Do we have a good one for you today – by request, we are comparing the HTC One M9 with the new HTC 10 to see just what improvements HTC made to their flagship device. Is the HTC 10 a worthy successor and is it enough of an improvement that HTC One M9 users should upgrade? For the past few years, HTC has used an all-metal body for their flagship – the One M7 was heralded as one of the most beautiful smartphones, but by the time the One M9 came out, critics were calling the design rather stale looking. HTC went through as many camera iterations, never able to quite 'nail it' with UltralPixels, duo cameras, and finally the more traditional 20MP in the One M9. The HTC 10 seems to have solved these two problems – a new more angular or chiseled design and a new 12MP camera with UltraPixels. Let's take a look at what these devices have in common before we take a closer look at each individual device.
The HTC One M9 and the HTC 10 are almost identical in physical size and even weight. They both use a Super LCD display, but are slightly different in size – 5.0-inches on the One M9 and 5.2-inches on the HTC 10 – and they use a different resolution. They both use a Snapdragon processor, but are totally distinct models, although they each pack 32GB of internal memory and both are expandable. The One M9 and HTC 10 share a BoomSound configuration with dual speakers and Hi-Res audio for earphone listening. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 on the One M9 and v4.2 on the HTC 10), GPS, NFC, a microUSB port (Type-C on the HTC 10), and non-removable batteries with Quick Charge.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
HTC One M9
The HTC One M7 series started our desire for an all-metal smartphone, and it has retained an all-metal design, including the new HTC 10. While initially praised by critics and creating a loyal customer following – two generations later, many of those same critics and customers are tiring of the relatively unchanged design. HTC did make a small alteration on the One M9 by including a subtle redesign around the sides of the body, which added a small lip to provide better gripping. The nicely curved back is still there, and the solid feel makes it a pleasure to hold.
The HTC One M9 sports a 5-inch FHD Super LCD3 display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI). HTC selected the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and four cores clocked at 2.0 GHz to power their flagship. The One M9 packs 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage and has a microSD card slot allowing additional storage up to 200GB.
Every year, HTC changes the cameras on their One model in an attempt to be 'creative,' but it always seems to backfire in their face. The One M9 made another big change, and while they succeeded in making it better, it still does not include OIS. HTC took its old 4MP UltraPixel camera and moved it around to the front, which should provide great selfies and video chatting while allowing you to take good low-light pictures. HTC replaced the main camera with a more traditional 20MP sensor with autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. The One M9 uses a non-removable 2840mAh battery and supports Quick Charge 2.0 thanks to its Qualcomm processor.
The HTC One M9 retains the dual front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound. The One M9 does have a built-in IR Blaster and FM stereo radio that HTC left out of the HTC 10. It comes in Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose Gold and Gold/Pink – if you can find them. It is running Android 5.1 Lollipop and pricing has been discounted to about $500.
HTC did their homework with the HTC 10 and we are happy to say that it has all of the desired specs in a flagship smartphone, although there are no features that makes it stand apart from the crowd. The body is still all-metal, but HTC made the look more angular – although there are still complaints about its looks. HTC finally switched to a QHD display, used the best processor currently on the market, put in 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers expandable memory. HTC finally has a great camera area, newly configured BoomSound Hi-Fi and Hi-Res Audio. HTC is hoping they will sell millions – regaining some of their former customers and gain new ones – but is it enough to make One M9 users jump to the new model.
HTC finally rid themselves of a nagging criticism by moving up to a QHD display. The HTC 10 sports a 5.2-inch Super LCD5 QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 565 PPI. HTC grabbed the best processor – the Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz. It is coupled with the Adreno 530 GPU, which will handle the most demanding graphics. The HTC 10 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 2TB via a microSD card.
HTC finally got the camera right this time around on the HTC 10. Those pesky UltraPixels are back, but instead of trying to convince us that 4MP was enough, HTC is now using a respectable 12MP sensor for their primary camera to capture more light and image. They added laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, a large aperture of f/1.8 and finally OIS. HTC chose a 5MP FFC, but added the f/1.8 aperture, wide-angle lens, and even included a screen flash and OIS to ensure great selfies and video chatting even in low-light. A 3000 mAh non-removable battery with Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 – which will give you up to a 50-percent charge in only 30 minutes – provides power.
The HTC 10 made a few design changes in the popular BoomSound. HTC renamed it BoomSound Hi-Fi, and because HTC placed their fingerprint sensor down front, where the second speaker once resided, they placed the woofer on the bottom end of the device. The high-end sounds now originate from the earpiece. The HTC 10 measures 145.9 x 71.9 x 9mm and weighs in at 161 grams. It comes in Carbon Grey, Topaz Gold, and Glacier Silver and it will cost you about $650 for 32GB of memory.
…And The Winner Is…
This is an easy one to pick – the HTC 10 wins this specification comparison. Not so much because of the processor and extra GB of memory, but because HTC finally put all of the right pieces together and you can buy it for only $150 more than the One M9.
The HTC 10 does have a nice refreshed look about it, but it also has the QHD display, a fingerprint sensor and a camera that tied with the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge as the top-rated mobile camera. HTC used the newest Snapdragon 820, the Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB of RAM and room to expand the memory to 2TB. HTC even took the FFC seriously by adding a f/1.8 aperture, wide-angle, OIS and even a screen flash. HTC took away the IR Blaster and FM radio but gave us so much more in return.
The HTC One M9 is a great device, but with an asking price of $500, it just does not hold up to the improvements made on the HTC 10 for only $150 more. If money is really tight and you can find a good price on the One M9, you will not be disappointed…that is until you try the HTC 10.