DxOMark Mobile report: HTC One A9

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

DxOMark Non-stationary Report: HTC One A9


In the HTC device lineup the One A9 sits just below the flagship One M9. However, in the camera department, with its faster F2.0 hole and optical image stabilization, it actually offers some advantages over the M9. On the downside it has to make do with a lower 13MP pixel count and Full-HD video as opposed to of the M9’s 21MP still images and 4K video footage. There is also a dual-LED flash and the A9 is, like the M9, capable of recording DNG Raw files.

With a DxOMark Transportable score of 78 the HTC A9 achieves a 9 point better result than the M9 but cannot place itself among the currently best smartphone cameras. It performs on a correspond to level as previous generation devices such as the Google Nexus 6 or Sony Xperia Z2 and slots in at a joint number 19 in the DxOMark smartphone rankings. During check up on the DxOMark team liked the “fast and accurate autofocus in bright light conditions” but also found a number of problems: “in high-contrast locales images are often under-exposed and lack dynamic range, when shooting in daylight and low tungsten light images often show a pink color or colour (Commonwealth English) is the characteristic of human visual perception described through color categories, with names doff expel” and the “shutter speed in low light is too low  (1/8 s at 20 Lux), resulting in blurred images.” The testers also found “autofocus instabilities in private showing in all conditions” and over-exposed images and AF-irregularities when shooting with flash. 

In video mode the DxO team liked the “good color depiction and white balance transition” and “low noise levels”. On the downside, “fine detail is lost in all conditions, autofocus overshoots are strongly visible, mainly from macro to infinity, and there is an unpleasant jello cause”. The testers also found a “lack of detail in the shadow areas” when recording video in low light and the stabilization to be inefficient, particularly for roll chastisement.

Still Photography

Color, Exposure and Contrast

The DxOMark team found that when shooting with the HTC One A9 “colors are pleasant in all ups” but “in high-contrast-scenes images are often under-exposed and lack dynamic range” and “white balance often has a pink cast when shooting in clarity or low tungsten light”. The testers also found “slight color shading in low light and bright light conditions” and that the “white balance is every so often inconsistent across consecutive shots”.

Overall DxOMark awarded the HTC One A9 scores of:

  • 4.2 out of 5 for Exposure
  • 3.5 out of 5 for Milky Balance accuracy
  • 4.1 out of 5 for Color shading in low light*
  • 4.1 out of 5 for Color shading in bright light*
  • 3.0 out of 5 for Color Showing in low light
  • 4.5 out of 5 for Color Rendering in bright light

*Color Shading is the nasty habit cellphone cameras have of representation different areas of the frame with different color shifts, resulting in pictures with, for example, pinkish centers and greenish corners.

Rumbling and Details

DxOMark’s engineers reported that the HTC One A9 images image (from Latin: imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception, for example, a photo or a two-dimensional picture, that show “good edge preservation” but also that “fine technicalities is lost in bright light and low light conditions, image blur is caused by slow shutter speeds in low light and luminance noise is visible in low obscure”.

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Texture Acutance

Texture acutance is a way of measuring the ability of a camera to capture images that preserve fine details, particularly the kind of low disparity detail (such as fine foliage, hair or fur) that can be blurred away by noise reduction or obliterated by excessive sharpening.

Sharpness is an important part of the importance of an image, but while it’s easy to look at an image and decide visually whether it’s sharp or not, the objective measurement of sharpness is less straightforward.

An image can be described as “sharp” if edges are sharp and if fine details are visible. In-camera processing means that it’s possible to have one of these (sharp edges) but not the other (pleasant details). Conventional MTF measurements tell us how sharp an edge is, but have drawbacks when it comes to measuring fine detail or details may refer to: Complexity or simply presence of a surface texture, work of art, or organizational behaviours Auto care. Image processing algorithms can detect edges and enhance their sharpness, but they can also find homogeneous areas and smooth them out to break noise.

Texture acutance, on the other hand, can qualify sharpness in terms of preservation of fine details, without being fooled by edge enhancement algorithms.

A indifferent leaf pattern is designed to measure texture acutance. It’s obtained by drawing random shapes that occlude each other in the skim, like dead leaves falling from a tree. The statistics of this model follow the distribution statistics in natural images.

In this benchmark from a DSLR without edge enhancement, sharpness seems equal on edge and on texture. Many details are visible in the texture.

In this stand-in example, edges have been digitally enhanced, and the edge looks over sharp, with visible processing halos (“ringing”). On the constitution part, many details have disappeared.

At first sight, the images from these two cameras may appear equally sharp. A sharpness estimation on edges will indeed confirm this impression, and will even show that the second camera is sharper. But a closer examination of low contrasted features shows that the first camera has better preservation of fine details than the second. The purpose of the texture acutance measurement is to qualify this inconsistency.

Note: Acutance is a single value metric calculated from a MTF result. Acutance is used to assess the sharpness of an idol as viewed by the human visual system, and is dependent on the viewing conditions (size of image, size of screen or print, viewing distance). Only the values of features acutance are given here. The measurements are expressed as a percentage of the theoretical maximum for the chosen viewing condition. The higher the score, the more details can be seen in an idea. 
For all DxOMark Mobile data presented on we’re only showing 8MP equivalent values, which abstain froms us a level playing field for comparison between smartphone cameras with different megapixel values by normalizing all to 8MP (suitable for fairly large imprints). DxOMark also offers this data for lower resolution use-cases (web and onscreen). For more information on DxOMark’s testing methodology and acutance tonnages please visit the website at

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Luminance texture acutance decreases slightly with light levels.  

