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HTC One M9: First Impressions

News by Luke Jones on Sunday March 01, 2015.

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One M9
One M9

HTC has launched the One M9, the company's newest flagship smartphone. The Taiwanese company announced the handset at the Mobile World Conference here in Barcelona, but unfortunately it is not good news for those clamouring after something new and fresh. New is a fair description of the One M9 actually, but fresh most definitely is not as this is nothing more than an updated One M8, for all the good and bad that brings.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the image of the One M9 you see above is actually of the One M8, that's how similar these two handsets are. Sure, the differences are there, although they are incredibly subtle. It seems like HTC has not just shot itself in the foot, but just kept on shooting and taken the whole leg. It's worth remembering that the One series is more about cutting edge market munching design that it is blistering top of the line specs.

There were always higher spec'd smartphones than the One M8, and indeed the One M7, but none on the market could really match them for looks. For HTC to decide to keep the design largely the same seems mega lazy as this is a handset people were expecting to make an aesthetic statement. Of course, the look is still sexy, the One M8 is still a nice looking device, but the truth is Samsung has just released a better looking handset in the Galaxy S6 Edge... who would have thought it.

So, if the One M9 is not really the king of design anymore, it had better bring some pretty good hardware to the party. For the most part it does, but again there is nothing here that you have never seen before and first impressions suggest that the M9 is a master at nothing. It gets a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 with 3GB of RAM, the same 5-inch 1080p screen as the One M8, a 32GB of storage, and a 2,840 mAh juicer.

HTC has done away with the 4MP UltraPixel lens it housed in previous One models and has turned to a more conventional 20 megapixel module that sits rather square and ugly on the device. From what we have seen so far, this snapper is neither spectacular nor awful, so if you want a HTC smartphone and are a photo fiend, then the Desire EYE still remains your best option.

If you liked the One M8, there is little to complain about in regards to the M9. It is an incremental update in every sense and it improves what is still a very good smartphone. However, this is HTC's flagship for 2015, this is not a M8 refresh. This handset is meant to sit alongside the very best, and I am sorry on first impressions this is simply not good enough for that. It seems lazy, which is an absurd notion considering HTC's recent output has gone from solid to inspired, especially in the design department.

Of course, we will wait for a review unit before throwing any lasting impressions, but right now we are hoping HTC has something else up its sleeve for the fall. Otherwise you can color us very disappointed.

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About the author

Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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