HTC One M9+ Review

Call quality

HTC doesn't have 'uh-oh' protection for this kind of issue.

A problem we encountered whenever we used the HTC One M9+ for phone calls was that voices sounded strangely distant in the earpiece. We tried finding a better position with our ear, a sweet spot that would fix things, but to no avail. It's a really rare, strange kind of issue, which we feel impacts the experience negatively. Thankfully, at least our callers don't find any problem with the way our voice sounds on their end.

Battery life


With a 2840 mAh battery, the One M9+ is rated to have pretty good talk- and stand-by time. During our testing, we didn't find it to be anything that impressive, but it does manage to deliver the standard one or one and a half days.

Our battery benchmark burns through its battery in 6 hours 21 minutes, which is about average. Actually, it's shorter than the Galaxy S6's 7h 14 min, or the Xperia Z5's 7 h 7 min. Meanwhile, charging the M9+ takes quite a bit of time: 3h 5 min, against 1 h 18 min for the GS6, and 2h 36 min for the Xperia Z5.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
HTC One M9+ 6h 21 min (Poor)
HTC One M9 6h 25 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S6 7h 14 min (Average)
Apple iPhone 6s 8h 15 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
HTC One M9+ 185
HTC One M9 106
Samsung Galaxy S6 78
Apple iPhone 6s 150

Conclusion


It's hard to understand what HTC has in mind with the One M9+. Perhaps the key is in the name of the device? The 'plus' should mean it's a better/bigger version of the M9, right? However, that is not entirely true.

Yes, the screen is 0.2” bigger, the resolution is (unnecessarily) higher, and there's a fingerprint scanner, but the chipset and build quality aren't as good as those of the M9. If the M9 is the premium product, the M9+, interestingly, comes off as a slightly cheaper, less exquisite variant, despite the bonus characteristics that aren't present on the flagship. The M9+ has a rather peculiar positioning within HTC's range.

Leaving this puzzle aside, the One M9+, by itself, is a mixed bag. The design is decent, if a bit over-the-top, but the screen's color balance leaves a lot to be desired, just like that of the M9. The chipset here, the MediaTek Helio X10, does a good job with system performance, but isn't quite top of the line. And while Sense 7.0 UI does appear mature and coherent enough, the user experience as a whole isn't as polished or seamless as we'd like it to be. It's a bit rough around the edges. Factor in the mediocre camera and unsatisfying call quality, and there just doesn't seem to be that much in the HTC One M9+ to keep us interested. Come on, HTC, we know you can do better than that!

Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 5.0.2 | Software number: 1.88.707.2

Pros

  • Nice, metal design
  • Decent stereo speakers
  • Sense UI is coherent

Cons

  • Inaccurate screen color balance
  • User experience needs more work
  • Average camera quality
  • Troublesome call quality

PhoneArena Rating:

6.0

User Rating:

9.5
6 Reviews

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