The HTC One X9 is the follow-up to the One A9 released earlier this year and is best described as a mid-tier phone in flagship-phone clothing.
It’s certainly a handsome brute, with its brushed metal unibody design giving the impression of an expensive piece of electronics. It’s also quite a sizable phone, which isn’t surprising given the 5.5in screen it has to accommodate, but unlike other large phones on the market which use design trickery to make them feel smaller, there is no such effort applied here – it’s a hefty phone, and it won’t let you forget it.
One of HTC’s hallmarks was its BoomSound audio, which provided stereo sound through a pair of forward-firing speakers. I’m happy to report that this has made a return on the X9 after its tragic omission in the HTC 10.
Sadly, the accompanying display is the first sign that the phone isn’t quite up to scratch with the premium players out there with the X9 only sporting a 1080p screen that can’t quite match the quality or brightness of its pricier brethren.
Internally, other concessions are made to the high end of town. The CPU is Mediatek’s Helio X10 processor, which is more than capable of doing the job, but isn’t the speed demon like the current top-line crop from Qualcomm or Samsung. Complementing the CPU are 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory (which can be bumped up to 2TB via microSD). A 3000mAh battery gives the phone the juice to get you through the day.
Camera-wise, it uses the same shooters as the A9, a BMP main camera with optical image stabilization and a 5MP front camera. Quality of the photos is nice enough, and RAW image capture is welcome. Just don’t expect the quality of the S7s or iPhone 7s of this world.
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Android 6.0 Marshmallow and HTC’s barely there Sense UI round out a highly capable midrange handset that certainly holds its own with the supermodels of the smartphone world.
5.5in 1080×1920 screen • Mediatek Helio X10 processor. 3GB RAM • 32GB internal memory (expandable to 2TB via MicroSD)