HTC had been among the worst hit by the advent of the value for money Chinese smartphones. Though known primarily for its stylish high-end phones, the company was making an impact in the Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 segment where it had some good devices. But that is also where the Lenovos and Qikus are making a big dent. Now, HTC is trying to make an impact with the HTC One A9, a phone that looks like the iPhone but costs half as much.
HTC One A9
It is hard to miss the fact this phone has more than an uncanny resemblance to the Apple iPhone 6s. On closer look, you see the fingerprint scanner which is not circular like the iPhone. But this also means the A9 is one stylish device, one that people will want to take a second look at. That is something we have come to expect from HTC.
Specs: 5-inch (1080x1920p, ~441 ppi pixel density) AMPLOED display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 (Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53) | 3GB RAM | 32GB storage | 13MP rear camera, 4MP front | 2150 mAh battery | fingerprint scanner | Sense UI based on Android 6.0 | HTC One A9 full specs
What is good?
Yes, this is one of the most stylish Android phones around and sports a build quality that no plastic phone can offer. On the right side of the metallic body is a unique rough grip home button which I loved. The phone also fits in your hand perfectly, a rarity these days.
The phone has a superb camera, one that offers crisp and clear images every time. But what I liked most was the natural colour reproduction. Very impressive. HTC cameras have been generally very fast and so is this one. In my books, this camera is right up there with the Qiku and OnePlus Two. The phone offers a good PRO mode and a very rare hyper lapse mode.
The phone features a 4MP Ultra Pixel selfie camera, which is among the best in the market at the moment. I was impressed by how good the photos appeared even in low light.
The A9 is a smooth performer and does most stuff without any issues. In fact, the phone has a benchmark score close to the LG G4, which still has a lot going for its sheer performance. Thankfully, the phone does not heat up even when you are gaming.
Given the size of the phone, it is good to see that the 2150 mAh battery lasts well over 12 hours. Yes, you will need to carry a power bank along just in case it drains out.
What is not that good?
This is the sort of phone where you struggle to find serious flaws. However, despite the phone being among the first to offer Android 6, the HTC Sense UI hides most of the design elements. And that is not all that good for Android lovers.
The HTC One A9 does not come with Boomsound, and that is something people love about HTC phones. While the audio quality is nowhere near what you would get on phones with dual front facing speakers, the A9 is still one of the best sounding smartphones you can buy.
Should you buy?
Yes, if you love HTC phones and would like to carry a stylish phone around. This phone has lot of competition right from the Qiku Q Terra to the Google Nexus 5X and from that perspective the A9 might seem a bit overpriced for some buyers. At the moment, however, it seems a decent premium to pay for some extra style factor and a great camera. But go for the 3GB/32GB version if you want to take maximum benefit.