HTC One E9 Plus
After struggling for some time, HTC seems to have finally found some stability in the premium Smartphone category. The HTC One series of HTC’s flagship devices are doing well and HTC has recently launched a new family member the HTC One E9+. The 5.5-inch QHD phablet has an official price tag of Rs. 36,760.
Read our review to find out if this phone is truly worth spending the money or not.
Premium Design Line
I have always been a fan of HTC’s designing, somehow its phones always stand out. The HTC One E9+ is no exception to this with its part metal part plastic body. On the front the phone retains the premium brushed metal design we saw in M9, but flip it over and you have a smooth plastic back with a soft matte finish along with the huge protruding camera lens that is designed to stand out.
On its front, you have the selfie camera, a few sensors, and the HTC branding. The phone also retains the front facing speakers that we saw in the M9.
The volume rocker and power keys are placed on the right side. The left side houses slots for micro SD and the two SIM cards, which are covered by a single long flap cover. On the top, you can find the standard 3.5mm headphone jack whereas the micro USB port is on the bottom.
Super Display with Unbelievable Pixels Density
The E9 Plus includes the biggest screen size that we have seen in the HTC One family (not including the HTC One E9 that is exclusively for China). The 5.5-inch QHD display has a resolution of 1440×2560 pixels with a 534 PPI pixel density. In order to keep the screen protected from scratches, the phone comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
The display wins all points here. It is crazy sharp, bright and offers in-depth color reproduction with proper white balance. It might seem a tad low if comparing with the iPhone 6 plus, which has almost the same size. But considering the huge price difference between the two, the display definitely seems as a value for money. Viewing images and videos on the big display is a pleasure.
Robust Hardware with 3GB RAM
The phone uses a MediaTek MT6795M Helio X10octa core processor clocked at 2GHz along with 3GB of RAM. MediaTek has always been looked upon as the cheaper processor when compared with snapdragon. MT6795M is a fairly powerful processor and is the top of the line processor from the company thus comparisons with Snapdragon 810 are obvious.
The MediaTek chipset though powerful is not as graphic intense when comparing it to the Snapdragon 810. But to the average user, multitasking and playing games won’t be an issue with this phone, the MediaTek MT6795Mchipset coupled with 3GB of RAM is a strong combo.
The device comes with 32GB of internal memory of which around 22GB will be available to the user. But if that seems low, you have the option of using a micro SD card up to 128GB.
Indian 4G LTE Connectivity
The device supports 4G LTE and is a dual SIM (nano-SIM) device. Other connectivity options include GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio, micro-USB 2.0 port, and USB host.
The phone includes a 2800mAh non-removable battery. The battery will last you easily an entire day, with moderate to heavy usage, thanks to the power saving modes that are built into the software.
Android Lollipop with Custom HTC UI
The HTC E9+ runs on the HTC Sense UI 7.0 on top of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. There’s also a piece of good news this device is in the lineup for the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow update once it releases in the market.
Sense 7 UI carries with it various features that we had seen previously in the Sense UI’s. The left-most home screen is reserved for Blinkfeed, that gives you content from your social networks, various news feeds and content that you have set a preference to. You can always disable it if you want just like any other widget.
The phone carries various gesture features such as swipe up or double taps to unlock. Thus, you won’t have to really on the power button too much.
You can always customize the UI using the various themes available in the dedicated theme store. The themes give you an option of changing the lock screen & home screen wallpapers, icon packages, backgrounds, fonts and much more.
20 MP and 13MP Rear Front Camera with BSI sensor
Turn the phone over and you get to see the massive camera lens that the company designed to be the point of focus on the back. The phone includes a 20.7MP Autofocus Rear Camera with LED Flash and a 13 MP front-facing camera.
The camera interface is the same as seen on the One M9. It offers various modes such as Selfie, Panorama, Bokeh, Photo Booth (4 snaps in one) and Split Capture (dual camera capture) in addition to the usual HDR, macro shots and Night Mode.
The images taken from the main camera contain lot of details though there may be some noise presence. Photos taken in low light condition are also very detailed.
The 13MP front shooter is a great camera and will be your best friend if you are a Selfie maniac.
The Camera is also capable of recording 4k video at 30 fps. The video quality again includes a lot of details and warm color touch. The 4K video recording is capped at six minutes, though that isn’t the case in other modes of recording, such as 1080p or 720p.
The HTC One E9+ is a fairly tall device, but it is light weight and not too thick. The phone has an excellent display that no one can argue with. The speakers are brilliant and you can easily replace your bedside speakers as these are fairly loud and clear. The chipset is the only thing bringing the phone down. Yes, the MediaTek MT6795M is a powerful processor, but it does not have a strong GPU when compared with Snapdragon. The software is more than makes up for any shortcoming of the device. The Sense UI is one of the best customized Android UI’s out there, it looks beautiful, is easy to use and loaded with features.
