HTC One M9 Review: Lollipop, Octa-Core Snapdragon, Boomsound Impress

User Experience and Software

Android Lollipop has been out for some time now, so the Material Design look isn’t quite as foreign as it used to be. HTC’s Sense overlay doesn’t muck with what Google has created too much, and best of all, we’ve noticed no apparent sluggishness or resource drain due to HTC’s tweaking. BlinkFeed is one of the extras you’ll receive, which seeks to pull in stories and social updates from your best of friends and most admired sources. It works decently, but we’ve learned to favor individual apps for maximum interaction abilities. Thankfully, pretty much all of HTC’s amenities are avoidable if you choose.

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Put simply, Android 5.0.2 runs like a dream. Of course, with the Snapdragon 810 pushing the pixels alongside 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 430 GPU, we wouldn’t have expected otherwise. It’s one of the fastest phones we’ve used to date, particularly with gaming and video playback. Oddly, our browsing tests weren’t as speedy as we would’ve expected, but sometimes benchmarks can be deceiving. In real world use, we never noticed a stutter and this device just responds flawlessly.

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The UI looks gorgeous throughout, and we never had to wait for apps to load or close, or home screen transitions to occur. We typically go easy on the widgets for fear of bogging things down, but this phone is built for ‘em. Google Now works delightfully well, and even the basics (calling and texting) work and sound great.

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Speaking of sound, HTC’s BoomSound audio is more than a cutesy name. The clarity and loudness from the two front-facing speakers rival anything on the market today. Granted, it’s not often that you use your smartphone as a standalone boom box, but we were struck with just how great the audio fidelity and output from the One M9 came through.

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