How Verizon Killed The HTC One M9

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When the HTC One M9 came to market, it brought along with is some amazing new features. As we ticked down the list of these great, everyday add-on items, we noticed something strange… So many of them don’t appear on our Verizon Wireless model of the HTC One M9. Missing from Big Red’s M9 are a couple of really great features that are found on other devices, including the unlocked varieties. While the device itself hasn’t undergone a change, the lack of these features could be a deal breaker for some since they are a pretty major upgrade from past models.

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The first missing feature is the HTC Backup App. This allowed a user to move from one HTC device to another with no issue at all. Moving from an M8 to an M9 was no problem with HTC Backup. Simply save your data to your Dropbox or Google Drive and open the App on your new device to import it. This worked great on the upgrade from the M7 to the M8, but was somehow missing from our M9. It turns out, Verizon cut this feature from the device in order to make users pay for their own backup and restore feature. Sad that you would have to pay for something that HTC included for free.

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Next up, Easy Mode. While some of us like crazy complex home screens and tiny text, the M9 included a great addition called Easy Mode. It resembled a bit of a Windows Phone look with big buttons and clear text. It was a serious attraction for the older crowd or for those with less than stellar eye sight. It also gave one touch access to just about anywhere you needed to go. Again, missing from the M9 on Verizon. We couldn’t find a decent reason for this one, except for maybe Verizon didn’t want to add an extra page to their user guide? Other than that, this one has us speechless.

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Finally, gone from the menu is the setting for ‘Power Saver’ mode. Power saving mode allowed a user to turn off certain functions of the device and to decrease the screen brightness when full power wasn’t needed. It also allowed the radios to be shutdown when not in use as well. Power Saver mode could increase the battery life of the M9 by quite a bit during a normal day of usage. Fortunately, Verizon left Extreme Power Saver mode in there, but that pretty much cripples the device, which makes it rather useless, unless you are just using your new M9 as a Walkman.

Unfortunately, this shows how badly a carrier can mangle a device. Even something as good as the HTC One M9 isn’t safe from carrier tampering. Whether it was something as simple as removing the backup and restore functionality from a device or something as dramatic as ripping out a complete OS feature, tampering with the advertised feature set of a device should not be tolerated by anyone. If you have an HTC One M9 on Verizon and feel a bit jaded by not getting these features included with your device, tell us in the comments below!

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