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HTC One M9+ improves on disappointing One M9, but is it enough?

HTC’s One M9+, the company’s latest premium smartphone, packs the kind of improved specs we expected from the HTC One M9 earlier this year. But is it a case of too little too late?

UPDATE: We’ve just heard that the One M9+ might not be coming to the UK, so looks like we could be stuck with the original One M9 until the Aero releases later in the year. Bums. We’re chasing up and will update when we hear for sure one way or the other.

‘Experience HTC Ultra’ screams HTC’s One M9+ webpage, suggesting that this is the HTC experience we’ve been longing for after the underwhelming One M9 hit the UK back in April. For a start, the Full HD screen has been upgraded to a supremely sharp 2K 5.2-inch panel, to rival the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the LG G4.

The camera has also been upgraded for the One M9+, but not in the way we expected. We were hoping for a fresh set of optics, but instead HTC has kept the One M9’s 20-megapixel snapper and added a second lens, making this a Duo Snapper like the One M8. The camera can shoot high-res photos and 4K video like before, but also now supports focus shifting. However, we’re still expecting the resulting images to be rather bland compared with those taken on rival handsets.

Of course, we’ll be sure to test out the new Duo camera in our full HTC One M9+ review.

HTC has kept the same 2840mAh battery for the One M9+, but tellingly it has also swapped out the much-maligned Snapdragon 810 processor, which suffers from overheating issues when running at full pelt. Instead, the One M9+ comes packing a MediaTek X10 2.2GHz octa-core processor. This won’t reach the dizzying speeds of the likes of Samsung’s Exynos chipset, found in the Galaxy S6, but MediaTek’s hardware should easily handle the latest games, apps and high-res media.

Rounding off the specs, the One M9+ also packs a fingerprint sensor for increased security, plus 32GB of storage expandable via microSD. 

So, while the One M9+’s well-worn design remains much the same and we’re still unsure about the refreshed camera, at least this is more like the flagship phone we initially expected from HTC. Problem is, with the LG G4 and Galaxy S6 have already impressed us with Quad HD visuals, powerful security and excellent optics, so we can’t see the One M9+ having much of an impact. Although with any luck, this phone may at least persuade HTC fans of yesteryear to return to the One brand when their contracts run out, rather than jumping to a rival.

Here’s hoping the upcoming HTC Aero, which promises an all-new camera experience and other surprises, can blow us away later in 2015.


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