The best way for me to begin my review of the new HTC One M9 is to simply list the key new features:
- Snapdragon 810 processor (64-bit, Octa-Core)
- 3GB of RAM
- 20 megapixel rear and 4 ‘Ultrapixel’ front cameras
- Dolby audio software
- Sense 7 UI & Android 5 Lollipop (location based icons and Themes)
Of course there are minor changes elsewhere – you can now record 4k video, the dimensions are slightly different (1.8mm shorter and 0.25mm thicker for example) and the capacity of the battery has increased by ~9%.
Not exactly revolutionary, I think you’ll agree.
The problem is simply a lack of innovation. The M8 was a great phone by 2014 standards, but in a world where flagship smartphones can be superseded in a matter of months (the 6 month refresh cycle of the Sony Z series, for example) means there is no room for complacency.
Competition is fiercer than ever, particularly following the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge launch.
Aside from a new processor, the biggest change in this years M9 is the introduction of a new 20 megapixel rear camera and relegation (or promotion, depending on your point of view) of the ‘Ultrapixel’ technology to the front ‘selfie’ camera.
For many, the biggest issue with the M7 and M8 was the lacklustre camera. The much-hyped ‘Ultrapixel’ technology claimed to offer superior low-light imagery thanks to fewer, but larger pixels. It was brave of HTC to defy the ‘more megapixels is better’ approach taken by competitors – but the result was disappointing. Lacking in detail and sharpness, it was a relief when HTC announced the M9 would feature a new 20-megapixel camera.
You can find how the new camera, and the rest of the One M9 fares in my extended, in-depth video review below:
(Haven’t got time to watch the full review – check out my concise Definitive Review right now).