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HTC One A9 Review

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HTC One A9 Review

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HTC is ready for its comeback and to help the Taiwanese company back on the tech map is their brand new One series phone the HTC One A9. This year has seen some major handsets from the company, but with all the backlash in their choice of chipsets in the HTC One M9 plus and pricing of their portfolio along with the sheer delay in launching phones, has left prospective HTC owners with a sour taste. We purposefully waited for HTC to reveal the price before concluding our Review. So that we could include it as a major factor for this review.

 

Overview

The HTC One A9 does what HTC has been trying to do for a while, make a fantastic all metal phone for a considerably affordable price without letting go of important specifications.

The HTC One A9 is a Snapdeal exclusive in India and has been launched for Rs. 29,999 . You can buy one here : SnapDeal

HTC One A9 Review 8

Build Quality and Hardware

The all metal back and the overall design of the phone is familiar. The HTC One A9 resembles the iPhone 6/6s or vice versa. Whatever be the case the handset looks good and is available in a wide gamut of colours and options for the market however in India it has only been launched in the Gray and silver colours.

The phone is built extremely well and feels excellent in the hand, The rounded edges of the phone mould into your palms and make the hard metal feel smooth and soft to hold. The design is striking and the HTC One A9 is made so most of its pressure areas stay protected.

HTC One A9 04

The bezel is beautifully matched with a curved edge front glass curves, which in itself is a Gorilla Glass 3. It should be noted that, Hardware wise HTC does lose out to the competition. The biggest let down for a consumer is specs on paper, when compared to the high price of Rs. 29,990 the specs do not match up. A Snapdragon 615 chipset is today found in phones that cost under 10K, so is 2 GB of RAM and a 5 inch display.

No one is giving points to HTC for the 2150 mAh battery or a Full HD display. The AMOLED nature of it is well appreciated and so is the brilliant fingerprint scanner that HTC has basically done a fantastic job with. All of this hardware doesn’t matter when it comes to the experience of the HTC One A9 which we will detail below. For those who are specification NERDs your review stops here. Move Along!

Specifications

HTC One A9

Display 5.0 inch AMOLED
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8952 Snapdragon 617
CPU Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU Adreno 405
RAM 2GB/3GB
Storage 16GB/32GB expandable up to 200 GB
Rear Camera 13MP 1080p@30fps
Front Camera 4 Ultrapixel Camera 1080p@30fps
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 2,150 mAh battery
Operating System Android Marshmallow
Connectivity 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot, Bluetooth v 4.1, GPS, NFC
SIM Nano-SIM
USB microUSB v2.0
Price Rs. 29,999

Performance

In all entirety what HTC is trying to do is simple. HTC phones are designed beautifully and work really well. I recently met someone who was still using an HTC One {M7} and was very happy with the handset, still happy with it!, Its almost 2016 for christ’s sake!

The phone comes with Android 6.0 out of the box, one of the not so many in this range that have the ability to say that. HTC has worked really hard into giving an experience that does not leave you disappointed. The company is trying to pull a cheap “Apple”, they want to give you the best experience, they do not want you to worry about “specs” and they want to do it relatively cheaper than Apple.

The problem with that logic is, that most who are non Apple Sheep, prefer to know what horse power is under the hood of their Android powered sedan. In that context, problems and bugs are often blamed on the hardware.

However, this is where HTC scores an epic WIN! From picking up your phone in the morning to keeping it away at night, you literally have no issues, slow downs, or crashes. This is what you are paying for, more than you should, but that is it.

Games work really well, so do day to day tasks. Multitasking is liquid smooth, and so is the intense processing in some of the many camera features bundled with the handset. The HTC One A9 is what you need to be looking at, for basically not worrying about using a smartphone. The temperature is controlled beautifully and the phone does not heat up or become uncomfortable to use.

Camera, Multimedia and Display

The camera combination on the HTC One A9 is a 13 MP main camera and an UltraPixel front camera which is roughly 4 MP with their large 2µm pixel size. The front camera miss autofocus, which honestly is not expected in this price bracket.

