In case you haven’t heard, the HTC One M9 has officially launched in Taiwan and reviews of the international version of the phone have started pouring in. While our HTC One M9 review is still in the works and will be along shortly (here’s everything you need to know about it in the meantime, and you can always talk about it at AndroidForums.com), we thought it wise to bring you the opinions of some of the web’s top tech outlets ahead of the phone’s April 10th availability here in the United States.
Engadget, who rated the phone 84 out of 100, says that while it looks and feel just as good as the previous two entrants have, there wasn’t a big enough improvement in the camera department to completely win them over. “Alas, the M9 is let down by a camera that isn’t as good as it should be,” said the reviewer, who noted that it wasn’t much better than yesteryear’s Ultrapixel counterpart that now sits on the front.
The Verge gave it a similar rating of 8.3/10, and echoed Engadget’s sentiments about the HTC One M9’s 20.7 megapixel camera. “For the third year in a row, HTC has a really compelling phone with a disappointing camera,” writes Dan Seifert.
And that seems to be the common theme here — the familiar design is fine, because it’s actually good. HTC Sense is better than ever, and the Snapdragon 810 is plenty powerful to make it run smoothly. But if the HTC One M9 is supposed to one-up its predecessor in every other way, then the camera seems to have missed the memo. Here’s a bundle of impressions from other notable outlets:
“HTC played it safe this year instead of pushing things further. Honestly, if you’re willing to settle for the M9, you should also look at the M8 while you’re at it. It lasts longer, it feels just as fast, and it costs less.”
“Although we’re still missing some of the pieces, based upon what data we have the One M9 is in an alarming place for a new smartphone. It’s pretty rare that a new phone ends up regressing in almost every major way compared to an old phone, but the One M9 ends up doing this in display and battery life. “
Phone Arena (8.3/10):
“As we take a look at the bigger picture, we certainly can agree that the HTC One M9, as a whole, has been tweaked and refined to correct the issues that were left outstanding with the M8.”
“The only thing I don’t like about the new HTC One M9 is that I cannot yet buy one on T-Mobile. Actually, I am a bit disappointed that there is no OIS support for the rear camera.”
“As a sequel to the One M8, it’s definitely a letdown: the new camera is worse in low light; the aesthetic changes are subjective; and most of the software improvements will probably come to the M8 anyway.”
“There’s no denying it, the One M9 is another fantastic phone from HTC. Yes, it is let down slightly by an inconsistent camera and some software niggles, but the One range remains one of the best all-round flagships you can get thanks to the One M9.”
“If you’re an HTC fan, the M9 is HTC delivering what you love, with power, precision and sophistication. But with the overriding aim of refinement, of correcting the parts of the M8 that didn’t quite work, HTC has focused attention on its camera. It’s here that the M9 stumbles.”
“The HTC One M9 is a great phone, but it’s so much more of the same. In a lot of ways, this is simply a One M8+.”
“Latest Snapdragon, latest Android and Sense, Dolby Surround added to HTC Boomsound, very good screen quality. With a proper camera finally on the list, the HTC One M9 is the all-round flagship smartphone the company should have had a while ago. “
“Refinement, not revolution. HTC took what was undoubtedly a handsome, capable phone in last year’s M8, and thoughtfully polished away the rough edges. “
“One M9’s camera is improved, but not not enough to make it a “killer app” that sets this phone apart from its peers. And — in early testing — the battery life does not impress.”
“HTC’s new One M9 is a strong offering from the scrappy Taiwanese company. It’s the strongest phone HTC has ever made. The hardware is sleek, the performance is smooth, the power is there and it has been improved in almost every way compared to its predecessors.”
“There’s no headline grabbing innovative ideas here. There’s no HTC Pay or curved edges, but there is a solid phone that has some decent standout features. The fact is that I enjoyed using the One M9, which is probably the most important metric to measure anything against. But some glaring mistakes means HTC missed an opportunity to make this the complete smartphone.”
“Let me make one thing clear: the HTC One M9 is an excellent phone, filled to the brim with good features, a clever interface and a design that it should rightly be proud of, once again showing every other brand how it should be done. The issue is that it doesn’t improve enough.”
And there you have it. We’ll have to put the device through its paces ourselves to see if we agree with any of these opinions, but trot on over to the HTC One M9 section at AndroidForums to discuss these early impressions and whether the HTC One M9 will be worthy of your attention once it hits retail (and feel free to drop a comment below, too).