As the leaks suggested, the HTC One A9 looks to be a beast of a smartphone. The Chinese hardware manufacturer unveiled the device yesterday, talking up the fact that it ships with Android Marshmallow and taking the opportunity to remind those who might (understandably) have forgotten HTC’s pedigree when it comes to breaking new ground.
“HTC is a smartphone pioneer, having delivered the first Android smartphone, the first Windows smartphone, the first 4G smartphone, and the first all-metal smartphone,” says Cher Wang, HTC’s CEO and chairman. Wang pulled no punches when it comes to HTC’s rivals: “Today we’re taking that heritage of innovation to the next level, unveiling a phone that stands apart in a market increasingly dominated by a company which controls every aspect of your phone.
“The HTC One A9 breaks from this trend by offering an incredible design, fantastic performance, cutting-edge software features and the freedom to take full control of your smartphone experience.”
We’ve long loved the build-quality and design of HTC’s devices, ad the One A9 looks set to continue this trend, even if HTC’s chosen to label its mix of curves, colours and metals “metalmorphics” without the slightest hint of irony or a tongue-filled cheek. Tech companies do love a ludicrous neologism, so we’ll let that slide and focus instead on the One A9’s specs.
Expect a 5-inch full-HD display, a 13-megapixel main camera with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) that also lets you capture images as uncompressed RAW files, and a fingerprint scanner, all powered by Qualcomm’s 64-bit oct-core Snapdragon 617 processor. HTC will offer 16GB and 32GB configurations of the One A9 with both versions offering a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 2TB.
The company also talked up its software, from built-in image editing software to its own Hyperlapse-like tool for time-lapse-like video, and something called HTC Zoe that automagically combines stills and video into a highlight reel, à la Google Photos’ “stories”.
Given how much we loved the HTC One M9 (it was one our favourite Android devices… until LG and Samsung updated their flagship offerings) we can’t wait to take the One A9 for spin. Expect a full review as soon as we do.