HTC One A9 review: Rejuvenation

Rejuvenation

GSMArena team, 28 October, 2015.

Introduction

HTC One A9 is not just a phone, it's a corporate rejuvenation. A9 is the boost HTC needs to swim out of the murky waters and claim its piece on the market. HTC may have outed a few very capable phones this year, but it needs a game changer, a statement that the king is still alive and kicking. But will the One A9 turn out to be everything HTC hopes it to be, or quite the opposite - a Pandora's Box of sorts?

HTC One A9 may seems like a departure from other One phones, but in fact - it's an evolution of the One M7. HTC flattened the metal unibody, thinned the profile and added a 2.5D front glass with curved edges following the recent trends. And there is the vivid AMOLED screen, the OIS camera and the microSD expansion slot - we won't object to any of that.

What's missing is the signature stereo speaker setup at the front - they were a major selling point of previous One smartphones. But keeping those speakers in the One A9 would have increased the AMOLED's bezels, which would have impacted the overall positive impression of a compact and beautiful phone.

Key features

  • Metal unibody with 2.5D front glass thin and light for its size
  • 5" 1080p capacitive touchscreen with 441pi; Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Snapdragon 617 chipset with a 4x 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4x 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 processor, Adreno 405 GPU, 2GB/3GB of RAM
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC Sense 7 UI
  • LTE Cat.7; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5GHz); Bluetooth 4.1; GPS; FM radio; NFC (payments only); microUSB 2.0 MHL port with USB Host and OTG
  • 13MP AF camera with optical stabilization with a BSI sensor; dual-tone dual-LED flash; 1080p@30fps video capture
  • 4MP fixed-focus UltraPixel front-facing camera with a BSI sensor; HDR; 1080p video recording
  • 16/32GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Dedicated headphone amp
  • Support for 24-bit, 192KHz lossless high-resolution audio

  • 2,150mAh battery

Main disadvantages

  • Non-removable battery
  • No IrDA port
  • No fast charger provided
  • Non-competitive price outside the USA
  • HTC may have a claim on the controversial design, but it isn't popularized by the brand

The One A9 seems like a proper mid-ranger, well equipped and thoughtfully targeted. The pricing in the USA has been more than attractive, but we have yet to see how the higher EU price will impact the sales. Hopefully carrier contracts and retailer deals would help it in the long run as at its current commitment-free price its odds don't look so good.

HTC One A9 HTC One A9

We have some mixed feelings about why HTC has put so much effort into a midrange phone and the only logical answer seems to be that the One A9 is merely paving the way for the company's big return in the flagship segment. But until we wait to see how things will turn out - let's put the One A9 through its paces. Maybe it will be the market share booster after all.

Reader comments

  • AnonD-392500

Why buy A9 while 10evo is better than this in every aspect?

  • Mmm

Htc one a9 has a very very very poor battry.

  • Anonymous

Most people complaining about performance are forgetting one basic aspect of computing - not everyone requires the highest performing hardware that's out in the market. You guys do have a computer at home, right? A real (ie, conventional) computer- a...