The device has a unibody design that has a “brushed hairline and bead-blasted finish” and 5-inch full HD Gorilla Glass 4 display. It’s also the first non-Nexus to run Android Marshmallow, and HTC promises updates within 15 days of Nexus devices receiving them.
The design of the handset has clearly changed, now taking a very familiar form, and while that’s refreshing, it also means that you lose the dual front-facing speakers that really made the One series stand out from its competitors, for better or worse.
HTC says that the One A9 has BoomSound and “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.”
Other hardware specs include a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor multi-directional fingerprint reader and the option of 16 or 32GB of internal storage. That’s not a whole lot, but it also supports up to 2TB microSD cards if you need more space. HTC is also claiming that you can play 12 hours of HD video on one charge, which we’ll have to test for ourselves.
On the camera side of things – not traditionally a strong point for the One family – there’s a 13-megapixel snapper on the rear and a forward-facing ‘UltraPixel’ camera. Of course, we’ll have to see how they fare in the real world before making any judgement, but I’m glad to see there’s no UltraPixel on the rear again.
There’s a ‘Pro’ camera mode too, which lets you save your shots in RAW format – pre-requisite for any photographer that takes themself even semi-seriously. Or there’s a one-button touch-up option for your photos if you don’t want to mess around manually. You’ll also find HTC Zoe and a Hyperlapse mode for creating time-lapses and slow-motion.
It’ll be available in a few different metallic colors, including ‘Topaz Gold’ and ‘Deep Garnet’.
It’s available to pre-order from today, and will arrive in “early November.” Exact colors and availability will vary by region and retailer but HTC is also making a “special Unlocked edition” to sell via its own site. This will arrive with an unlocked SIM and allows you to load the bootloader without voiding your warranty, which is useful for people who like to tinker. This model A9 costs $399.99 and will be available in silver and gray to begin.
As with previous models, there’s an optional HTC Dot View II case available too.
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