HTC One M9 full review
We were expecting great things from the HTC One M9, but it's not a massive upgrade over the HTC One M8. Soon after its release HTC in China unveiled two new versions of the One M9 - the HTC One E9+ and HTC One M9+ - and these were the Ones we were waiting for. We find out how the M9 spin-off phones compare in our HTC One E9+ vs HTC One M9+ comparison. Also see: HTC One E9+ UK release date, price and specs and HTC One M9+ UK release date, price and specs.
Please note that in this review we are merely comparing the specifications and explaining the difference between these phones. Before you buy either you should check out full, in-depth reviews. See all Android phone reviews.
HTC One E9+ vs HTC One M9+: Price and UK availability
Neither the HTC One E9+ or HTC One M9+ are officially available to buy in the UK. The HTC One E9+ is available from HTC's Chinese store for 3,299 Yuan (£344.95), while you can pre-order the HTC One M9+ for 4,299 Yuan (£522.55). That makes it cheaper than the £569 HTC One M9, but bear in mind that if you import it from China you will also have to pay import duty. Also see: Best phones 2015 and best Android phones 2015.
In time we expect that you'll be able to get hold of these HTC One M9 variants in the UK through grey-market sites or potentially even eBay or Amazon, but we're not expecting HTC to officially list them in the UK. If you are buying through unofficial channels check out our advice on buying grey-market tech.
HTC One E9+ vs HTC One M9+: Design and build
HTC's familiar One-series design with front-facing BoomSound speakers is seen in both the E9+ and M9+. In common with the standard M9 the M9+ has a unibody metal chassis, but here adds a fingerprint scanner that is built into the Home button. The E9+ has a plastic design, which helps to bring down the price.
Both these variants are fitted with Quad HD displays, unlike the full-HD M9. The M9+ has a 5.2in panel, and therefore a higher pixel density than the 5.5in E9+ phablet (565ppi vs 534ppi). It's unlikely you'll be able to notice a difference, and both screens will be astonishingly sharp. Also see: Best phablets 2015.
With its bigger screen its no surprise that the E9+ is the larger of these two phones at 156.5x76.5mm against the M9+'s 150.99x71.99mm. Yet the M9+ is chunkier - 9.61mm against the E9+'s 7.54mm. It's also heavier - 168g vs 150g.
HTC One E9+ vs HTC One M9+: Hardware
Both HTC One E9+ and HTC One M9+ are fitted with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which can be expanded via microSD up to 128GB. They are also both fitted with 64-bit octa-core chips - the E9+ with a MediaTek MT6795M and the M9+ with the 2.2GHz MediaTek Helio X10. Also see: What's the fastest smartphone 2015.
The battery capacity is almost identical, with the M9+ taking a 40mAh lead over the E9+ with 2840mAh against its 2800mAh. Which will last longer is impossible to judge without thorough testing.
HTC One E9+ vs HTC One M9+: Connectivity
Expect the same things you'll find in the standard M9 on the connectivity front, including dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and NFC. However, both these 4G LTE variants are also dual-SIM, accepting two nano SIMs. Both are dual-standby dual-SIM phones, for more details on what that means see our dual-SIM phones buying advice and best dual-SIM phones 2015. As we mentioned earlier, the M9+ also has a fingerprint sensor. See all smartphone reviews.
HTC One E9+ vs HTC One M9+: Cameras
The camera setup is a key difference on these phones. The HTC One M9+ matches the HTC One M9 with a 20Mp camera and dual-tone LED flash at the back, adding a secondary sensor for depth. Meanwhile the E9+ has a single 20Mp camera and single LED flash at the rear.
At the front, as with the HTC One M9, the M9+ has an UltraPixel camera, which is the same as that found at the rear of the HTC One M8 with f/2.0 aperture and 26.8mm super-wide-angle lens. The E9+ has a 13Mp front camera with f/2.0 aperture and a 26.2mm super-wide-angle lens. Also see: Best selfie phones 2015.
HTC One E9+ vs HTC One M9+: Software
Expect to find identical software in these two HTC One M9 variants, with both running Android Lollipop with the HTC Sense 7.0 UI.
New features of Sense 7.0 include greater customisability with themes and Sense Home which dynamically changes which app icons are shown base on whether you're at home, work or on the go.
HTC One E9+ vs HTC One M9+: Verdict
On the specs alone the HTC One M9+ is clearly the better phone in this comparison, and its higher price attests to that. We're drawn to the M9+ because it is the M9 we wanted to see unveiled at MWC, with a Quad HD screen and fingerprint scanner. But as a cheaper alternative, the plastic E9+ is a nice option with a larger screen. Now let's just hope we can get hold of them in the UK.
Read next: Best new phones coming in 2015.
Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.
Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide