HTC’s BACK -- and this time it’s got a handset called the HTC One A9 that looks JUST LIKE the iPhone 6s
HTC has had a torrid time these past few years. Once the poster boy of the Android space and most people’s go-to brand for a decent phone running Google’s Android software, the company has, in recent times, been swamped by the competition and has, for all intents and purposes, completely lost its footing in the mobile space as well as the hearts and minds of consumers.
The HTC One M9 was a disaster; released to the market and forgotten about in the blink of an eye. Apple’s iPhone’s have been destroying the market for the past 18 months and Samsung returned to form with two stellar devices in the form of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 EDGE. Ditto for LG and, more recently, Google with the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.
But now HTC is back for another swing with the HTC One A9, a handset that looks pretty much identical to Apple’s iPhone 6 -- if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right!? And this is kind of an odd move for a company that, for the longest time, has prided itself on innovative design, excellent build materials and doing things slightly differently.
Is this the handset that’s going to save HTC? Does it matter that the company has ditched its trademark BoomSound speakers? Let’s find out shall we…
HTC One A9 Design & Specs
HTC has copied pretty much everything about the iPhone 6, right down to the antenna tracks running across the back of the handset. The shape and gait is similar, though the display isn’t quite as big or small as Apple’s handset, sitting in the middle of the two at 5in.
I like the way Apple’s iPhones look, so, by proxy, I quite like the look of the HTC One A9: it looks premium enough, is the first non-Nexus Android handset to ship with Android Marshmallow and it also has a very attractive price tag (£399 offline). I think HTC is going after the Nexus 5 niche here, delivering a product that looks and performs well without all the superfluous specs and hardware that warrant a higher price tag. Has the company given up on the high-end space? Potentially. But that’s no bad thing -- not when you’re doing handsets like this.
HTC says the One A9 runs Android Marshmallow with Sense. What this actually means is that HTC has stripped down Sense A LOT, removing unnecessary bloatware and features. Nobody likes bloatware and Android looks so good now most would prefer it left well alone anyway, so it’s good to see HTC is catching up with consumer demands.
Fingerprint sensor, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Motion G sensor, Compass sensor, Gyro sensor, Magnetic sensor, Sensor Hub
Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS
Bluetooth 4.1, Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4+5GHz), 3.5mm stereo audio jack, microUSB 2.0 port
Dolby Audio and Hi-Res Audio (Manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories)
13MP with sapphire lens cover, f/2.0 aperture, auto focus, BSI sensor, OIS, 1080p video recording
HTC Ultrapixel, f/2.0 aperture, fixed focus, 1080p video recording
Capacity: 2150mAh with Quick Charge 2.0 support (forward compatible with Quick Charge 3.0)
HD video playback: up to 12 hours
Audio playback: up to 9 hours
Talk time on 3G: up to 16 hours
Standby time: up to 18 days.
Premium all-metal unibody
RAW image capture
Hyperlapse video creation
HTC One A9 Camera
HTC has taken A LOT of flack for its cameras over the years, so with this handset it REALLY had to get things right. The HTC One A9 ships with a 13MP sensor which sits behind an f/2.0 lens and a sapphire cover. It supports OIS, which is great -- it’s been absent on HTC devices since 2013, if you can believe that! Unfortunately, there is no 4K video support, but you can shoot 1080p video on both the front and rear-facing cameras. Interestingly, the front-facing camera on the A9 is the same setup as the main -- UltraPixel -- camera on the HTC One M8.
HTC One A9 Release Date & Price
HTC One A9 launches the first week of November in Opal Silver, Carbon Grey, Deep Garnet and Topaz Gold. Word on the street suggests the handset will retail for $399 in the US and £399 in the UK. HTC has not yet confirmed pricing, however, so we’ll have to update you on that as soon as we hear more.