speaker, mic, USB port, and 3.5 mm jack.

If you’re familiar with HTC’s M Series of devices, you’ll notice they moved away from the dual front-facing BoomSound speakers. A single speaker sits at the bottom of the HTC One A9 next to its new headphone jack. How is it “new”? Well, the A9 utilizes a high output amplifier and a built in DAC (digital to analog converter), designed to give you high-fidelity sound quality with use of your headphones.

To better understand the goal here, just know that analog signal is a closer-to-home representation of sound so ideally you’ll hear sound with more accuracy from whatever the source of it is. The amplifier’s intent to broadcast that sound stronger and louder so that you’ll appreciate the quality more. This is where owners of headsets with 40 mm drivers and over can take advantage here.

Ok, so the phone has a bit of an iphone-esque appearance. The introduction of the fingerprint sensor on the front of the A9 only drives that feeling home further. Some subtleties separate the two such as the placement of cameras, the logo’ing, and the difference in the fingerprint sensor’s shape. Yet, it’s still not too hard to notice a general similarity. That aside, the HTC One A9 has a fine look, build and feel. Easy to hold, hard to drop, and easy to look at. In terms of general and physical esthetics, it’s definitely a phone that shines, teasing you to show it to others.

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