The HTC One M9 will more than disappointed when it was released in March. To make adjustments more quickly and reposition itself in this chaotic market, the firm is back with the One A9. After all, since the MWC, many actors have launched their new flasgship, Samsung and Apple of course with the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6S, but LG or Huawei Mate with the recent S for example.
In short, HTC could not really wait for the MWC 2016 to launch a new flagship. In early November, she offers us a flagship in turn, almost. The Taiwanese company presents the A9 as a high-end phone, but still positioned slightly below the M9.
Slightly, because we have always an aluminum dress, but a less powerful processor in the person of Snapdragon 617. It benefits however a new feature with the addition of a fingerprint sensor – strangely – absent from the M9. Thus, the entry ticket is quite high since it displays a 599 euros without subscription, which is expensive for a phone not completely upscale. Is the price justified in practice? Response in this test.
Design by Apple HTC
At the time of its announcement, the A9 has been criticized for its resemblance to the iPhone 6. Let us say right away, it is undeniable, whatever you pick up the phone, the uninitiated often also think it’s an iPhone. That said is it really wrong to draw one of the most successful design market?
For rendering is finally good or very good. The brushed aluminum is pleasant to the touch, the rounded brackets allow a good grip and do not hurt. The plastic strips necessary to let the waves are also more discreet than Apple devices, although HTC has kept a plastic strip on the upper edge of the unit. So obviously, the HTC One A9 looks like the iPhone 6, but finally a good point for this terminal.
The Taiwanese embarrassed in addition to a nice detail, carved sleep button. Attention to detail that makes us visible surprise us to see qu’HTC therefore saw no need to place the micro-USB plug at the center of the device, as the fingerprint sensor. This creates a disturbing shift, especially as there is room on the frame to move the loudspeaker to the left to put the USB port in the center. Strange. Still, as usual on the One range, the design is successful. Again, the firm rose to the level that tenors are the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 (S) on this point.
As a blue
The display is however a little disappointing. One for her A9, HTC abandons its traditional Super LCD panels in favor of an AMOLED screen. A risky move when not fluent in technology, something that has been seen recently on the S Huawei Mate for example.
HTC Among the passage is not particularly successful with AMOLED which tends to pull the blue, white and therefore who are therefore not really. It takes up much more flashy colors, even too flashy, it is a consequence of the use of AMOLED. There are many other color rendering mode, but it still seems worse, with a clear yellow. It will therefore remain confined to blue, which we get used anyway.
In addition to the record, we note qu’HTC offers a Full HD 5-inch, giving a resolution of about 440 ppi. The display is so precise and beacons almost. This diagonal risk however to impose a two-handed use for many and it is a shame to see qu’HTC mode does not provide “a hand” as do Apple and others.
Snapdragon Series 600
This is one of the main points of “deterioration” in relation to the M9, A9 embarks on a midrange processor: the snapdragon 617. At least in theory, because the application CPU- Z installed on our model says that we have a Snapdragon 615. It is possible that the application does not make a difference, the 617 is fairly recent. Anyway, everyone agrees that we have a processor consists of two sets of four Cortex-A53 ARM cores (which can all operate simultaneously) at 1.5 and 1.2 GHz.
A processor that cash without flinching what is asked for the most users it will be fine. However, as we lose in demanding games and a few framerate drops may occur. 3D performance which thus could have been better, but that is not necessarily damaging everyday, just like the Honor 7. noticed just a few laps at the launch of some applications, and is a bit more problematic. Fortunately we have seen much worse.
The advantage of not using a Snapdragon 810 as the M9 is a much lower heat. Always felt under the fingers, but it’s not annoying and that’s good. This chip a little less performance also allows to gain autonomy, aided by Doze more from Android Marshmallow. Enough to hold two days? Not really in the context of a traditional use, but there is all the same as the phone is in standby little discharge.
HTC, like Apple, a little stingy on the storage with only 16GB of which 6 are operated by the operating system. We must therefore be content with 10GB. Fortunately, this is a MicroSD slot for memory expansion. An SD Card on which we can store more applications through Marshmallow. This is significant, but it is not really because of HTC.
An optical stabilization welcome
Photo party has also been degraded compared to the M9, we have here a backlit sensor 13 mpx, however, that opens to f / 2.0. Like all current phones, no worries ahead when the light is good. The other good news is that the opening provides a relatively unobtrusive grain inside with a slightly worse lighting. The limits of the latter are being still relatively fast. We will therefore tried to flash appeal that, despite its different LED temperatures, tends to burn the foreground.
It may however fall back on manual mode that will allow experts to do their grub, and even take photos in RAW format. Satisfy us as to the presence of an optical stabilizer that limits blur during longer exposures slightly. It is always a plus. Finally, note the arrival of a Hyperlapse mode, decidedly fashionable, but notes, however, a little gimmick. Finally, there is the sensor before 4 mpx, selfies that will allow fans to flatter their ego, even if it does not make miracles.
The manual mode allows you to play with many options
Fingerprint Sensor well thought but poorly executed
New on the A9: the presence of a fingerprint sensor. Also fashionable thing and becomes a standard on most high-end phones, there were also his strange absence from the M9. The company prefers to place his own at the front of the phone, like that found on the iPhone and the Galaxy 6 S6, and unlike the HTC One Max, who had at the back. Good, the front remains probably the most logical and most instinctive instead.
The sensor proves effective and fast with relatively few mistakes. It also is the button “home” to return to home, but it is a pity he is not also a physical button always more pleasant to use than a touchpad. This is especially true here that just the touch for the “input” is recognized … which causes involuntary returns. We can happily disable this feature in the settings.
The sound seems to really not be a concern since HTC Beats made him lurch after the takeover of Apple. Here we have a speaker that will not come out of the ordinary. Nothing special about it, it lacks bass, as always. At least when the speaker is used. For those who use – good – helmets, HTC provides a DAC capable of outputting the high-resolution audio, 24-bit. Unfortunately, we did not test for lack of accessories able to honor these optimizations.
Expect lower prices
This HTC One A9 is it the iPhone 6 Android world. From a design point of view certainly. Again the Taiwanese company shows that it is able to compete with Apple in the field of design. It is unfortunate however to see that this is the only point where the phone really shines, though it is not new. Classics are classics for a reason.
Building on the design is one thing, but the rest must follow. However, apart from the design we have before us a machine with midrange performance for a price that is not. These pay 599 euros for a nice machine indeed, but without particular attraction seems excessive especially since it only includes 16 GB of storage.
The One A9 will undoubtedly become a better deal in a few weeks or months when it will be spent in the bar of 500 euros. We can then offer one of the most beautiful Android smartphones without breaking the bank too. The A9 will remain still for those who want above all a design phone, ready to make some technical concessions.