U.S. versions of the HTC One M9 getting software update to match global models

There are a few headlines going around this evening about a software update hitting the HTC One M9 that, among other things, brings about some camera updates. That's obviously a good thing in the case of the M9, which hasn't exactly left us overly impressed in the camera department.

But context is important here. This update is to bring U.S. models of the M9 in line with the software on the global version, HTC has told us (and others). And while folks should see an improvement in image processing after this update — just as we did three weeks ago on the global model we used in our review, and as we noted in the "About this review section" — we'd caution against believing that this is some magical update that will cure all that ailed us.

Repeat: This update that's being bandied about was already applied to our phone when we took sample images in our review three weeks ago. (You can see the full-resolution shots here.) If the images look great to you, then that's great! But this update isn't like to be a magical cure-all.

The HTC One M9 is available in stores on Friday, April 10.

75 Comments
  • Good Posted via the Android Central App
  • The United States version should have had the same software at launch Posted via the Android Central App
  • It did. This update is a brand new update for all devices. But Phiil is lying or just doesn't know what he is talking about.
  • LMAO. I've got emails that back up everything. But you just go ahead and be wrong. I won't stop ya.
  • No. You are the one who is wrong. Nce try though. You got caught lying and now you are trying to cover your ass. You are an embarrassment. Typical yank.
  • Waiting for you to do something other than misspell words. Why is it do you think I'm lying? Please give us links.
  • Yes. 1. I have the international M9 and just recieved the a second update for the camera. That along with the one you mentioned in your article. 2. You have tried to make the camera issues out to be hardware realated and not software when the fact of the matter all the M9's camera issues were software related. Their is nothing wrong with the hardware. Given the fact Nokia used the same sensor in the Lumia 930 were the camera was universally prasied as being the best of 2014. So hardware wise the camera is one of the best on the market. Unlike the way you try to say. So yes software updates can greatly improve the camera. So there is another lie you tried to spout saying it wouldn't do so. 3. If I post links you wll just delete them to make yourself look good.
  • I've let you call me a liar and generally spread bullshit in these comments without providing a single piece of proof of what you're talking about, or that I'm in any way wrong with what I've said. (And please point out where I've written that anything here is hardware-related.) So what's one more comment. Have at it. Link away. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But I've got emails from HTC that back up every single word I've said in this post, and in the comments, and that's what everything I've written here has been based on. Meanwhile, you've shown me absolutely nothing to back up your accusations, which are growing more toothless with every response.
  • Here are some comparison photos of before and after there is a huge difference. http://phandroid.com/2015/04/09/htc-one-m9-camera-update-comparison/ Posted via the Android Central App
  • Other sites jump the gun to get cheap clicks, AC waits until they have all the facts before they report. That's why I love this site.
  • Same here, Android central is the best!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • J.R. jumped the gun. Google+ All Day Everyday
  • Mother Superior jumped the gun... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Only their facts were wrong in this story.
  • What's the software version number we should be seeing? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Is this just a camera update or will it address other issues? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The version you tested is two updates behind. There was a .30 and this one is supposedly .33
  • Actually, it wasn't. The US and global SKUs use different numbering schemes. Posted via the Android Central App
  • .214 the build you reviewed was a press/test build. since then there have been ota's with build numbers .14, .15., .30 and now .33
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=59783885&postcount=132
  • I know the builds. But that doesn't mean they're not parallel. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hey Chek out these photos phill http://phandroid.com/2015/04/09/htc-one-m9-camera-update-comparison/ Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've seen them. And what I'm saying is that HTC is tell me that those "new" pictures were taken with the same camera improvements that global units received three weeks ago. And that's what we used in our review. This is just U.S. models getting that update. It's not a new magical, ZOMG update or anything beyond that. (And the before/after shots very look like the before/after shots I had before and after I got that update. There was just zero reason for me to show the "before" shots for obvious reasons.) And, again, if that brings the camera up to an acceptable level for you, great! But we've been living with this newer software for some time.
  • now just drop the mic!
