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HTC One A9 First Look

HTC is a company with a strong design pedigree. The Taiwanese phone maker was forging metal handsets back when the iPhone was a predominantly plastic affair, and in recent years it has produced some of the most head-turning Android smartphones of the time. The past 12 months, however, have seen rivals catch up in this important area, with the likes of Samsung, Motorola and Huawei shipping ever more impressive glass and metal-clad designs. And that's contributed to HTC's recent difficulties, as sales of the One M9 have fallen flat.

It's not time for a refreshed HTC flagship just yet, but in the interim we have a new member of the premium "One" family that aims to balance specs, design and cost. It's made of metal, runs Qualcomm's latest mid-range silicon and Google's latest OS, has a promising new camera setup — and, yes, looks just a bit like an iPhone.

Say hello to the HTC One A9.

Ask HTC and it'll tell you the A9 is an amalgam of many of its previous designs. The subtle brushed texture present on the back of the device can be traced back to 2014's M8, while the polished sides mirror those of the M9. HTC's being doing plastic antenna lines in metal phones since the M7. And the raised, centrally-placed rear camera? Kinda reminiscent of the China-centric One E9 from earlier in the year.

And yet show the A9 to the average person on the street and they'll tell you it looks like an iPhone 6 or 6s, pointing out the overall shape, antenna lines, camera design, tapered glass edges, LED flash design and port placements. It's a disservice to call the A9 a straight-up clone of the iPhone — and HTC would likely find itself in hot water even if it were — but there are undeniable similarities. So let's accept that, and move on.

Let's just accept that this thing looks like an iPhone, and move on.

Between the 5-inch screen size and curved metal edges, the HTC One A9 is a comfortable phone to hold and use. For a lot of consumers who don't want an enormous smartphone, a 5-inch screen remains the sweet spot — big enough for comfortable browsing and media consumption without being unwieldy. That's helped along by an ever-so-slight "step" between the curved sides and the largely flat back, which gives a little more purchase than the rounder sides of the iPhone. This is accompanied by a gentle change in texture and finish too, with the sides being more polished than the brushed matte effect of the rear. It's physically softer overall than the One M9, but without being as slippery as the M8.

Much ink will surely be spilled over who came up with which design feature first; regardless, the A9 looks and feels good. At 143 grams it's light but not insubstantial, and manages to feel like a premium handset without exuding the fragility of some rivals. The entire assembly feels balanced, with edges and joins that feel more organic than recent HTC phones. That trend continues around the front, with "2.5D" Corning Gorilla Glass 4 covering the front face, tapering down towards the edges with a pleasing curve.

HTC One A9

Light but not insubstantial; 'premium' but not fragile.

The display itself is a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED panel, and while AMOLED on non-Samsung phones has been decidedly hit and miss, we've been impressed by the brightness and clarity of the A9's screen in our limited time with it thus far. (The panel maxes out at 500 nits, HTC tells us.) Below the display is a single-touch fingerprint reader, similar to what you'd find on an HTC One M9+, which also doubles as a secondary capacitive home key. We'll have more to say on the the fingerprint reader in our full review, but so far it seems to function exactly as advertised.

And yes, there's also an HTC logo sandwiched between the fingerprint scanner and the screen, in a way that makes the bottom portion of the phone look a little busy. That thin profile also means front-facing speakers are out of the question — instead there's a single downward-facing speaker on the bottom edge. HTC's BoomSound audio enhancements are included for listening over headphones though, and this time the manufacturer has bundled support for 24-bit, 192KHz high-resolution audio — including support for upscaling lower-res content.

HTC One A9

Like previous HTC One devices, there's plenty of choice when it comes to colors. The A9 will come in four distinct hues — carbon grey, topaz gold, deep garnet, opal silver. We've been using the silver model, which comes with a white front face and accents, and HTC tells us that the finish of the metal will differ slightly depending on which color you pick up.

As for internals, HTC's packed in the latest mid-range processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 617 — a 64-bit octa-core part with four cores at 1.5GHz and four at 1.2GHz. And that's paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, or 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, depending on where you live. We're told the UK will get the 2GB/16GB model, while the 3GB/32GB device is headed to American shores. That's expandable via microSD of course, and thanks to Android 6.0's "adoptable storage" feature, it's easier than ever to use your SD card for anything that would normally go on internal storage. Snapdragon 617 also brings carrier aggregation — branded as 4G+ by European operators — meaning the A9 will support even faster LTE data speeds where they're available.

MORE: HTC One A9 specs

HTC handsets have been universally snappy for a couple of years now, and the HTC One A9 is no exception. Our first impressions of the 3GB/32GB version show a phone that, to most people, will seem every bit as speedy as an M9 outside of demanding tasks like gaming.

Blistering performance, however a relatively anaemic battery could be cause for concern.

The cost of performance is often longevity, and the use of a relatively small 2,150mAh fixed battery in the A9 is enough to give us some cause for concern. As much as numbers never tell the whole story, that capacity is a lot lower than most competitors, even in the mid-range space. HTC promises up to 12 hours of HD video playback, or 16 hours of 3G talk time, and we'll explore battery performance more thoroughly in our full review to see how things measure up. The A9 does at least feature Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 support, so between that and the relatively small cell size, the phone should charge incredibly quickly. What's more, a future software update will enable QuickCharge 3.0 on the phone, allowing for even more rapid charging speeds. The only downside? Like other HTC phones, the bundled charger is a standard 1.5A brick, not a QuickCharge 2.0 plug.

HTC One A9

But arguably more important is the camera. At the high end, HTC has struggled for the past couple of years, with the current flagship being outperformed by rivals from LG and Samsung. After the failure of Ultrapixel (since reassigned to selfie duties) and the unstabilized 19MP shooter used in the M9, a change was needed, and that's exactly what the A9 brings. There's a 13-megapixel sensor behind an f/2.0 lens, and this time it's using optical image stabilization (OIS) for improved clarity, especially in low-light scenes.

