HTC One M9 update brings improvements to camera, battery life and heat management



HTC is pushing out a new upgrade for the HTC One M9. It’s not a big overhaul of features or a new version of Android (we’re still on 5.0.2 here), but it does bring a number of important enhancements for crucial device features.

For starters, that all-important camera will be getting tweaks to make for better images. The changes include a better auto-exposure balance to make for better exposed shots. We’re also getting reduced noise and blur for low light photos, as well as the reduction of yellow and green hue in photos to make them more color accurate.

In areas of battery life, HTC has improved their Facebook and YouTube integration to make sure they’re sipping less power. Finally the company has improved smart charging to make sure the device doesn’t get too hot while it’s juicing up.

The upgrade is headed out to European devices starting today, while those in North America will have to wait a while longer. You’re looking for version 1.40.401.5, so check for it (carrier variants might not receive it right away) and let us know how it’s treating you on the other side.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Hooray! Right now, I’m struggling to get more than 3h of SOT. Totally unacceptable for a 2015 phone.

    1. For an HTC – Volume down while powering on, use the on screen instructions to navigate to RECOVERY from HBOOT. Clear cache from recovery, reboot. If that doesn’t help, visit us in the forums.

      Clear cache after every OTA, doesn’t matter what brand or model (although the steps will vary).

      If that doesn’t help, visit us in the forums.

      1. says doesnt matter what brand or model?? I got the 5.1.1 update for my NExus 6, should I have done that when I updated 2 weeks ago??

        1. Yeah. See my reply above as to why.

          Remember when I posted that I always get 6 to 8 hours of SOT/charge? I’ve been getting that since 2012 on Android. I don’t use power killers like Facebook and I keep Bluetooth and NFC off unless I need them. Everything else I leave alone and I keep it clean under the hood.

          I’m a vocal supporter of HTC (fanboy, whatever, I don’t mind) because of the battery life.

          1. I dont mind HTC fans man =) the ones who own it, love it.

            does the above instructions work on every phone?? i’m really wanting to try i t out on my Nexus

          2. As I said originally – you do this for every Android, regardless of make and model – only the steps to get to it change and we’ll have help in the forums from other Nexus owners on the steps for yours.

            This is an original Android defect that can be fixed by about 6 additional instructions in an OTA file usually consisting of hundreds or thousands.

            I’ve given up writing the manufacturers because they just won’t listen.

            But look at what every rooter knows (or ought to know if they just RTFM) – whenever you change your rom, you go into custom recovery and clear both Android caches (rooters can do that without losing data) – and do it at the first sign of trouble.

            Follow my advice, on any stock Android I can get you way more than halfway there just clearing the main Android cache.

      2. What does this do?

        1. It’s not just apps that run using caches – the entire operating system has two, just for itself. When the running software doesn’t match the cache, as typically happens when you update the operating system, all manner of wrong behavior breaks out.

          This harmlessly clears out the main cache and the operating system will rebuild it properly as it runs.

          Short of a factory data reset that will clear that second Android cache along with your data, the cache clear is your best friend. It’s not a 100% guarantee but it nearly is as this is where trouble hits first. If it doesn’t work and you still have trouble, backup, factory data reset, and restore is your best friend.

          1. What you’re referring to as the “second Android cache” is the Dalvik cache (don’t know if it’s called something else for ART), which does not get cleared by wiping cache in recovery, only by a factory reset (or by clearing the Dalvik cache using TeamWin or ClockworkMod recovery). That shouldn’t matter though, as the Dalvik cache (or whatever it’s called in the ART world) usually gets rebuilt after an OTA, that’s what happening when it’s “configuring app #23 of 152” after the OTA.

            Wiping the cache through cannot and will not help with battery issues. The only thing the cache is by is recovery. Recovery writes its logs there, and OTAs usually get put there to be installed. The cache can only cause problems if it’s completely full (unlikely).

            A factory reset can help with battery issues. Usually because some system data or app’s data is out of whack. Since this will clear the dalvik cache as well, it also fixes issues there, but that should be rare in this day and age (it was a big issue pre-Gingerbread).

          2. I’m not sure why you want to vote on this. :D

            In one of my laboratories we had a sign –

            One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.

            There is nothing harmful in trying this and it’s recommended, with instructions, on at least the Verizon and T-Mobile support sites for every model they carry where you can get to it – and you can take that as a positive or negative.

