If you want to get rid of those—and subsequently, the BlinkFeed page that lives to the very left of the Home screen—you can load another launcher. Still, it’s ridiculous that you have to do all that maintenance after you take the phone out of the box. No phone that costs $500 should come with advertisements. That’s just wrong.
Is this phone really worth $500?
We were led to believe the One A9 would cost $399, but it appears that price point is only for a very limited limited time. On November 7, after less than two weeks on the market, the phone's price will jump to $500. That doesn’t seem fair to consumers.
This is a mid-range phone at best. It may look high-end on the outside, but that was the point: it’s supposed to be an affordable, middle-of-the-road, iPhone-like device that isn’t covered in plastic wrapping. But for less than $500, you could bring home your own custom, unlocked Moto X Pure Edition with a better processor and near-stock Android. Or a 32GB Nexus 5X with Nexus Protect. For the same price, you can get a Nexus 6P. Or heck, a refurbished iPhone 6. There are so many other, better options at this price.
It’s really a bummer. HTC set the precedent for phone design so many years ago, but now it’s failing to find its niche in an increasingly saturated smartphone market. My hope for HTC is that it uses the feedback from this particular device as the blueprint for next year’s flagship, since this isn’t going to be the device that helps it out of its financial hole.
At the very least, the One A9 proves that HTC is capable is bundling in a decent camera sensor, battery efficiency, and stereo speakers into a premium-looking package. But it needs to kick Sense the the curb and find a price point that doesn't put its mid-range device in direct competition with higher-end flagships.
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