These are my two cents on the newly released HTC One M9+.
As we all know, a couple of weeks ago, the HTC One M9 was introduced. Not all of us, tech fans liked it initially, including me. I still have more or less mixed opinions on the M9, but since the announcement I have come to see it in a more positive light than I saw it initially. However, in this post I want to talk about HTC’s newest announcement, this time, only for the Chinese market. It’s the One M9+. Supposedly, the “+” is there to symbolize phone’s superiority over the standard M9. I wouldn’t buy an M9, but the M9+, well even less likely. Looking at the front, we see the addition of a fingerprint scanner, and the removal of software buttons on some pictures. Other pictures show M9+ with software buttons. So already, we’re led into a confusion by HTC on whether or not this phone will feature software buttons or not. But this isn’t a big issue for me. I want to talk about the actual fingerprint scanner. I don’t know how good it will work, and there haven’t been any tests of the fingerprint scanner yet, but my complaint with it is not the performance (well, not until there is any data on the performance anyway), it’s the looks of it. The One series has been praised for its design, for three generations in a row now, including the M9. Well, the single fingerprint scanner centered between two small parts of one single BoomSound speaker. Not only it’s ugly, it also looks as if this was a Galaxy phone and the fingerprint scanner was a home button. And if there are no software buttons on the M9+, I think, the fingerprint scanner will most likely be used as a home button too just like on the new iPhones and Galaxy phones. To each their own, sure, but I have hard time considering this design decision to be a good one.
One (no pun intended) thing I like about the new design though, is the backside. I was never a huge fan of a rectangular shaped camera on the back, I liked the original M8 in this regard better, for the circle camera, and the circle shaped camera has made a return in the M9+. A welcome change in my opinion. Also, the Duo Camera setup is back, which is nice for some I guess, but I do not really care about it. What I would like to see make a return though would have been the OIS. We had it in the M7, but the M8 and M9/M9+ don’t have it.
Moving on to the internals, we have a MediaTek SoC here. As we have seen in the past, MediaTek SoC were never good in terms of performance. But initial reports of the Xelio SoC indicate that it performs better than the S810, which means that performance issues are solved with the new MediaTek chip. The question which is still unanswered, is whether or not MediaTek will support their chip as good as Qualcomm does. In other phones with a MediaTek SoC, we have seen problems with driver updates, and software updates being held out too. Also, the custom ROM development for MediaTek based phones has been pretty much dead. I sincerely hope that the policies of MediaTek have changed regarding SoC support.
Moving on, we see a newer and bigger display. It’s also a QHD panel, so all of you pixel fans can rejoice, since this phones has a lot of those. For me personally, QHD isn’t a huge deal, and I would even pick a 1080P display over a QHD one, because that means that the GPU won’t have to push twice the amount of pixels of a 1080P display, which equals better performance on similar hardware, and also battery life.
We don’t have any information on the size of the battery yet, but it’s pretty safe to assume that the battery life will be decent, just like other HTC phones.
To be honest with you guys, I don’t really see any purpose in the M9+ at all. The One M9 is good as it is, and even if the M9+ is intended to be a better M9, then why didn’t HTC make it the flagship and completely discontinue the M9? And why not at least make the M9+ available internationally?