            At the very least, you can spend 5 minutes to do it and a day or two to see who’s right and who took the iocaine poison.

            But you do as you think best.

          3. i’ll take your advice

          4. You get mondo in-your-face rights if I’m wrong.

            And if so, then check your reception and check if Media is running all of the time.

            We see a lot of batteries eaten by a bad jpeg that won’t index properly and it drives that process insane.

          5. Looking forward to your report. :)

          6. When I boot it and go to recovery, it says no command….?

          7. You’re halfway there –


            Join us at http://androidforums.com

            More visibility, more Nexus buds, faster response than here – and – threads here lock automatically after a specific time – on the forums, not so much. :)

          8. I don’t expect wiping the cache will help, but it certainly won’t hurt. A factory reset is more likely to help, but of course that means backing up and restoring all your apps and data after.

          9. Yeah, I did try to cover that in terms for non-rooters.

            Even though the Dalvik is gone, the Dalvik cache is still used by ART in the same way – I expect that the name didn’t change to ease Dalvik to ART transitions.

            I noted as well that the Dalvik began getting cleared on an OTA recently. If you want to advise that that can be relied on for all carrier OTAs, ok, you may be right, but I’m not personally comfortable saying that the installer script deficiencies are now a thing of the past.

            Wiping the cache has had a positive effect – not a placebo – on users trying it, and definitely so with battery issues.

            I respect your position, it’s definitely a privilege to exchange with someone who knows the system rather guessing so I’ll respectfully submit that the ideal case is not always the case for all models when confronted with the world.

    2. Yeap, same poblem with my S6. 3 hours SOT it’s so bad it hurts :(

      1. As I said, join our forums. Here’s what you need for your Samsung –


        See paragraph 1.3.

        Don’t worry that it says S5, Samsungs are the same – and the advice is not just for Lollipop.

    3. SOT is Screen On Time? Because when I searched it, I find it related to drunk people. LoL!!

      3 hours of screen-on time would be lovely if I didn’t spend most of my screen time on social networks and mobile games. >.>

    4. How? I’m not sure what I average, but it sure isn’t a measly 3 hrs. I run auto bright and have wifi, location and nfc settings off (unless I need them). Will even toggle data off if I know a building is going to weaken my signal causing unnecessary battery loss.

      1. I keep wifi on all the time, but there’s no way that’s what’s draining my battery. I think it may be down to poor software and poor signal. The second is bad everywhere I go, both home and work. But other phones have done better with less resources at their disposal.

  2. You can only polish a turd so much…

    1. completely agree. do people think it will fix the camera/battery THAT much?

      1. Yea, we really do, software can be really vital to the functioning of hardware, anybody who knows anything, knows that

        1. I disagree. points at every moto X for all gens. did their updates fix what it was supposed to fix?? sure, but dramatically?????? nope, thats my point. not that it wont help, but will it fix is all THAT much…as I stated up top

          1. Moto X is weak tho, intact, besides motorola stuffing a big battery in their droid line and building pretty sturdy phones not made of metal, Motorola was never the best when it came to software optimization

          2. good point, it is weak….but so it HTC’s cameras on every phone. Maybe not AS BAD as Moto’s. Not trying to cause confrontations man, I usually agree with your comments and posts. I just cant see a software update impacting it all that much. I’m sure it will help! I hope what I mean is coming through over this comment.

          3. Yea it is, I just can’t understand a 2015 camera with 20mp from a top OEM being that bad, like there has to be some other issue and I’m hoping it’s software, like I could see if this was 2012 or 13, but it’s 15, there isn’t an excuse for that, so I guess I’m really really just hoping this is a real fix, I’m waiting to see some results posted

          4. totally agree with that logic

          5. Agreed, and the worst Motorola phone with software optimization problems was the Nexus 6.

          6. I disagree. I have the Nexus 6 and it has beaten out the iPhone 6, 6+, Sammy S6, Note 4, M8 and Xperia line in blind tests left and right. Its a solid camera that i’ve grown to love a lot. Its a lot better than my G2, not the G3 though.

          7. The camera was cool and so was the front facing speakers and the 6 inch screen. The horrifying lag and other problems killed the experience. Please stop referencing tests, and opinions. The only true opinion is yours. You like it, thats all you need to know. You may hate it eventually. lol

          8. touche, u are right.

