First camera samples from the HTC One M9

When HTC revealed an “UltraPixel” camera with the M8, many folks had some reservations about the decision. Needless to say, those concerns came to light once it was pitted against the handful of other flagships that soon came out – revealing its inability to capture the same level of detail as these other smartphones.

At the same time, too, HTC introduced the M8 as a Duo camera system, where a second camera lens captured depth information to add in that neat bokeh, or out-of-focus effect to its photos. For all of its unconventionalities, the HTC One M8 was a decent snapper – one that’s sufficient for smaller 4” x 6” printouts, but nothing bigger than that. Considering that fine details weren’t as pronounced with its shots, there was no flexibility in cropping photos without any loss in quality.

Enter the HTC One M9, the latest flagship smartphone announced by HTC. From the looks of it all, they listened to the complaints about its previous handset’s UltraPixel rear camera, and they opted to tack on something more beefy sized. Specifically, it’s armed with a 20-megapixel auto-focus rear camera, which features a BSI sensor, f/2.2 aperture, sapphire cover lens, and the ability to shoot 4K video. Of course, the 20-megapixel count is a dramatic departure from the 4-megapixel count of the M8’s UltraPixel camera, but as we all know, it’s not the higher number that necessarily produces the best results. Rather, it’s a combination of things that do it – like post-processing effects.

Well, we managed to spend quite some intimate time handling a pre-production unit of the HTC One M9 and managed to capture a variety of shots for you to gaze over. Now, we have to stress the fact that these are samples from a pre-production unit – not a final retail model, so there’s always that chance of things changing. So, what do you folks think about the camera?

Related phones

One M9
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP / 4 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2840 mAh(21.7h 3G talk time)



1. teenaxta

Posts: 42; Member since: Sep 10, 2014

nothin special

6. pavsidhu

Posts: 214; Member since: May 20, 2014

In normal light situations it's a nice camera otherwise a flop.

14. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

On normal shots, 100% zoom makes it look muddy... John V...nice smile you got there. XD

2. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Low light?

5. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

Patience, there will be time soon for full camera review. This is test model it is not retail one.

3. darkskoliro

Posts: 1092; Member since: May 07, 2012

Sagrada Família!

4. Derekjeter

Posts: 1488; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Theres nothing that this camera is doing better than the camera on the Note 4 camera. FAIL HTC!!

7. robert26101

Posts: 107; Member since: Mar 21, 2014

Looks good to me.

8. FaisalWibowo11

Posts: 166; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

My review of HTC One M9 camera based on the samples: The processing is quite balanced. There is no aggresive noise reduction and oversharpening, making the images has nice balance of detail preservation and noise levels. Despite the fact that HTC put a sapphire glass into the lens, The quality of the lens, however, is not good. There is a fair amount of chromatic abberation and some fine detail are distorted by moiré

9. TheGunnyPT

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 12, 2015

Looks way better than M8. Processing is fine like Faisal said above.. And count me in for the same comment regarding the lens they aren't bad but they are also not "something special". Still better than M8 "ultra pixel stuff".

10. Glim12808

Posts: 394; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Sad that HTC lost several years focusing on their dead-end UltraPixel camera. I'm glad they finally decided to use the UltraPixel on the front instead and put in a regular main camera in its place. But now they're way behind because it's like starting anew. But I'm confident they'll get there.


Posts: 12; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

"Not a retail model" Should be in big, red, bold letters, as some dumb people don't even read the intro.

12. ZackZL

Posts: 10; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

Hope that the 20mp shooter doesnt dissappoint us like the one in Xperia Z3

17. sticker

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 24, 2015

actually Xperia Z's (from 1 to 3) are bad in display and camera. Too bad for my former loved Sony.

13. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

with looking at that food, i'm not even full

15. Phonecall01 unregistered

It's gonna be an interesting camera battle this year. We'll see what MS Lumia is bringing to the game.

16. Rain017

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 11, 2014

nice shots i'll wait for the final retail unit but im hoping that it will still produce good lowlight shots based on the picture taken above it make me worry about the low-light despite with my m8 i like how it take the low-light shots in bar or in a restaurant at night though daylight shots are so,so i really wish m9 will still produce good low light shots!!

18. derscout

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Thanks for your work! Ordered the M9 today. Btw... What's the name of the restaurant? We'll visit Barcelona in April and have to check this out for dinner!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.