By: Sandeep Budki, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Wednesday, December 09, 2015 - 18:00
The HTC One A9 does resemble latest an iPhone 6S but that doesn't deter me in praising its design.
Poor battery backup and average camera
HTC launched the One A9 earlier this week in India at Rs 29,990 and it will be available exclusively on Snapdeal from December 14. I spent almost 2 weeks with One A9 and here is my take on the device.
To start with, let's first look at its specifications. HTC One A9 comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system with HTC Sense UI on top, the 64 bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa core processor and 2 GB RAM. It has 32 GB of inbuilt storage as well as an expandable storage slot that can hold a 2 TB micro SD card. The HTC One A9 is a single SIM device with a 2150 mAh battery.
The One A9 has a 5 inch full HD display and comes with a 13 megapixel rear camera that has f/2.0 aperture, auto focus, BSI sensor, optical image stabilisation and full HD video recording ability. It offers an HTC UltraPixel (4 MP) front camera that comes with f/2.0 aperture, fixed focus and full HD video recording ability. One A9 also offers Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi (b/g/n/ac), micro USB port, 3.5 mm jack, 4G connectivity and GPS with GLONASS.
What may impress you?
The HTC One A9 does resemble the latest iPhone 6S but that doesn't deter me in praising its design. The One A9 has a full metal body which looks classy. The smooth metal back and curved sides will definitely invite attention. The power button, which has a textured finish, apart from doing regular stuff like switching off /on, restarting and activating flight mode also can be used to switch on the flash light. The volume rocker is steady. The non-removable back panel is completely flat and houses a camera unit that protrudes a bit.
The speaker holes are in the bottom panel along with the micro USB port and 3.5 mm audio jack. In the front panel of One A9, there is a physical button just below the screen that doubles up as a finger print scanner and as the home key.
Also, since it has a 5-inch screen, its overall form factor makes it quite comfortable to hold. Apart from that, it is the first smartphone, outside the Nexus series, which comes preloaded with the latest version of Android, the Marshmallow.
The HTC Sense custom interface on top of Android marshmallow is quite smooth and easy to use. Even a first smartphone user will find it easy to understand. The performance of the device is fluid. You will not encounter any problems or lag while playing heavy graphic intensive games or multitasking. Even the speaker volume and its quality make you happy about your purchase decision.
The 5 inch full HD AMOLED screen of HTC One A9 will also impress you. Itâ€™s sharp and has good viewing angles. Even visibility in bright sunlight is not a problem.
The fingerprint scanner just below the display screen is responsive, and its accuracy of recognition and speed of initiating an action is impressive. Since the time I am using the device I didn't feel the need of switching to pin or pattern lock for unlocking the device.
What may not impress you?
The HTC One A9 comes with a 2150 mAh battery. If you are a heavy user who typically does 30 minutes of calling, around two hours of browsing, 15 minutes of gaming and 15 minutes of Youtube and constantly using social media and emails then you will get around seven hours of backup. Just two days back I got some update which resulted in me getting around 8 hours of backup. So, the battery may not impress you.
Other than that I found the output of both the cameras (front and back ) inconsistent. In natural lighting, the pictures were crispy and warm but in low lighting they lacked detailing and colour reproduction was off. Also, I sometimes faced issues with the focus as it took a bit long to lock into the subject.
Since this device supports only one SIM, it may not well with of the potential buyers. Also, one thing I didnâ€™t like in the interface was that home, return and task keys are integrated into the on-screen interface, which mean you have lesser screen space. Had they been placed beside the home key as is usually found in Android phone, there would be more screen area for the users.
Should you buy it? With an iota of doubt HTC One A9 is the best looking smartphone under Rs 30,000. Yes, the design looks similar to iPhone 6S but there is nothing wrong in taking inspiration from the leader. In terms of performance, One A9 will not disappoint you with its output. The two major pain points in this device are camera and battery backup. I am not sure how much will its battery output improve even after the updates that are expected to be pushed but the camera app may see a significant improvement with the updates. If your priority is to buy a smartphone that has great design and offer smooth performance, then go for HTC One A9 but if battery backup and camera is on your priority, you will have to explore further.