            I love the speakers and screen. The battery life is getting me just shy of 2 days on moderate use. I received 5.1.1, 2 weeks ago and the lag that I had before that is completely gone. They fixed the memory leak, so the phone is SNAPPY and smooth as ever. Its like night and day to be honest. The only thing I hate about the camera is the focus “speed” (or lack thereof)

          9. i got one update before i ditched it, so i did give it a chance. I did hear after the fact that the 2nd or 3rd update finally fixed the lag. I was gone by then. lol. Thats how u lose customers.

          10. yeah good point. Its why i’m not going back to Sammy, the s3 completely killed it for me so I understand completely.

          11. i dont know how my wife uses those Samsung phones. The camera, the interface is frustrating at times. Finding stuff in the settings menu is similar to finding a needle in a stack of needles.

          12. yep, in some ways I feel I should have stuck with LG, LOOOOOOVED the G2 that I won on phandoid. It really sold me on the G3 which was an amazing phone. I think stock android/frontfacing speakers/6 inch screen sold me on my Nexus. too many choices anymore!

          13. The last camera update for the M9 made a huge difference, although you wouldn’t know it since all the reviews are based on the release version.

      2. I take it you did not visit the before and after comparison threads at XDA for HTC’s last camera update.

        People believe that a software update for the M9 camera matters because it’s true.

    2. Aaaah shut up

  3. Be great to see before and after image samples.

    1. agreed! I’ll hold off on judging until I see that too

  4. Too little too late… if I wanted the M9 I would have gotten the much better M8.

    1. I can assure you the m9 is better than the m8 in every way other than media link HD compatibility

      1. Performance won’t be noticeably different. Hardware looks are virtually the same except it “feels better” in hand, for whatever that’s worth. And screen on time is better if not worse than the M8. You’re not getting a real update copping an M9. Stop tricking yourself into thinking otherwise.

        1. Performance actually is noticeably better. Front camera is better, back camera is better, build quality is better, You don’t get two new scratches a day, the screen is more durable, the innards are more future proof, the software is better and more customizable and the speakers are louder. How the hell is the m8 “much better”, buddy? Did you talk and then think.

          1. And feeling better in hand is worth a lot when it doesn’t slip out DAILY actually

          2. Front camera is probably better, fine. The back camera is easily the biggest let down of the device… Reviewers and friends I personally know have all said the same. Build quality is better? Sure… But not by much. Software is virtually the same… And HTC is porting the Sense 7 software suite to the M8… As an M8 owner you’re not missing out on much. Speakers are louder… Ummm, great… But the M8 is easily in second place if that’s the case, M8’s speakers are still phenomenal. It may not be a better device all around, but it comes damn close… And it being half the price of what the M9’s going for. Your better off saving your money and going for an M8 are going with a different OEM altogether…


            A huge HTC fanboy that finally saw the light.

          3. You’re exactly right. Not that much better but what is THAT much better than the previous year’s? None. At least we agree the m8 isn’t “much better”. They’re BOTH phenomenal phones

          4. Correct. None of this year’s releases were anything much better than last year.

    2. In no way is the M8 better than the M9.

      1. Its better in this fact that you get better On Screen time with virtually the same experience for half the price.

        1. I can’t compare screen on time to the M8, but the battery is bigger in the M9 and it has battery saving modes that the M8 didn’t. Hopefully this update will help with battery life, and once we get 5.1.1, that will certainly help (5.0.x is a pig).

      2. Right, it looks exactly like a M8 and can heat your home in the winter……

        1. I haven’t experienced the M9 getting any more than slightly warm. All the complaints I’ve seen about it getting hot come from people who don’t actually own an M9.

          1. Yep once the patch to cripple performance of the Snapdragon 810 is applied it SEEMS fine…..

          2. The M9’s performance is excellent, not crippled at all.

    3. This statement literally makes no sense.

      1. Do you enjoy pretzels?

        1. even less sense, but yes i do enjoy pretzels…. lol

  5. Nothing wrong with the camera. The battery use and heating up while charging are the only issues.

  6. heat management? oh snap(dragon) 610

  7. I have a HTC One m8 and battery life sucks since the Lollipop update. Does anybody know if I can do something to improve it? Did a factory reset after updating.

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