Introduction


The life cycle for today's flagship smartphone is one year: the time needed to naturally make improvements and tweaks, while also adding some new features, in order to make the new product more lust-worthy than the last. The HTC One M8 was undoubtedly a refined model over the M7, making great strides in the design department, but as history has shown us, the overall package still didn't quite make a significant impact on hungry consumers looking for that perfect all-around phone. With its latest iteration, the HTC One M9 aims to capitalize on the opportunities presented with the M8. At the same time, though, we’re curious to find out if the M9 is a monumental leap, or just an incremental step up from its predecessor.

Design

The M9 looks closely similar to the M8, but it addresses some of the design concerns of its predecessor.

Viewing it from a cursory approach, the design between the two phones will appear similar to most folks, as the M9 clearly retains its predecessor's premium design language, but makes some logical changes in the process. We can't deny that the two are one of the most beautifully designed phones out there, but there are clearly a few more qualities found with the M9 that make it more favorable.

Specifically, its new scratch resistant finish doesn't make it as slippery to hold. Meanwhile, the dual-tone finish unexpectedly gives the M9 a slightly sharper feel in the hand – whereas the M8 has a seamless, rounded look around its sides. However, we absolutely like how the power button on the M9 has been relocated to the right side, making it more accessible. What’s apparent here is that the M9 recycles the design of the M8 for the most part, which is a common practice amongst phone makers. There’s nothing wrong in that decision, partly because they’ve addressed the few issues we’ve had with the M8.


HTC One M9

HTC One M9

Dimensions

5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 inches

144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

HTC One (M8)

HTC One (M8)

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.78 x 0.37 inches

146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

Dimensions

5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 inches

144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

HTC One (M8)

HTC One (M8)

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.78 x 0.37 inches

146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

Going with the same screen size and resolution, the M9’s display strangely exhibits a colder tone.

Interestingly enough, HTC decided to slap the M9 with the “same” 5-inch 1080 x 1920 (1080p) S-LCD 3 display we’ve seen already in the M8. Therefore, when it comes to detail, they deliver the same sharp visuals that make it easy for our eyes to view miniscule details.

On paper, the specs are identical between the two, which leads us to believe that there should be nothing too different, but that’s certainly not the case. Above all, we’re most irked about the M9’s screen color temperature of 8100K. In comparison, the M8’s value of 7200K is a lot closer to that reference value of 6500K, so it means that the M9’s display is considerably colder – giving it a bluish tone. At the same time, there’s more saturation evident in the M9 screen, but we gladly like how it produces a stronger brightness output of 508 nits, a marginal increase over the M8’s mark of 490 nits.

Yes, the color temperature isn’t an improvement for the M9, but nevertheless, most folks will probably view it as negligible – or more likely, attracted to its more vibrant look.



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17 Comments

1. Exempt1 unregistered

2 steps forward, 10 steps back. They were setup with the M8, they got everyone's attention, and then they blow it with the M9. Samsung got everyone's attention with the S2, sold shed loads on the S3. This could have been a similar story, but noooooooooooooooooooooo

2. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

I can't wait to upgrade my m8 to m9

4. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 728; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

Why? Just curious?

5. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

I doubt this is final software, it would be impossible for them to downgrade the battery life and have a bad camera. I like the new dual tone colors as one of the reasons i'm upgrading

8. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 728; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

Cool beans.

3. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

They shouldnt have ditched the 4ultrapixel camera for that gimmicky 20mp. They downgraded the camera

6. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

I dont think Ultrapixel was good enough to compete w/ other smartphones.

7. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

I have a feeling they intentionally put a bad 20mp camera to show that ultrapixel was still their best camera offering. On my m8 the camera is perfect for me, i dont mind other competitors showing better images as long as i'm already contented

14. RajRicardo

Posts: 503; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

You can still use the front camera to snap pics :P

9. xuerantiger

Posts: 53; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

hopefully many of the issues with the m9 can be fixed with software updates (camera and battery life)

10. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

i really hope software is the reason behind the m9's problems because it can at least be fixed with an update but if its hardware then its a lost cause. getting the s6 this year ill miss my m8 tho.

11. waddup121 unregistered

HTC should have honestly ditched Ultrapixel with the first M7, as to consider ultrapixel to be an only test and see how it really works, and how the pro-consumer market will take it in. It was smart putting Ultrapixel in the front for the front-facing camera...and would have been even better move starting with that in the M8 then moving on innovating the camera. HTC, you done f**ked up...big time! You just hurt your sales REAL bad.

12. camera531

Posts: 346; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

The design of the M9 is worse than the M8 in some ways. I hate that "shelf" on the edges. It looks like it's falling out of a case. And the sharper corners on the back look worse than the rounded build of the M8. However, I do like the front better, where the speaker grills are all one piece surrounding the screen. I think I'll just stick with my M8.

13. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

I'm disappointed they removed the hairline on the front of the m9. On my gunmetal gray m8 the front looks shiny because of that

15. Rain017

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 11, 2014

i wanted to switch to m9 but the awful looking low-light shots make me stay with my M8 well day light shots might look good but im a type of person who usually goes out at night for a coffee bar hopping,business dinner and so on... its quite disappointing yeah m8 daylight shots are So,So.. cropping images might be hopeless but im not that type of person who loves to crop pics. its sad that HTC seems to missed big time with this flagship i'll stay with my M9 for now

16. mostafawael.1998

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

I have a strong feeling that all these camera issues are related to the software not the lens. And battery life as well. May be because the new sense 7 + somewhat buggy lollipop 5.0.2 combination gives a bit unoptimized experience and that lollipop 5.1 will bring up much improvements to the battery life That is my point..

17. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

top reason i miss having an HTC One? honestly it's the front facing speakers lol. i love my Nexus 5 but damn do i miss the m7's speakers. was hoping to skip the m8 and go straight to the m9 but i might just try to wait one more generation.

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