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BW Businessworld

The Pretty Phablet

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HTC has moved on to make phablets since last year and we have seen a bunch of high-quality smartphones that offer a combination of good looks and performance. This year we saw a new high-end phablet from the Taiwanese smartphone maker which is an update to last year’s One E8. The One E9+ comes with an exquisite design, something that HTC has always been careful about. Even with a plastic finish, it is one of the best looking Android devices this year, and it feels better than the company’s metal flagship, the One M9+. 
The handset comes with a dual colour design and the unit we got came with a white back and golden finish on the front and the edges. Overall the smartphone is quite slim and feels light for a device that is this big. The handset comes with a 5.5-inch Quad-HD (2560x1440) display which is sharp and offers bright colours. On either sides of the display there are two speakers with HTC’s patented BoomSound technology, which are probably the best speakers to have on a smartphone. The only small issue with the design is how HTC has made the power and volume buttons. They are quite flushed in with the body and definitely take some time to get used to.
The device is powered by a MediaTek octa-core processor running at 2GHz along with 3GB of RAM. This provides ample power to do your daily tasks like browsing or checking mails and Facebook and is great for multitasking, although the graphics processor is not very good as some of the high end games didn’t feel very smooth. The storage comes with a 16GB inbuilt memory which can be expanded further with a microSD card. The device also comes with two nanoSIM card slots, in case you are travelling or own two phone numbers. The battery backup is good enough but nothing out of the ordinary, so one can manage to run a full day on light usage with its 2800mAh battery. 
Just like the One M9+, you get Android Lollipop on the One E9+ along with Sense 7 UI on top. The UI is buttery smooth and thanks to the support of themes, feels more colourful and gives users a more personalized touch. 
In the camera department we get a 20MP rear and a 4MP (Ultra-pixel) front camera for selfies. The phone manages to take pictures very quickly and offers zero shutter lag. HTC has been trying to provide a good camera experience in its handsets, and while some features and modes are quite good, the quality pictures still need some improvement. The pictures come out fairly good but don’t expect amazing results. Low light results can be disappointing and on some occasions even pictures in well lit conditions don’t offer amazing details.  
The One E9+ is not the best Android phablet for its price (Rs. 36,000 approx) but gets points for its looks and a smooth UI experience. If that is something that you are looking for, then this device will impress. 
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 13-07-2015)