UPDATE: AT&T and Sprint have announced plans to carry the HTC One A9 themselves. AT&T will announce availability at a later date, while Sprint will begin sales on November 6 at a price of $20 per month for 24 months. That price will be offered through November 6, and customers that take advantage will get 2 monthly service credits of $20 each. Finally, HTC says that pre-orders of its unlocked One A9 will ship on November 6.
HTC’s new hero phone is here. Meet the HTC One A9.
The A9 is the latest in HTC’s family of One smartphones, and like several One-branded handsets before it, the A9 boasts a metal construction. Also present on the One A9 is a fingerprint sensor on its face, similar to the one found on the One M9+, as well as a 5-inch 1920x1080 AMOLED display and 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera.
One thing that appears to be missing from the One A9’s face are the front-facing BoomSound speakers that’ve bene synonymous with HTC’s One line. HTC still boasts that the One A9 offers high-quality audio, though, including a high-output headphone amp and high-res audio.
The back of the phone houses a 13-megapixel shooter. HTC is boasting about this camera and its feature set, which includes phase detection autofocus for faster focusing on your subjects. You can also use the 13-megapixel camera os optical image stabilization and RAW support, the latter of which will give you uncompressed photos for easier editing.
Packed inside of the One A9’s metal body is an octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor and a 2150mAh battery that supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology. In terms of memory, HTC is offering two versions of the One A9: one with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, and another with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. However, both models will offer a microSD slot that supports cards up to 2TB in size.
Finally, the HTC One A9 will come with Android 6.0 pre-installed, making it one of the first phones to come to market with Marshmallow. Perhaps more interesting is that HTC says that it’ll push Android OS updates to its unlocked One A9 within 15 days of Google pushing those same updates to Nexus phones.
The HTC One A9 will roll out globally in the first week of November. Focusing specifically on the US, HTC is now taking pre-orders an unlocked One A9 for $399 (with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage) that’s be SIM unlocked for use on any GSM carrier. Interestingly, HTC says that the unlocked One A9 will also work on Verizon as an LTE-only phone, making it the first smartphone on Verizon without CDMA. Verizon hasn’t made any official announcements of support for the One A9, but HTC says that it’ll work.
In addition to being SIM-unlocked, the One A9 being sold by HTC has unlockable bootloader that you can use to load custom ROMs. HTC says that unlocking the bootloader will not void the device’s warranty. Also included will be 6 months of Google Play Music and HTC Uh-Oh Protection. HTC Uh-Oh provides one year of protection for a device, including one free replacement if you crack a screen, get water damage or change carriers. If you don’t take advantage of the replacement, HTC will give you $100 toward the future purchase of another HTC One.
So now that it’s officially official, what do you think of the HTC One A9?