Smartphone Reviews

HTC One M9: Australian Hands-On

Just because it looks the same as the last one, doesn’t mean it has to work the same as the last one, right? Here’s hoping. We’ve been hands on with the “luxurious” new HTC One M9 to find out.

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First of all, luxury is still a by-word for heavy. The sharper, stepped chassis with it’s oxymoronic dual-unibody design is lovely, but compared to the svelte new iPhone 6 and even the Galaxy S6, it feels positively monstrous in the hand. YOu can definitely say you lift if you use this phone day-to-day.

That being said, it is definitely nice to hold and use from a design standpoint. You can definitely see the care HTC has taken putting this thing together.

Whereas the last One had the looks but not the texture of a high-end device, the One M9 has both thanks to the stepped edges on the metal banding, dual texture finish and the brushed metal on the back. Not to mention the fact that your pride and joy will stay luxurious thanks to a scratch-proof coating that has been applied to the back cover. A lot of care has gone into this device.

But it’s not just form over function. HTC has opted for a powerful octa-core chip inside from Qualcomm, loads of RAM and even expandable storage: something Samsung doesn’t have this year, giving HTC the edge.

From a first look, Sense 7’s recommended apps pane looks a little complicated. People want the apps they choose on their home screen, rather than a machine choosing it for them. At least that’s how I use a phone. It is a learning app though that pushes new apps to you over time, so perhaps it will get better as you use it.

BlinkFeed’s newest upgrades to feed your mind with news, body with food recommendations from leading culinary apps and soul with friend updates is actually really great. I rolled my eyes when I heard it, but it basically just means BlinkFeed is getting better at connecting you with stuff you care about.

The camera is where it’s really going to shine, in my opinion. Ultrapixel was a great idea, but I’m so glad it has moved to the front-facing camera and not on the rear-facing unit anymore. It took a great shot, but doing any kind of zoom on photos taken at a resolution of 4-megapixels was painful. Now you have a whopping 20-megapixels to use, which is great.

We’ll learn more about the device in the review, but right now it feels like the phone we know and love all grown up.


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