The elite Flagship HTC One M9 Plus
The International smartphone brand HTC had announced the next flagship M9 Plus in Barcelona Mobile world congress 2015. Interestingly, when the flagship launch news hit India, these were many subscribers of that. We have been observing a keen interest of Indian elite in this unmatchable flagship. Since its introduction, we have recorded lots blog post and social media messages on the M9 and M9 Plus originated from India.
Everyone was expecting a device that will rock everything again like its predecessor. But the real product underneath the rumors proved to be just an improvement and nothing more. The real surprise came in the HTC event held in New Delhi last month. All the invitees were sure to witness the official launch of HTC One M9 in India, but everyone got a setback with the launch of its big brother the HTC One M9 +. Now the question that the smartphone lovers are asking is whether this phone from HTC stands a chance in the Indian market or not? For the answer, you will have to read this review until the last line.
Premium Design with Polished Look
The biggest reason to buy this phone is its design. Although the finish and feel is not much different when compared to its sibling, but when we compare to the last flagship, there is definitely a big improvement. The M8 was the best smartphone of last year in terms of design and the M9 + could have taken that position this year, but few tweaks done by HTC do bother users a lot.
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Power button is located at an unfamiliar place below the volume rockers. You will have to shift the phone or use your other hand to press it. HTC tried to impress people by not putting the power button on the top, but its strategy got flown. The second thing that no one will like is the design of the fingerprint sensor. Almost everyone thinks of it as a button on the first look.
The worst part is that to use this sensor you will first have to press the power button or double tap the screen. Also, the position of this sensor in between the bottom speaker is taking the harmony away from the phone.
Everything else seems to be nicely done on the body. The carved out gold-on-silver edges leave far behind the iPhone 6’s design. Brushed back panel provides this phone a more classical look and we should thank HTC for that. The sides on the thickest point measure 9.6 mm which makes it 0.2 mm thicker than the last generation.
The phone is still slippery and you might end up putting a skin. However, it is not recommended for the people buying this for the beauty of it.
Got The Edge On The Display Front
The M9 + has got a big edge over the M9 as it features a quad HD display with a resolution of 1440 X 2560 pixels. And, the diagonal width of 5.2 inches gives it a pixel density of 534 PPI making it one of the crispier displays out there. The Super LCD3 panel minimalizes glare formation thus making user's experience a lot closer to the display. It also generates sharper and clearer text and graphics. However, I would have personally liked an OLED panel because of the great contrast levels it produces.
Manufacturers these days are going back to the Super LCDs because of the higher cost in making OLED, but if HTC will be reluctant to use the best technology in its flagship then there will be not much hope for its survival in the future.
However, the screen is vibrant and performs great outdoors. The high pixel density gives the best feel while gaming and movie watching. Display of this phone is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 4 so you can expect a great level of toughness on this side.
A Great Phone With Not So Great Optics
It was a good step from the HTC to not put an Ultra Pixel camera on the rear considering its performance on the M8. But all its effort made no difference when it decided to use a Toshiba sensor behind the 20MP rear shooter. You will also find a second 2.1MP camera just above it, which helps in determining depth. This dual camera setup was also present on the M8 but is absent on the M9.
The images produced are not worthy to mention. They lack in a variety of aspects. First, the rear camera fails to determine the exposure, which results in crazy levels of brightness. It also takes a little bit of time in focusing the subject. In the low light conditions, the amount of noise becomes unbearable and this is the greatest downside of this phone. Even with the dual-tone flash enabled you will not be able to get the desired output.
4K UHD recording is possible on this phone, but the lack of Optical Image Stabilization returns bouncy motion. However, the good thing is you can record slow motion videos at 120 frames per second in the 720p mode.
HTC did some experiment on the front by putting a 4 MP Ultra Pixel camera. This front camera can be appreciated a little and in my opinion, the Ultra Pixel technology is best suited for selfies only.
A Big Mistake By HTC?
The reason why the HTC One M9 + is criticized most is its MediaTek MT6795T chipset even though it has an octa-core 2.2 GHz processor. No one knows the strategy behind HTC’s decision of putting a MediaTek chipset on its flagship, but it might prove to be a blunder for the brand.
The M9 + might do all the light tasks without any hiccup, but intense processes like high-end graphic gaming with multitasking will certainly take all the juice out of the processor. The PowerVR G6200 GPU will help a little bit, but it also cannot do much when the chipset itself is not capable of intense processing.
