“The One E9+ may pale a tad when compared to its flagship sibling, but still has lots to offer”
In the recent past, we’ve seen HTC follow a similar path as Samsung, carpet bombing the market with multiple variants of successful smartphones. HTC’s One series is a good example, but the brand has quite a few such devices in its Desire range too. The One E series, which sits one rung below the flagship One M range, is positioned as a loaded offering for those who don’t want to spend the big bucks, but aren’t willing to compromise on specs and features. Don’t get us wrong, the E series is still a premium offering, as is evident from the One E8 (review) that came out last year. HTC now has a successor for it in the form of the One E9+, and as expected, the new device sits a notch below the latest flagship, the One M9+ (first impressions). We got a chance to go hands on with the One E9+ at the launch event in New Delhi, so without further ado, let’s take a gander at what the device has to offer.
The One E9+ can’t really boast the all-metal credentials of its more accomplished sibling, as the rear panel is plastic. You do however, get a similar dual-tone finish, making the One E9+ looks quite nice. Despite the plastic body, the build quality seems good. The tiny holes for the front-facing BoomSound speakers add a bit of flair to the front, and give it a bit of character… making the device look similar to its metal-clad siblings. Compared to the One M9+, there’s one significant difference though… the One E9+ lacks the fingerprint scanner found on the former.
HTC has chosen to go with the same 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution with the E9+, but the screen is larger at 5.5-inches. Above the high-resolution screen is the same UltraPixel snapper though, while below you’ll just find HTC branding. The notification LED is hidden on the back bar just above the display. There are no navigation keys, since those are found as software overlays instead.
The 3.5mm headset socket is on top, while the micro-USB port can be found at the bottom. A large flap on the left hides a pair of nano-SIM slots (since this is a dual-SIM device unlike the One M9+), and a microSD card slot for storage expansion. On the right, you’ll find a power key and a volume rocker that sits flush with the chassis. As you might have guessed, the battery is sealed and can’t be accessed.
Flip to the rear, and you’ll be confronted by a large circular lens for the 20-megapixel primary camera featuring a BSI sensor and f/2.2 aperture, along with an LED flash. The depth sensor has been given the miss. The lens protrudes out of the body, and is encircled by a coloured RIM that makes it stand out even more. The back cover sports a glossy finish, and also carries a large HTC logo in the centre.
The innards are similar to the One M9+, and you get a 64-bit, octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 chip, but it’s clocked a tad lower at 2.0GHz. There’s 3GB of RAM along for the ride too, but the internal storage is 16GB instead of the 32GB found inside its sibling. The connectivity options are fairly loaded too, and include multi-band 4G.
The software side of things is pretty much the same, and you get Android Lollipop laden with HTC’s Sense 7 UI on top. Based on our brief usage, we can say that the usage seemed pretty smooth, though how that 2,800mAh battery fares is something we’ll have to leave for the full review. Ditto for the other aspects like camera quality and how that new MediaTek chipset handles performance. We don’t have an inkling of the price yet, and without that it’d be tough to comment on the competitive landscape and the key rivals when it lands on Indian shores. With the launch scheduled for the second half of May, we just have over a little over a month to go before it arrives, and we’re hoping the wait will be worth it.