Gadgets

5 Killer Features Of The New HTC One

How's the handset holding up? Lock button last work back when Manchester City looked like title contenders? Battery life shorter than a Dry January attempt?

One new smartphone looking to make a home of your pocket in 2015 is HTC's latest powerhouse, the One M9.

While its 5-inch HD screen and all-metal body certainly shimmers with all the allure you'd expect from a new piece of tech, is it actually worthy of your next upgrade? Here are the five features that might convince you to side with the HTC One M9.

"Proper" Speakers

When the first HTC One arrived in 2013, a key (and deeply annoying) marketing line was the power of its front-facing speakers. Having dropped a partnership with Beats, the dual speakers adorning the front of the One M9 are now powered by the appallingly named HTC BoomSound - with credibility lent by Dolby Audio. The sound produced by these mini units is vast: no, it's not going to replace your wireless speaker, but if you're wanting to crowd around a YouTube clip or irritate everyone else on the bus with your new playlist, the One M9 is phone to do it with. Clean, crisp and loud, no other phone speaker comes close to this.

A Ruddy Big Camera

Yes, 20 mega pixels is a lot. More than pretty much any other smartphone camera out there, in fact. Partnered with a very clever BSI sensor and some neat (if unremarkable) camera software, you can take incredibly detailed pictures with the One M9. It'll even record video in 4K - not that the 1080p HD screen can show off said shorts in their true glory. 

Selfie Power

Now we aren't condoning selfies by saying this, but if you base your upgrade decisions on the narcissistic practice of photographing your own face, you'll be keen to know that the UltraPixel camera (from the back of the M8) squeezed into the front of the One M9 is hands down the best there is. So no more contorting in front of the mirror for the next post-gym vanity shot. 

Palm-hugging design

A common complaint with increasingly-large phones is that they're as tactile as a bar of moist soap. HTC's designers have taken note, placing a slight lip around the edge of the case where the sides meet the curved unibody back. The lock/power button also sits on the right-hand-side of the phone, so no digit-contortion skills are required to unlock your handset with one hand. It's simple stuff, but it's the difference between a shattered screen and an intact one.

Design Credentials

While we aren't about to throw around words like "beautiful" or "elegant", HTC knows how to make an attractive phone. The One M9 feels as good as it looks: the curve of its machined metal back sits nicely in the palm (ruined a bit by the sticky-out camera), while the dual-tone metals of the case provide a pleasing contrast without looking tacky. It's the sort of phone that'll raise interest when you pull it out of your pocket, if only from an Apple addict noting you haven't got an iPhone 6. 

If you own the HTC One M9's older sibling, the M8, there's very little incentive for an upgrade: the screen is the same, the feel isn't vastly different and the latest bells and whistles of the Sense 7 are expected to trickle down later this year. While it's an impressive phone, it isn't the great leap that will see Apple users convert to Android, and Samsung fans may do well to await the new S6. But we're sure it's the One for some of you.

HTC One M9 will arrive in stores on 31 March