By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent

It increasingly seems like every smartphone looks the same these days.

And HTC has done little to dispel that view with its One A9.

Because the handset is a dead ringer in many ways for a small iPhone 6S.

But that is where comparisons end.

Because the A9 is not directly trying to compete with the iPhone or comparable high end smartphones.

Instead HTC is pitching it as a higher than mid-tier phone, but below the top-end competitors.

The fact it looks like the iPhone is certainly a plus.

With a metal back, 7.26mm thick and weighing in at 143g, it is comfortable to hold.

It may not be a full premium handset, but it certainly has the appearance of one.

It uses a 5 inch Full HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass, which performs really well.

Colours are bright, text is sharp, and the touch sensitivity is good.

Inside it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 Octa-core processor, together with 2GB or RAM – not a powerhouse, but all perfectly respectable, and performance on the whole is good.

The built in memory is, however, a disappointing 16GB – though the microSD slot can cope with up to 2TB, which makes up for it.

It runs the latest version of Android - 6.0 Marshmallow, which is another plus.

Though it is customised with the HTC Sense, which some people love and others hate.

It is really a matter of taste.

It also has a finger print sensor on the front, which is easy to use and really quick – certainly one of the best features.

The battery is a reasonably small 2150mAh and it supports Quick Charge 2.0.

The battery performance was alright though – it should get you through the day with normal use, and of course there are power saving features in the operating system to help out if necessary.

Just don’t expect miracles.

The A9 has a 13MP main camera, which takes pretty good snaps.

With a 0.1 second reaction speed it is also fast.

Overall it is not quite up there with the best of the best, but good enough for most.

The camera app comes with a wide range of features and gizmos that we’ve come to expect from HTC by now, like Hyperlapse and Pro Mode, and that helps to enhance the experience.

It also has high resolution audio and a digital signalling processing chip to upscale 16bit audio to 24 bit.

It comes in four colours – Carbon Grey, Opal Silver, Deep Garnet and Topaz Gold.

At €529 SIM free it certainly isn’t cheap.

But as a cheaper alternative to the iPhone 6S, Samsung Galaxy S6 , HTC One M9 or Sony Xperia Z5, which is good but not exceptional, it does have its attractions.

Comments welcome via Twitter to @willgoodbody