In late October HTC announced another high-end Android smartphone to take on some of the recent competition from Apple, Samsung, Motorola and others, with the all-new HTC One A9. A premium yet mid-range device for those looking to get a great Android smartphone. Today, that phone is finally available in the United States.
Earlier this year the HTC One M9 was released near the same time as Samsung’s Galaxy S6, the third in a line of popular HTC One phones, but it wasn’t nearly as popular as the company hoped. Receiving mixed reviews around the web. As a result, the company completely changed gears, redesigned the phone entirely with a hint of the iPhone design, made it more wallet-friendly and we now have the HTC One A9. Below is everything potential buyers need to know.
The new HTC One A9 actually went up for pre-order from AT&T on November 2nd, but it was online only. Today though, the phone is officially available from both AT&T and Sprint, with more US carriers offering it at a later date. It’s also available as low as $399 for a limited time, and tomorrow November 7th, that promotional price will increase, so those interested will want to read all about it below, and grab one today before the price goes up.
HTC’s new One A9 is an interesting smartphone. Blending the simple looks of the Desire lineup, the iPhone, incorporating Samsung’s dedicated home button with a fingerprint scanner, and adding the same unibody aluminum design we’ve seen from recent HTC phones, all into one well-rounded device running the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
This phone is the first device released with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, not Android 5.1 Lollipop, excluding Google’s own Nexus devices. It has a lot to offer, and before we get into pricing, availability, or carriers, here’s the full rundown on this upper mid-range smartphone.
HTC One A9 Specs
- 5-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD AMOLED Display
- 8-core Snapdragon 617 processor with 2GB of RAM
- 16GB model with 2GB of RAM, or 32GB with 3GB of RAM
- Micro-SD slot for storage expansion
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow with a revised HTC Sense UI
- 13 Megapixel Rear Camera with Optical Image Stabilization
- 4 UltraPixel Front Facing Camera
- All aluminum design with Gorilla Glass 4 covering the display
- Fingerprint scanner like the Galaxy S6
- Improved Audio with built-in amplifier for improved sound
- 2,150 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 coming in a future update
It comes with a powerful but wallet-friendly 8-core processor and 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, or there’s a more expensive model with 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM for those who want a little better performance. That said, there’s also a micro-SD slot to expand storage.
HTC ditched its “UltraPixel” camera on back that was one of the biggest complaints of the HTC One M9 flagship earlier this year, and added a 13 megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. To better compete with great cameras from Samsung, LG, and even Motorola this year.
The phone also comes with a full aluminum design, and a built-in fingerprint scanner up front under the display, just like the Galaxy S6. It has improved audio, Quick Charge 3.0 support, and a small 2,150 mAh battery. The worst part of the specs is the small battery, but it’s only powering a 5-inch screen compared to huge Quad-HD screens like the competition. Here’s a quick release video teaser from HTC themselves.
The most notable features are Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the fingerprint scanner up front, and the ability to use Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology with a future update. Quick Charge 3.0 promises to get the phone from 0-85% in just 30 minutes, and allowing for 6 hours of battery life after only 20 minutes on the charger. Meaning it doesn’t have the biggest battery like some new DROID smartphones, but it doesn’t need one.
The initial $399 asking price gets the 16GB model with 2GB of RAM, but carriers are also offering the more powerful 32GB variant with 3GB of RAM as well, most notably Sprint, but it comes at a price.
Starting today the 32GB 3GB of RAM model is available from both AT&T and Sprint, and other carriers will make announcements soon. AT&T is asking $520 outright, or multiple different monthly payment plans with AT&T Next. However, Sprint is charging nearly $700 outright, or payment plans as well. Making this a rather expensive mid-range smartphone.
However, we’d recommend buyers get it from HTC.com for only $399 (that price ends November 7th) which gets users an unlocked phone that works on all carriers, and HTC has promised updates within 15 days to the day that Google releases software updates. The unlocked model is the best route, but those who’d rather make payments can get one today from AT&T or Sprint retail stores.