Do you like the HTC One M9 Plus, but find it too costly at Rs 45,000?
Fret not, as the Taiwanese brand is launching a cheaper version of the M9+ — HTC One ME — which has almost exactly the same specifications except for the price.
Delhi-based dealers have started taking pre-orders for One ME, promising delivery before July 15. According to them, the sticker price of the phone is Rs 40,500, but the market operating price will be Rs 38,000.
That is well below the sticker price for the One M9+, which is Rs 52,000, and its operating price of Rs 45,000.
For Rs 45,000, the HTC M9+ makes very little economic sense, considering that the Samsung Galaxy S6, which can be considered a superior phone, is available for less than that.
The HTC One ME will correct the anomaly by bringing down the price of the flagship phone to Rs 38,000 initially, and possibly to the same level as that of the One E9+ (current price of this phone is Rs 33,200).
Another phone that is available on preorder is the HTC One E9s, an affordable version of the E9 with a 720p AMOLED display.
In fact, if the bigger size is not an issue, the E9 Plus is one of the best phones on offer and almost as good as the M9+ or the One ME.
The only major difference between the E series and the ME is that the ME comes with ‘Helio X10’ chipset that supports 120 Hz display support and contains a slightly faster processor.
A refresh rate of 120 Hz implies that the screen is being ‘redrawn’ 120 times in a second. A normal cinema screen is refreshed about 24-30 times a second, while most TVs are refreshed 50-60 times per second.
120 Hz is supposed to give a more ‘stable’ and ‘lifelike’ picture. In other words, it wouldn’t feel as much like a screen as a painting or a physical photograph.
The feature technology was unveiled by MediaTek in April when they announced the Helio X10 solution.
Interestingly, this chip is already there in the HTC M9 Plus, but not there in the 5.5 inch HTC E9+. However, no one really knows if the M9+ actually takes advantage of this feature and is capable of 120 Hz refresh rate for its display. According to reports, the phone’s display operates at 60 Hz.
In fact, even the HTC One ME product page on HTC’s website also does not mention anything about 120 Hz.
“The HTC One ME dual SIM goes beyond high definition. Its 5.2″ screen is the perfect size for the Quad HD screen resolution. Photos look natural, videos come to life with striking graphics and you’ll get a clear view of all the finer details in your documents,” is all that it says.
One of the reasons why it is not easy to implement 120 Hz display is that the LCD panel must also support the high refresh rate.
Spec-for-spec, the One ME is almost exactly the same as the M9+ — a 5.2 inch display, quad-HD resolution (implying that there are 4 mln dots on the screen), 3 GB of RAM, eight Cortex A53 cores, an advanced 4 MP front camera, 20 MP camera at the back, 32 GB of storage memory and Android lolipop, all backed by a 2.84 Ah battery.
Both phones support two of the three types of LTE being deployed in India (2300 and 1800 band). We are not sure if the third type of LTE (800 MHz) is supported.
In terms of looks, the One ME takes forward the stock flagship design of HTC with more refinement, or in HTC’s own words:
“The unique two-tone design is an expertly crafted, beautifully designed phone that’s lightweight, incredible to hold and remains true to the HTC One series.
“Blending glossy and matte styling together for higher contrast, its chic finish features a polycarbonate texture that is soft to the touch. Complete with stainresistant coating and an ergonomically curved back, you’ll never want to put it down.”
VALUE FOR MONEY?
So, how does the One ME compare with the E9+ – the king of value as far as high-end phones are concerned in India?
In fact, the E9 Plus still manages to come out on top as far as value for money is concerned. The only big differences between the E9+ and the One ME are the display size and the chipset. While the E9+ has a 5.5-inch display, the ME has a 5.2 inch one like the M9+.
In case of the processor, the E9+ comes with the slightly less powerful ‘M’ version of the MT6795 processor, while the One ME comes with the turbo (T) version clocked at 2.2 GHz.
The MT6795T found inside the M9+ and the One ME scores 5,200 on Geekbench, while the E9+ scores only 4600. However, in practice, the difference will be hard to tell.
So, what is our final recommendation?
If you really want a 5.2 inch display, and cannot come to grips with a 5.5-inch one, then the One ME is a phone you must consider along with the Samsung Galaxy S6. While the S6 will set you back by Rs 42,000 (today’s price), the HTC One ME will only cost you around Rs 38,000.
Of course, unlike the Galaxy S6, the ME does not have an AMOLED display. But the phone is a strong competitor in every other way, except perhaps in battery life.
And if you don’t mind the 5.5-inch size, the E9+ offers better value for money despite have a slightly less powerful processor.
And if you must have something other than Samsung and HTC, you can also look at the LG G4, which is almost identically speced, and is available at Rs 43,600 on Infibeam.