HTC One A9 review: Rejuvenation

Rejuvenation

GSMArena team, 28 October, 2015.

Feature-rich phonebook

The People app groups the call log, dialer, favorites, contacts, and groups in tabs, which can be reordered or removed. A dropdown allows you to filter contacts by source - stored in the phone, coming from an online phonebook or a social network.

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The phonebook

Individual contact info is displayed in tabs too, a Sense tradition. The first tab shows basic contact info like phone numbers, emails, work info plus individual options for ringtones, blocking the contact and adding them to Private contacts. Private contacts is a discrete option that hides the name and photo of a contact when there's an incoming call.

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Viewing a contact Editing a contact

The second tab, Thread lists all communication history between you and the given contact - texts, emails and calls. The third and final tab displays the contact's social networking updates for easy access. Tabs here can be reordered and hidden, too.

Telephony

The dialer on the HTC One A9 displays the last call with a contact photo so you can easily redial someone. There's smart dialing that looks for both names and contacts. You can even switch to a regular QWERTY keyboard though you have to do this each time you open the dialer and we still find that the dial pad is quicker, it was invented for a reason after all.

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The Standard dial pad a QWERTY keyboard SIM setup

Naturally, you can block contacts or add them to the exception list of the Do Not Disturb mode (Interruptions).

The One A9 lacks stereo speakers at front, instead it relies on a single speaker placed at the bottom. It failed to impress, scoring a Below Average mark, just a notch below our Average achievement. What that means is you should keep an eye on the One A9 if you don't want to miss an important call or notification.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Apple iPhone 6s 66.5 64.6 65.8 Below Average
HTC One A9 65.0 64.9 67.2 Below Average
Apple iPhone 6 66.6 65.7 72.8 Average
Oppo R7 65.6 66.5 73.1 Average
HTC One M9 65.2 64.6 76.1 Average
Samsung Galaxy S6 68.1 66.3 73.7 Good
LG G4 66.9 71.8 74.7 Good
Oppo R7 Plus 73.7 72.8 79.9 Very Good
Meizu MX5 75.7 73.5 79.5 Excellent
OnePlus 2 75.7 73.5 80.7 Excellent


Messaging

The HTC One A9 uses the traditional threaded view for SMS and MMS messages, and they are composed from within the same interface. There's built-in functionality to block messages from certain numbers, those go in the Block box where you can view them later if you like or set the app to discard them immediately.

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Threaded messaging

The look of the app can be tweaked with color schemes and custom backgrounds, font size and how many lines are used for preview in threaded view. The Messages app can also backup and restore messages, so you don't need a third-party app for that.

The HTC One A9 comes with two email apps - a skinned version of the stock email app and the dedicated Gmail app. The native one has a combined inbox and supports options for peak and off-peak syncing.

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The Mail app has a combined Inbox

The keyboard offers big, comfortable keys and you can run a calibration tool if you think the default setup slips up. A Swype-like Trace option is available and you can enable bilingual prediction (vital with so many English terms entering every day speech in most languages).

Other customization options include switching between layouts (e.g. QWERTY, AZERTY), adding arrow keys (for the portrait keyboard only) and a personal dictionary of words that can be backed up to the microSD card or an email.

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The Sense QWERTY keyboard landscape keyboard

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...