Around the front there's the same 4-megapixel "Ultrapixel" setup used in the M9 for selfies, meaning the A9 should be every bit as good as the HTC flagship at taking selfies in the dark.

A mid-ranger with a promising new 13-megapixel OIS camera.

The HTC camera app has undergone some much-needed changes too. Quick toggles for HDR, flash and front-rear camera switching can be found on the left edge of the viewfinder, while a new RAW photo editor is included to help you take advantage of RAW shots taken in "Pro" mode. Meanwhile the new Hyperlapse video feature aims to make it easier to shoot smooth time-lapse movies.

We'll have more to say on actual image quality in our full review, but our first impressions are positive, and the A9 has ever chance of being a better overall camera than the M9, particularly in darker conditions.

The software is where things really get interesting. The HTC One A9 is the first non-Nexus phone to be announced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, paired with HTC's Sense UI. But this isn't exactly the same sense you might know from the M9. While HTC's branding this as "Android 6.0 with Sense," the "About" menu refers to this version as Sense 7.0_G, a mark which alludes to HTC's unique partnership with Google to bring this Marshmallow device to market so quickly. That partnership has also resulted in a slightly more Googley Sense 7 than previous iterations. The default HTC color scheme is closer to stock Android. (Though Sense remains as customizable as ever though HTC's Themes app.) The multitasking stack and quick settings pulldown have reverted to their vanilla Android origins, while Google Play Music takes over playback duties from the deprecated HTC Music app.

A unique partnership brings a more Googley Sense 7 + Marshmallow experience.

The UI here isn't Nexus or Motorola territory by a long shot — Sense is still front and center, with familiar features like BlinkFeed, HTC Zoe and BoomSound audio enhancements. But this is definitely a more pared-back Sense than we're used to. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it a bad thing. Maybe it's just a thing.

HTC tells us this new, lightweight "G" version of Sense will be exclusive to the A9 for the foreseeable future — existing devices will stick with the Sense feature's they're used to when they get their Marshmallow updates. That raises some very interesting questions as to the direction of HTC's software design going into 2016. Naturally, the company's leaving those questions unanswered for the time being.

HTC One A9

Stay tuned for more on the HTC One A9 — including our full review — as we approach the November launch window. Expect the A9 to be sold through carriers globally, as well as directly through HTC's own online store in the U.S., where it'll go for $399.99 unlocked with 32GB of storage. HTC's latest "One" is a promising handset and competitively priced, measuring up favorably against the 32GB Moto X Pure Edition, which sells for $50 more than the A9. Will that translate into sales, and a turnaround for the struggling manufacturer? We'll have to wait and see.

What are your first impressions of the HTC One A9? Share your thoughts down in the comments!

GALLERY: HTC One A9 in pictures{.large .cta}

MORE: Discussion on the HTC One A9 forums!

