Android

HTC One M9 vs. HTC One M8: Better Camera, Gorgeous Design

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The HTC One M9 and One M8 are basically twins released one year apart. (Image courtesy of HTC)

The HTC One M9 is the third entry in the line of Android handsets that?s first to adopt metal finishes. The Taiwan-based device maker has made a good job of releasing a well-equipped flagship that continues their tradition of premium aesthetics. Since the HTC One M8 is not one with many faults, the company seems to have had a hard time one-upping their own creation. After all, you really can?t fix something that isn?t broken. However, the M8 still leaves some room for improvement and HTC worked hard to address that.

Design

Superficially, it?s hard to tell HTC One M9 and one One M8 apart. Both devices? 1080p HD display resolution and 5-inch size didn?t change. The same BoomSound speakers are still there, although HTC now calls it ?Dolby Audio.? The new handset has the familiar brushed aluminum body but this time it is covered with a coating so that users won?t get the cold feeling of bare metal.

The power and volume buttons are overhauled but some tech reviewers believe this revamp leaves a lot to be desired. In the One M8, the power button is found at the top but now it is placed on the side next to the volume buttons. Speaking of volume rockers, they are now replaced with two separate oval-shaped buttons for increasing and decreasing the volume. In other words, the handset?s right side now has strip of three similarly designed buttons. That may lead some users to ask: Is the power button the one on top or bottom? Is that button at the middle the “volume down” or “volume up?”

Specs

Under the hood, the HTC One M9 is beastly device. It?s one of the first smartphones to offer the state-of-the-art Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset which contains a 64-bit octacore processor along with an Adreno 430 GPU. This is a welcome improvement considering that the One M8?s Snapdragon 801 chipset is still a relevant performer in its own right.

HTC?s 2015 flagship runs Android Lollipop v5.0.1 layered with the company?s proprietary Sense 7 UI (user interface). This Android skin also received its own fresh features including the ?Smart Launcher? which adopts the home screen based on a user?s location. For instance, according to your preference the home screen will display apps like the music player or Netflix when you?re at home, or Foursquare and Maps when you?re traveling. The device?s battery has a slightly higher capacity at 2,840 mAh versus the 2,600 mAh of the One M8. It still supports a MicroSD slot and is furnished with an infrared blaster.

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Camera

Both the original HTC One (M7) and M8 utilized the ?Ultrapixel? camera that trades the number of pixels for better photos photos taken in low light. Many consumers don?t understand this decision and see it only as a gimmick. That?s probably the reason why HTC finally opted for a more traditional 20-megapixel sensor for the rear camera of the HTC One M9. But the device maker isn?t done with Ultrapixel yet; this time they moved it to the front and equipped with 5 megapixels. This is good news for avid selfie takers since they needed the low-light boost for snapping self portraits without the assistance of a LED flash. Since they?ll take photos at an arm?s length, they wouldn?t need lots of megapixels anyway.

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Photo Credit: ?HTC

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