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HTC One ME Express Review: Another flagship, but more affordable

HTC One ME is actually the closest you can get to the original HTC One M9 which was never launched in India

Rating: 4 out of 5
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Updated: November 9, 2015 9:49:49 am
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HTC’s strategy now seems to be to carpet bomb the mid and high-end smartphone segment with as many models as possible. Of course, this means even the company might find it a bit difficult to keep tag on what it is selling. But the Taiwanese company has for sometime believed it is a good strategy to have flagships for different price points. So in the upper end of the shelf the company has the HTC One M9+ and HTC One E9+. Now, the company has launched the HTC One ME somewhere between these two devices.

HTC One ME
Rs 40,500

The HTC One ME is actually the closest you can get to the original HTC One M9 which was never launched in India. The HTC One M9+ was different in many ways, but the ME seems more like the M9 with a plastic body and a fingerprint reader. It is also a stylish device, especially the all-black unit that I had for review.

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Specs: 5.2-inch (1440x2560p, ~565 ppi) display | Mediatek MT6795 Octa-core 2.2 GHz processor | 3GB RAM 32 GB internal storage expandable up to 128GB | 20MP rear camera with dual tone flash + 4MP front camera | 2840 mAh battery | HTC Sense UI 7.0 with Android Lollipop

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What is good?
People will want to buy this phone just for the style quotient and I am convinced that is one reason why customers, at least some of them, don’t really mind paying a premium for HTC phones. The One ME has a matte finish rear panel that is good to hold and an extra large lens on it that makes people take note.

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The QHD screen makes everything look good, especially the photos shot on this phone. I am not a big fan of watching long videos on the phone, but this 5.2-inch display paired with the dual speaker and Dolby Surround sound make it ideal for those who like this small screen experience. Making phones sound really good is something HTC has really mastered over the years.

The 20MP camera is really good and really fast. It can capture really subtle shots and that is expected, given that HTC has been good with its cameras of late. But I was more impressed by the quality of the selfie shots. However, by default the phone beautifies these front camera shots a bit and you will need to switch that off to look more natural.

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The overall performance is really good and there is no lag or stutter. The phone does heat up a bit but not as much as the other flagships these days. The battery life is good enough to last a working day. I managed 12 hours on 4G which is an achievement.

What is not that good?
I like the HTC Sense UI as it is simple and intuitive. But the contacts app needs a bit of this intelligence to trickle in. I could not copy numbers from contact cards for instance. This is something I end up doing multiple times a day; not having a simple copy option was frustrating. Plus, I thought the app had to be much more intuitive when it came to search.

As I said before, the phone does heat up a bit though it does not breath fire like a Snapdragon processor. But when the heating starts, the phone loses battery life fast.

Should you buy? 

At Rs 40,500, this phone gives you everything you need from a flagship — style, processing power and great camera. So if you are looking for a top-end phone that ticks all the boxes then this is a good buy. If you don’t want to spend this much, then I still think the HTC One E9+ is the best value for money phone in this range from HTC.

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