Alex Dobie
Alex Dobie

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • BlackBerry should by HTC to survive, HTC isn't as good as it was in the good old m7 days Posted via the Android Central App
  • Buy, bye or by. That is the question...
  • This. Moto X 2013 (US Cellular)
  • You forgot is 2015 you know.
  • Not exactly. Bisexual would be the word no bi. Posted via the Android Central App
  • ^^^ This guy HATES jokes
  • Well, I was the being the grammar police so...
  • Considering that "bi" is an acceptable abbreviation, and both of your comments are riddled with grammatical errors, this comment is extremely ironic... :P
  • Asus should buy them ... This phone sucks cause of that battery and aesthetics imo ... I'm optimistic about the 820 though if the 617 is as good as advertised. Hope the M10 is a huge improvement but not holding my breath
  • Love it or Hate it, this marks the beginning of a huge shift for HTC. What wasn't mentioned in the article was what HTC said when they launched this device. They are shifting away from carrier phones to unlocked phones. They won't void warranties if you unlock the boot loader, and make it easy to do. They are going to basically stock Android (like Motorola) with updates in 15 days from when Google updates Nexus, with a light overlay with sense. They say that they are going to free users from carrier locked phones and bloatware. And they are dropping prices. Clearly they expect the A9 to be a big success and they are now aiming for Android enthusiasts. So this is a lot more then just another phone from HTC. I don't know how serious this strategy is, but it sure sounds good and I think pretty smart if they actually do it.
  • Good observation.
  • Meh, the M8 really is a great device, if you can live without having a quality rear camera. I think the M9 was more disappointing than the M8 was.
  • True that, I owned both Posted via my HTC M9 soon to be replaced by the mighty Nexus 6P
  • Do you really think HTC brings anything to the table for BlackBerry? BB phones are great devices, just hasn't been a ton of app support.
  • An HTC with AMOLED? And no stereo speakers? Crazy mobile world anymore. Motorola abandoning updates for the year old carrier Moto X. BlackBerry making Androids. It's all so odd.
  • Its all good bro (except for the moto bs). Mixing it up. Forcing these companies to try new things. Writing is on the wall and they know it. Go metal, unlocked, near stock Android with fast updates and no bloatware, or gtfo.
  • Nothing odd about Motorola abandoning updates.
  • Good looking phone, too bad that it isnt highend tech phone... I was dissapointed Posted via the Android Central App
  • They (HTC) says they will extend this design philosophy to the M line, which represents their flagships. But that isn't due until next year. The phone looks well crafted but too much bezel for me. Hopefully the next flagship will have an option like Samsung with more of an edge to edge screen for those of us who prefer that.
  • Dude! I was completely disappointed, too! It is not awful by any stretch, but I was betting the house that it would be more of a high-end device that HTC was unveiling that would save their skin. I'm a diehard HTC fan, my first smartphone was the Sensation 4G (sweet phone for the time) and then I upgraded to the spectacular One M7, which was arguably the best phone on the market when it was released (except for the subpar camera), and it's been wonderful until very recently. It's become rather slow and randomly shuts down and reboots itself these days. I don't know what to do, though!! I love HTC Sense, especially BlinkFeed, but this phone has some issues. I still want either it or the M9. So the M9's camera isn't spectacular, apparently that's the lone major gripe. I'd seriously rather have dual stereo speakers on the front of my phone than a superb camera. I wish the M9+ was available in the US because I would like a slightly larger phone, and with T-Mobile I can go with the jump program and upgrade as soon as the M10 comes out, which I was hoping this would be....I considered the Samsung galaxy 6 edge, but touchwiz sucks. I think typing this has made up my mind. I'm going M9 and getting the M10 in February or whenever it's released. Or should I get an M8 (if they're still available new??? Not ready to give up on HTC just yet, just like there are Chinese companies making tablets that are better spec'ed than what's available here... So confused.. .
  • If they get the camera software right... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Tempted to get one. Few good phones are this size. 5" screen is perfect
  • With those huge bezels it's probably larger than the 5.1" S6.
  • Ding ding sing! We have a winner. The HTC One A9 is bigger in EVERY dimension than the Galaxy S6 except screen size. HTC is a joke now it's so sad....
  • Well, The A9 is significantly cheaper than the S6, but I would still recommend to buy the S6 until price drops to sub $500 ^^y
  • You are correct. A9 145.8 x 70.8 x 7.3mm vs S6 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm.
  • Well that's spoiled it.
  • I fail to see how a mid-ranger screen size being about the same as a flagships is a bad thing?
  • It's not the same screen size though. It is smaller than the S6 but every dimension is bigger.
  • The bad thing is the phone is bulkier than the flagship but you get a smaller screen and a much smaller battery (the commenter obviously feels this is wasted space) Posted via the Android Central App
  • "Bulkier" is a bit of a stretch. Its 2 mm taller, and essentially the same in every other dimension, and has 0.1" smaller screen. Agreed that the battery is pretty small, though - 15% smaller than the S6, which has already been railed by everyone for having terrible battery life. Real world use will be interesting, since the A9 has a lower res screen, less power hungry processor, etc. Posted via the Android Central App
  • HTC doesn't have Samsung's resources in case of a lawsuit. I would be worried if Apple decides to crush them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They are have an arrangement with each other not to sue. Which is why they have been going back and forth copying each other the past couple years.
  • Maybe Apple can buy HTC to try to dominate Android like they are dominating IOS. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Apple doesn't need HTC if they wanted to dominate Android. They would do it all on their own. And if you look at unit sales, one could argue they already have.
  • Of course they are dominating IOS, it is their os after all.
  • Yeah, and only Apple is using iOS... so of course they are dominating it lol...
  • If Apple sues HTC, then Nokia should sue Apple. Both phones look like the Lumia 925 released in 2013. It appears that there is only so much one can do with a rectangle.
  • finally they got rid of internet and music player. Its a good start for HTC replacing notification and recent screen
    i dont care if people think it looks like iphone.
    dont forget HTC made M7 before iphone looked like this. Iphone all glass model.
  • They got rid of the HTC Internet already in the M9. They also added a bunch of HTC bloat like the HTC studio and location suggestions app for the Blinkfleed, One Gallery, etc.
  • Is the fingerprint sensor a pushable button? Or just a flat sensor like on the Oneplus Two?
  • Its not a button. Capacitive touch Posted via the Android Central App
  • Easy mistake to make because at first glance it looks a LOT like the hardware button that's been on every Samsung phone for the past several years.
