The HTC One A9 is one of the best choices you can make if you’re looking for a proper smartphone and don’t exactly aim for a flagship, settling for something cheaper, but also very decent.
This fella boasts a tempting package of features that include a 5 inches AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 617 chipset with a quad-core processor, a 13MP primary camera and a 4MP front facing one, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, a 2,150 mAh battery and more. The design has been slightly refurbished and is very alluring, having a thinner profile than its other HTC siblings, which is a neat improvement in my book. The handset’s price is also more than reasonable, so, if I caught your interest, keep reading and find out more details about it.
First things first, let’s take a look at it. The HTC One A9 stands at 145.8 x 70.8 x 7.3 mm and weighs 143 grams, being quite compact and very easy to manage for a handset that comes with a 5 inches screen. If you’re familiar with HTC’s smartphones, you’ll notice that their neat design with rounded corners is also defining the One A9, and is very welcome to do so, if you ask me, as I always enjoyed the elegance and simplicity it brings. Besides looking very classy, the aluminum unibody has an excellent build quality and can easily pass as an actual flagship. The metallic back has a matte finish that ensures a good hand grip and keeps away fingerprints and smudges. Also on the rear stand two plastic strips which are responsible for the signal (covering the antennas).
The frontal part of the handset is occupied by a 5 inches AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, a pixel density of 441 ppi and is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The image quality is stellar for a mid-ranger and will please your eyes with punchy colors, an excellent contrast and very wide viewing angles. This champ is also among the best when it comes to sunlight legibility.
Let’s see what’s cooking at the software department. The HTC One A9 comes loaded with the latest and greatest from Android, v6.0 Marshmallow, which has been customized with the Taiwanese’ Sense 7.0 interface.
Instead of relying on the power key, you can unlock the device by double tapping on the screen, swiping up or using its fingerprint scanner, which works like a charm. The lockscreen displays the time, date, weather information, four shortcuts towards the dialer/messaging/browser/camera and notifications.
The homescreen holds your shortcuts, folders, widgets and can be customized according to your liking. You can customize the interface with themes, which are also customizable and you can even create your own theme with pictures, fonts and the like and upload it in the Themes Store.
The notification area is revealed after a finger swipe from the top; a secondary or a double-swipe pulls down the quick toggles panel.
In terms of hardware, the One A9 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chipset, having a quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 processor and a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU and Adreno 405 GPU. The phone comes in two flavors, one with 16 GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM and the other with 32GB and 3GB of RAM. The internal memory can be expanded with a microSD card of up to 200GB.
Performance-wise, the handset does a great job and will handle daily tasks without hiccups. However, it may struggle if you want to play intensive 3D games.
At the photography department, the One A9 is packed with a 13MP primary camera that captures stills with a maximum resolution of 3096 x 4128 pixels, features optical image stabilization and a dual-LED flash for low light situations. The images produced will please your eyes with punchy colors, good contrast and a lot of details.
The video camera is also very decent and will produce some pretty 1080p videos @30fps. HTC offers a Hyperlapse mode, which is pretty neat.
For taking selfies, you have a front facing 4MP UltraPixel wide snapper.
Some other apps and features that come on board the One A9 and might interest you are Google Chrome, which offers a pleasant browsing experience, a document viewer and editor through Google’s suite, an FM Radio, a GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support and more.
The HTC One A9 is juiced up by a 2,150 mAh non-replaceable battery and will endure almost two days under a single charge if you use it moderately. The good news is that the handset has support for Quick Charge 2.0 and the future 3.0, but you’ll need to purchase a 9V fast charger for “refilling” its energy tank.