HTC One A9: First Impressions of latest HTC smartphone in India

By Prasid Banerjee | Published on 26 Nov 2015
HTC One A9: First Impressions of latest HTC smartphone in India

The HTC One A9 may be an iPhone lookalike, but it has some things that are distinctly HTC. The smartphone has a 5-inch 1080p display, expandable storage up to 200GB and a 13MP rear camera.

There’s not much about the HTC One A9(₹ 24999 at amazon) that inspires confidence. That is, till you take the phone in your hand. There are things about the phone that reminded me of the HTC we have all known and loved.

Don't get me wrong, there’s no denying that it is an iPhone lookalike, but while the iPhone’s design includes rounded edges, the A9’s sides are ever so slightly rectangular. It doesn’t accomplish much in terms of ergonomics, but it makes the phones design a distinct mix of the One M8 and the iPhone 6/6S. Yes, the HTC that made the M8 was known for ‘original’ designs, but its designs were loved because of the little things.

The little time I spent with the phone told me a few other things about it. First, the rear camera on this phone is better than what I’ve seen on the M9 Plus or the E9 Plus. Second, despite HTC’s Ultraselfie marketing tag, the front camera softens images too much. The lights at the demo zone were uneven and quite low, so I’d like to take a second look to be sure, which will happen soon enough.

The phone also has a 5 inch 1080p display, which looks good enough on first glance and I couldn’t find the pinkish hue that I saw on the M9 Plus’ display. The 5 inch display though, combined with the rest of the design, makes for what I like the most about the One A9, and that is how compact the phone is. With the sea shift towards a 5.5 inch and bigger displays, the market has been overrun with phablets. Even HTC announced a phablet alongside the Desire 828, which is considerably large device.

Not once, while I looked over the phone, or twirled it around in one hand while shooting a video, did the One A9 feel bulky or unwieldy. If you’re a compact phone lover, then this is one of the few phones in the market that you can choose from, and amongst the compact ones, it may be the best looking one according to many.

The One A9 though is not a flagship in true sense, meaning that it lacks a top of the line processor. We don’t know much about the Snapdragon 617 SoC right now, but we do know Qualcomm’s not pushing this as its flagship processor for the year. In addition, the A9 has a 2150 mAh battery, which is also somewhat troubling. While the company explained that it has tried to provide a full day’s worth of battery life through software tricks, I’m not quite convince till I see the phone over a longer period.

It’s a fact that barring Microsoft’s Lumia phones, smartphones have traditionally not been battery friendly. So, the brute force method of putting the largest battery possible seems to be the way to go, until something better comes along. Yes, a larger battery doesn’t guarantee good battery life, but it works somewhat the same way as the megapixel counts in cameras. The number of megapixel may not guarantee quality, but they do play a role.

Overall, there are things about the HTC One A9 that many may like, and the fact that it’s an iPhone lookalike is just one of its properties. Will it revive HTC? Given the right pricing it might, but that’s another thing that you can never be sure of when talking about HTC.

HTC One A9 Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Release Date: 11 May 2017
Variant: 32GB
Market Status: Launched

Key Specs

  • Screen Size Screen Size
    5" (1080 x 1920)
  • Camera Camera
    13 | 4 MP
  • Memory Memory
    32 GB/3 GB
  • Battery Battery
    2150 mAh
Prasid Banerjee

Trying to explain technology to my parents. Failing miserably.

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