All in all this is a powerful, and well-designed device that while might not be able to compete with the flagships, but holds its own ground in the upper mid-range segment.
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe
After facing success with the power-house Asus Zenfone 2, the company has launched an update of sorts with the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe. We already saw a premium version of this in the Brazilian market that had a massive 256GB of internal memory. The one available in the Indian Market will have memory options of 64GB and 128GB, which is not bad, though.
Best Designed Smartphone in 2015
Asus absolutely kills it in the designing department. The back though plastic has a diamond shaped pattern that looks brilliant. One look at this and you cannot take your eyes off it, never have we seen such a design on a smartphone. The phone is also sturdy to hold in the hand and surprisingly offers a good grip.
On the front, the phone looks pretty standard. On the top of the screen, you have the five megapixels front camera and LED Notification light. Below the display you shall find the three standard capacitive touch hardware buttons, which are not back-lit for some reason. The left and right side of the phone are left bear. On the top, you can find the power button and the 3.5mm headphone jack and on the bottom lays the micro USB port.
The unique placement is of the power rocker, which is located on the back below the camera. It is meant to be operated via the index figure and might take some time to get used to, but isn’t too much of a hassle in daily usages.
Real FHD 5.5 inches Display
The phone sports a huge 5.5 inch full HD display, which boosts of a resolution of 1080 x 1920 with pixels density rate of 401 PPI. It also has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
The display has good viewing angles, the colors are well reproduced and the display looks vibrant. The brightness levels are good with proper brightness when in bright sunlight.
That being said the display is still not at par with other smartphones such as the One Plus Two.
Ample RAM and Intel Hardware
Asus has kept its collaboration with Intel alive in this project. The phone comes with a quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 chipset clocked at 2.3 GHz with a PowerVR G6430 GPU. The phone also includes an amazing 4GB of RAM, which has not been seen in many phones.
This is a fairly powerful device and can compete head on with any flagship in the market today in terms of performance. The phone can handle any type of load thrown at it. The phone does not flinch during multitasking, you can open numerous apps at one point of time and the phone won’t slow down.
The PowerVR G6430 is an extremely powerful GPU. Thus, you can play various heavy graphic games on the device, without any issue of frame drops. And, even after playing games for a long duration you won’t feel the device getting hot.
The phone is available with two internal storage options 64 GB and 128 GB and if that isn’t enough for you, you can even expand the storage up to 128GB with a micro SD card slot.
Indian 4G LTE Connectivity
In terms of connectivity the phone includes various features. It is a dual SIM phone with support for 4G LTE support, along with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.-, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, and micro USB 2.0.
Latest Android Operating System
The Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, out of the box, with Asus’ own Zen UI on top. The Zen UI is highly customizable. For example, you can choose to have an App Drawer that is standard in stock Android or you can have no app drawer and an interface similar to MIUI. You can also choose various themes to customize the look and feel.
The interface is actually very responsive, which is a good thing. But the company has added a lot of bloatware along which the OS, which are actually useless for most users.
13 MP and 5MP Camera with FHD recording
The device comes with a 13 MP autofocus main camera, with dual LED flash. It also includes a 5 MP fixed focus front facing camera. The camera app is loaded with tons of feature to help you click better images as we had seen in the Zenfone 2. The various features include Auto, Manual, HDR, Beautification, Super Resolution, Low Light, Night, Depth of Field, Effect, Selfie, GIF Animation, Panorama, Miniature, Time Rewind, PanoSphere, Smart Remove, All Smiles and Time Lapse.
The rear camera is capable of clicking sharp images with good white balance in well light conditions, but in low light the images have a lot of noise. The focusing speed of the camera is really fast, so you won’t have to hold the device steady for too long before you can focus and click your images.
The front camera is also up to the task while clicking Selfies. You can also make GIF’s with the front camera, which is a nice feature.
Overall the cameras are good, but we would have liked to see a better output if you compare with mages take via the One plus One.
The 3000 mAh battery is not just up to the task to run this 5.5-inch power hungry beast. With the high-end processor and large screen display, the phone is very hungry for power. The battery will last you 12-15 hours with a full charge on moderate to heavy usage. But what can save it is the fast charging feature. The phone is able to charge up to 60% in just 39 minutes.
The Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe is a beautifully crafted device the back is definitely eye catching. Add to a good design a powerful chipset and RAM and you have a dream come true. The phone’s performance can give many top of the line flagships a run for their money. But what brings the phone down is its slight above average camera performance and the poor battery life.
If you want one of the best performing phones and the camera does not bother and you can dish out some money for a power bank this is a good phone. The performance of this phone and the design are one of the best we have seen in a long time and you can definitely have a look at the phone.