Yesterday HTC revealed the HTC One A9 and I have one in hand that I'm evaluating for a full review coming next week.
While it looks and feels like an iPhone 6s and many people question why HTC took such a drastic departure from its standard design language, there are several reasons it is a phone worthy of consideration. Here's why I think you should consider the HTC One A9 over the iPhone 6s.
- Price: The Apple iPhone remains the most expensive phone available with a starting price of $650 for the unacceptable 16GB model. The 3GB RAM/32 GB internal storage model HTC A9 in the US is priced at only $399.99 and is unlocked. It works with T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon too.
- Protection coverage: With the HTC One A9, you get one year of Uh Oh protection for free and this includes one free replacement of a broken phone. Apple charges you $129 just for the plan and then another $99 deductible if you break the phone. That's $228 for one broken phone replacement compared to HTC's free service.
- Low cost expandable storage: You get 32GB of internal storage on the HTC One A9, along with a microSD card slot supporting cards up to 2TB. Granted, we don't yet have cards of that capacity, but you can simply add 64GB for about $40 or 128GB for about $70. Apple charges you $100 to go from 64GB to 128GB with no ability to add more than that. Did you also know that Android Marshmallow supports Flex Storage so you can make a microSD card function and appear just like internal storage?
- Quick Charge 2.0, and soon 3.0: I still can't believe Apple doesn't yet have rapid charging support. The HTC One A9 supports Quick Charge 2.0 out of the box, but HTC has also stated that QC 3.0 support will be coming with an update in the future as well. It's a joy to get hours of charge in just minutes.
- RAW camera support and manual controls: While this may not matter to the masses, photography buffs will appreciate that the HTC One A9 supports a Pro mode with manual controls and RAW capture. HTC Gallery and Photo Editor support RAW image management.
- Optical image stabilization: It befuddles me why Apple won't include OIS in the iPhone 6/6s, but will include it in the much larger and more expensive iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus. HTC includes OIS in the low cost HTC One A9.
There are also good reasons to pick an iPhone 6s over the HTC One A9, such as 3D Touch and a proven camera (I still have to test the A9 further). However, if you like the feel of an iPhone, then you may like the power of Android in a form factor similar to the iPhone and that's what the HTC One A9 offers.