I’m sure you’ll agree that HTC‘s design prowess is second to none. If there’s one smartphone maker who can match Apple in terms of design and build, it’s got to be HTC. From the original One to now the One M9+, HTC has won hearts of fans and even industry experts. Shame it hasn’t quite translated to sales it deserves. Starting with the One M8 last year, HTC started toying with a new line-up of premium mid-range phones called the E series, sitting atop the value Desire series. I got my hands on the One E9+ dual SIM, thanks to HTC Malaysia so I’m treating you to a quick unboxing and some thoughts on the phone.
The E series packs most of the delicious hardware from the flagship, but with a cheaper build and sold at a lower price point. Following the release of the flagship One M9 and bigger M9+, the Taiwan maker introduced the One E9+ dual SIM, which made a debut in Malaysia back in July.
So, let’s recap on what the One E9+ brings to the table. Firstly, the exterior outlook retains the critically-acclaimed iconic One design language. The conspicuous camera module round the back is now common feature, since the Desire EYE. In place of the One M9+’s metal unibody, you get a well put together polycarbonate unibody in Gold Sepia trim. It does look good and because of the material, is considerably lighter than its more expensive sibling, too.
It boasts a stunning 5.5-inch 2K WQHD display (2560×1440 @ 534PPI) protected by Gorilla Glass 4.
Under the hood, it boasts the impressive octa-core MediaTek MT6795M (Helio X10) chipset running at 2GHz, mated to a PowerVR G6200 GPU and 3GB LPDDR4 RAM. The Helio X10 is a slightly downclocked version that’s seen on the One M9+.
On-board storage is 32GB with the option of microSD expansion (up to 2TB).
The One E9+ packs a whopping single-sensor 20MP f/2.2 BSI main shooter with a single LED flash. HTC’s infamous UltraPixel makes an entrance on the front – a familiar 4MP f/2.0 fixed-focus unit with BSI.
Keeping with the smartphone trend nowadays, the One E9+ comes in a dual-SIM, dual-LTE Cat.4 form, supporting nano-SIM.
Up front there’s the famed front-facing Boom Sound stereo speakers, IMHO, the best in the business and this should keep audio enthusiasts jumping (to the beat that is).
Keeping costs down, the One M9+ is sans a fingerprint sensor and NFC. You’ll also get a 2,800mAh rated non-removable battery, which is slightly smaller than the one on the M9+.
The fast, fluid HTC Sense 7 runs on top of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and includes the best of the HTC experience — HTC BlinkFeed, HTC Zoe, HTC Themes and more.
The One E9+ is available in Gold Sepia or Classic Rose Gold retails at RM1,899.
The One M8 and Butterfly 2 remain two of my favourite HTC phones of all time. Coming from the HTC experience, the One E9+ retains all that’s good about the platform. I was a little surprised with the build and overall feel of the device. Gold Sepia strangely works, and the One E9+ feels much lighter than it looks.
It packs pretty kick-ass hardware — from its brilliant 5.5-inch 2K display down to the Helio X10 chip. I would have traded the camera for one with lower megapixels but with OIS. Having said that, the 20MP unit, at least in initial tests, has been pretty good.
One area where the HTC One still rules — audio. Those front-facing speakers? The best in the business.
HTC Sense 7 is the best Sense iteration so far, and one of my favourite Android UI layers simply because it’s fast and it does the little things well.
My experience with the One E9+ has been positive so far. If you want a flagship Android device without wanting to shell out too many dollar bills, the One E9+ boasts an impressive package.
Stay tuned for a full review.