We didn’t just get the expected HTC One M9 announcement. No. We had a virtual reality headset and a big partnership with Valve and a fitness tracker too.
However, concentrating on the One M9 for a moment, it’s yet another robust, well designed and good looking handset. The look of it isn’t drastically different to the existing M8 though, and just to prove this we the two next to each other.
The M9 is powered by Android 5.0 and has a 5″ full HD screen, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU (4x2GHz and 4×1.5Ghz) with 64-bit processing. It comes with 32GB storage on board and a microSD card can see an additional 128GB getting added if you need it. As for RAM, you get 3GB, and it’s also got NFC, DLNA, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, 3.5mm audio port, 20 megapixel rear camera (with a sapphire cover lens, auto-focus and f/2.2 lens) plus a HTC UltraPixel selfie cam up front.
The phone now has the power button on the side, and the camera around the back is square in shape. However, apart from those tweaks you’d struggle to see the difference between this and the M8 if you looked quickly at the devices together.
I filmed a very quick hands-on during my time at the event, but we will have a better demo for you shortly.
It’s another solid design though, and HTC were throwing around phrases such as ..
An all-metal unibody design .. highlighted by an exquisite dual-tone silver and rose gold finish that is as distinctive, as it is durable. Mirror-polished gold sides cascade effortlessly into a hairline brushed silver back panel, encasing a bright and vivid display.
HTC Sense 7 is on board and adds themes with location-aware changes depending on whether you’re at home or at work. It’ll customize your homepage, including the look and feel of the apps, to match your current location. Likewise, HTC BlinkFeed will use your location to show “points of interest” based on your location.
BoomSound has been uprated and now comes with Dolby Audio, pumping out 5.1 surround sound in 24-bit high definition. HTC have also built partnerships with Qualcomm AllPlay and Harmon Kardon to ensure that the media content on your device can easily transfer to speakers and other devices with a three-fingered swipe.
The HTC One M9 will be available in dual-tone silver and rose gold, single-tone gunmetal grey and single-tone gold in the UK.
The newly-announced partnership with Valve should see VR games arriving directly into your face once the headset becomes available before the end of the year. Valve, for the unaware, is the creator of Steam. This gaming platform distributes games directly out to the community and it’s hoped that you’ll be stepping into a virtual world full of other gamers soon enough.
We didn’t get a great deal of info but we’re hoping to get a demo at some point..
HTC had another trick up their sleeve, with a new fitness tracker called the HTC Grip. It’s GPS-enabled but is currently only available in the US and we weren’t given any UK release information sadly. It’s part of the Under Armour partnership and will accurately track and monitor your sports and activities. Connecting to your Android or iOS device it’ll use the UA Record health and fitness network, plus it’s waterproof and features a curved PMOLED display so that you can check your notifications, time and how far you’ve run.
There’ll be three different sizes to make sure that it fits your wrist and the in-build 100mAh battery should last 5 hours with the GPS on. Calories, distance, route and pace will be captured.
BRING YOUR WORLD TO LIFE WITH
THE NEW HTC ONE
Get more out of every experience with the beautifully crafted HTC One M9’s
unique combination of elegance and performance
London, 1st March, 2015 – HTC today unveiled its most personal, beautiful and powerful smartphone yet, the HTC One M9. The newest flagship in the globally acclaimed HTC One family, the HTC One M9 is a classic yet timeless celebration of beauty and elegance that combines high style and performance, enabling you to get the most from your mobile phone.
“HTC has built its reputation on challenging expectations in the mobile industry,” said Cher Wang, Chairwoman, HTC. “The HTC One M9 accomplishes this once again with stunning elegance and design, combined with smart features that help bring your world to life, connecting you in a deeper way to the things you consider most important. So much more than just a phone, the HTC One M9 is an extension of who you are”.
A complete celebration of design
Building on a three-year pursuit of excellence, the HTC One M9 melds the best of the award-winning HTC One M7 and HTC One M8 into a stunning, iconic design. Distinct metal edges combine perfectly with graceful curves for a jewellery-grade look. Small and easy to hold, the crafted, all-metal unibody design is highlighted by an exquisite dual-tone silver and rose gold¹ finish that is as distinctive, as it is durable. Mirror-polished gold sides cascade effortlessly into a hairline brushed silver back panel, encasing a bright and vivid display.
HTC Sense 7: An extension of you
Your phone should make a statement about who you are and the new HTC Sense™ 7 experience puts you in control of everything. Highly customisable and intuitively you, Themes puts you at the centre of the smartphone experience, intelligently analysing your favourite photos to modify the look and feel of your apps, colour scheme and backgrounds.
