The HTC One A9 is the brand's latest attempt to bring some class into the smartphone market - and with the range of tech and functionality on offer here, it manages it with aplomb. Whether it's the impressively-performing 13MP camera, the front-facing selfie-snapper that's brilliant in dark scenes, there's a lot to love here. And that's without even talking about the fact it's got its own amplified and audio upscaler inside to make any tunes sound amazing - really, you'll be reaching for this whether you fancy a Spotify session or checking out the latest trailers. And we haven't even mentioned the design - it's slimline, smooth and feels amazing in the hand.
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HTC One A9: Fact file
Don't not adjust your screen. We've haven't accidentally included images of the Apple iPhone 6 in a report on an HTC handset. This really is the HTC One A9. it just looks like a dead ringer for everyone's fruity phone and almost definitely not by mistake.
But that needn't be a bad thing. After all, if you iPhone style but on the Android platform. Now you can have it. What the HTC One A9 is not, however, is the absolute last word in superphone technology. The evidence for that starts with the Snapdragon 617 chip.
It's not exactly a slouch, the 617. And it does boast eight cores. But it's relatively lowly clocked compared to bleeding edge handsets. Likewise the 5.0-inch AMOLED display sports a merely full-HD 1,920 by 1,080 pixel grid instead of the 2,560 by 1,440 insanity of the very best phones. Storage of 32GB doesn't compare all that favourably with the best either.
Nor does the 13MP camera, which conspicuously lacks support for 4K video capture. The 2150mAh looks pretty stingy, too. But let's be clear. Not being absolutely cutting isn't the same as being bad.
Design deja vu aside, the One A9 is a delightful physical specimen. It's well made, uses strong materials to create an excellent build quality and offers a great look and feel in the hand.If the perfect phone for those that want the iPhone 6S look but prefer Android.
The camera is upgraded and takes decent stills when you work with the Pro mode to get the snap you want, and there are some cool other features to make it worth playing with. It's certainly a step up from the One M9, which didn't impress at all.
The audio capabilities are also strong and above expectations. The amplifier that HTC has employed in the past has been upgraded, bringing an even further dimension to songs, though it's a sad thing that the Boomsound speakers aren't being used here.
The closer-to-native Android Marshmallow OS is also a great addition. Access to bespoke features like the HTC Calendar is a plus given they offer genuine upgrades over the stock Google one.
Overall, it's a well-crafted device that's almost a flagship in many ways, and yet goes in a completely different design direction to the M line-up. The size of the phone is one of it's big selling points. Combined with a decent finish, this is a very tactile and usable handset, and the lower-spec chipset doesn't really harm it most of the time.