It’s Mobile World Congress time again, and that means most of the world’s smartphone manufacturers (notably barring Apple) are getting ready to wow audiences with their latest and greatest handsets.
HTC was one of the first up on Sunday with the One M9, the successor to last year’s One M8, which was rated by many — including TechCentral — as phone of the year.
Based on early impressions, the M9 is likely to win plaudits as well. Although not much different to last year’s model (why change what’s not broken?), the new design still stands out. HTC has described the new device as having a “jewellery-grade look” — we’ll let readers be the judge of that.
The phone is crafted in an all-metal unibody design in “dual-tone silver and rose gold”.
It comes with HTC Sense 7, the latest version of the Taiwanese firm’s overlay for Android, which is one of the better ones out there. The new software, running on Android Lollipop, “intelligently analyses your favourite photos to modify the look and feel of your apps, colour scheme and backgrounds”, HTC said.
“Sense 7 reinvents the home screen to deliver the most useful apps to your home page based on your location. Whether at home, work or play, you’re never more than a click away from the features you need with this contextual, customisable widget,” it added.
BlinkFeed, HTC’s all-in-one news and social media aggregation widget, is still there — which will no doubt annoy some users — but the company claims this software is now “more intelligent”. It makes it “easier to uncover the hidden gems that surround you by using location data to recommend points of interest, news and information”, it said.
One of the biggest improvements with the M9 — and addressing the primary complaint many people had with its predecessor — is the new, 20-megapixel rear-facing camera, which can shoot video in up to 4K resolution. There’s also an “UltraPixel” front-facing camera, which HTC claims works well in low-light conditions.
HTC has also improved the already rather good audio experience on the M8 (with its dual front-facing speakers), adding new audio technology to the new phone. The M9 has Dolby Surround sound3 simulation, which it claims offers “cinema-style surround sound”.
“Whether listening via the stereo speakers or headphones, even the most discerning music fans will be blown away by the phone’s support for perfect, 24-bit high-definition sound that surpasses even CD quality,” it said. We’ll see.
Of course, all the specifications have been given a bump, too. The battery is now 2 840mAh versus 2 600mAh on the M8. And the processor is a 64-bit Snapdragon 810 unit, over the 32-bit 801 before.
The screen size is the same — five inches — as is its resolution (1080p).
Fans of HTC’s Dot View case, which provides users with basic information on its dot-matrix-like cover, will be pleased to hear there’s a new version coming with the M9. The company is promising more “retro personalisation” with new features and colour options.
The HTC One M9 will be available worldwide in dual-tone silver and rose gold, single-tone gunmetal grey, single-tone gold and dual-tone gold and pink from mid-March. — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media