  • Yea, and from the video it works as a home button too... why copy samsung on this design!?
    hTC is like.. if we can't sell phones by producing hTC phones, we will just make a hybrid Apple/Samsung phone, lol
  • Have the HTC One M9, unsure weather or not to stick to HTC anymore ._. So many different varients Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's tough to predict the weather but you should be able to figure out whether you want to stick with HTC or not.
  • Lmao, this comment Posted via my HTC M9 soon to be replaced by the mighty Nexus 6P
  • I look unuseful the fingerprint button in the front, maybe they should put in the back, or not use button in screen...
  • If this was priced at $300 I would be all over it...
    I really like this phone though.
    How is snapdragon 617 compared to 801?
    I guess you are paying for the 1 year warranty and you do get 6 month of google play music free. Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • The Uh-Oh replacement warranty program is free
  •'re paying for it in the $399 price of the phone...don't think its not figured into it. The 'free' part is all marketing.
  • That's true. Though not all other $399 phones give this kind of warranty.
  • The new 6xx series Snapdragon SoC's have comparable performance to the Snapdragon 801. A bit less raw processing power, but a bit more power efficiency.
    You also have to factor in features that the Snapdragon 617 has that the 801 does not, like Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0. I also believe the Snapdragon 617 supports faster data transfer speeds than the older Snapdragon 801 does.
  • I believe the 801 has quick charge 2.0. Posted via the Android Central App
  • All of the Snapdragon 800+ devices have QC 2.0 support, but it is rarely enabled on the 800 and 801, especially in the US. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This, QC2.0 is largely non existent on devices until the 805, even though the SoC officially supports it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's what I was waiting to hear. If it's as good as 801, this'll be a nice phone.
  • A disservice to call it an iPhone ripoff? Lol this thing even puts Samsung to shame in that area. This thing looks so much like a shameless iPhone ripoff its almost too hard to believe
  • Apple stoled htc's design! The iPhone is an htc rip-off! Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • Umm...yeah..
  • The HTC m8 predates the iPhone 6 by a year who's copying who Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have an M8....and an iPhone 6/6s now. The similarities are in NO WAY as striking as this phone is to the iPhone. There are actually very few similarities between the M8 and the iPhone aside from the metal back.
  • +1
  • Lol you guys are hilarious. Check out this iPod 5th generation that came out 6 months before the M7. Even that argument is now garbage. Apple used their own design language with the iPhone 6
  • The M7/M8 looks a lot different than the iPhone 6. This A9 looks identical to the iPhone 6.
  • Why? Just because it is flat and not curved? The iPhone 6 stole the M7's exact screen dimension at 4.7" which is a joke since most phones were 5.0" or more at that point. They stole the antenna lines and didn't even execute it as well as HTC did. They also rounded the edges like the M8. They are copying each other and decided not to sue each other under a legal agreement no to do so.
  • How the hell do you steal a screen size? The antenna lines are the only thing they copied. And nobody owns the right to curve the edges.
  • Nobody in 2014 or otherwise had a 4.7" screen on a flagship phone. At that point, it was 5.0" or bigger so 4.7" is pretty specific, especially when the phone already looks similiar to begin with. Even the Z3 compact which is and was the only flagship sub 5' phone is 4.6".
  • Are you seriously suggesting that a screen size can be copied? Oh, and Nexus 4 and Droid Razr Maxx HD.
  • In isolation no. But when you copy other elements of the device and go against what the current trend was at the time with with sub 5" screens and choose the same screen size to the 10th of a millimetre, then yes. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nope. Here's the iPod 5th generation that came out 6 months before the M7. You hear that? That's your argument going down the toilet
  • The only thing in the toilet is your example. The HTC M7 looks absolutely nothing like this. It's like you've never seen an M7 before.
  • Lmao, then the M7 looks nothing like the iPhone 6 either because the 6 looks exactly like the iPod 5th gen. Game over
  • Sure bud...
  • Wow, you really are becoming a troll in every thread. Seriously, who gives a fuq if they copied or not? The things people worry about... Posted via the Android Central App
  • BlackBerry running Android why not have a iPhone running sense 7 and marshmallow :D Posted via the MATERIAL AC App
  • Ha! Dumb Apple buyers. I would love to buy this phone, put Apple on it, install an IOS look a like launcher and hand it to iPhone users who happen to walk by and pretend I am doing a survey. Video tape it and it would be funny to see 99% of them not know the difference and say they love it.
  • Well, it's nice to see you're finally neurotically obsessed with something other than Samsung's ability to play musical apps.
  • Stealing good ideas is just fine with me. Make a better overall phone and the customer wins.
  • battery is....mehhh....
  • Have you used this phone? Early impressions are the battery is more than enough. The iPhone gets great battery life on a miniscule battery pack. Android M is supposed to be betterybwith battery and with a 5 inch 1080p display and efficient chipset - why is it so hard to believe this thing can go the distance? also HTC is known for a well optimized of the OS so yeah, use it before you make assumptions. Posted via my HTC One M9
  • Strangely uninspiring, but likely to be my next phone. Battery life my only real worry. Would have preferred a N5x, but personally need more than 32GB storage. And Band12 on T-Mobile is still a question mark on the Nexus afaik.
  • I wanted the 5X too, but they made it much bigger than it needed to be for its screen size. This one would have fit the bill for me, but I'm concerned about the weak battery.
  • Did you look at the photos? This thing has insane top and bottom bezels.
  • Overall size is 2mm smaller (both h and w) than the N5x.
    But the N5x squeezes in another .2" on the screen.
    Either way OK by me.
  • It's a great looking phone but I'm shocked at HTC's decision to go with a design that resembles the iPhone. Why not make something totally original? Especially when the company is having a hard time selling its phones. I don't get it.
  • This isn't the successor to the One M9. Expect a completely different style with the M10 not with this midrange placeholder.
  • Is there another event later or something? I'm used to seeing product launch "events" that have presentations, cheering crowds, etc.
  • You'd hope Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Front side Looks so ugly. HTC want to give importance to their logo than buttons. #HTCOneA9 is worste copy of #iPhone6
  • Man, looks much better than I expected but I like a larger screen. Definitely hoping HTC takes this to an A9+ or uses this direction in an upcoming large screen phone. Appreciate buying unlocked from HTC, the warranty plan is great, near immediate updates would be now I just need the phone. I'm sure everyone is waiting for the 820 processor since the 808 is a bit weak for high spec and the 810 has so much negativity associated with it.
