back to article HTC One M9 Android smartphone: Like a M8 with a squinty eye

In a world of generic smartphones where even Apple and Samsung seem to be converging on the same design, HTC has designed phones that are pretty distinctive – the HTC One is one of the very few brands you can recognise from across a room. HTC One M9 Android smartphone Standing out from the crowd, HTC's One M9 HTC has also …

  1. Ol'Peculier
    Unhappy

    Time to change

    I've seen in other reviews it doesn't match up, and this has sealed the deal for me. I had a Desire HD, currently have a One M7 and was looking at moving up to this when my contract is due for renewal in June.

    Looks like I'll be moving brands this time. What goes on at HTC to make such a backward step?

    1. Lobrau

      Re: Time to change

      In the exact same situation here. Think I'll be switching over to Nexus 6 come renewal time. Missus has the 5 and it's a joy to use.

      1. ROC

        Re: Time to change

        From what I have read, the Nexus 5 and 6 are from different vendors, and nothing evolutionary in the model uptick, so compare carefully.

    2. Lallabalalla

      Re: Time to change

      What goes on? Trying to bring the price in under the iPhone6 AND out-spec some of its numbers (e.g. the camera).

  2. Bassey

    The only ONE

    Whenever I have a play with a HTC One I do love the device BUT - those speakers top and bottom make it feel huge for a 5" phone. That wouldn't be an issue if the One Mini took Sony's approach and just gave you a smaller version of the One. But it doesn't. Assuming they keep to the practices of the earlier One Mini models you end up with a distinctly mid-range spec at an eye-wateringly top-end price.

    Which is a real shame as I do think it is a brilliant phone.

  3. Dr_N Silver badge

    "HTC has designed phones that are pretty distinctive "

    How can a slab with a screen and camera on the back be more distinctive than any other slab with screen and a camera on the back?

    Distinctive phones are dead. Long live conformity.

  4. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Why is it when I hear the Word "MediaTEK" that I instantly want to head for the Door? The sad part about "Larger Phablet, when it lands..." will be the overly inflated Price that come with the HTC Brand. I'm still left to ponder if they [MediaTEK], even understand the concept of the Words Open Source?

  5. Joe Harrison

    Just give people what they want

    Not everyone wants exactly the same feature set from a phone and there are the endless wars about removable batteries and do they matter, SD card slots, and so on.

    But surely everyone knows what they DON'T want? Weirdo interfaces that are not much like Android, being stranded on old operating systems because the manufacturer reneged on promise of upgrade to the new one, I could go on. Especially nobody wants to upgrade to a phone which is not even as good as the previous. How hard is it to at least get these things right.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just give people what they want

      "Not everyone wants exactly the same feature set from a phone"

      Try saying that to the iSheep. I find it utterly remarkable that seemingly intelligent and discerning people have given up all objectivity and individuality.

      1. Greg D

        Re: Just give people what they want

        Made all the more ironic by the fact they think they are being "different" and "visionary" by owning such common hardware.

  6. Two Sheds

    So long, HTC. And thanks for all the fish

    Thanks for an enlightening review, putting another nail into HTC's coffin, I would imagine.

    I've been loyal to HTC for many years because I like the design and UI.

    I started with a cheap Wildfire (horrible screen and poor battery life - ugh!), moved on to a to Desire (brilliant, but poor battery life), One X (excellent, but poor battery life) and the One M7 (superb, beautiful, but poor battery life). Every time they launch a new phone, I keep thinking this will be the one that will last all day, and I'm always disappointed. What's the point of having a slim and lightweight phone if you have to lug a battery pack around too?

    Like Ol'Peculier, I have an M7 contract that runs out in the summer. I often upgrade early and pay off the device cost (on O2 refresh), giving me an approx 18 month upgrade cycle. I'm really glad I haven't rushed out and got an M9 as it looks like a turkey.

    As with the reviewer, I'm not thrilled with Lollipop, and on my M7 it's a mess. You still can't access the alarm from the notifications (even when it's set and there's an icon in the notification area). The "power saver" mode (screen dimmer mode) stays on the notification screen, meaning I keep accidentally turning it off, reducing battery life from about 10 hrs to about 7. I've not found anything good about the upgrade.

