More or less reason, HTC has been unable in recent years to strengthen its smartphone HTC One within the high range. They belonged to her, yes, but year after year have not gone unnoticed. But you have to respect it because it was one of the few brands that have not been afraid to risk.
However now in serious danger of survival and not many options to get ahead in the world of smartphone. This election as a buoy in the middle of the open sea and cold has been a surprise. The HTC One A9 is not a flagship to use but a great opportunity that is based on three important pillars:. design, price and updates. Android Engadget has already tested the new One A9 and this is what we think of him.
HTC One A9 a midrange flagship design and finishing
Speaking of high-end of the leading brands is not difficult to forget the franchise terminal HTC. It is a situation that is not new and has been repeated this year “religiously.” Presentation, expectation, and fall into oblivion just as quickly. Some we advocating a line of work where price is an aggressive element that go on the attack time, but every HTC One remains the same or even higher price competition that gives no truce.
So there may be no surprise that the second major release of the company is not actually a successor to the HTC One M9 beginning of the year but a flank attack again and somehow think right. Let’s start by reviewing the main features of the HTC One A9 just presented and which is on sale from 1 December.
|HTC One A9, main features|
|Physical dimensions||145.75 x 70.8 x 7.26 mm, 143 grams|
|Screen||5 inches AMOLED (Corning Gorilla Glass)|
|Processor||4×1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 + 4×1,2 GHz|
|Memory||16 GB (expandable with microSD up to 2 TB)|
|Software Version||Android 6.0 with HTC Sense|
|Connectivity||Wifi ac / LTE / Bluetooth 4.1|
|Cameras||13 megapixels (f2.0) OIS / Video 1080p. Front 5MP Ultrapíxel (f2.0)|
|Battery||2150 mAh (not removable) Fast charge|
|Price||Unconfirmed in Spain (US $ 499 and 430 pounds in UK)|
The recipe that articulates with this HTC One A9 is smart. Flee direct confrontation in the high range (the chosen processor is the most obvious sign of this), it shows less ambitious, adjust its price to be more attractive (though not as much as it should have done) and all with certain elements that transmit the idea of being closer to the high end of the half. The first design.
Video review of the HTC One A9
A controversial design would want for themselves and many top models
Moving from press images and our first impressions with the HTC One A9 to the real test driving it for several days of intensive has accentuated my anger so focused that have been comments design One A9 in relation to its resemblance to the last iPhone 6 or 6s.
The similarity is true and very evident for example in the chamber or the lower speaker, but in fact, the design is an improved One A9 legacy of the guidelines that already left us its grandfather HTC One M7 back in the first quarter of 2013 when HTC put on the market a metallic one-piece design has been a reference for generations.
Its dimensions we were definitely with the thickness, got nothing over, and weight of just 140 grams, which leaves it among the best in the segment. If we knew that the battery is integrated, the catch and because of its light weight, one would tend to look at the battery box for donning.
As I have told you, touch the One A9 is grateful, therefore, the use of brushed metal and the integration of each element, such as the curved edges. In these edges, they have located all the main physical elements of the A9. At the top, we find the great IR receiver that HTC does not want to give up when it could reduce its presence in the extent to which this practice seems connectivity. And at the bottom we find the micro USB connection port, headphone port and 3.5mm audio output.
As to the side, they are well used. To the left are located slots for microSD cards and Nano sim, very robust. And on the right we find the power button a little above half of the frame, and just above the volume control. Here we feel that it makes more sense and is a more intuitive place that volume control at the same height but on the left side, which is where they end when fingers grabbed the terminal with one hand. Both buttons have good tour and power adds a pattern that can recognize touch to distinguish the volume control.
At the rear queen sobriety very careful, soft metallic finish and we could even consider slippy if we were to a larger terminal. In our case, we have not suffered falls for feints resbalarnos the terminal in hand. Its narrow width makes it very comfortable and secure in hand.
As mentioned, the rear is very simple, just discontinued by the central logo, the strips to separate antennas casing and camera. HTC has chosen to let centered and well against the upper edge. It’s a matter of getting used to, but the early days with the terminal is not complicated to cover the lens with your finger to support horizontally the One A9 for photos in landscape. If the camera had been farthest edging we oddity. Along with the camera, we find the dual-tone flash.
In the design of this One A9, it is very clear that the camera stands. And there is nothing aesthetic. A functional level should not be a problem in part because the sapphire is the material chosen to protect the main element that is very exposed at all times.
A capacitive fingerprint reader functional
The most important novelty in this functionally One A9 is just below the logo at the bottom of the front.It is a start button capacitive type that have integrated fingerprint reader. It is effective and surprisingly fast, so we can identify even from the lock screen with a single tap.
