By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
The One A9 is HTC's take on the midrange market and while this model received a lot of criticism for looking just like an iPhone 6, which it totally does, it does manage to diversify HTC's product portfolio with the HTC One M9 remaining the flagship device and the Desire line as the more affordable option.
I commiserate with HTC. The company has long led the Android OEM space with stellar and bold industrial design and materials and way before competitors like Samsung or LG went for metal and glass look and feel. For the A9, the couldn't simply put out a smaller HTC One (that's something they've already done before but which didn't really work out too well).
So, HTC just looked at the hottest smartphone in the market and decided to make something similar. What we get is a slightly larger rounded metal and glass unibody design that's reminiscent of an iPhone 6. HTC does use their patented finish.
For CAD $649.00 unlocked (yes, that's what midrange smartphones cost in Canada these days), the HTC One A9 offers a 5-inch HD display, a much improved 13 megapixel rear-facing camera with the ability to capture RAW files, and an Ultrapixel front facing camera for selfies that's designed for low light shooting.
Powering this svelte beast is a Snapdragon 617 octa-core processors with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 1.2GHz, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage that's easily expandable via microSD. a fingerprint reader for access control and possible mobile payments is a nice addition which event the flagship HTC One M9 doesn't have.
Since HTC no longer features Beats speakers, it now has Dolby audio which is decent but not outstanding. Software is Android 6.0 with HTC Sense and is a surprisingly smooth and rather uncluttered experience.
The HTC One A9's strongest features, really, are its looks and the smooth and sleek design that it offers Android users. There are a variety of colours as well including red, gold, silver and slate, although not all colours may be available to all markets.
The HTC One A9 is a solid and capable device, one that won't disappoint in terms of performance or functionality and which offers a truly different Android experience in a 5-inch smartphone. The design and execution showcases HTC's expertise in creating high quality devices even if the look and general feel is derivative of Apple's current batch of iPhones.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5