Jon Rettinger and I were pretty stumped earlier on Wednesday. While we had every indication that the HTC One M9+ was real, HTC officially confirmed the device this morning. Its name appears to suggest it’s a better smartphone, right?
In life, it seems anything with a + means that there’s something added — something better that you don’t get in another model, like the One M9.
And the spec sheet suggests that’s the case, too. You have a larger 5.2-inch 2K display, a fingerprint reader, the same 3GB of RAM, Duo camera and more. There’s a different processor, too; HTC packed a MediaTek chip instead of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU. I don’t know how much better or worse the MediaTek chip is, but they’re typically reserved for more entry-level and affordable devices.
I thought perhaps one reason why HTC decided to limit the device to China is because it might have a hard time getting enough components, like the 2K display and fingerprint reader, to support a broader launch in Europe and China. Then I remembered that China is the world’s largest smartphone market, so that can’t really be the reason — at least I don’t think it is.
Deep down, I would have loved to have seen HTC launch the One M9+ with some modifications in place of the One M9. In other words, I’d like to have seen the One M9 launch with a 2K display and a fingerprint reader. Or, even better, maybe HTC shouldn’t have launched the One M9+ with the naming it chose: why suggest it’s a better phone, better than the flagship it quite literally just launched in the United States? Even One M9 Max might have been more clear.
I can’t say for certain whether or not it is the better phone. I haven’t used the MediaTek chip, have no idea how the camera performs, what the battery life is like or anything else. It will of course taking further testing — and a processor and good camera is worth a heck of a lot more to me than a 2K display, which means the One M9 may still actually be the better phone.
But still, one has to wonder why HTC is suggesting, through the M9+ moniker, that there’s a better phone out there … even if maybe it’s not.