  • It'd have been helpful if the original article noted that your source at htc was telling you this is the same build as the .15 and .30 otas. Furthermore, it would be good if you sourced the quote.
  • I did. "This update is to bring U.S. models of the M9 in line with the software on the global version, HTC has told us (and others)."
  • Not sure how I missed this twice, but I did and my apologies... My hopes for another update are crushed.
  • Don't believe Phil He's lying.
  • No it's not Phll. Nice try. The US models launched with that software. This is a brand new updae. Confirmed by HTC. Nice try, Samsung must be paying you a butt load to be bashing HTC so much.
  • No they aren't Phil u liar.
  • What version is this? I'm on 1.32.502.9 with AT&T.
  • I could care less about the camera. I got this phone knowing the camera wasn't gonna be good(fine for me) as others. I just want better soc performance like battery improvements. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's really no noticeable difference between Battery and Performance between the M8 and M9.
  • For idk about others but for me there is. I currently have both T-Mobile M8 and M9. Same setup and M8 beats it. On XDA there are threads about it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I know there are a few complaining of bad battery life, however I myself came from an M8 to an M9 on T-Mobile and have noticed an improvement in battery life. Before after taking the phone off the charger around 7am and using it for 9 1/2 hours, I'd come home with around 55% battery left. Now with everything the same, I come home with around 70% left. Not sure why some get good battery life and some get bad, hopefully a update can fix it for those with the problem. Posted from my HTC One M9 via Android Central App
  • Well I'm glad your getting good results. Hopefully they released something soon. Who knows maybe I need to give it more time. We shall see Posted via the Android Central App
  • BS. Battery life on the M9 is one a million percent better. I have both and tested both. M9 last significantly longer.
  • Then you bought the wrong phone anyway. The M9 has worse battery than the M8 and the Snapdragon 810 has major heating issues, resulting in a need for constant throttling.
  • Sorry but no. The M9 battery life is signficantly better than the M8. I have both I know. The 810 actually does not have overheating issues. The photo of the M9 overheated was proven to be photoshopped. Nice try though.
  • Only the M9 camera is good. In fact its great. Did you know Nokia used pretty much the same sensor in the Lumia 930 which was praised as having the best camera in a phone last year.
  • Still got the M9 stuck up your ass eh?! Keep singing the same old songs and maybe one day you won't regret the piece of shit!
  • How's the camera compare to other phones such as the Galaxy S6? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Galaxy S6 is BY FAR the superior of the two. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The camera update shown by phandroid shows how much better the HTC camera is after the update. It really does go head to head with the S6 camera. Posted on my OnePlus One
  • Not true.
  • Brings the m9 a bit closer but s6 is still better Posted via Android Central App
  • S6 is overrated.
  • They are evenly matched.
  • I'm an HTC fanboy and no they're not. The GS6 has a better camera. Pains me to admit it but i've seen enough pics to know that the images coming from their camera is superior to the M9 even after the software updates that improved the M9. The images are better than what they were before but they're still inferior to the GS6's pics. M9 is much improved and still have a great camera but its not on the same level as the GS6.
  • It's prudent to wait until consumer devices are sold, used, glitches are identified, corrected, and the dust settles. Being the first to have a first batch production device, except for potential aggravation, is meaningless after a month. Also, as with all newly manufactured models, especially when rushed, builds are better after the initial batch. All these posted forum opinions about handsets that will be released tomorrow are senseless banter by people who have absolutely no hands on experience.
  • Your first paragraph was good then you went off the rails. Where was Rick Grimes when we needed him a few 1000 years ago. He could have prevented all this stupidity.
  • Wow the before shots were awful! Looking good now though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Compared to LG and Samsung they are still pretty bad Where was Rick Grimes when we needed him a few 1000 years ago. He could have prevented all this stupidity.
  • True, but the improvements are what is being noted on this. I question why they couldn't fix the issue prior to releasing the phone in the first place. There are enough threads showing that the camera itself isn't the problem but the software is the issue. You would think that with all the flack they caught over the m8 camera this one would have been gone over with a fine tooth comb before rushing it out the door. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Given the fact that Nokia used an older verison of the sensor HTC is using in the M9 the hardware is fanastic. Any issue is solely software.
