The HTC One M9 was met with a middling reception on its release, despite the number of tricks up its sleeve. A big factor with a lot of these middle of the road reviews was the sheer number of expectations put on the One M9 before it released. The HTC device didn’t meet all of them, but it does pack more than a few Android features that every phone needs.
The HTC One M9 improves on its predecessor, for the most part, and brings a few new features to the table. To show you that the HTC One M9 is still a phone worth having, I’ve rounded up its best features to show off. If you’re thinking about giving the One M9 one chance to shine, stick with me and see what it has to offer.
1. Fantastic Sound Quality With BoomSound
Something that the HTC One M9 does undeniably well is sound. With what HTC calls BoomSound, the One M9 has two front facing, 5.1 surround sound speakers that have a booming kick that most smartphones only dream of having. If you use headphones regularly, even at home, try listening with your HTC One M9 without them.
Powered by Dolby, the One M9 speakers are one thing about the M9 that undoubtedly lived up to expectations, and then some.
2. Deceptively Similar Style but Great Build Quality
Take one glance at the M9, and you’ll notice that it looks an awful lot just like the M8. If you walk away and leave it at that, it’s nothing more, but take a closer look, and you’ll understand that HTC made some subtle changes to the design.
If you cover the M9 in a case, you’ll miss it, but its metallic body sports a new two-tone design that adds another layer of sleek style. In most other cases, it’s the same design from the older M8, but just as great here, and feels solid in hand just like other HTC devices.
If you want a smartphone that feels just as smart and futuristic in your hands as it does with your fingers, the HTC One M9 easily fits the bill.
3. Expandable Storage
Expandable storage is sadly becoming a rarity, but the One M9 happily includes a microSD card slot to add upwards of 128GB of extra space to your phone. Since the M9 only features 32GB of internal storage, this is a welcome addition that I’m always pleased to see.
For users that don’t fill their phones chock full of good apps, 32GB is more than enough, but I’m a hoarder for digital goods. Thankfully, apps are a lot easier to organize than boxes of beanie babies I swear about to pick up in price again any minute now.
4. The Sense 7 System
The HTC One M9’s interface is called HTC Sense, and the iteration used here is Sense 7. The system started all the way back in 2009, so HTC has had plenty of time to refine, tweak, and improve the system to make sure every HTC One M9 user has a pleasant experience.
This time around, Sense 7 has a few new features over its younger (or older in this case) brother, Sense 6. With 7, the idea the smaller is better permeates through the service, along with better customization.
Notification icons are tweaked, making the smaller, yet more defined. Navigation buttons are customizable, which is a feature many other Android phones lack. Quick Settings are much more robust, customizable, and organized than before. Built in widgets are cleaner, and have a minimalist style that fits well the M9’s design.
The biggest change and improvement is the addition of Sense Home. This doesn’t alert you when your home is nearby, but it’s a system to manage apps and shortcuts to your favorite services. Think of it like your Quick Settings, but for other apps now instead. It’s incredibly useful, and a feature of HTC Sense that’s welcome to stay.
5. Good Performance Under the Hood
There was plenty of initial disappointment when the HTC One M9’s specs were revealed. It features a quick Snapdragon 810, and at least 3GB of RAM to make sure all of your apps and services run smoothly. Early on in the One M9’s life, there were concerns about the phone getting way too hot, way too quickly, but the M9 only gets hot during extreme use.
For the price, which is usually somewhere around $300 USD, it performs well and doesn’t heat up nearly as much as what was first claimed.
6. Major Camera Improvements
The camera on the M8 wasn’t anything to write home about, and while the camera on the M9 isn’t taking home any top awards, it’s a large improvement. Get ready to take some stellar shots with your 20MP 2160p camera, even with your default camera app.
With the One M9’s dual-LED flash, say goodbye to lighting disasters, and hello to, even more, picture taking potential. Combine this with the featured ability to shoot 4K video, and you have a more than decent camera on your hands to match the M9’s great specs and style.
7. Good Custom ROM Choices
This next feature only applies to rooted HTC One M9’s, but it’s something that’s worth mentioning. Custom ROM choices, along with troubleshooting solutions, have only grown in number since the M9’s release. While Sense 7 is a great way to explore and control your M9, these custom ROMs are a fantastic alternative.
If you aren’t rooted, Sense 7, and the One M9 still have a way for you to help create your personal experience.
8. Create Custom Themes
To help create that personal experience I mentioned above, the HTC One M9 features custom themes. When I say custom, I do mean custom, since users themselves are the ones who tweak and make them.
It’s as easy as snapping a picture, and then that picture, with a little bit of automatic, or user, editing; it becomes a new theme ready for you to use. It’s not the same as installing a custom ROM, but it’s easier and faster than rooting your device and flashing a new program.
9. Easier to Troubleshoot Now More Than Ever Before
Much like the growth of the M9’s ROM scene, users have been able to test and troubleshoot the HTC One M9 ever since its release. Because of this, even more, solutions to common problems are in the hands of Android users. If you’re worried about finding a problem with your One M9 that no one else has seen, most of them are already covered.
10. Extensive Battery Saving Modes
The HTC One M9 doesn’t feature the greatest battery in the world, but it does have some extensive battery options to help with its lackluster battery life. Aside from the normal battery saver almost every Android phone has, the M9 boasts an extreme power saving mode.
If this isn’t extreme, I don’t know what is. Extreme power saving mode strips your phone of everything but essential features and cuts down power and data usage to its absolute minimum. If you need to make sure your battery lasts throughout the whole day without using a power bank, then this is a surefire way to save battery life.
The HTC One M9 features a great list of expanded capabilities and interesting uses that make the phone one to remember. The M9 manages to be a large improvement over the M8, even if reception for the Android device wasn’t great at first. Despite what was thought of it before, it’s great today, and still will be tomorrow.
Do you have something you love, or even really hate about the HTC One M9? Share any of your thoughts down below, we appreciate them.