The HTC One M9 was presented on March 1 , after weeks of crazy rumors. I had the opportunity to take it briefly in hand a few days later at an event organized by Orange and it made me want to see more. Chance does things well because OBS gave me a copy of the terminal at the beginning of last week.
It's no secret that the M9 was heavily criticized when it was launched. Many people actually criticized it for being too close to the M8. They weren't necessarily wrong, but HTC is not the only one to do this and it is not our apple-bite friends who will say the opposite.
Anyway, the terminal will stay with me for a while and this is rather good news because it will allow me to achieve different focuses on its screen, for example, or even its computing power.
A full test will then be published with a long video.
I will start at the beginning, referring to the technical sheet of the device.
The HTC One M9 has a 5-inch Super LCD 3 screen capable of displaying a Full HD 1080p type definition, and therefore 1920 × 1080. The Taiwanese manufacturer has indeed preferred to ignore the QHD, reserved for the ”+” version .
On the processor side, we find the very controversial Snapdragon 810. It is made up of two different clusters , and more precisely of four cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and four cores clocked at 2 GHz. All with a hint of big.LITTLE as a bonus, of course.
The RAM reaches 3 GB of RAM, with 32 GB of storage space. If necessary, it will be possible to extend it using a micro SD card (128 GB max) and this is rather good news for fans of big games, films and series.
The photo part is based on a main sensor of 20 million pixels. It's topped with a 27.8mm lens capable of opening at f / 2.2. Be careful because the latter has no stabilizer. The front camera gives pride of place to the UltraPixel, with a 26.8mm lens opening at f / 2.0.
Interestingly, the photo module is covered with a sapphire glass plate.
The terminal can connect to 4G / LTE type networks and it has an 802.11ac WiFi chip as well as a Bluetooth 4.1 chip. The NFC is in the game, the same for GPS / GLONASS and DLNA. We even find an infrared sensor and it will therefore be possible to control our equipment with our smartphone.
The M9's battery reaches 2,840 mAh and is compatible with fast charging. Otherwise, well know that the terminal is entitled to BoomSound with Dolby Audio behind.
Its dimensions are quite impressive (144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm) and its weight reaches something like 157 grams on the scale. Price side, you can find it around 640 euros at Amazon .
To summarize :
- 5 inch Full HD 1080p Super LCD 3 display.
- Snapdragon 810 SoC.
- 3 GB of RAM.
- 32 GB of storage + micro SD (128 GB max).
- 20 million pixel sensor, unstabilized f / 2.2 optics.
- UltraPixel front camera, f / 2.0 optics.
- 2,840 mAh.
- 4G, WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS / GLONASS, DLNA.
- BoomSound + Dolby Audio.
- Dimensions: 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm.
- Weight: 157 grams.
Design & Ergonomics
The HTC One M9 is delivered in a minimalist box, without any visual of the device.
Inside, the manufacturer has placed the terminal, a hands-free kit, a power supply unit, a synchronization cable, the usual documentation and an accessory to open the hatches of the device. The offer is pretty good, then.
The terminal is quite heavy in hand. It is also very imposing, but it is not really embarrassing.
The hull is carved from a block of aluminum and it has been anodized twice. The metal has been brushed on the back and polished on the sides. The finishes are really exemplary and the black “Gunmetal Gray” version is beautiful. Mind you, the others aren't bad either.
The ergonomics are quite traditional. All the physical buttons are grouped together on the right edge. The power button is covered with a pattern and can be identified immediately by passing the index finger over it.
The M9 has two hatches placed on each side. You will have to slide the SIM card and the micro SD card in before putting it in place. The micro USB port and the headphone jack are both placed on the lower edge. At the top, we will find the infrared sensor.
HTC has placed two grilles on the front of the terminal. They hide the speakers, notification LED and microphone. The screen is far from occupying the entire surface of the phone, especially since it is accompanied by a horizontal black bar on which is placed the logo of the brand.
From my point of view, this is the only notable flaw in the device. The rest borders on perfection and the HTC One M9 is without doubt one of the prettiest phones you can find today.
It is not in a few days that you can get an idea of a product and it will probably take me a few more weeks before being able to give you my opinion.
Aesthetically speaking, the HTC One M9 has nothing to envy to competing products. I even find it prettier than the S6 and the S6 Edge. It is more imposing than a Z3, it is true, but it at least has the merit of being well in hand and its finishes make it extremely attractive.
I had the opportunity to run a few games on it. The Snapdragon 810 does tend to heat up, but the latest patches have helped matters a lot. So much the better.
The main sensor leaves me quite perplexed, however. It is doing quite well but we are far from what the S6 Edge offers. HTC should have made efforts on the optics and on its openness. The front camera made a big impression on me, however. We must believe that the UltraPixel does not do so badly.
I haven't had time to dig into the overlay yet, however, so I can't tell you much more about this at the moment.
I will stop there for now. We end with the unboxing video which goes well.