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

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Camera and Battery Life

In what we can only imagine was a controversial decision within the company, HTC ditched the UltraPixel cameras used on previous One models in favor of a more traditional 20MP sensor on the M9. Despite HTC’s claims that the 4MP UltraPixel camera was capable of better-than-average output, consumers were likely put off by the relatively low megapixel count. So, to appease the masses, there’s a 20MP shooter on the M9.

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In practice, however, images were good but hardly class-leading. In broad daylight, we found images to be sharp and vivid, but in dimmer scenarios, blur crept in. To boot, some of our daylight shots had a washed-out feel that was only remedied by a bit of time in Lightroom.

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All of this has become par for the course with Android cameras. Apple’s tight vertical control of the supply chain enables it to optimize its hardware (camera sensor) and software (iOS camera app) in a way that most Android manufacturers haven’t. Most folks will be perfectly happy with the image quality in the M9, but given the big camera swap, we were expecting greater things. Below is an unedited gallery of shots taken in Auto mode from the One M9.

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The M9 has a 2,840mAh battery, up from 2,600mAh in the One M8 and 2,300mAh in the One M7. It’s non-removable, but Android now provides a power saving feature that kicks in once your power dips below a certain level. The excess capacity is used to sate the power-hungry Snapdragon 810, so don’t expect any massive upticks in usage time. 

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It’s possible to get through a full day with medium to heavy usage, but plan on charging it each night.

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