  • Actually no they are lookinga as good as Samsung and LG. I bet I could post a pic from my S6 and M9 and you couldn't tell which one came from which phone. The M9 has a great camera. Nokia used almost the same sensor in the 930 where it was universally praised. So nice try but yoour bias is showing.
  • You can't afford an S6 too. That's why you spend so much time trolling on your M9 to make yourself feel better about the two years you got to suffer in pain!
  • Funny seeing how I bought an S6 and an M9. I use the M9 as my daly driver as it is a better phone in every way possible. Also the S6 and M9 cost me the same amount of money or are you so stupid you did't know that? Also I wouldn't consider having a M9 for two years suffering in pain. Also I buy my phones unlocked. I have had an M7, M8 and now M9 so their is no keeping the phone for more than a year. Plus a buy almost every flagship ttat comes out. And I still go back to HTC. They are simply the best. And funny how you assume I can't afford an S6. Shows how stupid you really are and how you cannot argue the facts of the matter. The HTC One M9 uses the same exact sensor as the Lumia 930. The Lumia 930 was universally praised as haivng the best camera. So why don't you try and argue the facts. That's right you can't because it does't forward your agenda and the fats make you look stupid whch you are. I wll await your pathetic response.
  • I would love for any tech reviewer worth their salt from AC Technobuffalo or wherever to please explain to me why the camera on all these smartphones stand out as the absolute most important part of the review and phone. Whatever happened to the actual user experience? Samsung has repeatedly put out phones with so much bloat and silliness with touchwiz. Yet this last note 3 and s6 are highly scored reviews because of camera, screen resolution and build quality. Well BMWs Mercedes and Audi's are well built, have all the bells and whistles, yet they offer supremely different user experiences. We spend hundreds and even into a thousand dollars on smartphones yet the user experience is overlooked in all these reviews. Now touchwiz is somewhat tolerable its a great phone. HTC has offered great build quality and user experience but what does it get for that? 8/10 7/10. When the perfect camera comes along with a UHD display we may have a perfect phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't think it is the be-all end-all. But I do think it's an extremely important feature. And as I mentioned several times in our review, the M9 camera acts like it's struggling to keep up. I used the M8 for a good bit of 2014. I liked it a LOT. Definitely more than the GS5 or Note 4, even if the camera wasn't as good, because to me the user experience was (and is) that much better. This year I'm shifting my priorities some, and I'm not as willing to compromise on the camera experience. (And I think HTC took a minor step backward with the Sense Home Widget stuff, but that's another topic for another day.) I talk a lot about a phone often being greater than the sum of its parts — and I've said that frequently about HTC phones. Jury's still out on 2015's flagships. But I do know I'm seeing some things I like, and some I don't.
  • Phil once again showing his anti HTC biass. The camera is not struggling to keep up. To say that shows you have no idea what youare taling about. 1. Nokia used almost the same camera sensor in the 930 and it was universally praised as having the best camera last year. The M9 is using a new verison of that sensor. Sense Home Widget is not a step backward antoher moronic comment espeically given the fact that it is easily removed.
  • Cameras are a vital part of what people want in any smartphone. They want the absolute best available since many people have elected to use what is on their phone instead of a regular camera. It allows them a viable alternative to having to carry a separate camera around. It's not a wonder why the camera gets so much press these days since more and more people are using them for everything. I always felt that the camera frenzy was overblown too but as they keep getting better it becomes more important than ever before. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This really is a shame to see the such a bad camera experience and the issues with heat even after the latest round of updates. I think Ill be skipping this generation of HTC and Samsung altogether....
  • The build version in the linked article is 1.32.401.214. Another site is reporting the current version recently released is build 1.32.531.33. Is the linked article and what's written above accurate in terms of image quality improvement when they say that they already received this update 3 weeks ago? I think the author would need to verify their statement, ensure that he does in fact have the latest version available, and if not, perform some additional comparisons and reassess image quality improvements, if any. I know build versions vary from carrier to carrier, so I just want to make sure I am getting the most up to date information as I search for my next phone.
