HTC One E9+ review: Positive charge

GSMArena team, 26 June 2015.

HTC Zoe is yet another sharing option

HTC Zoe is a mini social network centered around sharing photos and videos. A landmark feature is the cool Highlights videos, which are created automatically for each album.

Zoe requires you to sign in with your HTC account the first time you open it. This is to enable sharing with other contacts, who can add their own photos, videos and music to the Highlight videos that are created automatically from your shots.

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HTC Zoe

You can send requests to your friends too, to give them a little nudge to add shots to your Highlights. You can manually create a Highlight video too - you simply choose from the available images, select a theme and soundtrack and you're done.

Gallery with Highlights

The Gallery app uses a Lollipop style navigation drawer to separate viewing modes. Timeline and location group photos accordingly, while Albums work like folders. You can manually create albums, the app will ask you to select a number of photos and videos to either copy or move.

A nice little addition to the gallery is the custom search function. Interestingly enough it not only goes through photo meta data, but can also do a sort of reverse image search and find similar photos to a preselected one.

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The image gallery

All albums get a Highlight video as their title image. You can select which items go into the video, in what order and with what effects and music. There are options to go back to the default chronological order, music and theme so don't be afraid to experiment. The start and end clips can be selected manually if you want to create a sort of title card and credits.

The editing options range from basic crop/rotate/flip to frames and advanced effects like simulated lighting, adjusting face contour and eye enhancements.

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Viewing a single image Image editing options

You can also choose an image from the gallery and use it as a base for a custom theme. The theme generator automatically suggests a highlight color, among other things, and you can complete your custom theme in just a few seconds. Of course, you can edit it later through the Themes app.

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Creating a custom theme

There's a special Media gesture useful here and in the music and video players - swipe up with three fingers to "throw" the content you're viewing to a DLNA device.

Integrated video player looks basic and lacks AC3 and subtitle support

There's no dedicated video player on the HTC One E9+, you browse videos through the Gallery or the File Manager. The video players supports the most common containers - AVI, MP4, DivX, XviD and MKV and even WMV. MOV files are a no-go though, and there is no support for AC3 audio either.

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The video player interface

As for the interface, you get basic playback controls and the option to snap a screenshot. Subtitles are not supported.

Music player with a touch of Sense

The HTC Sense 7 uses a tabbed layout and as with other apps you can hide tabs and reorder them. The tabs sort your music library by different categories and include the relatively rare Folder view, in case you have a sort of "mixtape" folder.

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Browsing the music library

The first time you launch the music player it will ask whether it should automatically download Album art, artist photos and lyrics and you can limit it to Wi-Fi only downloads.

HTC One E9+ doesn't offer equalizers. All you get is a BoomSound with Dolby Audio option, which works with the integrated speakers and with headphones.

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Now playing interface visualizer lockscreen and notification area music controls

Audiophiles should be glad to hear FLAC is supported though and 24-bit files were a hit and miss. No issues occurred with 16-bit ones.

You can use the three-finger Media gesture to continue playback on a DLNA device. Bluetooth with aptX is another high-quality option to wirelessly stream audio.

The HTC One E9+ also packs an FM radio too, though it doesn't have RDS support. It can play through the speakers but you still need a pair of headphones to serve as an antenna.

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FM radio with favorites but no RDS