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Full Review

HTC One A9 Review

The HTC One A9 is the first in a new line of phones for HTC. It’s not quite a flagship, but it’s not far off, especially when it comes to the design, which is every bit as premium as the HTC One M9’s.

Yet it’s more heavily inspired by the iPhone 6S. In fact, the whole phone feels a bit like an Android alternative to Apple’s masterpiece. But is positioning itself as an Apple rival the right move? Or would the HTC One A9 have been better off selling itself on its own strengths?


Look at the HTC One A9 and you might almost think you’re looking at an iPhone 6S. That’s how similar these two phones appear.

Like the iPhone 6S the HTC One A9 has a metal unibody, coming in at a similarly slim 7.3mm thick. It also has similarly positioned antenna lines, though to be fair the HTC One M range has them as well.

While the A9 looks uncomfortably close to Apple’s flagship it still undeniably looks great. It’s a shame HTC didn’t go for something more original, but the HTC One A9 is still one of the better looking phones around, as well as looking very high end indeed.


The HTC One A9 has a 5.0-inch 1080 x 1920 AMOLED screen with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. It’s a bright, sharp screen, though one which can’t match the current crop of QHD flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4.

HTC One A9 Review

It is however a match for the HTC One M9 and both larger and higher resolution than the display on the iPhone 6S, so it’s a win in that sense.

On the flip side if you particularly want a compact phone this isn’t it at 145.8 x 70.8 x 7.3mm, but nor is it overly large, so it strikes a good balance.


The HTC One A9 has an octa-core processor, but it’s just a mid-range Snapdragon 617 one, with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four running at 1.2GHz. That’s coupled with either 2 or 3GB of RAM, depending on whether you opt for a 16 or 32GB model of the phone.

Assuming you get 3GB of RAM those are fairly high-end specs, though not a match for the Snapdragon 810 in the Sony Xperia Z5 or the Exynos 7420 in the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Performance is decent but far from perfect, with noticeable slowdown at times even when just navigating home screens and apps. The HTC One A9 may look like a flagship then but it doesn’t feel like one.


There’s a 13-megapixel camera on the back of the HTC One A9 and despite having a lower megapixel count than the 20-megapixel snapper on the HTC One M9 its performance is actually comparable, with sharp, detailed photos the norm in good lighting, while optical image stabilisation and a dual-LED flash helping you out when the light isn’t so great.

HTC One A9 Review

There’s a 4-megapixel camera on the front and this uses HTC’s UltraPixel sensor, which has larger than normal pixels, so it can take in more light. The upshot is that selfies come out pretty well too.

With HDR, a hyperlapse mode, support for storing photos in RAW format and more the HTC One A9’s camera is well equipped in most ways.

Interface and features

The HTC One A9 is one of very few phones to run Android Marshmallow, so that’s a big point in its favour and allows it to benefit from extra features like Now on Tap, which gives you information related to whatever’s on your screen at the touch of a button.


Other phones will start to be updated to Marshmallow, but for now the HTC One A9 is in a fairly exclusive club.

As for features it has two main ones. There’s its fingerprint scanner, which sits beneath the screen and makes unlocking the phone speedy and simple, and its support for 24bit, 192KHz audio, so you can enjoy your music as it was meant to be heard.

Battery Life, Memory and Connectivity

There’s a fairly small 2150mAh battery in the HTC One A9. That’s good for up to 12 hours of video or 16 hours of talk time, which is okay, but really not special at all. In other words, this is yet another phone which won’t last beyond a day between charges. It does support fast charging though.

Memory comes in at 16 or 32GB, plus a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 200GB, while connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G and Bluetooth 4.1.


The HTC One A9 differentiates itself from the HTC One M9 by virtue of its fingerprint scanner and theoretically lower price tag of £479.99, though in practice you can actually get the HTC One M9 for less now if you shop around.

That makes the A9 a bit of a hard sell, since it’s clearly a slightly lower end phone on the whole. But only slightly and if you like the look of the iPhone but would rather run Android it could still be a very good buy.

In the short term the HTC One A9 also benefits from Android Marshmallow, but we’re likely to start seeing that on a number of rival phones soon too, so it’s not much of a reason to buy it over other recent handsets.



Dimensions (mm): 145.8 x 70.8 x 7.3mm

Weight (g): 143.00

Battery capacity (mAh): 2150

Colours: Carbon Grey, Opal Silver, Topaz Gold, Deep Garnet

Screen size (inches): 5.0

Resolution: 1080x1920 pixels

Pixels per inch (PPI): 441

Processor: 1.5GHz octa-core

Processor make: Snapdragon 617

RAM: 2/3GB

Internal storage: 16/32GB

Expandable storage up to (GB): 200GB

Camera: 13-megapixel and 3-megapixel

Operating System: Android 6.0

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