HTC One A9 Unlocked review
HTC One A9 Unlocked review
The HTC One A9 looks and feels great. It features a polished look in a slick aluminum body with snappy performance with excellent connectivity and network speeds.
The One A9 is the smaller brother of the flagship HTC device the One M9 and certainly resembles the iPhone 6s with it’s smooth curves and polished aluminum body as I’m sure you’ve already thought. The phone isn’t as large as some of the other flagship phones but small enough to fit comfortably in your pocket for those of you who are NOT fans of the Phablet movement.
HTC One A9 Unlocked Specifications
The HTC One A9 unlocked gsm phone isn’t the flagship device but features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 Octa-core 64 bit processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. The One M9 uses the Snapdragon 810 Octa-core CPU. On the rear is a 13MP camera and 4MP on the front facing. Our test unit is unlocked but branded variants include AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. For sound HTC opts for a single speaker with Dolby Audio™ with Hi-Res Audio in place of the front firing dual speakers we have been accustomed to in previous HTC models. An FM radio receiver hardware exists onboard for those of you still enjoy the option of listening to FM radio sans data connection.
There’s a variant of the HTC One A9 which I suspect you won’t find around much anymore luckily, but comes in a 16GB storage with 2GB of RAM flavor.
The HTC one A9 uses a 5 inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen capable of displaying 1080 x 1920 resolution at 441 ppi. The 5 inch screen looks pretty sharp even when stacked up against larger more expensive flagship mobile devices. For glass we find Corning Gorilla Glass 4 with nice softly rounded beveled edges and corners that really enhances the polished look. To complete the smooth finish, HTC uses a capacitive home button / fingerprint scanner which we had no issues with.
Dual trays find their home on the left side of the One A9, the top for microSD card and lower for a nano SIM card, while the volume rocker and ribbed power button land on the right. A slotted section exposes the single speaker while micro USB 2.0 port, microphone and headphone jack stack their way across the bottom.
A 2150 mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 2.0 support (firmware upgradable in the future to Quick Charge 3.0) speeds up charge time nicely. Ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. We’ve applied 3x firmware updates post unboxing and our tests run under Android 6.0.1, firmware ver 1.56.617.1 with HTCSense 7.0_g.
HTC has removed unnecessary bloat ware applications and our 32GB model comes in with just under 9GB used of the 32GB available, which seems about normal yet when you look in the full list of applications, the normal bloatware items are indeed no where to be found.
Performance and Features
The HTC One A9 being the smaller brother of the One M9 is perfectly quick and snappy with it’s Qualcomm Octa-core CPU and 3GB of RAM. The touchscreen is very responsive and pleasant to look at. I’m not overly excited with HTC’s flavor of Android, the UI feels a bit dated to me although it works just fine, just a matter of taste.
Call quality on both AT&T and T-Mobile seem acceptable, there wasn’t anything noticeably great or terrible on either network except maybe some expected dropped signal areas on T-Mobile where AT&T was fine.
What WAS notably exceptional is the WiFi and 4GLTE radio in the One A9 and lives u p to it’s CAT7 and LTE 1,2,3,5,7,8,20,28 network support. WiFi speeds and connectivity are excellent and able to maintain a 390mbps connection over 5GHz WiFi connection where other devices such as the LG V10, LG G4, Galaxy S5/S6 failed to connect to our 5GHz network at all or were only able to maintain a 40mbps connection at our tested distance of 50 feet. Our speed tests also reflect consistently fast 4GLTE speeds upwards of 28mbps/down and 20mbps/up over AT&T 4GLTE network. The HTC One A9 may very well may have one of the best performing network speeds I’ve tested to date on a mobile device; it is able to connect at greater distances as well as maintain the fastest speeds. You mileage may vary.
The non-moving capacitive home button/finger print scanner and the ribbed power button are a nice attention to the overall detail of the phone. The soft curved edges of the polished aluminum body and the marriage of the bezel-less screen to the digitizer is a nice design touch. There’s no lip so careful placing your screen face down on any surface where there might be debris. Gorilla Glass 4 or no, a single rough piece of dirt could potentially scratch the glass so be careful or slap a screen saver film over the glass.
A big feature in the iPhone jailbreaking community is the ability to customize your smartphone. HTC features custom theming without the need to root your device. User created and submitted themes are available for free, simply sign up for an HTC account and you’re able to easily customize your phone’s theme.
Camera functionality is acceptable though not my first choice for smartphone camera quality. Picture quality in low lighting situations can be less than desirable however the speed at which I am able to point and shoot is improved as the phone is fairly quick to respond and focus. Optical Image Stabilization and RAW capture Pro mode allow you to maximize quality and features like Hyperlapse effect allowing you to speed up your videos by 12x. The HTC One A9 is capable of 30FPS in both 720 and 1024 resolutions.
FREE Uh Oh Protection
Certainly worthy of mention is HTC’s FREE Uh Oh Protection program which allows you to get a new phone during your first 12 months if you crack your screen, get water damage or decide you need to switch to or from Sprint (Sprint and Verizon are CDMA based and require different hardware). Are you a tinker junky? HTC even honors your warranty after bootloader unlocking! How cool is that. Truly it’s your device and a direction that I hope all smartphone manufacturers will soon follow suit.
The HTC One A9’s design is a slick iPhone alternative, snappy and small enough to keep in your pocket. The One A9 is an overall good device that is packed with an Octa-core CPU, 3GB of RAM and quick charge 2.0 support for faster charging when you need it. Free Uh Oh Protection, blazing Wifi/4GLTE connection speeds with an excellent warranty make the HTC One A9 a good contender for a non-flagship device. Just a little overpriced at this time but with the fast moving production of phones, the One A9 will soon be reduced in price to a more digestible range.
Available for AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and was coming soon for Verizon as of 1/25/2016
HTC One A9 $499.00