Boasting an “evolution” of the original HTC One design, there’s a new “metalmorphics” approach to the design and finish of the handset. HTC tell us that the phone has “refined edges, precision-cut ridges and a super-thin metal frame”. It’ll be available in the silver and grey shades we saw in the leaks plus Topaz Gold and Deep Garnet. HTC are keen to mention the level of detailing on this handset and the “fusion of metal and glass”. The screen is a 5″ edge-to-edge full HD AMOLED 1080p unit with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4.
Inside it’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 64-bit octa-core processor, which comprises 4 x 1.5GHz and 4 x 1.2GHz. It’s 4G compatible, with WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, a 3.5mm audio port and all the sensors you need (light, proximity, G, compass, gyro, magnetic). The button up front acts as a fingerprint sensor too.
Around back, the 13 megapixel camera has a sapphire cover lens and OIS, ƒ/2.0, 1080p video recording. The front is a HTC UltraPixel unit and is fixed focus. The videos you film can have a splash of fun with a built-in “Hyperlapse” mode which speeds through your videos in a high-speed style. There’s also a “pro” mode so that you can tweak settings to your hearts content.
The phone will launch with the very latest Android 6.0 and HTC Sense. Now on Tap and Android Pay will be available too.
There’ll be two versions, and you need to note this bit down.
1 – 16GB on-board storage, 2GB RAM (plus up to 2TB via the microSD)
2 – 32GB on-board storage, 3GB RAM (plus up to 2TB via the microSD)
The A9 also has Dolby Audio Surround with something called “Hi-Res Audio” for better quality sound. A built-in digital audio converter converts 16-bit audio to 24-bit high-resolution sound. However, there’s no Boomsound. Yes. You read that right. No Boomsound.
The battery is a 2150 mAh unit with Quick Charge 2.0 support. Support for Quick Charge 3.0 is coming soon.
Now. Pricing then. We’ve had a look at MobilePhonesDirect, who have the 32GB, 3GB RAM version up for pre-order at £459.99. You’ll be able to get it on a 24-month contract (1GB data, 500 minutes, 5000 texts on TalkMobile) for £32 per month.
Meanwhile, EE will be offering the 16GB, 2GB RAM version for £44.99 per month with a £9.99 up-front cost (2GB data, 1000 minutes, Unlimited texts). Vodafone and O2 have confirmed that they’re taking it too.
In the USA, as part of a limited-time promotional deal, they’ll be selling the 32GB, 3GB RAM version for $399.99 – that’s £258.94 at todays rates. Compare that to the base-model 16GB, 2GB RAM model pricing here in the UK – £429.99.
That, I have to say, isn’t good enough. Why is the unlocked US 32GB, 3GB RAM version (which has an unlockable bootloader that doesn’t void the warranty and gets updates straight from HTC – all great news) cost £258.94 but the UK has the 16GB, 2GB RAM version for £429.99 and the 32GB, 3GB RAM one at £459.99? That’s just…. wrong.
I say again …
– £258.94 ($399.99) for the 32GB, 3GB RAM version in the USA
– £459.99 for the very same model here in the UK.
That’s a full £201.05 MORE! I could pay for a flight to New York for that. The US version gets six free months of unlimited Google Play Music and HTC’s “Uh Oh” Protection too. Sure, I know that the US version will no doubt increase in price after promotional activity in America, but this is still a huge price difference.
Meanwhile, the HTC One A9 will be available in the UK from November. The Topaz Gold one is exclusive to O2.
Phew. I got through this whole article without mentioning the fact that it looks just like an iPhone.
BE BRILLIANT WITH THE NEW HTC ONE
HTC delivers a bold new choice for people who want stunning design without compromising on style, performance or personalization: the HTC One A9
NEW YORK – October 20, 2015 – HTC today unveiled the latest addition to the award-winning HTC One family, the HTC One A9. Melding the best of HTC’s acclaimed design and innovation with the latest from Google’s Android, this is a stunning, no-compromise smartphone that stands out from the crowd. Built for people who want a better choice, the HTC One A9 is a smartphone that combines striking design on the outside with the newest features of Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC Sense on the inside to create an unrivaled smartphone experience.
“HTC is a smartphone pioneer, having delivered the first Android smartphone, the first Windows smartphone, the first 4G smartphone, and the first all-metal smartphone,” said Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO, HTC. “Today we’re taking that heritage of innovation to the next level, unveiling a phone that stands apart in a market increasingly dominated by a company which controls every aspect of your phone. The HTC One A9 breaks from this trend by offering an incredible design, fantastic performance, cutting-edge software features and the freedom to take full control of your smartphone experience.“
Metalmorphics: A new standard of all-metal design excellence
An evolution of the iconic HTC One family design, the HTC One A9 draws on the natural beauty around us, by using rich, striking colors and unique finishes – an approach called “metalmorphics.” New curves, refined edges, and precision-cut ridges on the power button flawlessly combine with the super-thin metal frame giving the phone a natural and lightweight feel. The elegant dual finish, available in a Carbon Grey, Opal Silver, Topaz Gold and Deep Garnet1, is painstakingly brushed with hairline detail and bead-blasted before the sides are polished, giving additional depth and richness that is unique to the smartphone market. Finally, in a stunning fusion of metal and glass, a 5-inch, edge-to-edge, 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4, Full HD AMOLED screen cascades into the metal frame, giving you brighter and more vivid colors for brilliant graphics and gaming, even in direct sunlight.
