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AH Primetime: HTC’s One M9 Is Overshadowed By HTC’s Newer Releases

May 14, 2015 - Written By Phil Bourget

Imagine yourself having just bought the HTC One M9 from the day it was available for your carrier or wireless provider of choice, then you heard about the One M9+, and then the E9 and E9+.  That would be a nightmare for many, especially the tech- and spec-heads like myself and perhaps you, because the best of the best was supposed to be offered in HTC’s spring flagship, the One M9, carrying on the One legacy.  But, the three post-M9 phones have greater specifications with anything from a 2560 by 1440 pixel display, instead of the M9’s 1080p panel, to a bigger battery in the E9+.  Now, the HTC J Butterfly exists, and people with an M9 in their pocket or purse might be irate..  Now, HTc might not be paying attention to here and now, but here’s what they have to do to turn their customers back into die-hard fans.

First, the J Butterfly features some beastly specifications inside, with a QuadHD (2560 by 1440 pixels) Super LCD3 panel sized at 5.2 inches, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, a 64-bit octa-core affair with a max frequency of 1.5 Ghz across its top-performing cores.  It’s got a smaller 2,700 mAh battery, as compared to the M9’s 2,840 mAh cell, as well as a 20-and-13 back-front camera arrangement.  It’s also got the obligatory Sense 7-over-Lollipop Android 5.0, as well as one other trick.  Since the J Butterfly is made of plastic, the device according to HTC is both waterproof and dust-proof , rated at IPX5 and IPX7 respectively.  Now, why doesn’t the M9 have all that?

HTC’s One M9 came out during Mobile World Congress in March, two months ago now, so it’s not shocking that manufacturers have learned a lot from their early-2015 flagships, HTC being no exception.  Some people hated that the M9 was the only flagship without a QuadHD display panel, so the device got another version with just that panel.  Some people also hated that the device lacked a fingerprint reader, and HTC made a variant with that feature as well.  Some people might have disliked the metal chassis that the One M family of devices have become famous for, so the E9 and E9+ got a plastic chassis, and the same internals, as well as the QuadHD display people might want or count as requisite at this point in the specification race between manufacturers.

See, this kind of thing happened before, years ago.  Remember the days of 2013, when the Droid DNA showed up on U.S. shores as a Verizon-exclusive version of the original HTC Butterfly?  That phone had the first 1080p display we’d seen, as well as some beastly specifications that people in the States were dying to get ahold of.  The Butterfly, meanwhile, remained mostly in Asia.  Now that people have a One M device to think about and want an improvement on, the new generation of improvements on what can actually be done with an HTC flagship-caliber device have them wanting another, and HTC could very well offer one and be successful.

Samsung releases two flagships per year, the Galaxy S line and the Galaxy Note line, while LG has done the same, with the G Flex and the G line of devices, with the first being a showing of what the manufacturer has to show as a year-to-year improvement, while the second is a revision of the issues and errors of the first, as well as better hardware and software, if available.  HTC might benefit greatly from bringing a second flagship to the global marketplace each year, especially this year when they have decided to offer any kind of variation and improvement that might sell a device. With that in mind, HTC needs to do something like release these devices with killer specifications and extra features to countries other than China and Japan, because though those markets can definitely afford and will purchase them, markets around the world are salivating over them and possibly even importing them for themselves because HTC hasn’t yet.  HTC, if you’re listening, please pull another Droid DNA move, and help the J Butterfly leave Asia and succeed in Europe and the United States.