Htc M9 Đánh Giá


I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks with HTC’s new One M9. It’s the latest flagship from the once-powerful điện thoại maker and the successor khổng lồ last year’s One M8. The M9 is exceptionally similar khổng lồ its forebear: it’s nearly all aluminum, has a 5-inch, 1080p screen, has really loud speakers above & below that screen, and is unmatched in build quality, craftsmanship, và design in the app android world.

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The M8 was a great điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh — it was beautiful and fast and featured inoffensive software, great sound, & a sharp screen. The M9 has all of those traits, but it’s also been specifically designed to lớn right the M8’s two major faults: a finish that was too slippery to lớn hold và a camera that took sub-par pictures. Of those two things, the camera is far more important: the M8’s disappointing camera was the big factor holding it back from being great.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to shake the feeling that I’ve seen this all before, that I’ve acted out this scenario already. But I can’t. I’ve been living in smartphone déjà vu.


Déjà vu experiences can be great, frustrating, or even surreal. In the case of the M9, it’s a bit of everything. I’m going to lớn start with the good, because really, there is a lot of good here. The One M9 has a beautiful design, beautiful finish, feels great in the hand, và doesn’t look lượt thích a copy of any other điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh — except, well, the M8. But that’s not a bad thing, the M8 was a great looking phone and the M9 is too.

The main visual differences between the two are the sharper edges of the M9 và the power nguồn button, which finally moved from the vị trí cao nhất of the M8 to lớn the side of the M9. Htc says its goal was to lớn blend the best of the M7 from two years ago with last year’s M8 and I’d say the company succeeded. The M9 you’re most likely to see dons a new two-tone màu sắc scheme: it’s silver on the front & back with gold on the sides. I’m not a huge fan hâm mộ of it, but the other màu sắc options (all gold, black, or even pink) look nicer. The finish is shinier than last year’s mostly matte surface, which works khổng lồ make the phone less slippery than before.

Using the M9 feels largely the same as the M8 from last year

The relocated nguồn button is also much easier to lớn use on the M9, but it’s too easily confused with the volume buttons just above it. A simple fix would be khổng lồ put the volume buttons on the opposite side as the power nguồn button, but overall this is a pretty minor complaint.

On the whole, the experience of holding, using, touching, & taking the M9 in và out of pockets is the same as it was with the M8, save for the lack of worrying that the phone was going to lớn slip out of my hands lượt thích a bar of soap at any given moment. The M9 is slightly shorter & ever so slightly thicker than last year’s phone, but it’s not noticeably different in everyday use.

The same can be said for the M9’s 5-inch, 1080p display và front-facing speakers. The screen is color accurate và bright enough for outdoor use. It doesn’t have as many pixels as other smartphone displays, but it’s dense enough that it’s impossible lớn see any individual pixels or jagginess with the naked eye. Those signature front-facing stereo Boom Sound speakers still sound great too, và the M9’s are even a tad louder this time around.


The M9 is also really fast. It’s got Qualcomm’s new flagship Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM, which means I almost never have lớn wait for an phầm mềm to mở cửa or for the homescreen lớn redraw itself. This isn’t to say the M8 was slow — it wasn’t by any means — but the M9 bring a whole new level of speed. It’s easily the fastest game android phone I’ve used. That speed also comes with efficiency: the battery is slightly larger in the M9 than in the M8 and it consistently went all day on a single charge. It won’t last for more than a day off of the charger as larger phablets with their even bigger batteries can, but if you’re used lớn charging your phone every night anyways, it’ll easily get the job done.

The M9 is easily one of the fastest game android phones I"ve ever used

Part of that speedy experience also is thanks khổng lồ the new version of Sense, the software that htc layers on đứng top of apk 5.0 Lollipop. It’s responsive & quick, và unlike other custom apk interfaces, doesn’t slow down the experience at all. It’s visually very similar khổng lồ the software on the M8 và has most all of the same features. But there two new standout components: a new theming engine that lets you quickly customize the look và sound of the software, & a widget for the homescreen that attempts khổng lồ predict which apps you’ll need based on your location.

The theming ability is cool & fun lớn play with. You can quickly change the wallpaper, tiện ích icons, fonts, sounds, và more on your M9 with a variety of downloadable theme packs. Or you can create one on HTC’s website and upload it khổng lồ your phone or tóm tắt it publicly. You can even build a custom theme based on the colors in a picture you take. The theming does more than I expected it to and it smartly leverages Android’s customizability in fun ways.

