Every year, most manufacturers release new flagship smartphones. But it doesn't always make sense to present a brand new design, especially when you have a popular design in hand. Since the release of the HTC One (M7), the manufacturer has continued refining the design of their flagship, and the HTC One M9 shows that even the beautifully crafted HTC One M8 can look even better.
Both the HTC One M8 and the One M9 would look nearly identical to most, with a few subtle yet logical differences which set the two apart. 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. Additionally the power button on the One M9 has been relocated to the right side, making it more accessible.
For its display, HTC has retained the same 5 inch 1080p LCD 3 panel, without opting for a Quad HD resolution like most of their competitors. The display is still sharp, detailed and adequate for the device.
The HTC One M9 features a new powerful octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip with 3GB of RAM. The quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB of RAM on the One M8 may be aging, but it is still capable enough to run everything thats placed in front of it smoothly. Both handsets have 32GB of based storage, which can be expanded through microSD when required.
The clearest differentiator is likely the new Sense 7.0 user interface, which replaces Sense 6.0 found on last year's model. Besides the usual BlinkFeed and various Motion Launch Gestures, HTC has also introduced downloadable themes. Additionally, the new HTC Sense Home widget gives hardened users a degree of organization, as apps within the widget will change accordingly based on your location and usage.
The UltraPixel camera makes a return on the HTC One M9, but has been relocated to the front of the device. The rear camera has been upgraded to a single 20MP unit which captures more detail. The camera is also capable of 4K video capture, while the One M8 is limited to 1080p.
However the One M9 has some annoying issues with battery life and low light cameras performance, which the company needs to take care of if they want their new flagship to be taken seriously.
The HTC One M9 clearly offers itself has an upgrade over the One M8, with more powerful hardware, a nicer design and an improved camera. Still the subtle changes may not be enough to convince an owner of last year's flagship to switch over, though the One M9 is a great choice for someone looking to purchase a new smartphone.