HTC One E9+ review: The almost best affordable Android flagship smartphone

  • Overall Rating

  • Performance

  • Features

  • Price

Price: ₹ Rs. 35,990

Key Specs

    5.5-inch QHD (1440 x 2560 pixels, ~534 ppi) display with Corning Glass 4
    2 GHz Octa-core MediaTek MT6795M CPU, 3 GB RAM
    20 MP rear camera with LED Flash & 13 MP front camera
    Android 5.0 Lollipop with HTC Sense UI 7.0
    32 GB internal storage and expandable up to 128GB
    2800 mAh battery

Pros: large and crisp display serves well for multimedia and productivity tasks, very good audio performance, good camera performance, light weight

Cons: battery life could have been better, camera struggles to take macro shots

Bottomline: The specifications and performance HTC One E9+ offers makes it the best option in mid-range category. Moreover, it can also easily give a tough fight to other flagship smartphones in the market at a lower price point. We recommend it for users who are looking for a large screen device with amazing resolution, good camera and heavy multitasking requirements.

The Taiwanese tech giant-HTC displayed two smartphones in March 2015; the high end flagship HTC one M9+ and the mid-range HTC one E9+. We have already reviewed the pricey one and today we have the affordable flagship- HTC One E9+. Let’s find out how the smartphone performs.

Design

HTC One E9+

The smartphone is designed beautifully and is very light to hold

HTC One E9+ is a big phone. The smartphone incorporates a 5.5 inch display and has dimensions of 156.5×76.5 mm. Consumers buying it should be clear that it’s not the perfect option for one hand usage. However, it’s one of the lightest and slimmest 5.5 inch smartphone we have used. The weight (149 grams) is very well distributed and you will not feel that you are carrying a smartphone this big. It’s one of the lightest 5.5 inch smartphone in the market.

The left edge has a large rubberized flap which covers the slots for the microSD card and two nano SIM cards. The right edge has the power button and volume rockers. The Micro-USB charging port is located at the bottom and 3.5mm audio jack is at the top.

The front has the two signature BoomSound speakers and a 13 MP shooter. The non-removable rear panel has the 20 MP camera module in the centre with an LED flash. The material used at the rear panel has a rubberized feel and does not take fingerprints and smudges. Unlike M9+, Galaxy S6/S6 Edge and all other metal-glass smartphones, the HTC One E9+ is not slippery and has a more practical design.

Display

HTC One E9+

The 2K display is crisp and delivers vibrant colors

Likewise the M9+, the HTC One E9+ integrates a 2K display (1440 x 2560), but due to the 5.5 inch screen size, the pixel count drops to 534ppi as compared to 565ppi of M9+. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to notice a difference with the naked eye as the display is amazingly sharp and delivers crisp content.  It is perfect for consumers who like to watch full HD movies, series on the smartphones itself. Moreover, the real estate serves best for productivity tasks. You can create/edit ppts, excel files and other documents right through the vivid Qua HD display of E9+.

We also tested the display brightness through our light meter, and it gave a rating of lx. It’s not the best but you can use the smartphone in out-door conditions. Moto Turbo and Galaxy S6 Edge beats the HTC One ae9+ as well as M9+ in brightness level. The viewing angles are also good and there is no color shifting when you tilt the smartphone to different angles.

Performance:

HTC One E9+ is powered by a 2 GHz Octa-core MediaTek MT6795M CPU and is supported by 3 gigabytes of RAM for carrying out multitasking processes. We used the smartphone for over a week and are very much impressed by the overall performance. Unlike other smartphones with MediaTek chipsets, HTC One E9+ handled multitasking, gaming and video playback with no signs of heat. A while back we reviewed HTC One M9+, Zenfone 2 and Galaxy S6 Edge; which heats up to a significant level with sternness tasks.

We played Marvel Future Fight, Asphalt 8 and ran more than 20 applications simultaneously and the smartphone nearly broke a sweat. The smartphone does great in terms of storage, likewise, One M9+, it integrates 32 GB of in-built storage, which can be expanded via microSD up to 128GB. So you can store full HD videos, your favourite music collection, heavy games and can install a number of applications from Play store without worrying about the space.

You can check the synthetic benchmark scores of HTC one E9+ in the below slider:

  • Antutu: 48,078

Antutu: 48,078, Vellamo: 2,136, Quadrant: 22,939

HTC One E9+ runs on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with HTC Sense UI 7.0. We have talked about the operating system in the review of HTC One M9+, you can have a look by clicking the below link.

But we would like to highlight one thing here, and that is the ease of using the HTC smartphone One E9+. While reviewing the smartphone, we were also using Nubia Z9. This smartphone also packs top notch specifications at half the price but using it on regular basis was a pain. There were frequent lags, stutters and the overall experience was really not at all pleasing. Shifting back to HTC One E9+ was definitely a relief as the stable UI offers a stutter free user experience.

Camera and Audio:

HTC has differentiated the One E9+ from M9+ in the camera setup. Unlike the Duo-camera module in HTC One M9+, E9+ has a 20 MP single camera at rear with an LED flash and a 13 MP shooter at front for video calling and clicking selfies.  This front camera has a 26.2mm super-wide-angle lens and an f/2.0 aperture.

Both the cameras deliver good performance, especially the front shooter, which is even better than the rear cameras of various smartphones. The f/2.0 aperture allows ample light to result in vibrant images and the wide angle lens covers a lot of space to deliver wide selfies.

You can check the pictures in the slider:

The 20 MP rear camera instantly focus the subject (in normal mode) and takes a shot without any shutter lag. Images taken in the day-light has punchy colors and are very detailed. However, there is significant noise and a color shift in the images taken in low-light conditions. The Bokeh mode creates a nice effect in macro shots but the camera takes time to focus the subject and it keeps telling you to keep the object 2 feet away from the camera.

HTC One E9+

The available color options of HTC One E9+

Speakers

Likewise previous HTC smartphones, E9+ integrates dual BoomSound speakers, which also incorporates Dolby audio. The sound is loud, clear and is very detailed. You can watch a complete movie even without the earphones. Having said that; the large 5.5 inch Quad HD display and the amazing BoomSound speakers makes HTC One E9+ the best multimedia smartphone in its price bracket.

Battery life:

Considering the large 5.5 inch display with a Quad HD resolution, we were expecting a bigger and powerful battery unit; however HTC has only integrated a 2800 mAh battery in One E9+. It makes the smartphone last for up-to 9 hours in day to day usage that includes calls, texting, web browsing, 15-20 minutes of graphical intensive gaming and some music playback. HTC One E9+ lasted for 5 hours 30 minutes in our video playback test (full HD video at full brightness and volume on Wi-Fi), which is at par with other 5.5 inchers. It’s not something exceptional. HTC should have added a powerful battery, which would have increased the overall weight of the smartphone but that’s an acceptable trade off for a device that can last longer. A bigger battery unit would have made the HTC One E9+ the best affordable flagship smartphone.

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