Reviewers mostly agree: the One M9 is a great smartphone dragged down by a sub-par camera experience. Worse, the same could be said about the last year’s One M8, meaning that HTC failed to fix the one glaring issue holding back its flagship line. But just how bad is the One M9’s camera problem? DxOMark, the respected photography resource, weighed in, and its assessment won’t make HTC happy.
The One M9 ranks the 22nd in DxOMark’s mobile rankings, behind the Amazon Fire Phone, the iPhone 4S, and the Galaxy S3. With a score of 69, the One M9 barely manages to outrank the One M8, which scored 68 points. Even more worrying, the One M9 is miles behind the competition: the Galaxy S6/Edge ranks first (86), followed by the Note 4 (83), iPhone 6/Plus (82), and the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z3 (both 79).
DxOMark notes that the One M9 does well in bright light, but points were deducted for color oversaturation in low light, inaccurate white balance, loss of sharpness at image corners, as well as strong ringing and fringing. The One M9 does worse in video (just 61), with cons including the lack of stabilization, detail loss, and color oversaturation.
There you have it – a more or less objective look at how the One M9 compares to its peers in terms of imaging.
With this said, just because DxOMark (or any other reviewer) ranked the One M9 camera poorly, it doesn’t mean you won’t like it. Your expectations and standards probably differ and you may not care about stuff like video stabilization or white balance. So our best advice is to try to test the One M9 before making a decision.
Android fans, Google I/O is coming next week and we’re just excited as you are for all the Googley goodies coming our way! The past week brought us some glimpses of what’s coming, including details about Google’s new Android-based Internet of Things operating system codenamed Brillo; in other news, Asus introduced the affordable Zenfone 2 in the US; LG launched the G4 Stylus and G4c; we heard about Google’s plans to build fingerprint sensor support into Android M; Oppo launched the sleek R7 and R7 Plus; we heard rumors about HTC’s low-cost tablet; and got our first glimpse of the Iron Man edition of the Galaxy S6 Edge.
Inside AA HQ
Please join the AA team in welcoming Phil Vierno onboard! A mechanical engineer IRL, Phil is passionate about New York City, coffee, and fitness. But what’s he’s truly crazy about is creating awesome videos about mobile tech. Phil’s first video on AA is a review of the Oppo R1x, and many more will hopefully follow.
Next week is all about Google I/O. In the past, the annual festival of all things Google has brought us new devices, major upgrades to Google apps, and most recently, a preview edition of Android Lollipop. With Android M (Marshmallow? Muffin?) all but confirmed, we can’t wait for the obligatory surprise. As usual, AA will be on the ground at Moscone Center in San Francisco. More later this week!
Android Authority Podcast
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
- Feature: What makes a perfect smartphone? AA readers’ answers here!
- Feature: Simon ponders on the features that could (or should) be part of Android M
- Feature: In his posh British accent, Gary explains VR and the role that Android plays in its growth
- Opinion: Andrew muses on the merits of Motorola’s smartphone design philosophy
- For developers: Obaro has a primer on what Google I/O bring for Android app developers
- Review: Phil looks at the mid-range Oppo R1x and comes out moderately impressed
Top news of the week
And here are the top news in the Android world this week:
Zenfone 2 lands stateside
- Asus ZenFone 2 hits U.S. retailers tomorrow, starting at $199
- Ahead of tomorrow’s U.S. launch, Amazon is now selling the ZenFone 2 starting at $199
LG G4 Stylus and G4c are
Google IO/Android M rumors
- Google will reportedly launch its photo sharing service sometime soon
- Android M may feature native fingerprint authentication
- Report: Google will show off new Internet of Things platform at I/O, code-named Brillo
Meet the Oppo R7/R7 Plus
- Oppo R7 and R7 Plus launch: specs, features, and availability
- Oppo R7 hands-on and first impressions
- Oppo R7 Plus hands-on and first look
Google apps updates
- Google Maps is getting new traffic alerts just in time for Memorial Day
- Hangouts for Chrome updated with much more refined UI
- Google brings 60fps live streams to YouTube
HTC tablet rumors
An Iron Man-worthy Galaxy S6 Edge
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HTC’s stock mail application has now made its way to the Google Play Store, making it easier for the company to update it whenever necessary. This follows a long list of HTC apps such as BlinkFeed, Gallery etc that are already available in the Play Store.
In the past, HTC had to update the entire system to bring changes to these applications. But by making them separate from the system, the company can ensure that updates are sent in periodically even though the system isn’t updated.
The Mail app is compatible with a wide range of Sense UI running smartphones (Android 5.0 or higher) and is exclusive to HTC devices.
Come comment on this article: HTC Mail app reaches the Play Store for better future updates
A typical drop test generally involves tossing the phone a few different ways, while checking out the level of damage seen in between each drop. For the website Digiato, however, drop test apparently means dropping it a few times and then lighting it on fire.
The extreme drop test starts out normally enough, but after three drops are complete, the video’s host takes 700-degree fire to the One M9’s metallic body via a flamethrower. It’s pretty much a given that the phone didn’t survive the fiery hell unleashed upon it, but it actually lasted for an impressive amount of time before the display went black.
Obviously drop tests of any nature don’t really prove anything and are more about chance than actual device durability, but when you add an extra torture method to it like a flamethrower it can be admittedly kind of fun (or painful) to watch.
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What did you think, were you impressed by how well the One M9 fared before finally dying, considering the extreme torture it underwent?