Simply place the correct finger on the button and in less than one second are on the desktop, receiving as a sign that everything has gone a little haptic correctly answer the button itself. As I have told you is capacitive so it is not necessary to press to use it, and hence it is sufficient to pose once acted finger to activate the display and biometric identification at once. Or at least that’s the feeling you get to the user.
Processor and RAM: we were in the middle range
What leads to more HTC One A9 to typecasting within the average range is the processor. This has not been chosen the most powerful Qualcomm very bad memories yet to HTC, and opt for the most discreet Snapdragon 617, also Octacore and where HTC can afford to lower the price of the terminal without in theory everyday performance is affected.
In our test, we have not appreciated lags or delays in demanding charged or not to work with many tabs in the browser, games but we noticed that in agility are at least one step below the high end. Here we include the 3 GB of RAM even in the base model of 16 GB would have been more successful than guardárselo only for the 32GB version, which we know we will be available in all markets.
over the best models of the current midrange. In addition, as mentioned, experience tells us that this choice made by HTC is more than enough for the range in which it will move.
|HTC One A9
(Exynos Octa 7420)
|Alcatel Idol 3
(HISILICON Kirin 930)
|Moto G 2015
The remaining specifications accompanying the processor on the idea of a mid-range terminal, as it has chosen an internal memory of 16 GB and as I told you, one of only 2 GB RAM. HTC provides an opportunity to improve data with a version of 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, but is not available in all markets.
We have been able to test the basic model with 16 GB of internal memory, of which 6 are standard GB occupied by the operating system and preinstalled applications, so the user, with the newly out of the box terminal, has 10 GB to work.
A good choice of HTC, despite having a body in one piece and metal, is to include a slot for microSD cards. Here not only not limit the possibilities of the smartphone in some aspects such as storage for images, it shows who do not have this option can have one of the best metal designs in one piece without forging microSD card slots.
Screen: 5 inches, AMOLED 1080p
After a period of scoring, each manufacturer is setting the screen diagonal franchise their phones in areas that can almost be considered as “own”. Sony has been in the 5.2 inch its Z5, Apple with its iPhone 4.7, the Galaxy S6 it does in 5.1 and LG G4 is putting more diagonal to its high-end reference 5.5 inches. HTC has established the optimal diagonal 5 inches, a size that repeats in this One A9.
No risk for this decision. Yes, it has taken on the type of panel. HTC has quite risky in what appeared negotiable for them. In recent years, its models have been the scene One to put in the eyes of his fantastic job market with Super LCD screens, work is interrupted and not reflected in this new One A9. Here we have chosen the AMOLED technology.
The big risk in this election is not able to keep up with the kings of this type of display: the Lumia and above all, Samsung with its Super AMOLED.
The panel has a 1080p resolution ( over 440 dpi pixel density) that seems appropriate for this diagonal enough not to fear for this Pentile matrix AMOLED screen. It looks intensely colorful and fantastic contrast, without overloading or be too unnatural, but offers very high levels of brightness.Nevertheless, outdoor visibility is fantastic and overall we can say that this is a great solution.
HTC offers two display modes only: the default one (AMOLED) and sRGB profile that lets the screen rather dull and inconspicuous values.
Then we have some details of which one is reminded too often. This HTC One A9 was minimum brightness, which we found slightly high for when we want to use the screen in complete darkness, and automatic or manual adjustment of brightness. In the dropdown menu for quick access, we have a potentiometer to adjust the brightness but there exists no direct choice between automatic or manual brightness. To manage it we have to go to the general configuration menu.
And to them, despite being a terminal 5 inches, we will not reach comfortably with one hand. As with the iPhone 6s, the upper and lower frames of the terminal are upgradable in size . Especially high, we could be talking about a model with the diagonal screen.
These larger frameworks to prevent what we would be talking about a candidate to provide the best experience in a hand of the market in its range series. In thickness and width, we are very satisfied but HTC has room to crop up in both the top and especially in the lower, where all of the spare logo certainly.
The screen can activate or deactivate two touches. This is just one of the possible gestures within the Motion Launch option, which is included to activate the camera from the volume button or slide up (not soft but forceful way) to go to the desktop from the lock screen, although in this case only works if we have the terminal picked by hand and not on a surface.
Camera: leaving behind the experiments
Nobody can say that HTC has not tried passive and active with the theme of the chamber of his One. His idea Ultrapíxeles was successful while putting the focus on not to worry about the megapixels, but the play did not topped and They have been dragging this deficit until today. Everything they have made progress in image quality from the first HTC One has improved more than the others. So impossible to compete.
And now comes the new One A9. And reduce megapixels, passing the 20 he had the M9 One of this year to 13 million pixels (4/3), an “almost” perfect for the photographic area in which we figure. If the photos we do in 16/9 the eye because the low-resolution images up to 10 megapixels, and the ability to extend and trim without excessive loss of detail is much lower.