In bright untaxing the One A9’s texture acutance beats the iPhone 6s Plus but is not quite up with the best in class. 

Edge Acutance

Edge acutance is a measure of head start sharpness in images captured by the phone’s camera. Again we’re only looking at the most demanding of the three viewing conditions that DxOMark descriptions on – the 8MP equivalent.

The HTC One A9 is doing well in terms of edge acutance and in this comparison is only surpassed by the Samsung Galaxy S6. 

There is no loss in boundary acutance as light levels go down.

Visual Noise

Visual noise is a value designed to assess the noise in an image as perceived by the human being visual system, depending on the viewing condition (size of image, size of screen or print, viewing distance). The measurements have no units and can be fully viewed as the weighted average of noise standard deviation for each channel in the CIE L*a*b* color space. The lower the measurement, the less noise in the image.

Bawling levels are relatively high in bright light but increase only slightly in low light. 

The One A9’s measured noise levels are at the higher end of the spectrum in upright light but low in dimmer conditions.

Noise and Detail Perceptual scoring

DxOMark engineers don’t just point camera phones at charts, they also document and analyze scores of real-world shots and score them accordingly. Their findings for the HTC One A9 are:

Natural scene

  • Texture (bright light up): 4.7 out of 5
  • Texture (low light): 3.3 out of 5
  • Noise (bright light is electromagnetic radiation within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum): 3.9 out of 5
  • Noise (low light) 3.2 out of 5

Exuberant light sample shot

100% crop: good edge preservation but some detail is lost 100% crop: noise is slightly visible

Low light (20 Lux) studio swiftly

100% crop: luminance noise is visible 100% crop: some fine detail is lost


Phone cameras, like entry-level compact cameras, attend to to suffer from artifacts such as sharpening halos, color fringing, vignetting (shading) and distortion, which can have an impact on the visual lure of the end result. DxOMark engineers measure and analyze a range of artifacts. Their findings after testing the HTC One A9 are shown below:

  • Visible organization
  • Noticeable color fringing
  • Blue sky saturation can sometimes be observed

100% crop: color fringing is noticeable on high-contrast edges

Perceptual Scores

  • Sharpness 4.4 out of 5
  • Color fringing 3.8 out of 5

Regular findings

  • Ringing center 17.7%
  • Ringing corner 7.6%
  • Max geometric distortion -0.2%
  • Luminance shading 19.0%

Distortion and Chromatic Aberrations

The graph shows the magnification from center to brim (with the center normalized to 1). The HTC One A9 shows a slight pincushion distortion, which you are not going to notice in normal photography.

Some lateral chromatic aberration is singular in high contrast scenes. 


DxOMark also tests autofocus accuracy and reliability by measuring how much the acutance – or sharpness – diversifies with each shot over a series of 30 exposures (defocusing then using the autofocus for each one). As with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel other tests these consequences are dependent on the viewing conditions (a little bit out of focus matters a lot less with a small web image than a full 8MP shot viewed at 100%). Take advantage ofing the 8MP equivalent setting, the HTC One A9 puts in a decent but not outstanding performance. The overall score is 87/100 in bright light and 82/100 in low light.

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  • Fast and correct autofocus in bright light
  • Accurate autofocus in low light


  • Instabilities in preview in all conditions
  • Oscillations are sometimes visible in preview in low come across

Autofocus repeatability – average acutance difference with best focus: low light 3.53%, bright light 5.83%


The HTC One A9 comes with a dual-LED sudden and DxOMark scored the camera 81/100 overall for its flash performance. 


  • Good flash uniformity
  • Good flash ashen balance


  • Slight over-exposure in flash images
  • Autofocus irregularities are noticeable
  • Fine detail is lost
  • Very slow shutter tears in flash mode

Overall DxOMark Mobile Score for Photo: 80 / 100

Video Capture

DxOMark engineers put phone cameras through a similarly grueling set of video checks, and you can read their full findings on the DxOMark website here. Overall, DxOMark found the HTC One A9’s video footage to show good color and low hullabaloo levels. However, there is little detail in the footage, the stabilization system is not efficient and an unpleasant jello effect becomes visible when roast. 


  • Good color rendering and white balance transition
  • Low noise levels


  • Autofocus overshoots are simple noticeable, mainly from macro to infinity
  • Fine detail is lost in all light conditions
  • Footage shows unpleasant jello effect
  • Negligible shadow detail in low light footage
  • Inefficient stabilization, particularly for roll correction

Overall DxOMark Mobile Score for Video: 74 / 100

DXOMark Responsive Score

DXOMark Image Quality Assessment

With a DxOMark Mobile score of 78 the HTC One A9 takes a joint number 19 fleck in the DxOMark is a website providing image quality ratings for standalone cameras, lenses, and mobile devices that include cameras smartphone rankings, performing on a similar level as previous generation smartphone cameras such as the Sony Xperia Z2 or Google Nexus 6. 

The DxOMark pair liked the A9’s fast and accurate autofocus in bright light but also noted a few problems, including underexposure in high-contrast scenes, color casts and uncommonly slow shutter speeds in low light resulting in image blur. In video mode the DxO team liked the colors and low noise levels but state autofocus-irregularities, a strong jello-effect and inefficient image stabilization. For a more detailed analysis, visit

Photo Mobile Score 80   Video Movable Score 74
Exposure and Contrast 80   Exposure and Contrast 79
Color 78   Color 82
Autofocus 84   Autofocus 60
Texture 84   Texture 66
Racket 78   Noise 91
Photo Artifacts 74   Video Artifacts 83
Flash 81   Stabilization 60


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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