While Samsung decided to push the boat out with its Galaxy S6 and S6 edge smartphones in terms of design and construction materials, HTC were content to rely on the same formula that saw its One M8 and One M7 smartphones garner well-deserved awards and praise. Unsurprisingly to some (although not to Rob), it would seem that HTC’s apparent complacency when it came to the design of the One M9, is coming home to roost.
At least, this is according to reports emanating from HTC’s supply chain in Taiwan. These sources say that HTC will cut its component orders by as much as 30% due to lower-than-expected sales of the M9 smartphone. Despite HTC releasing numerous other handsets loosely based on the M9 such as the M9+, it remains to be seen whether the lost sales can be made up. The added competition from Chinese handset makers such as Lenovo, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi among others means that HTC is experiencing added pressure in its traditional markets.
Surprisingly, HTC has decided against releasing a Mini version of the M9. Let’s hope that the complacency seen with the launch of the M9 is a mere blip on the horizon, and that HTC sorts its sales strategy out once more or we might see the Taiwanese manufacturer experience the sort of financial woes we did just a couple of years ago.
Come comment on this article: Rumour: HTC to cut component orders for One M9 by 30%
If you discount manufacturing the Nexus 9 tablet for Google, HTC has been out of the tablet market for quite a while, with its last offerings being the JetStream and Flyer devices. Thanks to a recent tumour and today’s spotting of the HTC H7 tablet on India’s import-export database, Zauba, it seems that HTC are gearing up to re-enter the tablet market before the end of the second quarter.
The listing states that seven H7 tablet devices were shipped to India for testing. It even reveals the basic specifications of the tablet:
- 7-Inch display
- 1.2GHz Quad-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB Internal storage
Interestingly, the H7 will support Dual-SIM’s which is somewhat unusual for tablets, even in India where it is a common feature for smartphones. The listing says that the tablets are worth INR 9,565, around $150. As you can probably tell from the specifications, the H7 tablet appears to be headed for the budget segment. I’m sure that it won’t be long until we an image of the H7 tablet leaks, or until HTC themselves make an announcement.
Come comment on this article: HTC’s rumoured 7-inch H7 tablet gets spotted with Quad-core CPU and Dual-SIM support
A week ago, rumors began to surface about a new affordable tablet from HTC, as the company confirmed that it was “looking closely” at entry and mid-level tablets. Leaks had suggested that the company was working on a 7-inch tablet codenamed H7 and a device bearing the same name has recently been spotted on India’s public import-export database, Zauba.
The shipment is listed as a sample for research and development, but also contains a brief list of specifications. The H7 tablet features a 7-inch display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and space for not one, but two SIM cards. The H7 looks to be a budget product, unlike HTC’s last effort, the high-end Nexus 9, which launched last year.
SIM slots in tablets are still quite rare in the budget segment, but dual-SIM compatibility is a popular feature in Eastern markets, which fits with the Indian source of the information.
We’re still not sure if or when the tablet will be making it to market, or what its exact price will be. The shipment lists a value of INR 9,565, which works out roughly to $150, suggesting that a final retail price might be somewhere in the $200 region. Hopefully we will hear something official from HTC soon.
Would you be interested in a budget tablet from HTC?
After being purchased by LINE from Microsoft and Nokia, MixRadio has ditched its beta tag and hit Google’s App Store. The music streaming service tries to offer a more personalized approach to your music by learning what you like and playing things it thinks you’ll like. Other apps have tried to do this with mixed success, so it’ll be interesting to see if MixRadio can pull it off.
The app has also announced a partnership with HTC that will curate music news to BlinkFeed on HTC devices. As the service learns what music you like, it will display relevant info and news about artists and genres you like in your news feed. It’s a pretty nifty use of BlinkFeed that hopefully works as well as it sounds.
Anybody up for trying out a new music streaming service?
Come comment on this article: MixRadio leaves beta, announces new partnership with HTC
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Are you the kind of person that just loves the sub 4.7-inch form factor in your device? If you are holding out for a HTC One M9 Mini you might be waiting for no good reason at all. At least that is what is currently being said by President of HTC North Asia Jack Tong. According to Jack, the market is trending towards devices that are 5-inches and up and that the company would be ending its “mini” line-up.
It isn’t really a big surprise considering some of the best selling devices are the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 at 5.1-inches. Heck, even Apple reneged on its screen size stance and bumped things up with two devices that brought more screen real estate to consumers. The news could leave a lot of people who are still very much in love with the 4.7-inch screens and smaller, accompanying form factor and pocket friendliness little in the way alternatives that still pack some power. There is always the Xperia Z3 Compact I suppose, or the Moto G. Either way, looks like you might just have to bite the bullet and get yourself something a bit larger that you can cope with.
The post HTC has no plans for One M9 mini, moving away from the smaller line entirely appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
We hope you weren’t pinning your hopes on a downsized version of HTC’s One M9 smartphone, as you probably won’t get it… or anything like it in the future, for that matter. HTC’s Jack Tong says that the company is ditching the One mini phone range because the “industry is moving” to phones with 5-inch and larger screens. Why build a cut-down version of a handset when most of your customers want something big? The move makes sense given that the One mini doesn’t really drive sales like its full-size sibling. Still, this is bad news if you like smaller smartphones — while there are certainly alternatives on the market, it’s good to have more options.
Update: HTC tells us that this was a misquote. As it explains to Phone Scoop, Tong did say that 5-inch and larger phones were the future, but he didn’t say the mini line was finished. This isn’t to say that you’ll see a One M9 mini — just that phones like it are still a possibility at some point.
Source: Focus Taiwan