Even as news trickles in about the launch of the Lenovo Vibe X3 next week in India at a price of Rs 25,000, it is all set to get competition from unexpected quarters, the HTC One X9.
The X9 is not a flagship, but in terms of looks, its perhaps the best looking phone the company has launched since the end of 2014.
According to distributor sources, India will be one of the first countries where the company will unveil the model later this month.
For Rs 26,000, you can, of course, get other phones with better specifications, and the seeming absence of a fingerprint scanner is disappointing. However, the X9 is not grossly overpriced and will find favor with those who like HTC as a smartphone brand.
The most disappointing aspect about the HTC One X9 — other than the fingerprint scanner — is its full-HD display. In the post Yutopia era, we have come to expect quad-HD resolutions for all phones priced above Rs 25,000. The only phones we can accept with full-HD resolutions in the upper-mid-range are those with AMOLED display like the Galaxy A8 (price Rs 28,000).
Anyway, back to the specs.
The best way to describe the phone is to call it a cross between a mid-range and a high-end phone.
Though the full-HD 5.5-inch display is common with cheaper models like Lenovo K4 Note, the internals of the HTC model are definitely those of an expensive model. The X9 comes with 3 GB of DDR3 RAM and a Helio X10 chipset and built-in storage of 32 GB.
The device is clearly superior to HTC’s own recently launched Desire 828, which comes with MediaTek MT6753 (the same chipset used in Lenovo K4 Note) and 2+16 GB of memory.
In fact, in many ways, it is even better than the rather expensive One A9 (price Rs 32,000 for the 32+3 GB version). The One A9, for example, is built around the Snapdragon 617 processor.
Another area in which the X9 shines over the others is in terms of camera. Though, like the A9, the resolution is only 13 MP, the new model supports 4K video recording, something that the A9 camera does not. HTC, it looks like, is not playing the megapixel game.
A point of confusion is whether a fingerprint scanner is there or not on the HTC model. Most reports say there is none, which will be a big disappointment to many.
However, if you are willing to overlook the fingerprint scanner and the megapixel issue, the HTC model does offer the Lenovo Vibe X3 a good run for its money.
That is a little surprising, given the Chinese company’s solid reputation in India as the most value-for-money brand.
Both phones offer Dolby audio, 32+3 GB of memory, 5.5-inch displays and provide for Corning Gorilla Glass protection. However, the Vibe X3 is built on the Snapdragon 808 platform, which is less powerful than the Helio X10. In terms of software, the Vibe X3 runs on Android 5.1, while the HTC model is based on Android Marshmallow.
In terms of looks, we do prefer the HTC model, though it’s a very subject matter and changes from user to user.
Other than the difficult-to-buy Yutopia, only the OnePlus Two, which is also priced at Rs 25,000 in India, offers some real competition to the X9. The OP2, for example, is based on the Snapdragon 810 and does come with a fingerprint scanner.
Almost everything else is the same, but it should also be noted that at 3 Ah, the HTC model has the weakest battery of the three. The X3 has a 3.6 Ah unit, while the OP2 comes with a 3.3 Ah unit.