  • What a joke. $399 for a limited time? You can get an LG G4 unlocked with leather back for only $380 right now. This is crazy.
  • G4's leather is cheap-looking and in feel too, not to mention that the leather does not hold well over time. And LG's software is ugly
  • Great, thanks for your opinion, a appreciate your input.
  • Lol. Not saying that the G4 is a bad phone. It has better screen, performance and camera quality than this one. Just saying those 2 maybe the reasons for people preferring this over the G4
  • But the G4 is a way better phone for the money.
  • It's also 5.5". :(
  • Different people have different needs. Overall G4 IS better mostly because of the great camera and better gaming performance.
  • The leather on the G4 doesn't hold up well at all. It's actually very disappointing. What's interesting about this A9 is how solid it appears to be in terms of design. I imagine it will hold up much better over time ...further that AMOLED display may sip a lot less juice than the LCD panels they've been using which should help justify the battery size.
  • They should've gone with 2500 mAh IMO
  • At least 3000 mah... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, why not 4000 mAh while we're at it? Let's be reasonable here; there are no 5 inch screen Android phones this thin that have 3000 mAh batteries.
  • True that
  • What happened to HTC? They were the best in smartphone design and I expected to make something new but not a design like an iPhone....
    They removed even stereo speakers which is their selling point. If the price is between 400-450$ than it will be a good deal Posted via moto x play
  • The price IS $400 for the unlocked model.
  • I think HTC has an identity crisis Posted via the Android Central App
  • What are HTC thinking? Awful design at the front, an iPhone at the back and worst of all, it costs £460 ($711) in the UK! This makes it more expensive than the Nexus 6P and the Galaxy S6, which are £440 and £450. I've always been a fan of HTC, but this is just ridiculous.
  • What! and I thought they were only doing the smaller capacity here.
    No way Jose.
    £270 - 300 maybe.
  • Yes smaller capacity but higher price £429 in UK Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, if you go on the HTC UK website, and click on 'pre order from HTC partners', from the A9 page, it takes you to this . The site claims that this is actually the 32gb with 3gb of ram, and the SIM free price is £459.99. Also, even if the 16gb was £429, that is still way too much IMO, as that is only £10 less than the 32gb 6P and £129 more than the 16gb 5x (from CPW).
  • I'm confused... is this eventually replacing the M series, or in additon to it?
  • Addition to it, of course. M series will have the Snapdragon 8xx processors and bigger QHD screens
  • Looks like? Lol...nah that thing IS an iPhone. Originality is a thing of the past now I assume.
  • I stopped watching at mono-speaker Posted via the Android Central App
  • May not be MY next one, but enough to rekindle my interest in the M10. I hope it will do well enough for there to be an M10...
  • Look, it's the new HTC S6.
  • It is £429 in the UK - it is DOA. Absolutely crazy pricing.
  • The best designers and engineers have left HTC long ago, and now it's really showing. An iphone clone with a terrible battery? Seems like they have embraced second-rate and plan on staying there. Such a shame. The M7 was the best phone I've ever owned.
  • My only true concern is the small battery. I was really hoping for a a mid-ranger that could get me through a full day of sitting at the kids' all day tournaments. There is a lot of downtime so having something like this with a huge battery could have been an ideal phone. I suppose there will be a battery case in my future if I pick this up.
  • When can we expect the OneA9 + ?
  • I really think HTC is a pioneer in many things. I am defenitely buying this phone, although I am tempted to wait for the A9+ as any other brand pre-plans their regular phone and intentionally they all bring a phone putting 80 percent of their effort on it so when they bring their + or S models months after, they seem better than the original with that 20 ¨extra¨ percent they left out months before. Bottom line, its HTC and I am not changing this brand for any other as I believe they executed a very nice and well rounded cell phone AGAIN! All I can say is we can wait for next year to come around and maybe see all of Silicon Valley bumping their phones with their speakers on ¨top¨, I would not be surprise haha.
  • OP2>A9
  • With respect to screen size, yes.
  • Don't listen to me lol I'm returning my OP2 been 5 days and I'm tired of the low speaker volume and the size. Gonna pre order this since the nexus 5x isn't an option with it's 2gb ram
  • Lol
  • It looks nice. I think it's maybe a $350 phone.
  • Was thinking $300 myself, mainly due to small battery and lack of stereo speakers.
  • Why would anyone buy this over 5x? Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • It's beyond odd - in the UK, the 16gb HTC is almost £100 more expensive than the 32gb nexus 5x
  • OIS camera, SD Card, metal body. At least, that's why I chose it over the 5x.
  • And in the US... 32 GB with micro SD, and 3 GB RAM Camera
    OIS and RAW
    Ultra pixel selfie Sound
    Built-in DAC converts 16-bit audio to 24-bit high-resolution Dolby Audio Surround plus an all-new enhanced, high-output amplifier  Warranty
    FREE 1 year next day replacement even to change carriers Unlocked
    ATT & T-mobile
  • Because it won't slow down when you have more than 2 apps open like the 5x will lol also it has expandable memory
  • "HTC tells us this new, lightweight "G" version of Sense will be exclusive to the A9 for the foreseeable future..." In other words, if this flops, good luck with getting updates, suckas....
  • You'll be able to apply any ROM you like without voiding the warranty, so not a problem.
  • Excuse my ignorance but is this or is this not the follow up to the m9? Blogs everywhere are plastering it as such but I'm confused at to whether this is meant to be htc's flagship or their mid-ranger.
  • Midrange price $400 (pre order) Top of the line build quality and capabilities. The HTC One M flagship will be released early next year.
  • Those people don't know what to say, so they are saying that. And HTC did make a very big deal about this phone in the launch, so I could see why they might say that. Truth is, the M9 is not doing very well and HTC desperately needs sales. This is a phone targeted at Christmas sales. Don't get me wrong, I am happy they did it and might buy one. It isn't a flagship and they will be releasing the next flagship early next year as usual.
  • It's basically an iPhone clone (including the vast bezels and pants battery)... And in the UK (where I am), HTC has completely priced itself out of the market. No-one is going to buy this... It's almost like they want to fail...
  • I wouldn't call it an iPhone clone, but there is some truth to what you say. HTC needs sales, so if you follow a design that is hugely popular and price it a couple hundred less, you are going to get some sales. When parents go to buy that iPhone for Christmas and see the price, the sales person is going to fall back to showing this phone to them and many will buy it buy it for their teens. And then there are the wannabe's and at a glance, who could tell the difference? Pricing is a little steep. And you are right, they are expensive in general. If this phone was $50 cheaper in the US, it would sell like crazy. But I do think it is going to do well anyways, but it could have done much better with better pricing.