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The rear camera shines when clicking images, the colours pop the dynamic range is excellent and focus quick. The camera is exceptionally fast and has zero shutter lag, something that HTC has done well in the past. The contrast and colour on the HTC One A9 is their best yet and the images really speak for it. You will find yourself clicking a lot of pictures, and video too, although many in this price segment offer 4k video. With the HTC One A9, you are still stuck at 1920 x 1080p video although with OIS, which offers good stability and sharpness.

The display is a AMOLED display which is appreciated by a lot of people for great colours and deep blacks. The viewing angles may not be as much as an IPS display, but AMOLED displays make for great media consumption.

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The HTC One A9 is missing Boomsound speakers and the quality of sound that we are used to from HTC devices. The audio experience from the headphones is excellent and will the throughly enjoyed. Even though HTC no longer embraces Beats audio , some of the tweaks are present in the device and improve the audio experience.

HTC One A9 01

Software and UX

HTC has managed to pull a bunny out of the hat, the Android 6.0 out of the box means many owners will cherish being on the latest OS, which is traditionally not the case with HTC. Apart from the Nexus 9 , most HTC devices are late to the latest Android party, in this case however HTC made an exception.

The UI is HTC Sense and works extremely well between the grid style icons and new blinkfeed. The Camera application is highly improved and quick to open and click pictures with. Nifty UI improvements make navigation quick and easy getting used to. You will still get all HTC personalisation features and easy migrate which will move you from any other phone to the new HTC One A9.

Quick and intuitive the software has been beautifully synced to work with the hardware on the HTC One A9 and it shows in the usage of the handset.

HTC One A9 08

Networks and Battery

The HTC One A9 supports all major LTE Bands in India and works flawlessly on Airtel throughout its covered regions. Network dropped wherever other devices would drop it too. It does do a better job of holding on to the call while in transit.

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Battery life is the one major question, while in most cases battery realistically drain out by 8 hours of use, sometimes it was much longer as much as 12 hours of use. The phone tends to last longer when it is not hunting for networks, and whereas this is the case with most phones, the HTC One A9 manages to last considerably longer if you are on Wi-Fi.

 

Function

Time

Talk Time 4.5 Hours
Music 10 Hours
Internet on LTE 5 Hours
Internet on WiFi 8 Hours

Conclusion

HTC made on hell of a phone with the HTC One A9, to add to possibly the strongest lineup of handsets for any company. But, just like many devices in the past the price does not seem to do it justice. While HTC phones are built to last, and look and feel great, have impressive UIs and software experiences along with hardware that is top notch and engineered to work well with their software. All of which you see on the HTC One A9, but since there is no calculation for experience of using a handset, the price will be truly the biggest letdown of the handset, and the only issue worth considering.

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The HTC One A9 offers a user experience which is easy to forget about, because it does not bother you. HTC has finally understood what people want, but do they want it from HTC ? That may be real question. The HTC One A9 paces through the day of a modern consumer who is on the go , a slim and lightweight package, built well and around a smooth user experience, from software to customer service. One of the best phones in this price bracket and truly one worth your hard earned money.

The HTC One A9 is a Snapdeal exclusive in India and has been launched for Rs. 29,999 . You can buy one here : SnapDeal

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About The Author
Bharat Nagpal
Founder and Chief Editor of iGyaan. Bharat likes to keep on top of technology ! Follow Him on Google Plus : Google+
11 comments
sid3091
sid3091

Any idea if contest of champions will run smoothly on this? 

Jdm Aarav Raj
Jdm Aarav Raj

Thankx...say about headphone sound quality whenever u use ..

Saia Zote
Saia Zote

With that price tag,I think they could have given better internals

Yadwinder Beri
Yadwinder Beri

Have not used the headphones yet...battery backup is good and no lag in playing games

Jdm Aarav Raj
Jdm Aarav Raj

What about battery back up..and game runs smooth ???

Jdm Aarav Raj
Jdm Aarav Raj

Is that charger inbox supports quick charging...Hwz the quality of sound in headphone...is that headphone in the retail box is of good quality

Humza Siddiquie
Humza Siddiquie

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Kumarjit Kumar
Kumarjit Kumar

Chipset is nt tat good. Its generates lot of heat.