Unleash your inner photographer
Your best camera is the one you use whenever the moment strikes, so it should be able to capture stunning shots in any situation. The HTC One A9’s front and rear cameras, coupled with powerful yet simple editing tools, mean epic photos and videos are only a tap away. Its main 13MP rear camera features Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which automatically minimises hand shake and corrects vibrations to give you a crystal-clear picture every time. Meanwhile, the front UltraPixel camera delivers the best self-portraits in any lighting condition, using HTC’s UltraPixel sensor to capture 300% more light than conventional smartphone cameras.
With the HTC One A9, no detail is too small. Offering an optional Pro mode to capture the perfect photo without being a photography expert, you can also save photos using RAW capture – a tool used by professional photographers – for an unmatched level of detail and post-shot editing flexibility. Or you can keep things simple with Photo Editor’s one-button enhancement feature, which automatically brightens colors and sharpens edges for unbelievably clear and crisp photos2.
Sometimes a still photo just isn’t enough. With the HTC One A9’s Hyperlapse editing tool you can speed up your videos to 12 times as fast for a dramatic time-lapse effect, creating an immersive video that perfectly captures the moments that matter. Speed through your video or use capture mode to edit in slow motion, highlighting those unforgettable memories. Or use HTC Zoe to easily and automatically mix your best shots and videos into one professional-looking highlight reel that can be shared with friends and family to tell the story of any moment from every angle.
Awesome audio: music the way it’s supposed to sound
Game changing audio has always been core to the HTC One family – the HTC One A9 delivers amazing sound quality, with HTC BoomSound™ integrated into the headset combined with Dolby Audio™ surround technology3, delivering immersive, vibrant sound that matches a live experience in your headphones by taking high-resolution audio to the next level4. With a built-in DAC that delivers audio at 24-bit, 192KHz quality – better than CD quality – it provides a richness and depth like you’ve never before heard from your music collection. A powerful high-output headphone amplifier, with double the output of other handsets, provides more power and dynamic range so you can hear every nuance of your favorite music, videos and games. Optional high-resolution audio certified HTC Pro Studio Earphones deliver both noise isolation and truly immersive sound.
Cutting-edge software: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
The first non-Nexus smartphone powered by Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the HTC One A9 brings Google’s latest innovations and the simplicity of HTC Sense right out of the box. Combined with a multi-directional fingerprint scanner, Android Pay makes purchasing items as secure and as easy as “tap, pay, done.”5Google’s Now on Tap feature also intuitively provides contextual information about whatever is on your screen – look up reviews for a movie from a text, hear a song mentioned in a blog post, or book seats at a restaurant from an email, all at the press of the home button.
With so many new features, the HTC One A9 has also been designed with all new power-saving capabilities to maximize battery life. Doze automatically turns off power hungry applications when your phone is left idle, such as when charging overnight, while App Standby knows when an app open in the background isn’t being used and shuts it down until you need it again. In addition, the phone’s new processor, AMOLED screen and support for the optional HTC Rapid Charger 2.0, for up to 75% faster charging6 are all optimized to maximize battery life throughout the day7. In real terms this means, for example, that you can play 12 hours of HD video on one charge.
Performance designed for the way YOU use your phone
Featuring the newest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 617 processor with integrated X8 LTE and 64-bit octa-core CPUs, the HTC One A9 is designed to deliver a perfect balance of powerful performance, fast connectivity and better battery life. With support for epic LTE wireless speeds through next-generation carrier aggregation technology, it delivers more high-definition streaming videos, more pulse-pounding high-resolution audio and more storage in the cloud to hold everything your heart desires. The phone is available in both 16 and 32GB configurations and features expandable memory, supporting up to 2TB in SD card storage, perfect for storing all your apps, games, photos, music and videos.
To protect your smartphone, pair it with the HTC Dot View™ II case, available in Obsidian, Deep Garnet, Sea Coral and Turquoise Blue. Its retro-inspired dot matrix cover reveals instant notifications, weather updates, caller ID and more, even while closed, and simple gesture controls bring music, flashlight, radio and voice recording tools closer than ever.
The HTC One A9 will be available in the UK from the beginning of November 2015. The device will be available in Carbon Grey, Opal Silver and Topaz Gold and will be stocked by retailers and operators including EE, O2, Vodafone, Carphone Warehouse, John Lewis, Amazon, Mobile Phones Direct,Very.co.uk, Argos and Buymobiles.net. Topaz Gold will be available exclusively from O2. Further colours and stockists will be confirmed in due course.