  • Maybe the strategy is to open with a high price point to maintain a margin when it gets slashed for Black Friday sales?
  • If they're gonna do an iclone, great .. it's a missed opportunity not having front facing speakers... an android iphone that could have looked better than the iphone ... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Traditional M7-M9 customers/fans of the speakers are going to miss them. The majority, me included liked the speakers, but can live without them. I use blue tooth speakers and that is the trend now. They said that they had to choose between the speakers or the fingerprint sensor to make the phone a reasonable size.
  • If they're going to copy Samsung's home button why not just ditch the onscreen and go full capacitive. The thing has two home buttons. And the battery...I do like the size but....ugh.
  • It's a capacitive fingerprint sensor I believe. It's function as a home button is secondary. Map it to some other function with an alternative launcher, or Tasker for that matter.
  • Looks sleek and thin but lack of stereo speakers and almost insulting battery size (it's 2015 people) make this not a good value and a definite hard pass. Price it at $300 and you might have a decent mid-range value.
  • Insulting? Ratio of battery size to phone size is spot on.
  • You and I are on the same phone (X 2013) and one of the few downsides to the phone is the battery (2300 mAh) with a 720 resolution so how is a 1080 screen resolution phone with a 2150 mAh battery going to be sufficient for me? Love the old X but because of the lackluster battery I think I'm going to spring for the Moto Maxx 2, which while it is a 5.5" screen it takes care of all the deficiencies of the X 2013. Apparently it might be priced under $550 (Verizon only) so I guess to each their own...
  • My point is that a phone that is sleek, thin, and 5" can only accommodate so big a battery. BTW, I believe the Moto X 2013 battery is actually just 2200 mAh, so only 50 mAh more than the HTC1A9. 1080 screen admittedly will take more juice, but there's quick-charge to help compensate. And remember, with Android 6.0, there's Doze.
  • I see where you're going with your argument, makes sense, and to be honest this is the first phone this year I've been tempted on (particularly the size and aluminum chassis) but Motorola still has a couple phones coming out next week. I think a 48 hr battery is more appealing to me than Marshmallow out of the box plus USB C will likely be on the new Moto's. Also, I'd hold out til the holidays as HTC will likely put out a better deal on this phone as almost every phone manufacturer does.
  • Very well said and I think you are spot on. I have been trying to force my self to like the new Nexus phones and when this one came up, I have to admit, the size is just what I have wanted with full metal, what looks like a good camera (finally - maybe?), For me, I am just a medium power user, so I am hoping that the battery will be ok. We will see what happens when it gets some full reviews and testing. And I am waiting until the holiday specials start rolling out. I think there are going to be some great deals and given HTC's financial position, they need to sell a lot of the these phones.
  • Until the battery has been tested on the A9 I'd be hesitant to buy this one just yet but the fact it is unlocked/comes with 32 GB storage with SD capability/Marshmallow out of the box/OIS camera/1080 resolution has me at least tantalized. Out of curiosity what are you sold on the new Nexus'?
  • I agree. I want to like the new Nexus phones. This phone might be a bit bland, but it isn't ugly. I am trying to like the 6p, but it just ugly and it is large. I might look past it, but I feel I am working too hard at it. The 5x is ok looking, but it lacks metal and that 2gb of ram is going to be a problem for me. I really want to use project Fi, so I will end up getting one of them regardless. I really hope Google expands Fi to other unlocked devices as encouragement for manufacturers to get away from carriers. It would be smart, but something tells me they aren't ready for a Fi to be a big thing yet.
  • When and where will the funeral for the boomsound speakers be held?
  • BoomSound is alive and well in their flagship phones. M7, M8, M9, and the up coming M10. Patience Grasshopper ;) Posted via the Android Central App
  • OK Guys, tell me again what's so bad about this phone! But first, just to review: Ergonomic design. Not trying to be different for its own sake.
    5" - (it's a phone, not a tabloataphone.)
    Runs Marshmallow with minimal Sense skinning; updates promised within 15 days of Nexus updates
    sim unlocked
    bootloader unlockable without voiding warranty!
    3 gig ram and 32 gig storage
    Micros SD card
    Snapdragon 617 Octacore 64 bit processor
    1080p screen, (not QHC, 4k or some other insanity)
    Quickcharge 2.0, to be upgraded to 3.0
    AMOLED screen
    Fingerprint sensor
    Improved camera, with OIS
    12 months free phone replacement for any reason
    6 months free Google Play
    All for $399 on the pre-order special. ---------------------- Minimal downsides are: Quick charger not included (no problem)
    Battery limited (almost same size as Moto X Classic battery), due to smaller form factor, BUT, it has quickcharge)
    No front facing speakers (get some bluetooth earbuds) My pre-order has been placed. Charcoal grey. November can't come soon enough!!
  • Preordered the charcoal grey as the google play music offer only for new accounts?
  • +1
  • Clap, clap, clap...
    Thank you everyone; this has been the the most hilarious comments section I've read in a LONG time, and I feel pretty good after laughing out loud for several minutes. And I mean that... no sarcasm intended. Now boys and girls, what is the number one rule of commenting on HTC phones? CURSE THE CAMERA! Did we forget that? We also forgot "WHO NEEDS BOOMSOUND?!", but it's nice to know today's class did NOT forget "BEZELS BEZELS BEZELS!!!!" Ok, take your seats; class is in session. Did anyone notice the camera? Without Ultrapixel, without excess MP that crowds the sensor size, and w-i-t-h OIS? Was everybody waiting to lynch HTC for the camera again, and got confused because they finally seem to have gotten it right? Talk about deer in the headlights! For every one person gushing about Boomsound, there are fifty people saying it's not important. Sooo, you would think that no one would care if HTC leaves them off of their mid-range phone (this is not a flagship or a flagship killer. Please sit down Jimmy). Samsung puts the raunchiest piece of do-do speaker in some of their devices and people defend it. It would be safe to say the A9 probably sounds better than most other devices with a single speaker, so relax and deal with it, or get the M10 if Boomsound is important to you. That brings us to BEZELS! Yes, the A9 bezels are gigantic! You could probably plant a vineyard or vegetable garden on one end, and use the other bezel for the neighborhood kids to play ice hockey on. I mean, these things are SO big, they are almost as big as the bezels on the Galaxy S6 Active and the Apple iPhone 6S! (somebody page the nurse... Becky just fainted).