    I held off the partly M8 because of the camera, so I'm also sad to see the new one is not too great.

    I'll check-out the Z4 in the autumn I think. Then I can retire my battery pack for camping trips only.

    Bye bye HTC. It was fun, but you have no stamina.

  7. cichlidiot

    HTC haven't let me down yet and I don't believe they will with the HTC One M9. Besides the Sense interface which keeps improving, I love the One style as per my M7. To each their own but I'm sticking with what I know and even though the camera is not my priority, any issues should be resolved via software updates. Looking forward to receiving another great phone by HTC.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Location Services

    If the mapping is correct to within 25m, the location of the synagogue is correct in the screen shot.

  9. Alan Denman

    Don't buy it for GPS

    All that metal makes for blotchy non 360 degrees satellite reception.

    In an ideal world you don't even want silicon blocking it, never mind that pretty metal shield.

    Could be worse, it could be a quite screwed up Asus Transformer.

  10. hiker

    Go Launcher EX

    If you don't like the supplied launcher, just install a new one such as Go Launcher EX: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gau.go.launcherex&hl=en_GB

    Really simple to do and doesn't require root.

  11. Trixr Bronze badge

    Since my M8 is effectively an expensive brick right now, I'm going to avoid HTC until they come up with an entirely revamped hardware spec. Yes, it worked beautifully for months ... until the dreaded permanent "disabling airplane mode" appeared - SIM is no longer being detected. Swapped SIMs, reset to factory, flashed alternate ROMs. Still stuffed.

    If you look through the forums, it's a common problem without a reliable solution.

    Also, I have to agree that the speakers make the phone way bigger to handle than it needs to be, and yet somehow I often missed hearing the phone ringing while it was in my bag. Sure, they sound "good for a phone", but really, still shite. If you listen to music through headphones predominately and don't much use speakerphone (what is it with the morons these days walking around with it permanently on speakerphone and bellowing into it like a walkie-talkie?), then that feature isn't really much chop.

    Otherwise, yes, a nice phone without too much cruft in the OS other than the stupid "blinkfeed". Has that gone in the M9?

  12. bex

    no wireless charging

    I am using a S3 (namelessrom) after dropping my HTC one M7 in a brook once you try wireless charging you realize it's a must, drop and charge, sorted.

  13. VulcanV5

    Hopeless Technology Corporation

    HTC can bring out whatever glossed-up rubbish it wants but it'll still be just that: rubbish.

    My HTC One HD had to go back FOUR times to HTC to be sorted under warranty. The first two occasions, it came back all nicely packaged up and with nothing discernible changed at all. So no, it didn't work. The third time it came back with new innards, totally different ID numbers etc. It worked for two months then did the usual HTC trick of taking a week to re-start after being switched off. It went back to HTC (we're now at the end of the warranty period) and was once again returned in a nice little package. They're good at that, HTC. Pretty little boxes of repaired phones. I threw it in the trash a coupla months ago after it went into yet ANOTHER all-too familiar HTC crap loop, warning me time after time that the memory card had been removed during use and was no longer in the phone when, of course, it hadn't, and it was.

    HTC has gone the same way as Asus went with its once-wunnerful Transformer tablet: engineering sacrificed to marketing department idiots. Result? No reason to buy; every reason to say goodbye.

  14. MotionCompensation

    So this won't be the replacement for my Nexus 5, a relatively low cost 5 incher, joy to use, let down by a worn out, sticking power button/reboot loops after just over a year. If the HTC was worth it, I might have bought one. But no.

    What to replace the Nexus with now?

    - no huge 6 inchers please

    - $450 or less preferably

    - reasonably fast, plenty of RAM

    - I can live with 12 GB available storage, SD card is nice but not a must

    - should last 2-3 years

    Seriously considering repairing that Nexus 5.

  15. Slow Joe Crow
    Unhappy

    I wanted to get another HTC One

    but after seeing the reviews of the M8 and now the M9, my original M7 looks better than nay of the supposed improvements. I like the ultra pixel camera, my OS is still Kit Kat and blinkfeed is easily banished off screen so even though it's off contract and upgrade eligible I'm going to keep going until HTC rediscovers its mojo or something better comes along.

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