HTC on Tuesday unveiled the HTC One A9, the latest addition to the company's family of One smartphone that looks similar to Apple's iPhone. The HTC One A9
will go on sale starting November and has been priced at $399.99 (approximately Rs. 26,000) for the unlocked version. There's no word yet on India price and availability. US pre-orders for the HTC One A9 kicked off Tuesday via the company's online store.
The Taiwanese manufacturer is bundling some offers such as the 'Uh-Oh' protection plan that will offer a free phone replacement in the case of a cracked screen, water damage, or a carrier switch within the first twelve months from the date of purchase. The company is also giving away 6 months of Google Play Music subscription. The smartphone will be available in Carbon Grey, Opal Silver, Topaz Gold, and Deep Garnet colour variants. As had been tipped in several leaks, the HTC One A9 comes with a physical button that sits below the screen, and a design that is highly reminiscent of the iPhone 6. The smartphone sports an all-metal body.
Ahead of the One A9 launch, Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO HTC, had even claimed that the new One smartphone could be a good "alternative to the iPhone."
One of the most notable features of HTC's new One A9 smartphone is the guarantee for Android updates. At the launch, HTC America President, Jason Mackenzie, promised that the unlocked HTC One A9 will receive every Android OS update within 15 days of the Nexus range. In a tweet, the company said, "The unlocked A9 will receive every Google SW update within 15 days of Nexus devices!" HTC is definitely pushing its One A9 as an Android device that will receive updates as soon as Nexus devices, something the dated Google Play Edition devices promised. However, we will have to wait to see whether the company is able to meet its promise as the company has previously missed its OS update deadlines.
The HTC One A9 will be available in two inbuilt storage and RAM versions- 16GB with 2GB RAM, and 32GB with 3GB RAM, with both supporting expandable storage via microSD card (up to 2TB). The company however has specified that the versions will vary by markets indicating that some markets may only get one storage variant.
For specifications, the HTC One A9 by an all-new 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor with 1.5GHz quad-core and 1.2GHz quad-core modules. Running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC Sense skin on top, the HTC One A9 is the company's first Marshmallow-based handset.
Featuring a 5-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) display, the One A9 also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for protection. There is a 13-megapixel rear camera with sapphire cover lens. It comes with f/2.0 aperture, autofocus, BSI sensor, OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), support for 1080p video recording, and a LED flash module. The smartphone will sport a 4-megapixel UltraPixel front-facing fixed-focus camera. It is powered by a 2150mAh battery.
Connectivity options include 4G LTE, 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Micro-USB. The company listing confirms that the HTC One A9 supports Indian LTE bands.
Other notable features include fingerprint sensor, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, gyro, and magnetic sensor.
The company also showcased some accessories for the One A9 smartphone including the Dot View cases which will be available as the HTC Dot View II case and will come in Obsidian, Deep Garnet, Sea Coral and Turquoise Blue colours beginning next month.
Commenting on the launch, Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO, HTC said, "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. Today [Tuesday] 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."