Skip to main content

A totally objective review of the HTC One A9

A totally objective review of the HTC One A9

Share this story

Hi, I'm Vlad with The Verge and I write reviews. These reviews contain a lot of personal opinions and subjective judgments. Some, myself included, might say that I'm biased. So, as a reader service and in the interests of balance and fairness, and having already penned a hopelessly subjective review, here's my totally factual, entirely unbiased review of the HTC One A9.

The HTC One A9 is an Android smartphone. It is manufactured by HTC, a Taiwanese company founded in 1997. Android is a mobile operating system designed by Google. It is now at version 6.0, which comes preloaded on the One A9. Interacting with this phone is done via a touchscreen interface and an icon grid. Some of the icons are green, others are blue, and some are red. The One A9 has a 5-inch color display, which is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It uses active-matrix organic light-emitting diode technology and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. This smartphone weighs 143 grams and measures 145.75mm in height, 70.8mm in width, and 7.26mm in thickness. It can be held in one or two hands.

This phone can be held in one or two hands

The exterior case is made out of aluminum grade Al 6063. There are two horizontal plastic bands on the back to allow the antennas to work. There is a plastic window at the top of the phone for GPS operation. The One A9 supports GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless standards. It is compatible with the following 3G frequencies: 850/900/AWS/1900/2100 MHz. It also supports 4G LTE and is configurable with either 16GB of storage plus 2GB of RAM or 32GB of storage with 3GB of RAM. Specifications vary according to region and supplier. In all cases, the One A9 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor. This is a 64-bit octa-core system-on-chip, which has four cores running at 1.5GHz and four more running at 1.2GHz. The Snapdragon 617 features an Adreno 405 graphics processing unit with support for OpenGL ES 3.1 graphics and hardware tessellation. This means you can play games. The chip is built using a 28nm process technology.

The main camera of the HTC One A9 is located at the rear and has a 13-megapixel, backside-illuminated sensor with 1.1μm pixels. You can point it at objects in the real world and it records digital representations of those objects. It comes with optical image stabilization and a dual-tone light-emitting diode flash. The lens has an aperture of f/2.0 and a sapphire cover. The front camera has a 4-megapixel sensor with larger, 2μm pixels. Both cameras can record 1080p video. A video is made by capturing many photos each second and then replaying them in chronological order.

The camera is used for taking photos

The HTC One A9 has one speaker above the display, used for listening to phone calls. It has another, more powerful speaker at the bottom, which sits behind eight oblong holes machined into the case. There is also a 3.5mm jack and a built-in amplifier for headphones. The HTC One A9 supports 24-bit, 192KHz high-resolution audio and Dolby Surround Sound. It works with the vast majority of audio formats and all Android-compatible music streaming services. You can make it play music by tapping on the appropriate grid icon.

This HTC handset has a 2,150mAh battery that can be recharged via a MicroUSB port, and works with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology. A QC-compliant charger is not included with the phone. The One A9 accepts Nano SIM cards for connectivity and microSD cards for storage expansion. It includes a fingerprint sensor, an ambient light sensor, a proximity sensor, a motion G sensor, a compass sensor, a gyro sensor, a magnetic sensor, and a sensor hub.

Android is a mobile operating system

The HTC One A9 is available to preorder today and will be released globally from the beginning of November. The first colors available are Opal Silver and Carbon Gray, to be followed by Deep Garnet and Topaz Gold. In the United States, the A9 is subject to a promotional $100 discount for purchases before November 7th, making the SIM-unlocked price of its 32GB / 3GB variant $399. After that, the phone will cost $499. Pricing and availability elsewhere around the world will vary depending on distributor and market demand.


DESIGN: This phone has been designed, 10
DISPLAY: This phone has a display, 10
CAMERAS: This phone can take photos, 10
RECEPTION: This phone can make calls, 10
PERFORMANCE: This phone performs instructions, 10
SOFTWARE: This phone has an operating system, 10
BATTERY LIFE: This phone has a battery, 10
ECOSYSTEM: This phone is compatible with additional apps and accessories, 10

OVERALL: This is a phone, 10

Read next: The subjective HTC One A9 review

Verge Video: HTC One A9's subjective review video