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HTC One A9 review

7.5/10 AVG.
RATING



7.5/10
Informr score
The HTC One A9 currently has an Informr score of 7.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 41 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Premium build and design
  • Good low light pictures
  • Screen has good color reproduction and sharpness

What's bad

  • Poor battery life
  • Lag and stutters during current-gen games and when opening some apps
  • Slippery grip
  • Copycat design

The HTC One A9 made waves not because of its price point, but because of its design. Reviewers and consumers alike note the design similarities between the A9 and the iPhone 6S. Both feature a brushed aluminum back, inset lines on the top and bottom and even a home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. Upon closer inspection, however, they did notice some subtle differences: it is slightly larger than the 6S at 5 inches, the edges are a bit squarer, and the camera is located in the center instead of the side. Regardless of whether HTC purposely cloned the iPhone or not, critics still agree the A9 is an attractive device. The one downfall of the design is its grip. Due to the flat back and metal body, experts had a difficult time with the grip describing it as one of the slipperiest phones they've used.

The 5-inch AMOLED display offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Experts didn't have any issues with it, but nothing particularly wowed them either. Despite not having QHD resolution, they had no problems with the overall sharpness and clarity of the display. On top of this, they add color reproduction was fairly accurate and unlike many AMOLED screens there wasn't any noticeable oversaturation. They describe sunlight legibility as decent though they add auto brightness mode could use a little work. Tech Radar sums up the display by saying, "It's not the best out there, but the upper limit of what we'd be happy to accept."

The A9 comes with a 1.5GHz octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. For the most part, this combination allowed reviewers to have a fairly zippy experience during most tasks. With that said they did run into some lag most noticeably when playing graphics-intensive game and when launching certain apps like the camera. Battery life is another issue, due to its small size of 2150mAh. Critics needed to charge it daily even with moderate use. The A9 comes in two flavors – 16GB or 32GB. While this might seem small, Android Marshmallow now allows external storage to be used as internal space, which means users have as much space available on their microSD card.

The 13MP main shooter for the A9 offers several features, most notably optical image stabilization. For the most part, reviewers describe its performance as decent but still not on par with the cameras on iPhone or Samsung phones. Still, their photos came out fairly sharp with colors skewing a bit towards the warm end. While they describe daytime photos as simply okay, they were more than impressed with low light images. Thanks to optical image stabilization technology, they were able to capture fairly detailed and sharp pictures.

Despite its positive qualities, reviewers have a difficult time recommending the A9 to anyone but HTC fans. Techno Buffalo states, "For someone who just needs a new Android smartphone? There are better options out there in the same price range." Gizmodo adds, "…do you desperately want an iPhone form factor with the versatility of an Android phone? Then yes, you should buy it…For most people, springing for iOS or…Nexus 6P will be the better option."


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
5"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


tech2

It’s inconceivable to spend this much on the A9 unless you’re a die-hard HTC fan who doesn’t mind a sub-par iPhone clone. The phone isn’t bad and at half the price, we just might recommend it.

- Anirudh Regidi, tech2
Reviewed

I went into this review not expecting a whole lot from the HTC One A9; its "me-too" design and midrange specs just don't live up to the its "low cost flagship" ambitions. Although it proves to be a perfectly acceptable phone in most ways, the A9 doesn't have the chops to justify its high price tag.

- Brendan Nystedt, Reviewed
Canadian Reviewer

The HTC One A9 is a solid and capable device, one that won't disappoint in terms of performance or functionality and which offers a truly different Android experience in a 5-inch smartphone. The design and execution showcases HTC's expertise in creating high quality devices even if the look and gene...

- Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla, Canadian Reviewer
Brighthand

It’s an iPhone clone, looking purely at the design, and it has a mid-range spec sheet. However, its top notch display make the HTC One A9 a better option than what the company has put out in years past. In fact, this is one of the best mid-range options, even though the battery and camera are...

- Dragan Petric, Brighthand
Fone Arena

The One A9 is definitely a bit costly compared to other smartphones in the range for the features it offers. The AMOLED display is brilliant, the phone has a solid build and also has a microSD expansion slot, but the battery life is not impressive. Even though the camera is good and has RAW support,...

- Srivatsan Sridhar, Fone Arena


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Screen Size
5"

The HTC One A9's screen size is 5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 Octa core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 7.0 Nougat) operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 4+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2150mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2150 mAh battery. HTC's performance ratings are 960 minutes, 540 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

One A9 Specs

Overview
Release date November 30, 2015
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/1700/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /850/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 7.0 Nougat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 Octa core 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.83 W/kg
Body: 0.68 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2150 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 720 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 540 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 960 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 18 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Carbon Gray, Opal Silver, Topaz Gold, Deep Garnet
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.6 x 7.1 x 0.7 cm (5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 143 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 440 pixels
Size 5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Panorama, Self-timer, Voice activation, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, MPEG-4, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
4+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, M4A, OGG, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, AVI, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Additional Sensors: Fingerprint sensor

Variation:

RAM: 2 GB
Internal Flash Memory: 16 GB
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
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