The jockeying by Android phone manufacturers for positions just behind the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as the world’s (almost) best mobile phone reminds me of Premiership football teams vying for those European completion places available to those that don’t quite win. And so it is that a gaggle of non-iPhones – the two new Samsung Galaxy S6 models, this HTC One M9, and the Motorola Moto X 2nd Generation that I reviewed in May – all have a claim to be the best runner-up.
The HTC is less different from its predecessor than the Moto or the Samsungs are from theirs. But, curiously, HTC’s shallower innovation curve has produced a phone with valuable features. For example, while Samsung (like Apple), has sealed the S6 models so you can’t slip in a memory-expanding Micro SD card, HTC retains a card slot. The overall result is that the M9 is a formidable phone with surprisingly good sound from its stereo speakers (good enough to listen to the radio, if not music). And because it’s HTC, you can also design your own version of the Android homescreen, making it one of the most customisable phones around. Nice, with definite personality.
Our tech guru singles out another Android phone, the Motorola Moto X 2nd Generation,which has a striking standout feature.