HTC One E9 Plus, the Taiwanese company’s latest high-end model for the cost-conscious customers, is now available in India at a price of Rs 36,000 and is, at first glance, the most value-for-money high-end phone in India right now.
But can it really hold its own against other quad-HD competitors like Nexus 6 (price Rs 37k), Samsung Galaxy S6 (64 GB, price Rs 40,000) and LG G3 (Rs 36k)?
They all have very similar specifications – 32 GB of memory, 3 GB RAM, large screens and really fast processors.
Out of these, the G3 can be ruled out for those who want to buy the latest and the greatest. The LG model was launched a year ago, though it still has many features that are yet to be matched by some other flagships.
In fact, if you don’t mind the 32-bit Snapdragon 801 processor, the G3 might actually offer you a better deal as LG’s displays are usually much better than HTC’s displays. In the non-AMOLED world, LG’s displays offer among the greatest experiences of all.
Like HTC E9 Plus, the G3 also comes with 32 GB storage and 3 GB RAM, supported by a 13 MP, 4K-enabled camera.
However, the real competitors to the E9 Plus would be the Nexus 6 (Rs 37k), which comes with a quad-HD AMOLED display, and the Samsung Galaxy (Rs 40k).
The Nexus 6 is also a slightly older model, and comes with the 32-bit Snapdragon 805 processor. However, in terms of power, the six-inch Nexus 6 as good as the One E9 Plus.
In fact, it looks like HTC priced the E9+ with the Nexus 6 in mind, as both are now pitched at almost the same level.
If you ignore the age factor, the Nexus 6, is actually a better phone than the HTC model, though the E9+ is likely to see a steeper price correction compared to the Moto phone. More on that later.
The strongest competitor to the E9+ will, however, be the Samsung Galaxy S6, which was launched two months ago for Rs 49,900.
If you’re wondering how a 50k phone is going to compete with a 36k phone, keep in mind that in the two months after launch, the Galaxy S6’s price has fallen by a whopping 20% to Rs 40,000 now.
At that level, the S6 offers tremendous value compared to the HTC One E9+.
For one, the S6, with its 14 nm Exynos processor, is about 40% more powerful than the HTC One E9+.
On Antutu for example, the One E9+ scores about 49,000, while the Galaxy S6 comes up with about 68,500 – one of the highest scores for a mobile phone ever.
In addition, the S6 has a gorgeous AMOLED display, while the One E9 Plus has to make do with an LCD display.
PRICE DECLINE FACTOR
However, keeping in mind the fact that the HTC phone has just been launched, it would be unfair to compare prices right now. The price of the E9+ can be expected to fall to the Rs 33,000 level in about 2-3 weeks.
In fact, on Flipkart (where curiously the phone is not in stock yet), the website is offering a ‘special offer’ for app users. Like Flipkart, other online sellers like Snapdeal and Amazon are also yet to start selling the phone.
Grey market and eBay sellers, who do not always source their stock from the Indian unit of HTC, are selling the phone at Rs 32,500. However, since the phones are sourced from outside India, you will not get warranty from the local unit of HTC.
There is also the HTC M9+, which is available at Rs 47,000 in India. The phone is almost exactly the same as the E9+ but for the processor. However, while the E series come with MediaTek processors, the M series have Snapdragons inside them.