- Display colors muted with greenish tint
- No optical image stabilizations
- Inconsistent battery life
While Samsung and Apple might still command the biggest smartphone market shares, HTC has gained fans when they originally released the One M7. With the One M9, HTC has further polished their popular flagship phone and addressed several issues from earlier models. On the outside, HTC hasn't changed too much in terms of physical attributes. It still has an aluminum body and sloping curves that made the M7 so popular. At first glance it might seem almost identical to the M8, but there are some key differences, most noticeably the dimensions. It is smaller all around than its predecessor at 5.7 x 2.8 x 0.4 inches. Some less obvious changes are the matte finish on the aluminum body and a new "shelf" that has been milled into the edges of the phone. While these might seem trivial, experts note that they made the phone much easier to grip as did the positioning of the power button. Instead of being located at the top of the phone HTC moved it to the right-hand side beneath the volume.
Adorning the front of the phone is the 5-inch, 1080p IPS display. While it is the same technology on paper, in-person experts noticed the M9 had more of a greenish tint to it though Android Central adds, "It's one of those things you're more likely to notice side by side with another phone." Still, critics found the display very crisp with a cold color balance leading to crisper whites but slightly muted colors. HTC also equipped the M9 with new polarization, which experts found improved bright light legibility.
The M9 comes equipped with a 2GHz Snapdragon 810 Octa core processor and 3GB of RAM. There has been a lot of concern regarding the Snapdragon 810 processors running extremely hot. When actually tested with both benchmark apps and graphics-intensive games, experts mention it didn't get any warmer than the standard smartphone. In terms of overall performance the M9 performed admirably. Engadget states, "I haven't found a scenario where the M9's combination of lightweight software and speedy hardware let me down." Critics experienced no lag regardless of the task they were performing. The biggest issue they had was with battery life. Equipped with a 2,840mAh battery the M9 has one of the biggest batteries in the HTC lineup. Unfortunately, reviewers experienced very inconsistent battery life ranging from all day to only 8 hours even when performing the same tasks.
The M9 breaks tradition slightly when it comes to the 20MP rear camera. Instead of the UltraPixel sensor, HTC opted for a more traditional one and only one lens on the back of the phone. Unfortunately, the new camera system was a disappointment for experts. In ideal lighting situations, experts captured photos with good detail and accurate color reproduction. They ran into issues in low-light as pictures were grainy and discolored due to the lack of optical image stabilization. HTC hasn't completely given up on UltraPixel technology as it is used in the front camera.
As powerful and attractive as the M9 is, experts were torn about recommending it. Gizmodo states, "…if you're willing to settle for the M9, you should also look at the M8. It lasts longer, it feels just as fast and it costs less." On the other hand ZDNet says, "The One M9 feels great in your hand…is very fast and responsive, and extremely capable."