While the HTC One devices might have the reputation as HTC’s top tier products, not all of them are actually high end devices. Case in point is the newly released HTC One A9 but some consumers might not notice it right away without looking at its specifications as the combination of physical design and built material of One A9 gives it a noticeable premium touch.
The design is certainly a much welcomed departure from the old design of One M7, M8, and M9 which is already quite stale in my opinion after being used for the past three years. Unfortunately, the new industrial design has also made One A9 look quite identical to an Apple iPhone 6s especially with its rounded edges, and flat back.
Given HTC’s reputation as one of the pioneer in the smartphone industry, the similarities are rather amusing to say the least although HTC is certainly not to first company to come out with a smartphone that looks like an iPhone. Nevertheless, the One A9 actually felt quite good on my hands thanks to the combination of its lightweight nature and slim chassis although it also felt a little slippery which is likely due to its brushed metal finish.
Another thing that made the One A9 different than many of previous HTC One devices is that it doesn’t feature HTC’s signature front facing BoomSound stereo speakers. Instead, the speaker on One A9 is now located on the bottom part of the device next to its micro-USB port (sorry, no USB Type-C here). That doesn’t mean HTC has ignored the sound quality of One A9 since the company has equipped the smartphone with a built-in DAC and amplifier for headphones as well as additional enhancements by Dolby Audio Surround.
Being a HTC product especially as part of the One series, I’m not surprised to see that One A9’s 5-inch full HD display is quite bright and crispy. The One A9 also features an integrated fingerprint scanner within its home button that is similar in manner to the one on One M9+. Hence, calling it a button might not be accurate though since it is actually a touch-based sensor and doesn’t sink in when pressed – so, it might take some time for certain users to get used to it.
While my time with the device was rather too brief to give it a thorough inspection, the One A9 does feel quite swift and responsive in terms of performance. As mentioned in our previous reports, the One A9 is running on a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor which is essentially a mid-range processor and it is paired together with 3GB of RAM as well as 32GB internal storage.
The launch event was not exactly a perfect place to test out One A9’s UltraPixel front camera and OIS-equipped 13-megapixels rear camera but nevertheless, here are some test photos that I’ve snapped with them:
To sum things up, the HTC One A9 looks and feels quite solid in terms of design and performance as far as my first impression goes. Unfortunately, its RM 2,229 price tag seems quite high for a smartphone with a mid-range processor although the aesthetic aspect of the device might help convince users to get their hands on One A9 despite its likeness to iPhone 6s.