HTC One M9 review: One up

One up

GSMArena team, 23 March 2015.

Excellent display carried over from the previous generation

The HTC One M9 packs the same 5-inch screen as the One (M8) and that is no bad thing. It's a high-quality IPS panel of 1080p resolution, which delivers 441ppi. While not record-breaking numbers, individual pixels are nonetheless indistinguishable to the naked eye, and HTC maintains QHD would be an overkill at this diagonal. We are somewhat inclined to agree.

HTC One M9 HTC One M9 HTC One M9
HTC One M9 display

The panel features a standard RGB matrix with equal number of subpixels for each color. The display is covered with the latest Gorilla Glass 4 for scratch and shatter protection. A dedicated glove mode can be enabled to improve touch sensitivity, but as always that comes at the expense of battery life.

HTC One M9

We ran our typical testing routine and the numbers proved our initial suspicions that the panel in the One M9 has been carried over from the predecessor. And that should be taken as compliment.

The One M9 posted great scores in the contrast department, even if maximum brightness is slightly lower. The 50-percent setting delivers almost precisely a third of the maximum brightness while contrast remains solid.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
HTC One M9 0.15 175 1180 0.44 534 1221
HTC One (M8) 0.2 245 1219 0.46 577 1256
Samsung Galaxy S6 0 208 0 373
Samsung Galaxy S5 0 274 0 529
LG G Flex2 0 152 0 398
Motorola Moto X (2014) 0 167 0 358
Apple iPhone 6 0.17 207 1230 0.61 740 1213
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 0.17 208 1197 0.52 705 1361
Sony Xperia Z3 - - - 0.65 866 1333


Sunlight contrast ratio on the other hand was less impressive. The One M9 posted average results, just like the previous generation.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Oppo R5
    3.678
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    3.547
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    3.543
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • LG G Flex2
    3.465
  • YotaPhone 2
    3.453
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
    3.406
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    2.892
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • HTC Desire Eye
    2.815
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2.812
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    2.765
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC Desire 820
    2.372
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • HTC One M9
    2.334
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Oppo N3
    2.181
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    2.12
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    1.952
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.935
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • ZTE Blade S6
    1.927
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    1.887
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1.507
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Sony Xperia E4
    1.467
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Microsoft Lumia 535
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

You can read more about our standardized display testing procedure.

Battery life test

The HTC One M9 comes with a slightly higher-capacity battery than its predecessor, which in turn improved over the original One. The latest generation's cell packs 2,840mAh of juice, a good 11% more than the Samsung Galaxy S6's 2,550mAh.

The One M8 posted excellent scores on Android KitKat, and the Lollipop update brought massive improvements in web browsing, even if video playback and talk time took a hit. So we kicked off our battery testing routine expecting solid performance, having in mind the larger battery that needs to light up the same-sized screen.

In the end, the results turned out less than impressive. While 3G talk time is solid at almost 21 hours, the seven and a half hours of web browsing longevity raises eyebrows. Remember that the Android 5.0 update brought the predecessor's figures in this department to twelve and a half hours and even on KitKat it managed a good 9 hours.

The One M9's video playback stamina was underwhelming as well, and the 8:21 hours are close to 2 hours less than the previous generation.

For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S6 lasted 10:24h in video playback and 8:44 in web browsing, while packing a smaller battery and feeding a significantly higher-res screen. The Galaxy didn't fare as well in talk times though, where the HTC One M9 beat it by over 3 hours.

All that said, the One M9 should last you around two and a half days if you do an hour each of voice calls, web browsing and video playback per day. Understanding that no two users are the same, we've provided a handy tool that will give you a clue what autonomy you can expect with your specific usage pattern.

HTC One M9


Our routine also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not on our battery test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating. Our battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn more about it.

Connectivity

You wouldn't be surprised to find out that the One M9 comes packed with connectivity options. For starters, there are quad-band 2G and 3G radios and Cat.9 LTE for download speeds of up to 410Mbps over 10 bands.

Naturally, a GPS receiver is also built in with GLONASS support, which utilizes Russian satellites and helps in pinpointing your location thanks to the extra satellites in the sky. There's an FM radio receiver as well.

Local connectivity features include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands) with Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi Hotspot.

The HTC Connect feature works over the DLNA protocol to provide smoother integration of your phone to your home-entertainment setup, for supported devices of course. Those include multi-room speakers adhering to the Qualcomm AllPlay standard; DLNA and Miracast-compatible devices, Bluetooth speakers, as well as HTC-certified devices carrying the HTC Connect logo.

If you prefer the old school way of controlling home appliances though, the IR blaster along with HTC's PeelSafe Remote app are up to it.

Bluetooth 4.1 is on board, which sorts LTE interference issues. Version 4.1 is said to be more power efficient and supports direct communication between connected peripherals, keeping your smartphone out of it.

The One M9 comes with the necessary hardware to support NFC, but the functionality will be market/operator dependent, and HTC advises prospect buyers to check beforehand if the feature is a top priority.

An MHL-enabled micro-USB 2.0 port sits on the bottom of the phone and lets you stream video to compatible TVs via an appropriate MHL HDMI dongle. USB host is enabled, for connecting external storage. A standard 3.5mm headphone jack lets you plug in your headphones of choice.

The One M9 accepts nano-SIM cards. The microSD slot lets you extend the 32GB of built-in storage to up to 2TB, although we are yet to see such a monstrous card in the real world.

Much like on the One M8, you also get the entire lot of sensors, including ambient light, proximity, accelerometer, compass, gyro and magnetic sensor, and a Sensor hub for discrete capturing the motion data, relieving the main hardware from this responsibility.

Reader comments

  • Khan

I am using HTC M-8 since 2016 and so far it is giving the excellent performance except for . . the average Battery time. Rest, its quite user friendly, robust. Keeping in view M-8s performance, I purchase M-9 and for good about 2 years it never ...

  • Nidelarj abdeslam

I tried to connect my HTC one m9 to my smart phone but it doesnt work. My question is tha phone can conbect to tvies or not

  • Anonymous

This pHone is outdated please mind that the technology in this phone is far behind others and please mind that HTC is not sell anything and after sales service is mostly gone Plus this phone is Very Hard to repair by iFixit If you wanna HTC qual...