HTC One M9+ camera review: improves on the shortcomings of its predecessor

“The HTC One M9+ is the company’s latest flagship. We put its cameras to the test”

HTC One M9+_rear
HTC’s flagship smartphone for 2015, the One M9+ (first impressions) was recently launched in India. The device adds a ton of improvements under the hood, and this applies to the camera department too. While the One (M8) featured an UltraPixel primary camera and a 5MP front snapper, the One M9+ features an UltraPixel front camera and a 20MP primary shooter. However, the Duo Camera setup on the rear, which adds an additional depth sensor, has been retained. On the software front, the One M9+ features HTC’s Eye Experience camera software, which offers an array of editing and shooting tools. We’ll talk more about the camera software in our full review, but for now lets take a look at some image samples from the cameras. 

Long Shot

HTC-One-M9_image-sample_long-shot.jpgIn this long shot, the camera has been able to capture all the details in the image really well, from the hills and clouds at the rear to the planes and trucks in the front. The colours look a tad dull, but we can’t fault the camera too much considering that it was a cloudy day.

Close Up

HTC-One-M9_camera-review_close-up.jpgThis macro shot displays all the gory details clearly, leaving nothing to the imagination. The spider and its web are clearly defined in the foreground, while the background has been blurred to create a nice depth of field effect.

Close Up (Zoomed In)

HTC One M9+_camera review_close up zoomed inZoom into the image above and you can see even more of the creepy-crawly, from the fur on its limbs, to the pattern of its web, to its mummified snack. However, the subject isn’t as sharp as we would have liked.


HTC-One-M9_camera-sample_HDR-off.jpgTaken in full auto mode, this image is a great scene for testing the HDR mode. Large parts of the image appear darkened, with many of the elements in the background indistinguishable.


HTC-One-M9_camera-performance_HDR-on.jpgThe HDR mode has worked like magic for the image. The camera has done a great job of improving the shadows, and brightening the image without washing it out. Our only complaint is the slight hint of over sharpening, but overall the image has been greatly improved.

Front Camera

HTC One M9+_camera review_front cameraWhen it was used as a primary camera, the UltraPixel sensor on the One M8 was often criticised for not standing up to the competition. On the One M9+ it moves to the front, and subsequently functions as a great selfie shooter. This sample shot displays a good amount of detail, with our only complaint being the slightly oversaturated skin tone.

Night Shot

HTC-One-M9_camera-sample_night-shot.jpgIn this shot taken at night, the colours have been reproduced well despite the poor lighting. There is a bit of grain, but not enough to be disruptive. 

Low Light

HTC-One-M9_camera-performance_low-light.jpgAs with the night shot above, you can make out the colours on the pins in this low light shot. However, the camera has had trouble focussing, making the subject look slightly out of focus. There’s also quite a bit of noise.

Low Light With Flash

HTC-One-M9_camera-test_low-light-with-flash.jpgTurning on the flash has helped to improve the previous image, but the subjects still aren’t in clear focus. While the noise levels have been reduced, it’s apparent that the flash hasn’t been diffused well enough, making the pin in the centre look more washed out than the other two. 

The One M9+’s cameras are a definitel improvement over the One M8 (review), but they’re still not perfect. While macro, daylight and HDR shots work well, the camera struggles to focus in low light, and the flash doesn’t do a great job either. We’ll be bringing you more on the cameras and performance in our full review of the One M9+, coming up shortly.

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