    Thanks
  • The author (that's me) is saying that the global model of the M9 we used for our review already had this camera update before we took the pictures used in the review. And in fact the author waited to take those pictures as long as possible to ensure he was comfortable with that new camera software. And the author can verify this by looking at the email thread yesterday wherein HTC said that this .33 update brings the U.S. versions on par with the .15 update that the global models received some time ago. (We reviewed on .14 — .15 was just the final release version for Europe and didn't affect the camera software at all, HTC told us.) If you want to see what this "new" software update looks like, see our review from March 22. Or see the full-res pictures I posted to Google+ back when we published the review.
  • And the author that's you is a liar. Even HTC confrimed this is a new software update rolling to international and carrier models of the phone. Nice try Phil.
  • HTC version numbers are arranged as such: x.y.z.a x = major version, usually increases based on a new Android or Sense version
    y = minor version, increases with maintenance releases
    z = region/carrier number. 401 = unlocked Europe, 531 = unlocked US, 707 = unlocked Asia
    a = build number. Because firmware isn't always aligned between regions, you can't simply look at the number and know which is more recent. You can get a pretty good idea by looking at the major and minor version numbers (1.32 in this case), but it's not always an exact science. As it stands, HTC has told us the firmware we reviewed (on the Euro device) had the same camera optimizations that are now rolling out to US devices. Some other reviews published after ours were based on US devices on older firmware, with less optimized camera software.
  • And to be perfectly fair to those other, later reviews, you can only use what you've got. That's not their fault. I have serious issues with a company loaning out phones for review and then doing so with pretty major differences in software. (And I know, that's easy for me to say since we had the more final version early.) When you don't have a level playing field, this is the sort of confusion you cause, and it's not good for anyone. It's bass-ackwards, for sure.
  • Phil... If you still have the phone couldn't you download this supposed newer version and see if they have changed anything with it? I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see some additional tweaks done with it.. Especially with all of the bad press Posted via the Android Central App
  • No. The Euro phone we used for our review already had this software update. It just used a different version number, for the reasons Alex explains.
  • That's a damn lie. It is not the same update. HTC even confrimed it isn't the same update. Nice try Phil.
  • OK, thanks for clearing it up guys, much appreciated. That helps me out a lot since I'm in the market and almost knocked the ONE M9 off my list because of the picture quality. Since there is an improvement, I will reconsider. Do you feel as if this camera is now better than that of the Galaxy S4, (if it wasn't already better prior to the update)? And Phil, I hope you didn't take my question personal, I am just trying to make sure I have the most up to date information as possible. I had the impression that by you writing in the third person was an indication that you were a little offended by my questioning of the article and suggestion...
  • It is using a new verison of the camera that was used in the Lumia 930 whichw as universlaly praised as haivng the best camera by many tech blogs.
  • This article proves that Phil Nickelson is either a liar or just really really bad at his job. Lie 1: The software updates brings US models to globel models. Wrong. The US models launched on the same software as the international models. This is a brand new update for all models to improve t camera. Lie 2. The M9 camera sucks. Phil once again lying about HTC'S camera. When in fact the M9 camera is one of the best cameras on the market and is a new verison of the same camera in the Lumia 930 where it was unversally praised. Lie 3. Software update can't fix camera performance. This is once again Phil lying or just sucking at his job. Any problems with HTC'S camera is sofrware not hardware. But Phil doesn't want to admit that because it would make him look stupid. Lie 4. This update that's being bandied about was already applied to our phone when we took sample images in our review three weeks ago. No it is not. It is a brand new update as confrimed by HTC. The update you got on your phones 3 weeks ago was launched on US models. This is a brand new update with a global rollout that started on the 10th So which is it Phil? Are you a liar or do you just suck this bad at your job?
  • Keep going, one day you might receive that magical update that turns your device from a turd in to a half useable phone!
  • Little baby can't stand that HTC makes better phones than his beloved Samsung and cannot argue the facts. Pathetic.