I’m less impressed with the predictive widget. It’s supposed to serve appropriate apps for work, home, or travel based on your location. Perhaps my thư điện tử and calendar apps will float khổng lồ the đứng đầu when I’m at the office, while Maps and music are displayed when I hit the road. It’s a useful idea in theory (and it’s not particularly novel —there are a host of third buổi tiệc ngọt app launchers that promise the same things), but HTC’s execution needs work. It takes too long khổng lồ learn my habits & it populates the widget with a thư mục of suggested apps, many of which were comically off base or already installed on the phone. (I have nothing against Canada, but I’ve been in thủ đô new york the entire time I’ve used the M9 and it still insisted that I download the Canadian Post app.) Fortunately, it is just a widget, which means you can easily remove it from the home screen & forget about it.

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But just as last year’s M8 had a lot going for it along with a few critical flaws, not everything is perfect with the M9. The biggest problem with the M8 was its lackluster camera, a low-resolution "Ultra Pixel" camera that just didn’t compare to lớn the best cameras from táo khuyết or Samsung. It was paired with a secondary sensor to vì depth of field tricks that proved to lớn be more gimmicky than useful.

For the M9, htc took a completely different approach: its main camera has a high-resolution, 20-megapixel sensor & that secondary sensor is gone. The UltraPixel camera has moved lớn the front, where it actually works pretty well for low-light selfies và its lower pixel count isn’t as much of a problem. The new main camera has lots of pixels though — a direct response lớn criticisms that the M8’s camera wasn’t high resolution enough.

The M9"s new camera doesn"t result in better pictures

Unfortunately, this new approach doesn’t result in any better pictures, & in many cases, images taken with the M9 are worse than they were last year. The M9 has the px count the M8 lacked, but all too often the images are fraught with noise reduction & smearing of details. Low light pictures often have odd màu sắc casts and there’s unpleasant blooming in highlights. In well lit scenes, the M9 has trouble exposing wide ranges of light lớn dark areas.

The actual camera software on the M9, the app that you use to take photos, is great. It’s fast and easy to lớn use, and provides quick access khổng lồ photographic controls such as white balance if you want them. But the kết thúc result just isn’t as good as it should be, certainly not for a flagship điện thoại thông minh in 2015.



HTC One M9 image on the left, iPhone 6 image on the right (Images cropped and resized for the web)

I tested the M9 against the iPhone 6 side-by-side in a variety of situations, & the M9’s images were softer, not as well exposed, filled with noise reduction artifacts that gave them a watercolor look, và often had inaccurate white balance. The iPhone 6 took better pictures in nearly every comparison. Táo khuyết (and lớn a certain extent, Samsung) has a huge advantage that htc doesn’t: it controls its supply chain very tightly and can choose from the best camera components before anyone else. It"s a disadvantage that htc hasn"t been able to overcome, và it"s very obvious with the M9"s camera.

If there was one thing điện thoại htc had to get right with the M9, it was the camera. The kiến thiết didn’t change, the screen isn’t new, the software is largely the same. The camera is where smartphone htc focused all of its efforts và it came up short.

The original French adjective from which déjà vu is drawn from literally translates khổng lồ "already seen." In the case of the One M9, much of it, from the good to the bad, has already been seen.

On the good side, the M9 is a beautifully designed smartphone, with a great screen, great sound, speedy performance, và all-day battery life. It’s just like last year’s phone in those respects. But on the ugly side, the M9’s camera is a huge disappointment, not only because it doesn’t improve upon last year’s M8, but because it simply doesn’t work as well as many of the other phones you can choose from.

The M9 doesn’t vì anything khổng lồ improve HTC’s position against the rest of ultra-competitive premium điện thoại cảm ứng world. Samsung, HTC’s closest competitor, has dramatically closed the gap in terms of hardware and design with its forthcoming Galaxy S6. And by all accounts, it will have a far superior camera as well. The iPhone has long been a phone with great design và picture quality that beats most point and shoot cameras you can buy.

For the third year in a row, smartphone htc has a really compelling phone with a disappointing camera

Smartphones aren’t just phones anymore, they are increasingly the only cameras that people own or use. People often pick a phone based solely on how well it takes pictures and the phone’s camera can make or break the device. In the case of the M9 (and the M8 before it), it breaks it.

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For the third year in a row, smartphone htc has produced one of the most visually alluring smartphones that feels as incredible as it looks. And for the third year in a row, it has show-stopping flaws, which bring the great experience you’re having to lớn a screeching halt.

Here’s one more definition: "Insanity is doing the same thing over & over again và expecting different results."