    Ok, sarcasm over, and they are big in my opinion, but the A9 bezels are smaller than the Active and about seven other phones on my charts. Why complain about one and not the others? By the way, the official ratio for the A9 is 66.8% screen to 33.2% bezel. Wrapping things up, why did HTC release a mid-range phone that looks like the iPhone 6? I don't know, but there are several possibilities. Most likely it was done for attention, and to show the world that they can make a mid-range phone that's better than the iPhone. What is Apple going to sue them for? For the antenna bands that HTC had first? For a flat-backed rectangle, which HTC already produces in the Desire line? I have not been paying attention to any legal agreements, but either way HTC is safe. From a direct comparison, I think most people will be surprised that a $400 phone can look every bit as good as the 6S (if you like THAT look), and Apple owners will certainly be bloody pissed. The A9 has a better battery and battery life, expandable memory, more RAM, Quickcharge, an AMOLED screen, better screen resolution, a real FM radio, better headphone audio quality, and NFC that is not locked-down to one function only. I really think this is HTC getting attention by getting in Apple's face. By the way, I hope no one got offended by the classroom theme... I thought it was funny and it was fun to write. No offense intended :)
  • You're gonna have to wait for battery tests before we can make battery life claims. I never trust what the OEMs say about battery life because real-world usage is different. Another thing is the the iPhone has a dual-core SoC (that's killer in single-core performance, demolishing the E7420 in single-core performance) and a lower-resolution 750p display. In worst cases, they should be somewhat equal.
  • You're right, it's better to see how it actually does before making battery claims. I've had a dozen iPhones and own four on active plans right now, so I know how they roll as far as battery life patterns. Now, the single core performance is irrelevant. It's kind of like saying your car drives better with one wheel missing than another car with three wheels missing. The whole point of that article (and I did read it), was to boast about an area of superiority for the Apple SoC. It's too bad that, in order to get what they wanted, they had to run the E7420 SoC at 12.5% capacity and the Apple at 50%. An honest test would have been to run the E7420 with half the cores disabled... just like the Apple. But there's really no need for that because we have the multi-core scores, which is how the device was designed to run anyway. The only way to cast their product in a positive light for benchmarks is to shackle the competition. You know what? I had to go back and edit that because the Apple SoC in the iPhone 6S is called the A9. Interesting...
  • I know benchmarks don't matter, but the 6S demolished my LG G4 on Geekbench in both scores. Here lies the "2016 Flagship Killer". It got slayed by 2015 flagships like the LG G4 being used to post this.
  • Shhh there's no place for common sense in a comments section. Android fanboys only care about phones having all of the Specs! Big screen! 8k res! DSLR camera specs! 0 bezel! Pure android! Giant batteries! Most people don't nitpick even remotely as much as you folks. Posted via my HTC One M9
  • Well, this is a Android/Phone fan community site, so nitpick is what we do here. With that said, there are many phones that aren't big spec phones that have received huge praise here like the Zenfone 2, Moto G, etc. HTC has a reputation around here. Some love them, so they are loyal to what they expect and others feel a bit jilted by them. If this phone is going to get the love it deserves, it is going to have to prove itself this time around. HTC has done a lot of talking about such greatness and then falls on its face. I think this is possibly a great phone and one that I would buy. I just don't trust what HTC are saying yet. I want too, but we just have to wait and see how it performs.
  • I think the main problem with this phone is that it looks like a flagship phone, and in videos it appears to run like one. Initial reports say the camera is a winner. In our minds a phone that runs as well as the M9 and has a better camera screams flagship, yet HTC has told us it is a mid-ranger (just as the SOC suggests). It's when we can wrap our heads upon the fact that it is a mid-ranger, that the thing suddenly looks darn good, and gets me thinking about just what the M10 will give us. The Nexus 5X and the Moto X Pure are this device's competitors. Initial impressions are that this device may have them both beat! At least in my mind. But yeah, the battery concerns me as well.
  • Good points, and I'm looking forward to see how this does. Everything seems to be in line with what people expect for higher than mid-range, and that seems to throw people off. I will say that it is might be HTC's way of raising the bar, and if they make a mid-range phone this nice, it bodes well for the M10. At least the camera is a relief. In the back of my mind I was afraid they would roll out a fantastic M10... except the camera. If they put the A9 camera in the M10, I'll be happy. Initial tests have some reviewers putting it as even better than the S6, which would be great. Combine that with good looks and an SoC benchmarking nearly double what the iPhone 6S has, and it should get them back in the game.
  • It appears to be a well crafted phone from the photos, but "Looks like a flagship" is subjective. According to the info below, the A9 doesn't appear to run as well as the M9 where high performance is needed. Unless you want the fingerprint scanner, forced to choose between the two, I would buy an M9 if they can be had for $430.00 right now.,one-m9/
  • I would do the same. The M9 looks better, has Boomsound with Dolby surround, the high performance GPU, etc. I think I'd be tempted by the A9 if camera was more important than sound or gaming to me. Battery life would be important, and I expect the battery in the A9 to do better than the smaller cell in the iPhone 6, but I'm not sure it would do as well as the M9, and I seriously doubt it would have a chance to be in the same league as the M8 or Note 5. Where I'm at, it's 8:15 PM Monday night and I'm nearing the end of a double shift on my third day since the last charge on Friday night. Phone is at 6% with 4 hours of run time left (according to the battery manager, that is ;)
  • HTC seems to be losing their sense of design lately. The A9 doesn't look BAD, but it just looks so uninspired. Like many said, it looks a lot like an iPhone 6. That may be good or bad depending on you, but to me, that's a bad thing because it means that HTC doesn't have a clear design language anymore to set them apart. HTC's best looking phone was the One M7, IMHO. Here lies the "2016 Flagship Killer". It got slayed by 2015 flagships like the LG G4 being used to post this.
  • 2,150 battery? Come on HTC 
  • Love how they are partnering with Google..have ordered 6P and 5X as back up, but after seeing this and updates within 15 days I'm planning to return the 5X and keep this for the back up phone. That way it will something different than stock android of 6P and also like this is all metal compared to 5X.
  • At least the bezel is now even not lopsided
  • That's correct, but it never bothered me. Also, I kinda like being able to pick up the phone from the bottom, and there's just enough space to hold it without false screen presses. For me, it's a feature, lol.
  • Put the fingerprint sensor on the back, put the stereo boomsound speakers on the front and I MIGHT consider it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Totally like copy from iPhone.. Boo.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It looks exactly like a flat-backed M7 to me, but that just an opinion :)
