Review | HTC A9: is it actually an iPhone knockoff?

 Is the near identical twin from HTC so terrible?

Is the near identical twin from HTC so terrible?

Last week I wrote about HTC’s lawsuit against Apple, stemming from the iPhone 6s’ infringement on HTC’s newest technology. The controversy focuses on HTC’s newest line of phones—the HTC A series.

HTC makes Android phones. If you are in the market for an Android phone, the HTC brand would be the one I recommend. They only make a few models, ensuring their quality is higher than the typical Android phone. For example, the HTC One M8 is considered one of the best Android phones ever made.

HTC phones are also known for their solid operating system which, unlike its Samsung and LG counterparts, doesn’t randomly crash during usage. They also use metal casings around their phone to provide a quality product that doesn’t easily break.

Additionally, HTC uses a special type of touch screen that is patented; ones that only HTC phones contain. The glass is special, meaning it has better sensitivity and touch than other Android phones.

The HTC A9 design is thin and sleek. It has a metal casing with a 13 megapixel camera in the center of the back. Sound familiar? The A9 looks very similar to the iPhone 6s. Many tech review sites are accusing HTC of completely ripping off the iPhone 6s design.

Apple has yet to make any sort of official statement on it. However HTC has officially released a statement claiming that Apple actually stole their design, and thus the lawsuit. In the phone tech world it has been a very controversial topic.

Here’s the good and the bad on the HTC A9.

The Good:

Design: Whether you believe HTC stole Apple's design, or Apple stole HTC’s, the A9 design is amazing. The back of the phone looks/feels identical, the front design is scarily close with the edges rounded in a similar way. It fits in your hand perfectly. It’s easier to say what's not the same: the power button is jagged (much nicer to hit), the volume key is on the right-hand side of the phone and the headphone jack is swapped around compared to the iPhone 6s. This being said, the design of the iPhone 6s is great, and so is the HTC A9.

Fingerprint scanner: Also, like the iPhone 6 and 6s, HTC has now incorporated fingerprint unlock scanning into its phones. You can choose to unlock your phone by pattern, digits or a quality finger scanner. The HTC scanner has actually gotten even better reviews than the iPhone 6s.

The interface: HTC has a reputation for having the best Android interface. The A9 does not change that at all. It uses the new Marshmallow OS. It’s fast and doesn’t crash (unlike Samsung).

The Bad:

Battery life: Anyone picking up a spec sheet will instantly be worried about the battery life of the One A9, as it has gone gone from a 2850mAh cell to 2150mAh, and it's now got a much thinner frame to squish into. It’s estimated to hold 7-8 hours with average usage, which is not great.

Camera: Many tech reviews are raving about how the HTC A9’s camera is a great improvement with the new 13 MP camera. Which for HTC standards, is really good, however, compared to iPhones and Galaxys it’s average.

The Verdict:

The HTC A9 is a solid phone.The biggest thing this phone will be known for is the debate it has caused with Apple. However, the iPhone 6s was a great phone, with a great design. Is the near identical twin from HTC so terrible? Not necessarily. Some people like Android. They like the open source OS, having a phone they can fully control without having to jailbreak. Whether Apple users want to admit it or not, Google’s operating system Android provides a lot more freedom to do what you want with your phone than IOS does, in terms of personal customizing, open source programing and third party apps. For someone wanting some of the quality design of an iPhone, but the freedom of an Android, this could be a potentially great phone. Anyone with a phone upgrade, looking for an Android phone should definitely check out the HTC A9.

After all, HTC has yet to make a bad smartphone.


Christian Dye is a Senior Computing Major with a Business Administration Associates degree from Chicago, Illinois. He enjoys working with computers, sports, gaming, movies, weightlifting, music, and just chilling. His favorite food is a tie between Chicago style deep dish pizza and Chicago style beef hotdog. He’s very passionate about Chicago Sports. And he is also tends to get nerdy and excited when it comes to technology and electronics.