As your always-on travel companion, your smartphone is perfectly placed to enrich your mobile life. Sense 7 reinvents the home screen to deliver the most useful apps to the homepage based on your location. Whether at home, work, or play, you’re never more than a click away from the features you need with this contextual, customisable widget. A more intelligent HTC BlinkFeed™ also makes it easier to uncover the hidden gems that surround you by using location data to recommend points of interest, news and information.
Incredible imaging: Helping you create your best memories
With the best camera being the one you carry in your pocket, your smartphone should make it a breeze to take brilliant, creative and fun images. The HTC One M9’s cameras are designed to capture every moment in amazing quality, allowing you to relive those moments again and again. The main camera features an incredible 20 megapixels that accentuate every crisp, intricate detail and a sapphire cover lens that protects from scratches. For vivid video that looks like the latest blockbuster, the camera also shoots movies in 4K resolution.
The best moments take you by surprise and spontaneity often doesn’t come fully lit. The ultimate companion of the impulsive snapper, the HTC One M9 addresses low-light shots with a powerful UltraPixel™ front-facing camera. Dynamic auto exposure and UltraPixels that capture 300% more light than standard cameras deliver sharper, more natural and balanced self-portraits in any lighting conditions.
HTC Sense 7 with HTC’s EYE™ Experience software makes taking creative pictures easy. A host of new editing effects including Shapes, Prismatic, Elements and Bokeh allow you to add a little bit of individual artistry into every shot, with the Zoe™ app automatically editing them, putting them to your choice of music² and letting friends remix the collection with their own shots to create a shared celebration from every moment.
With so many incredible images, quickly showing your friends those brilliant shots could become an issue. Wherever they’re stored, the new One Gallery makes it easy to search through your entire photo library, viewing images saved on the phone, on social media, and on select cloud platforms. The gallery puts your whole image library at your fingertips, searching by date, location, event, album or even the images themselves with Image Match.
Exhilarating audio: Hear the difference
A truly great viewing experience deserves sound that puts you on the front row. The HTC One M9 guarantees a larger-than-life soundtrack courtesy of HTC BoomSound™. The HTC One family’s iconic dual front-facing speakers, now combined with 5.1 channel Dolby® Surround sound3 simulation, get you even closer to the action, delivering extraordinary, cinema-style surround sound. Uniting HTC BoomSound and Dolby Audio™ creates immersion vibrant audio experience, so you can enjoy movies with rich, clear and powerful sound even without connecting headphones or external speakers. Whether listening via the stereo speakers or headphones, even the most discerning music fans will be blown away by the phone’s support for perfect, 24-bit high-definition sound that surpasses even CD quality. HTC’s unique combination of HTC BoomSound, Dolby Audio™, a finely tuned sound profile, and Qualcomm® Immersive Audio gives all of your music and movies an unmistakable HTC One M9 flavour.
Connecting your world
Smartphones are fast becoming the central hub for home entertainment and HTC Connect™ makes it easy to enjoy your multimedia experience beyond your phone. A three-finger swipe on the screen connects the phone to compatible TVs or external speakers from leading manufacturers including Harman Kardon. HTC Connect’s integration with Qualcomm® AllPlay™ smart media platform and Blackfire Research™ wireless media technology, allows you and your friends to stream high quality content from your smartphones to multiple home entertainment devices around the house. The playlist feature also allows multiple smartphones to share a speaker with Qualcomm AllPlay. For the ultimate connected smartphone-powered TV experience, the HTC One M9 comes exclusively preloaded with the Peel® Smart Remote app. Instantly connecting you to the shows you love, the app even learns from your viewing habits, transforming your phone into a personal TV guide and remote control.
Accessories and availability
For a standout look, the HTC One M9 will be available with a range of unique and customisable accessories including the second generation HTC Dot View case, which adds more retro personalisation thanks to a host of new features and colour options. A transparent back keeps your smartphone pristine without hiding it from the world with the case injecting fun into even the most tedious commute by transforming into a mini games arcade. The new HTC Dot View case won’t even get in the way of apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Badoo with through-the-case notifications alerting you to the latest photos, messages and check-ins.
Life has no limits, and when your adventurous side takes you into the unknown, an IP68 water resistant Active Case and Active Headset means that your phone can boldly follow wherever the action takes you, keeping up with the pace of the most epic adventures.
The HTC One M9 will be available in dual-tone silver and rose gold, single-tone gunmetal grey and single-tone gold in the UK. Handsets will be available to pre-order on select partner websites from 9th March and available to buy in-store across all listed partners from 31st March*, as well as at htc.com. Unlocked and Developer Editions of the HTC One M9 will also be available from via htc.com.