When I first saw the announcement for the HTC One A9, I have to say I wasn’t really all that impressed. Even briefly playing with it before its official release. I did like the overall feel but in that short stint it came and went in my mind. Speed forward a bit later and actually spending some time with HTC’s latest smartphone my mind has changed a bit. So far here are some things I enjoyed about the HTC One A9 and others that have bothered me thus far.
What I Like
The home button has a slightly different feel than others such as on the Samsung Galaxy and iPhone 6 series as it’s more a capacitive button rather than a physical one you press down on. Its response time with using your finger though has been flawless and I have to put it up there with the iPhone for its speedy unlock times.
HTC won’t leave expandable memory as know there is still a market for it and it’s appreciated. The A9 shows that smartphones can still be slim and have space to throw in a slot for microSD card expansion. Even better now is that with Android 6.0, that microSD storage can be integrated into your internal storage to act as one. With the way prices are for microSD memory it’s a great move on their part.
I know people are saying “it looks like a iPhone” and such but realistically HTC has been doing design builds like this for sometime and even reminds me of one of the first HTC phones I reviewed which was the HTC One S. In all it smooth finish feels great in the hand, love the cornered edges, and volume/power buttons. Size isn’t too big and can be slide in/out pockets with ease.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
One of the saving graces of the HTC One A9 may just be not how it looks but what lies beneath it. It’s one of the first smartphones on the market besides the Nexus 6P & 5X to incorporate Android 6.0 aka Marshmallow. Features such as “Doze” standby, Flex Storage, and Android Pay using the fingerprint scanner are some of the many standouts and if advertised could be used more then expected.
What I Don’t Like
Having used HTC smartphones ranging from M7-M9 and even the Desire EYE you can be easily attached to their usual front facing speakers bka BoomSound. In my opinion that was one of their saving graces on their devices realistically as no other smartphones would come close to the sound they were outputting. Sure “BoomSound” is supposed to still exist via using the headphones but it’s not the same frankly. Hope they return in their next flagship.
I know it’s a pretty small and slim device but having a 2,150 mAh battery is a killer to me. I feel they could beef it up a bit. Thankfully though HTC has implemented Quick Charge 2.0 and its use of “Doze” thanks to Android’s Marshmallow has been a god sent.
With a starting price point of $399.99, the HTC One A9 looked like decent great competition for the midrange market and coming up against some of the higher flagships. But when it was revealed that it would go up to $499.99 HTC puts itself up in uncharted waters as being too high for a smartphone with its spec sheet. With others such as the Moto X Pure starting at $399.99 and great flagships such as the Nexus 6P starting at $499.99 it’s hard to fathom their pricing methods.
Stay tuned as I will have a full on review of the HTC One A9 coming up shortly.