  • Who makes the AMOLED screen? Is it pentile or full RGB?
  • Well, I got to admit, I like what they have done with this phone and depending on how it performs, I might buy one. It checks a lot of boxes for me. Design wise, meh, it looks good, but it is slightly boring. Most important to me is it is metal. I have been looking for a "near" flagship phone in the 5" to 5.2" with all metal design. I wanted at least 3gb ram, 32gb storage, sdcard slot, AMOLED of at least 1080p, unlocked, close to stock Android, a GOOD camera, under $400. So yeah, like I said it checks a lot of boxes for me. I don't care about the fingerprint. Wireless charging would have been nice. I don't game and I am medium user on batteries. What I will be watching for in reviews is.... will the 617 SOC be under powered, real world camera use, screen quality, and can it make it through a day with a medium power user (me). Baring any other unknown issues that come up. I use to be a huge HTC fan. Until I bought the M7, which I loved, but the camera was terrible and I have stayed away ever since. I hope it does well on this phone. The A9 was likely the phone HTC presented to Google for the Nexus 5X and they rejected it. So everyone is focused on Apple, the real story is Nexus. And Google tossed them a bone by working closely on the Android/Sense install on this phone with fast updates and let them release it as the A9. If it does good in the reviews without any major flaws. I think it is going to be very successful. There are a lot of people like me looking for a phone with these specs. A better SOC would have nice, but if it works like I think it will, that should be good enough.
  • Remember quick charge and Doze in ref to battery life. ☺ Via the Moto X Classic
  • History tells us that HTC can do very good things in the software department, and the M8 does better than the Note 5 which has a bigger battery.
  • $399? Um....I think there are a TON of phones for that price that will walk all over this phone........ Motorola X, OnePlus 2 or even the One, Probably the Zenfone 2(64 gigs, 4gb ram) as well. Not to mention...but of course I will, My LG G Flex 2 (810/3 gigs/32mb) for under $300 new on ebay will do the walking over the HTC.... about $379 for the NEW Nexus 5X or $349/399 for the 2014 Nexus 6's on Amazon. Come on Down!
  • You're correct. The proper entry point for this phone is $349USD. I have a feeling HTC will fix that in time.
  • All too big. Via the Moto X Classic
  • Again correct. The size of those phones are off-putting to me as well.
  • The Nexus 5x is smaller....
  • But plastic, and it has that ugly camera that looks like a cut-off wart. The 5X is good, but I'm having trouble getting past the looks.
  • 24 BIT AUDIO. That feature alone is enough for me to like and want this phone.... a lot! Mmmmm Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm actually really looking forward to this phone. It has everyone thing I want and avoids the things I really don't need.
    Sure it doesn't have a 4K screen. IMHO 4K would be beyond overkill on a 5" screen.
    Front facing stereo speakers??? I already have Boomsound and I've noticed that most of my listening is done with headphones on so amplified 24 bit audio from the headphone jack is MAJOR!
    Nice Ram/Rom combo PLUS expandable storage to make use of Marshmallow's handling / merging of internal and external storage.
    A year warranty that as far as I know isn't matched by anyone.
    Carrier unlocked and bootloader unlockable without risk of voiding the warranty. I think it's going to be safe to assume that custom rom support should be massive for this phone if you want to go that route.
    Promise of 15 day after Nexus updates. (Note which most people aren't touching on... 15 days are ONLY for phones bought off
    Most surprisingly... A camera that according to most early reviews compares very closely with or surpasses the iPhone and top tier Android cameras.
  • Rumour has it that the next Samsung Galaxy s7 phone will come equipped with a 32 bit Sabre audio chip capable of playing all the hi-rez files including DSD. This is as close to listening to analog goodness. Wow oh wow!! This will save me buying a dedicated player like Fiio if I grab this bad boy. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Android on iPhone
  • This is very low for HTC and there just digging their own grave even deeper. Yeah the iPhone 6 took design ques from HTC, but HTC didn't have to directly mirror the iPhone; it's just very distasteful and will only give them the bad copycat image. There was so much optimism for HTC when they released the M7, completely fresh and innovative phone at the time. Yeah I had the M7 and though it was HORRIBLE during the second half of ownership and unreliable hardware wise, they still had something. M8 was a solid sucessor. Was so hyped about the M9 and was all set to get it but was very, very disappointed when it was announced; so underwhelming.
  • I take back the part where I said HTC copied Apple. It's Apple that has been taking pages off HTC. HTC did come up with the design first with the M7. The only similarities between the A9 and iPhone is the flat back and the large bezels. The fingerprint sensor is similiar to Samsung. I have the iphone 5, 6, and HTC One M7 side by side now and the 5 looks nothing like the M7 and the iPhone 6 does take a number of design cues from the M7. Even the 6s copied HTC Zoe with Live Photos. I bet the iPhone 7 will have Beats by Dre front speakers and all the fans will praise it and call it an all time first innovation. This phone is kinda like HTC calling out Apple and saying "F u we came up with the design first and we don't like you taking ideas from us. Do somethin!!" Plus look at all the coverage HTC is getting; far more than their One series. Something is working!
  • TOTALLY AGREE!!!!! No matter what people say HTC revolutionized the smartphone market. First to team up with Beats by Dre, front speakers, all metal look, Zoe, Sense (has improve A LOT) etc. I am an HTC fan and have already pre-order my A9 and cant wait to have it in my hands. Cant wait to see Silicon Valley next year with their front face speakers on their iPhones thinking their the sh** while bumping Nick Cannon LMAO
  • I went ahead and pre-ordered one because I like the size and enjoyed my HTC One X a few years back. I was using my 2013 Moto X until earlier this year when I also got an LG G Flex 2. I loved the curved body, it felt great in my hand, and it was pretty light and non obtrusive in my pocket. However, the screen had to always be on the brightest setting, which was pretty useless outdoors, and it definitely throttled and slowed down when it got hot. I have had the new 2015 Moto X Pure Edition for about a month now but I am just finding it too big for my tastes so I will likely end up selling it and using my 2013 Moto X when I want or need the cool Moto features. I wish I had made that decision before the return policy was over but I was really trying to make myself stick it out with the size. I am a gadget nut though so I may end up keeping it and just swapping phones for specific purposes.
  • I really like this phone. The design, the promises of fast Android updates, the relatively stock version of Android (For HTC Sense). But I just cannot get over the pricing in the UK. At £450 for a cut down version of the US model, this is an insult and a con. £450 gives you a lot of options for a lot of great handsets and relegates this phone from a credible choice to a fashion accessory.
  • Finally HTC is using a Sony camera sensor. Expect good photos.