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HTC announced the HTC M9

HTC announced the M9, the latest flagship smartphone that will compete, or try to compete, with the iPhone 6, Samsung S6, and other smartphones. HTC took the M9 back to the basics, and really hasn’t improved upon much on this release. The only real reason I see the company releasing this phone was so it can say it has something new, fast, and shiny like there Android OEM’s. The phone does use the newest processor on the market, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. It’s taken away the depth sensor, and ultrapixel sensor on the rear facing camera. Instead it opted for more mega-pixels, 20 MP and a front facing camera with ultrapixels. The screen is the same as the previous model, a full HD 1,920×1080 display.

The curve on the back is less pronounced and looks more like the M7 a few years back. The phone has kept the same brushed metal, and overall looks great. The build quality from HTC has always felt premium unlike other phone makers.

The removal of the depth sensor is odd, because it gave it lytro like effects. Users could change the focus on a photo after its been taken, while this wasn’t much more than a gimmick it made the camera stand out. While Samsung was focusing on pixels HTC knew that customers wanted better sensors and image quality over more pixels.  Now it’s taken the same road as others and slapped a 20 MP camera on the rear that isn’t any different than any other Android phone.

The sound quality is still above other smartphones because of the BoomSound. They’ve also added virtual surround sound via either the speakers or headphones, and support for 24 bit audio. The phone will appeal to people who have a great ear or someone who needs to have better audio like Musicians or DJs.

The company may have ignored a lot on the hardware side, but it put a lot of focus on the software. The phone is one of the last Android devices that’s still heavily skinned over Android lollipop 5.o. The new improved skin incorporates Android 5.0 design to better match the rest of the apps and ecosystems Google’s building. The skin includes a smart luancher that changes based on location and time of the day. It places note taking apps to the screen when your at school or work and Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu to the front when your at home relaxing.

While I’m not impressed with the phone, and the skin is a big turn off for me many have praised what HTC has done here. It’s still focusing on build quality, and making sure that the skin is smarter and more useful as more turn to a stock Android.

Tell us in the comments below what you think about the HTC M9, and if you’ll buy this as your next smartphone.