The phone comes with 32GB of internal storage with 3GB of RAM. HTC has shown its big heartiness on the storage front by giving a micro SD Card slot. Most of the manufacturers today are moving away from the option of expandable storage on their flagships. No offense, but everyone should thank HTC here.
MediaTek chipset shows its effect on the benchmark side. Although HTC has promised for a quality performance on the M9 +, but it falls behind many flagships from other manufacturers. The real difference between a snapdragon chipset and a MediaTek chipset comes on the graphics processing. No matter how much the GPU is powerful, MediaTek always lag behind. At the AnTuTu benchmark, the M9 Plus gets a score of 48882.
Hard Core Flagship Gaming
The quad HD display results in an immersive gaming experience, but the chipset always comes as a speed breaker. Pixels will not get utilized at full throttle because not a high number of games are made keeping this much resolution in mind. However, do not get much depressed as hopefully, this year will mark a big difference in mobile gaming.
High onboard storage and the capability to attach a micro SD Card removes any limitation on installing high number games arriving because of the big size.
HTC Boom Sound With Dolby Audio
The HTC One M9 + enhanced to next level what M8 had left as a legacy. Speakers on the top and bottom of the face generate great sound levels with no distortions at all. Great sound quality is the most loving feature of this phone. Certainly, this phone is the best when it comes to listening to music and as HTC puts it “Make Some Noise”.
BoomSound Technology is a champ for sure, but the Dolby Audio is not far behind. Although it is just a software process that runs behind the scenes, but your movie watching experience gets enhanced to a much higher level.
You get what you expect from a high-end phone with a price tag of 48,609 Rupees. 4G LTE support will be a blessing in coming days when all the Indian telecom companies in India adopt this technology. NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and micro USB have become common these days. Features like DLNA, Infrared, and HTC Connect are also some great features on this phone.
Inbuilt GPS antenna with the support of GLONASS and BeiDou tracks your location in no time.
The first thing to mention in this section will be the Fingerprint sensor. Talking about it I can say that HTC has learned from other phones and put a sensor that does not require a swipe. However, HTC should have placed a button beneath it.
Good thing for users that this phone comes with all the sensor that you can think of on a smartphone like Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Compass, Gyro Sensor and Magnetic Sensor.
It is little weird from a reviewer’s point of view that both M9 and M9 + feature a 2840 mAh battery. Has the fingerprint sensor eaten up all the space that the M9 + achieved because of bigger size when compared to the M9? A quad HD display requires at least 3000 mAh battery and I can say for sure that you will find yourself running to your charger before the end of the day.
The M9 + runs HTC Sense 7 on top of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. Android 5.1 update is expected to arrive in the coming days, which will remove most of the bugs that the new OS from Google introduced last year.
The Sense 7 skin got many improvements over the last version. Icons, color profiles and animations have been redesigned so suit the look of Lollipop. Now the users can also choose the look of recent apps screen, they can either select the card view or HTC’s grid view.
Some smartphone fans have even criticized the look of HTC Sense and the Taiwanese smartphone maker knows it well. This is why it has introduced a theme engine on the M9 Plus from where users can change almost everything on the screen. It also gives the option to create a new theme based on any image that you throw on it.
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- Fingerprint sensor
- Tough built with ergonomic design. This phone has really taken the design of the M8 to the next level
- BoomSound with Dolby Audio
- Quad HD display
- The storage can be expanded up to 128GB via a micro SD card
- Light UI with Theme Engine
- Rear camera is not up to the mark even though HTC has returned to normal pixel technology
- MediaTek processor on a phone of this segment is totally a wrong move
Is buying this phone a worth? Well, it totally depends on your taste. If you are a kind of person who purchases things for their beauty, then there cannot be anything better than this smartphone. However, Indian elite who likes performance and photography are strictly recommended not to buy this marble.
|SIM||Single, NanoGSM, 4G/3G|
|OS||Android Lollipop 5.0.2|
|Screen||5.2 Inches, IPS LCD3, QHD, 534 PPI|
|Processor||2.2 GHz Octa Core MediaTek|
|Memory||3GB RAM, 32GB Memory, 128GB SDcard Support|
|Camera||20MP[P], 4 MP[F], 2K and FHD Recording|
|Battery||2840 mAh, Non-Removeable|
|Body||168 g [W], 9.6 mm [Th]|
|Connectivity||OTG, 4G, 3G, BT, Wi-Fi, GPS, USB, DTS|