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Hands-on with the HTC One A9: An Android in iPhone clothing

Florence Ion | Oct. 21, 2015
Make no mistake: this is an Android phone, through and through. Down to its unnecessary interface overhaul and a misplaced fingerprint reader.

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The One A9 snapped quick photos, though I’m waiting to see how it really performs in our lab tests.  Credit: Florence Ion

HTC admitted the camera in the One M9 was not as spectacular as the company had hoped it would be. The 13-megapixel rear-facing camera sensor in the One A9 is apparently better. It features Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and a Pro mode, which lets you to shoot in RAW and adjust elements of the photo like the exposure, ISO, and white balance. If you don’t care for that, there’s also a Hyperlapse mode, which speeds up videos for a “dramatic time-lapse effect.” The idea is that with these added features, you’ll take the One A9, mount it on a tripod, and get to work. I have yet to test the true quality of the camera on the One A9, though I had an easier time shooting quick snaps and focusing on subjects with it than the One M9.

It’s okay if you’re not excited

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The One A9 is a beautiful phone—but what else? Credit: Florence Ion

Admittedly, I was over the moon about the One A9 when I first went hands-on with it. It’s a stunning device, and I’m so happy to see that HTC hasn’t lost its design edge. But it’s hard to stay excited about an HTC product these days—especially when comparing it to the Google Nexus devices that launched just before it, or the other $400 offerings from OnePlus and Motorola. My biggest reservation comes from the HTC stamp on the back. With so much competition, can I trust the struggling company to keep up with support for this phone for the next two to three years?


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