HTC One A9 review

After the year HTC has had, you almost can't help but feel bad for them. Don't. The Taiwanese phone maker can't take your pity to the bank, so it sequestered itself behind closed doors and tried to build a new smartphone that would excite people the way the last-gen One M9 simply couldn't. The end result is the One A9, a "flagship" smartphone that traded some of the One series' signature features for a divisive design and a seemingly mid-range brain. If this were any other company, I'd have written it off already. The thing is, HTC jumped straight into the big leagues with the One M7 two years ago and I so want it to make a comeback with another brilliant smartphone. Sadly, though, the One A9 seems not to be that device.

PROS

  • Respectable performance

  • Impeccable build quality

  • Ships with Android 6.0

  • HTC's Sense UI is even leaner now

CONS

  • The design looks very familiar

  • Middling camera

  • BoomSound speakers are gone

  • The alluring price tag is temporary

SUMMARY

After the One M9 failed to find its footing, HTC cooked up a sequel with a new but derivative look. It's a well-built device and is one of the first to ship with Google's latest version of Android, but some of the One series' hallmark features are nowhere to be found. The end result is a phone that, while perfectly good, doesn't stand apart from the competition.

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