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MWC 2015 | HTC One M9 is officially announced

HTC One M9 is similar to the M8, but is better in almost every way
HTC One M9 is similar to the M8, but is better in almost every way
The hotly anticipated HTC flagship doesn't bring many changes from its predecessor, but the improvements are obvious.

As expected, the Taiwanese manufacturer HTC announced its new One M9 smartphone at the MWC exhibition in Barcelona. While visually similar to its predecessor, it looks even more metallic and edgy, and it's an easily recognizable and pleasing design. Android 5.0.2 Lollipop is preinstalled and the updated HTC Sense 7 UI is not only able to change themes but also create new ones by analysing the user-made photos and choosing the most prominent colors. Speaking of which, at least four case colours will be available: gunmetal black, pink, gold and silver. The smartphone isn't advertised as waterproof but HTC offers various covers and accessories for water and dust protection. On its own, the One M9 weighs 157 g (~5.54 oz) and is 9.61 mm (~0.38 inch) thick.

The slightly protruding camera seems like a design flaw but its saphire glass lens cover should protect it from accidental scratches. This time the main camera (BSI sensor, f/2.2, 27.8 mm lens) offers 20 MP with autofocus, LED flash, HDR and Ultra HD 4K video recording support. The 4 MP UltraPixel camera (BSI sensor, f/2.0, 26.8 mm lens) has moved to the front of the phone and is capable of shooting Full HD videos. Three microphones should provide clear audio recording, and audio output is still handled by the stereo BoomSound speakers on the front panel, but this time they support Dolby virtual 5.1 surround sound.

Performance should be high with Qualcomm's new 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core (big.LITTLE) SoC. Unlike Samsung's 14 nm Exynos 7420, the S810 is still built on a 20 nm process but nevertheless is expected to be a very fast and efficient SoC. Graphics are handled by Adreno 430 GPU and RAM should not be an issue with 3 GB available. The only internal storage option is 32 GB but that should not matter since a microSD slot is available and supports cards up to 128 GB.

Available ports and communications include microUSB 2.0 (we really don't understand why smartphone vendors are holding out on microUSB 3.0) with MHL 3.0 and OTG support, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Miracast, Bluetooth 4.1, LTE Cat. 6 (nanoSIM), NFC, infrared remote, GPS and GLONASS. There's also a special HTC Connect protocol which allows the One M9 to communicate with HTC wireless speakers.

It's understandable that HTC decided to avoid excessive (for a smartphone) resolutions: the 5-inch screen remains at 1920x1080 pixels, amounting to 440 ppi, which is already very sharp and should also have a lower power consumption than a QHD display of the same size. The battery capacity of 2840 mAh should be sufficient for the installed components.

The smartphone will be available starting on March 31 and, according to some US website listings, will cost at least $650.



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Andrey Konstantinov, 2015-03- 1 (Update: 2024-05-28)