HTC has launched the HTC One A9, a new mid-range Android handset that sits just below the HTC One M9 in terms of specs and price. HTC says it has worked closely with Google on the phone's software, and it's set to be the first non-Nexus handset to appear with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
The new phone features a full metal body (with a distinctly iPhone-esque style), an integrated fingerprint sensor and an expandable memory slot. It offers a 5-inch 1,920 x 1,080 pixel AMOLED screen, a 64-bit Snapdragon 617 CPU, 2-3 GB of RAM and 32-64 GB of internal storage space.
That's a very good set of specifications, but it doesn't quite match the top end phones of 2015, with their 2,560 x 1,440 pixel QHD resolutions and Snapdragon 808/810 processors. HTC will be hoping it attracts plenty of buyers looking for a well-designed phone that doesn't try to break records in terms of performance.
During a brief live stream announcement, HTC's Jason Mackenzie described the phone as "beautiful, powerful and easy-to-use" and said the manufacturer wanted to give users "the freedom to make the phone truly your own." That means a minimal amount of bloatware and a version of HTC Sense that's closer to stock Android than ever.
Not only will be the phone be the first non-Nexus device to arrive with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, users who buy the phone unlocked in the US are going to get future updates just a couple of weeks after Google pushes them to its own Nexus hardware — that's a big improvement on the lead times we've previously seen from Android handset makers.
The 13-megapixel camera features a special hyperlapse capture mode implemented by HTC and upgraded fast focus capabilities, while HTC was also keen to emphasize the high-fidelity audio and the choice of customization options (via HTC Themes) on the device. It's going to be available in four colors: topaz gold, carbon gray, opal silver and deep garnet.
We only have pricing information for the US right now, where the HTC One A9 will be available for US$400 unlocked. The phone is scheduled to roll out globally from the first week in November. Stay tuned to Gizmag, as we'll have more for you shortly on HTC's new rival to the iPhone.
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