The first consequence of these reduction pixels for the sensor is that HTC earns enough brightness in low light scenes. It is very noticeable that the facility now has a decent camera for night scenes, although they are still processing that eliminates excessive detail us in some situations.
In these nocturnal scenes, we failed on occasion approach, especially when the subject was photographed in the foreground. It was not for speed, that is, but for accuracy. It is not immediately achieve the level we want to keep in focus and although when it comes to the fore the moment we realize, is general scenes surprise comes when it is too late to rectify.
We now talk about the camera of the HTC One A9 when the light is not a problem for the sensor by scarcity. In this situation, A9 One camera is quick both shooting and focusing, but it is a step behind the best of the year if we want to make many pictures continuously.
Light-controlled results are quite correct. The colorful, exposure and level of detail is adequate, although we were shooting in 16/9 in about 10 megapixels pretty fair at this point of the year.
The camera interface has not changed One A9. A major modes accessed quickly (with an option both as sliding sideways) and we highlight the mode called Pro, which allows us to first take photos in RAW. Thereby changing the classic jpg is a matter of a single tap on the screen, but, unfortunately does not give us the option as it does the LG G4 having both options simultaneously.
Regarding the manual controls, with the camera of HTC One A9 we can select the focus, exposure time, sensitivity (max ISO 1600), the exposure compensation and white balance. And all this with an agile and simple interface.
Other modes of camera are and Self-timer (resolution of 4.1 or 1.2 MP, makeup and so live that we can control with preview), Panoramic (with a level to maintain the “horizon” under control), Hiper lapse (video in which we can easily adjust and stabilized the playback speed between 2X and 12X) and slow motion. Then, for each photo, there is the option to share in networking, integrated into Zoe or edit easily.
Sound and battery excellent and risky
The magnificent work that HTC has done with its One A9 design and a remarkable choice of components in sections as the screen or processor is somewhat overshadowed by the autonomy.The nonremovable has a capacity of only 2150 mAh. The decision was risky but necessary to get by HTC slim design and especially light. And he came out fairly well.
With heavy use, in our test thanks to a more efficient processor and new display and Android 6.0 on consumption management background, we have reached the end of the day, but not quietly. Early in the afternoon and had to moderate the use of the terminal for not running out of battery, which leads to a scenario in which a fairly heavy user need recharging before it reaches the end of the day. These data are in line with evidence from other media.
Good news on the A9 One battery is compatible with fast charging Qualcomm, both the 2.0 and the 3.0 future, it will be possible via a simple upgrade. So there is wireless charging.
Quite the opposite can be said of the sound. True, a stronghold of the HTC has always been the sound we obtained both the speakers and headset. One A9 This is now the first section as a feature, like any other.
The inclusion of the start button to terminal removed one of the two areas where HTC had placed high-level stereo in your speakers One previous model. Now we have to settle for a single locked in the bottom of the frame (yes, just like in speaker iPhone) and offers good sound, nothing extraordinary potential but acceptable, but that dive we could achieve with the front two other HTC. As with the iPhone, just hold the terminal covering that area to stay literally no sound.
Where no concessions from HTC is the sound you get with headphones. The output is certified by Dolby, it is compatible with HiRes audio and includes a DSP and a 24-bit DAC that allow us to enjoy a wide and powerful sound in addition to bright without having to climb just the volume and try their luck with distortions. Although there is a subjective part in the test, it is quite likely that this is the best year smartphone for use with headphones.
I play the trick of the operating system updated
The HTC One A9 will be released directly to the latest version of Android, the recent 6.0 for now only have the Nexus of Google. And if we take seriously what HTC said in the presentation, they want to compete at the level of operating system updates.
In the US market (for now has not been confirmed for more territories), you can buy a version called Unlocked who, along with a one year warranty against all defects include series, a commitment that will always have your operating system upgraded the latest version that Google takes 15 days to be available in the “official” terminals.The commitment you want to get HTC is commendable and if satisfied, will be a great asset in its favor. We just hope not to limit their availability to the US.
Regarding the One A9, the powerful Sense layer has been reduced to some applications and very slight modifications to the interface. Great success and seems to help to try to fulfill that great promise of being in an Android smartphone that will soon forever to get updated.
HTC One A9: Review and note Xataka
The plan has been designed and is ready to run HTC had good ideas until we’ve hit the price. Finally will be $ 499 for the basic version (in Spain it has been reported that the final price will be lower than the HTC One M9 at its output), leaving abandoned to its fate One A9 in a limbo of ranges does no all right.
The new HTC has glimpses of high-end design and even camera and screen, but the other elements are clearly at an average range. Level, but well below what we consider as high-end.
However, for the price announced in the US and UK ($ 499 and 430 pounds respectively), the One A9 to be trapped so unpardonable at best price high ranges but slightly above, and as complete as it terminals (with the except design) but much less price. And if so, what it is very difficult.