There were many mixed reviews with the HTC One M9’s camera, specifically with how it handled low light. Despite the ultra-pixels’ ability to retain more light in low light settings, those lower light pictures were said to be grainy despite their brightness. Here, the HTC One A9 holds a revisited 13 MP main camera, complete with BSI sensor for light detection, optical image stabilization (OIS), and auto-focus. What’s particularly different here is the not the decrease from 20 MP to 13 in the main camera. It’s the addition of the new Pro Mode that gives the user manual control of the various image settings before pictures are taken.
But to start off, here is the main camera with all of its default auto settings. So far in well-lit scenarios the camera does fine at capturing the vibrancy of colors in a scene. He’s a shot of my desk and of Times Square in NYC in comparison with similar shots from the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy S6 Edge+. (Shots taken on different days)
The Pro Mode does makes a good attempt at giving the user a better chance at getting the exact shot they want. After some finagling, I was able to get a shot of time square at night that resembled the color distribution and white balance I felt I saw with the naked eye.
I’d be inclined to suggest that everyone that everyone who would take shots in Pro Mode as you will most likely be able to take the exact shot you’d want using the HTC One A9. The resulting image you capture is indeed pleasing. The problem is in the potential time you may take to finagle the various settings for the perfect shot. This normally wouldn’t be a problem if you had the option to save your custom Pro Mode settings as “favorites” that you can quickly access later. The HTC One M9 had this with their “Raw” Mode, so the absence of this seemingly basic option was noticed right away.
Otherwise, the HTC One A9 puts you in the position choosing two scenarios, specifically in dark scenes – Either take good to okay shots on-the-fly quickly with the default Camera mode or take good to great shots with Pro Mode where some time may be necessary to assess the perfect tweaks. I really do like Pro Mode on the A9 and the resulting shots that come from it, but not being able to save a set of settings put a strange taste in my mouth. Hopefully this is noticed and added back in a software update in the future.
Videos were beautiful and crisp with image shakiness at a minimum thanks to the included OIS. Here’s a sample (with minimal quality loss thanks to the upload process):
If anything, this HTC One A9 camera holds its own for the most part.
Continue onto Additional Features and Final Thoughts…