HTC One A9 review
A remarkable phone that hasn’t hit the headlines
Just once in a while a great smartphone launches and slips by almost unnoticed. The HTC One A9 is one such phone and it’s a fabulous smartphone with superb features and the latest Android Marshmallow OS.
Read my HTC One A9 review to find out why this smartphone should be a contender for your next smartphone purchase or upgrade.
The HTC smartphone is very sleek looking with a trio of finishing tones applied to the super-thin metal frame. The HTC One A9 deals now available in Opal Silver has a brushed metal body that is accentuated with highly polished sides and Matt stripes that add character to the back face.
The Carbon Grey HTC One A9 has the same characteristics, with edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass protecting the 5” energy efficient display (1080 x 1920 resolution). This produces 40% more colour, compared to a normal LCD screen, making it an effective viewing platform, even under direct sunlight
The HTC One A9 is lightweight at 143g and slim with a body that is just 7.26mm thick, which would make it one of the top 5 thinnest smartphones. Powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core processor with 2GB RAM, the phone has a 16GB memory that can be expanded to dizzying heights with a 2TB microSD card.
Phone Set Up
The big news here is that the HTC One A9 has the latest Android Marshmallow OS, which until now has only been featured on the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. This OS allows the user to set up security with a fingerprint sensor, which is extremely practical, where a simple touch wakes up the phone and authenticates the user.
Marshmallow also delivers Now on Tap and although there is no set up needed for this, it is worth a mention here. Now on Tap is activated by making a long press on the home key and it then reads all of the information on the screen to prompt the user with suggested next actions. These could be the option to hear a song mentioned in a text, book seats in restaurant mentioned on a web page or get reviews of a movie mentioned in a blog.
The set up of the HTC One A9 continues with choosing a HTC Theme and setting up HTC BlinkFeed, where social feeds and news topics can be added to the home screen.
The first standout feature of the HTC One A9 is music and sound. A depth and richness not heard on a phone before is created by DAC, which converts 16-bit audio to 24-bit high-res 192KHz sound. This software is coupled with Dolby Audio Surround and a new high-output headphone amplifier.
In fact even the components on the circuit board have been placed to reduce sound interference and distortion. Should you wish to assault your eardrums in private then HTC Pro Studio earphones (sold separately) provide studio quality bass and high pitch sounds.
Camera & Video
The second standout feature on the HTC One A9 is the professional-grade camera. The 13MP camera has a highly transparent and scratch resistant sapphire cover lens and the camera can be operated in Auto or Pro mode.
Blur free results can be achieved in either shooting modes with Optical Image Stabilisation sensing hand movements within 0.125-milliseconds, from which the phone then shifts the lens in real-time to compensate.
RAW capture in Pro mode saves images in the format that professional photographers use. A RAW image keeps all of the image data in its original form and this can then be manipulated in precise detail with photo editing software.
Video at a quality of 1080p high-definition can be recorded and cool effects can be added through playback with slow motion or Hyperlapse, where up to12x playback speed can be used. For selfies a 4MP UltraPixel camera has been built in and the large pixels on this sensor capture more light for low-light situations.
The 2,150mAh battery performs well and offers up to 12 hours of video playback, 60 hours of music, 9 hours of Wi-Fi internet browsing, 16 hours of talk time or 18 days standby.
Although not included, the HTC One A9 works with Quick Charge 2.0 chargers and is forward compatible with Quick Charge 3.0 (scheduled for release in 2016). A Quick Charge 3.0 charger will be worth the investment for most consumers as it offers 4x faster charging, compared to a standard charger and is 38 percent more efficient than Quick Charge 2.0 chargers.
HTC One A9 verdict: This smartphone shouldn’t be overlooked as it delivers in three key areas that are always high on a shoppers checklist. There should be nothing holding anyone back from buying the HTC One A9 with the latest Android Marshmallow OS, high-res audio and professional grade camera.
Written by: Michael Brown